When I’m done officiating a wedding ceremony there is nothing better than the couple and their guest saying “That was great!”
So, what makes a great wedding officiant? A great wedding officiant will work with you to create and perform the perfect ceremony for you. They will respect who you are and adjust themselves and their services to meet your needs. A great wedding officiant will make sure you feel comfortable and confident on your wedding day and the moment you say “I do.”
You might not care about your wedding ceremony all that much. You might just want someone to sign your marriage license, say some words and pronounce you married so you can have a great party. There’s nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t have to be that deep. But, you only get married once so you might want to take some time to think about it. A great wedding ceremony can kick off a great reception and a great wedding officiant can help make that happen.
Your wedding officiant presides over your wedding ceremony.
They have everyone’s attention for those few minutes (you hope) and a great wedding officiant can control the situation no matter what. They will communicate with you ahead of time to make sure they are aware of your wants, needs and expectations and be able to adjust accordingly, in the moment, if they need to.
Most things that go wrong during a wedding ceremony are not within the control of the wedding officiant. They can’t control what other people do. What they can do is control the reaction. If there is nothing else you can do but laugh at the situation, they laugh. If people are visibly moved during a moment of silence they adjust to that out of respect. If you flub your vows, they might flub right back to make you feel better.
A great wedding officiant knows how to work the situation to a positive outcome.
A great wedding officiant will make sure you feel comfortable and confident on your wedding day and the moment you say “I do.”How you feel on your wedding day is so important.
If you forget everything else that happens during your wedding ceremony you will remember how you feel. Your guests will remember how they felt during your wedding ceremony. As a wedding officiant, I want your wedding ceremony to be lighthearted. I want you to be in the moment when you exchange vows. I want your guests to be engaged during your wedding ceremony. I always greet you directly at the beginning of the ceremony and say “welcome to your wedding.” I take a moment and a deep breath so the three of us can center. Or, if you are completely engaged with each other, I acknowledge and celebrate that intimacy. Before you exchange vows, I make a moment of it, I want to stop and acknowledge what you are about to do. It’s the whole point of the day. I always want to gauge the reaction of your guests and speak directly to them and make them feel like they are a part of your moment. I want it to be magical.
A Great Wedding Officiant will respect who you are and adjust themselves and their services to meet your needs.
The “perfect wedding” is all over social media. Amazing pictures of couples dressed in expensive outfits with their hair and makeup professionally done. You aren’t a person in a picture on social media. You are you. Maybe you bought your dress of the rack, you have an alcoholic mother, absent father and siblings with special needs. You have transgender bridesmaids and your foster parents are walking you down the aisle and giving you away. That’s real life. Gay marriage has been legal for years now and I still get calls asking if I perform LGBTQ weddings. A great wedding officiant will take it all in stride like it’s the most normal thing in the world. It is normal for you.
A great wedding officiant will work with you to create and perform the perfect ceremony for you.
Sometimes, couples don’t know that they have options when it comes to their wedding ceremony. I’m a professional wedding officiant and the primary goal of my business is marry any couple any way they want to get married. Sometimes couples seek me out because they know what they want and I can provide them with the services they need. Others just find me approachable and I help walk them through the process of figuring out what they want and need.
A great wedding officiant wants you to love your wedding ceremony!
Here some wedding ceremony options (you might not know you have) and what to look for in a great wedding officiant to perform the ceremony.
Simple Civil Wedding Ceremony
It is becoming more and more popular just to say “I do” and be done. Exchange vows, exchange rings, pronounce you married, take a great picture of that first kiss and let the party begin!
View Simple Civil Ceremony Scripts Here
A great wedding officiant will respect the fact you want something simple and work with you to create the perfect simple ceremony for you. They can actually make it fun if you want. I had a couple toast with a beer at the end of their wedding ceremony. It was their idea and I helped them write the perfect toast!
Christian Wedding Ceremony
As a professional wedding officiant, I’m an ordained minister. That makes me legally able to perform weddings in Indiana where I live and work. It doesn’t make me a professional Christian minister. I have an extensive background in Christianity and spirituality so I’m happy to perform a Christian ceremony with sincerity. But I always question couples seeking to have a devout christian ceremony and are looking for someone outside of their own church to perform it.
View Christian Wedding Ceremony Scripts Here
A Great Wedding Officiant will be able to understand your needs and be honest with you if they are uncomfortable or unable to meet your needs.
Interfaith Wedding Ceremony
This is one of the most popular reasons to seek a professional wedding officiant. You are unable, or simply don’t want, to get married in your regular house of worship. You might not even belong to a congregation or attend religious services but your parents insist you have a religious wedding. I LOVE these weddings. I love the mixture of cultures and the personal dynamics involved. More than once, I’ve been hired to please the couples parents.
A great wedding officiant will at least be familiar with your religions or excited about learning about them. They will welcome your input into the ceremony and even let you write it yourself if that’s what you want.
A great wedding officiant will also be able to address and be ready to deal with any family dynamics involved in an interfaith marriage.
Secular Humanist or Atheist Wedding Ceremony
When I first started officiating weddings I received calls from couples desperate to find someone to marry them with no mention of God. Honestly, most of the wedding’s I perform are completely non-religious but that’s different from being a declared Secular Humanist or Atheist. Sometimes couples just want me to understand their spiritual convictions and move forward. Others, want to make overt statements in, or with, their wedding ceremony.
A Great Wedding Officiant will respect your religious beliefs and deflect the conversation of people bring up religion, and lack of religion, on your wedding day. It’s about the couple getting married. On the other hand, I’ve had to really draw on my christian background more than once when cornered by a religious family member.
What does it mean to officiate a wedding? To officiate a wedding is to make a marriage legal. You sign the marriage license and witness the couple getting married give their verbal and written consent – They say “I do” and sign the marriage license. It can be that simple!
Who can officiate a wedding ceremony? Anyone can perform a wedding ceremony, however, to officiate a wedding means to make the marriage legal and sign the marriage license. You can read more about that in my blogpost here. You might be surprised just how easy it is and you too can be a wedding officiant!
Victoria Meyer, founder of Marry Me In Indy! LLC has been a wedding officiant in Indiana for over 9 years and married over 3000 couples. She shares her experiences and is happy to be your "Wedding Officiant Insider"