From the font on your invitations to the colors of the tablecloths, you’ll make hundreds of decisions as you work to plan your wedding, but one of the more important decisions you’ll make is who will officiate your ceremony. It’s an honor and an important duty to officiate a wedding, and while some people want to leave it strictly to the professionals, others consider having a friend or family member become an officiant to preside over the ceremony.
If you’re considering having a friend or family member officiate your wedding, that’s great! But there are some things you’ll want to consider before you bestow that responsibility on someone close to you. Below, we talk about everything you’ll want to know about having a friend or family member officiate your wedding.
Having A Friend Or Family Member Officiate Your Ceremony
If you’re thinking about asking a friend or family member to officiate your wedding, here are some things you’ll want to keep in mind:
- Ask Them Early – Don’t wait until the last minute to get your officiant on the books for your wedding. They are going to want some time to work out what they are going to say so that your ceremony is personal and memorable. Don’t leave them feeling rushed because you didn’t ask them until a couple weeks before the ceremony. Get it squared away early, and don’t be afraid to circle back as your wedding day draws near to ensure everything is still on track.
- Make Sure They Are Official – There are state and local laws regarding who can officially perform the marriage ceremony, so you need to make sure that your friend or family member jumps through the necessary hoops to become an officiant. Check with your county clerk’s office or search online for how you can become a wedding officiant in your state. It is free in some states, but in others there is a small fee. Consider covering any expenses if you’re asking a friend or family member to officiate your wedding.
- They Need To File Paperwork – It’s not enough to just become a certified officiant, you also need to file the correct documentation to the county in which you’re getting married in. For example, if you were getting married in Hennepin County, here’s what you’d need to do to get on file with the county. As you can see, there’s a $30 filing fee that must be submitted along with your application. Google “filing officiant credentials” in the county you’ll be getting married in to figure out what paperwork needs to be completed so that your officiant is good to go.
- Plan The Ceremony With Them – You don’t need to plan out every word, but talk about the general flow and tone of the ceremony. Do you want something a little more traditional because you’re getting married in a Catholic church, or do you want a more relaxed and light-hearted ceremony because you’re hoping it will help with any wedding day jitters? This way both sides can ensure their expectations are met and everyone is on the same page.
- Practice – As the old adage goes, practice makes perfect. If your friend or family member hasn’t officiated a wedding before or it’s been a while since they’ve overseen one, have a practice run before the rehearsal ceremony. Things will run much smoother if you’ve talked about any readings, musical pieces or other acts that will take place throughout the course of the ceremony. Talk these beats through with your officiant so that they aren’t taking in all this new information at once at the rehearsal ceremony.
Having a friend or family member officiate your wedding can make the day that much more special, but it will involve a little extra planning on your end. Conversely, if you want to outsource some of the other aspects of your wedding and reception, like lighting, decor or catering, connect with the team at Entourage Events Group.
We know what it takes to ensure a wedding runs smoothly from start to finish, and we’d be happy to amaze your guests with culinary creations or an enchanting atmosphere. To learn more about our picturesque venues or our renown event services, start by filling out a short form on our contact page!