Author Topic: Officiating friends' wedding: help me make this fucking awesome  (Read 1155 times)

Russ

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Officiating friends' wedding: help me make this fucking awesome
« on: January 10, 2017, 05:22:13 AM »
I am doing this in June. Q's:
What did your wedding officiant do that you liked?
What did your wedding officiant do that you didn't like?
If you have officiated a wedding, any tips or things you'd do different the second time?

Obvs I'm gonna talk to the couple about what they want and all that. Looking mostly for the things we won't think of.

Thanks :-)

pbkmaine

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Re: Officiating friends' wedding: help me make this fucking awesome
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2017, 05:51:01 AM »
I think the best officiants are calm, unflappable and good-humored. They know who is supposed to do what and when, and orchestrate the ceremony. The groom is nervous? Tell him a little joke. The bride forgets her lines? Prompt her. The flower girl has a meltdown? Gently suggest to the parents that she probably needs a few minutes outside. The best man had too many bloody marys and stumbles through First Corinthians? Thank him for a memorable reading. Otherwise, fade into the background in order to showcase the bride and groom.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Officiating friends' wedding: help me make this fucking awesome
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2017, 09:46:01 AM »
My best friend's husband officiated our wedding.  He wrote a beautiful ceremony that was completely unique for us (agnostic /lapsed Catholic) and the day (late summer/early fall) and the location (a winery).  He recommended readings that he thought would fit with his text for three friends to say so that more people could participate in the ceremony.  Our two Grandmas (78 and 91) lit candles.  All the guests were asked if they would be in our life together. It was so powerful to hear their voices as parents, then siblings and friends took turns standing and being asked if they will support us building our lives together.  By the end of the ceremony everyone was crying.  It may have been the small room and my weepy Gramma and Dad in the middle dragging everyone down or the solo cellist playing Schumann.  We laughed when our 5 year old nephew dropped the rings on the stone floor and they rolled and rolled in a giant circle and he stomped on them when they came back to him.  We laughed again when he wouldn't bring them to us and BIL/Dad had to instead.
Most of our guests commented about how beautiful the ceremony was.  Even 13 years later, a friend that was there that we hadn't seen in many years but were visiting near our anniversary told his partner that ours was the most beautiful wedding ceremony that he has ever attended.  I think it was because it could only be our wedding ceremony and it was intimate, solemn and optimistic and about love and involved everyone in the room.
BTW we will celebrate 20 years married in September.

swick

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Re: Officiating friends' wedding: help me make this fucking awesome
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2017, 09:50:06 AM »
Hubs and I wrote our own ceremony and vows. Just made sure that little legal bit required by our province was in there (I think it was like maybe 3 lines of the whole thing?) We did a salt ceremony and community vow and such. Happy to send you a copy if you want to take a look through for ideas.

LifeHappens

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Re: Officiating friends' wedding: help me make this fucking awesome
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2017, 10:04:21 AM »
DH and I had a good friend act as our officiant. Officiant friend and I chose readings - all secular stuff since we are not religious. We hired a guitar player to perform a beginning and closing song. DH and I wrote our own vows, which we read with copious tears. We also had a wine box ceremony, which we continue on our anniversary every year.

I did not want to do the traditional walk down the aisle and we did not have a traditional wedding party. Instead, we asked our guests to stand in a circle around us during the ceremony. I really liked that. Maybe not the best for viewing the "performance," but we felt very supported through the process.

I would say the main thing Officiant Friend brought to the process is that he knows us very well and was totally supportive of us and our marriage. We wanted a low key, non traditional ceremony and he helped us create that.

Glenstache

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Re: Officiating friends' wedding: help me make this fucking awesome
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2017, 10:49:43 PM »
I've been fortunate enough to officiate four weddings for friends. They have all been different, and all special in their own way. I think that the process divides into two camps: emotional content and logistics.

Emotional content:
- ask them what they want. This usually works best as what they have seen that they liked in ceremonies they have attended.
- there are a ton of ceremonies on various webpages. Download a bunch and parse ideas to run past them
- If they have different backgrounds, make sure you know if there are ceremonies that are important to families that get worked in (break wine glasses, etc)
- I'm not a fan of writing the whole thing for them. I've found that developing a skeleton that they can edit or slash works best.
- The single most amazing thing I've seen in a ceremony was when a part of the ceremony was asking people to stand and give a testimonial to their relationship to the couple. This had a few people who knew ahead of time that they should expect to talk to this to get things rolling. It really tied everyone into the ceremony and emphasized the community aspect. The officiant ends up acting as a bit of a talk show host / MC during this part.
- Understand the tone they want in terms of religion, gooshy stuff, high minded poems, etc.
- Some friends who were rock climbers tied a rewoven figure 8 as part of the ceremony in lieu of a candle lighting. If there are shared interests, modifications like this are pretty neat if they want this type of element in their ceremony.
- have them involved in the writing as much as possible.
- Just ask.

Logistics:
- practice the shit out of it while walking and doing other distracting things.
- know how long they want it to be and work to a time.
- Understand the physical logistics of how the ceremony will unfold: who needs to be where when.
- Know who will have the rings and confirm before the ceremony.
- I pasted ceremonies into old (like really old neat) text books or cloth bound books to hold.
- Print so that it is EASY to read with spacing so that you can easily find your place if you have to look up and down.
- Practice so that you can look around instead of just reading from a page. It's the best seat in the house.
- Know the paperwork requirements before you show up. Most people don't do this all the time and filling out the license/forms can be weird to figure out on the fly when they want to be mingling with guests.

It is a super fun experience and an honor to be asked to do it. Good luck!

Russ

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Re: Officiating friends' wedding: help me make this fucking awesome
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2018, 03:51:16 PM »
long time no update
this went great
thanks everybody