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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Connelly

How and Why to Select a Friend as Your Wedding Officiant

Considering a friend or family member to officiate your wedding? This important blog post is about how and why to select a friend or family member as your wedding officiant.


Navigating different styles of music at a wedding and keeping everyone dancing
Should You Choose a Friend as Your Wedding Officiant? There are some important details to consider.

How and Why to Select a Friend as Your Wedding Officiant


When it comes to selecting a wedding officiant, couples like you have the freedom to decide who will lead you through your vows and unite you in matrimony. While professional officiants are a popular choice, around half of my clients opt to ask a close friend family member to take on this important role. In this blog post, we'll explore three positive aspects for you to consider when choosing a friend as your wedding officiant, as well as three criteria to keep in mind to ensure a smooth and memorable ceremony.


Positive Considerations:

  1. A Meaningful Connection: Choosing a friend as your wedding officiant can be a beautiful and meaningful choice for you. Having someone you know and trust stand at the forefront of your special day can create an intimate and personal atmosphere. The words spoken by your friend will carry an extra layer of significance, reflecting your unique bond and shared experiences. This personal touch can enhance the emotional connection and make the ceremony even more memorable for you and your loved ones.

  2. Familiarity for Your Guests: By selecting a friend as your wedding officiant, you offer a familiar face to your guests. Many of your attendees will probably already know your friend or family member, which can help create a warm and inclusive ambiance. Recognizing your officiant among the crowd can make your guests feel more at ease and engaged during the ceremony. Moreover, having a friend in charge can foster a sense of community, as everyone witnesses the love and support surrounding your union.

  3. Shared Memories and Experiences: When a friend or family member takes on the role of wedding officiant, it becomes a shared experience that strengthens the bond between you and your officiant. As the three of you prepare for the big day, you will collaborate closely, discussing the ceremony details, writing personalized vows, and rehearsing together. These shared moments become cherished memories, deepening your friendship and creating a lasting connection that extends beyond the wedding day.

Criteria to Consider:

  1. Public Speaking Comfort: While your friend may be dear to your heart, assessing their public speaking comfort is crucial before selecting them as your wedding officiant. Only some people feel comfortable speaking in front of a large audience, and those that are not can hinder your ceremony's smooth flow. Please check whether your friend has the confidence to deliver a well-articulated and engaging ceremony. A hesitant or visibly uncomfortable officiant may distract from the solemnity and joy of the moment. They need to stand with confidence and direct your ceremony from their initial introduction to your presentation as a married couple. Don’t forget about the exchanging of rings too.

  2. Taking the Role Seriously: Your wedding ceremony is a significant milestone in your life, and it deserves to be treated with reverence. Please ensure your friend is willing to take the officiating responsibility seriously. They should be dedicated to understanding the importance of their role and be willing to invest time and effort into preparing for the ceremony. I want to point out that selecting someone who appreciates the gravity of the occasion will help ensure a seamless and meaningful experience for you and your guests. I was once told an hour before the start of a ceremony, the officiant (a couple's friend) asked the wedding planner if someone could write his script. This is crazy and should never happen. Your officiant must take the role seriously.

  3. Audibility and Clarity: Another factor for you to consider is your officiant's ability to project their voice and communicate clearly. Your wedding ceremony is a time for everyone to hear and cherish the moment. If your friend has a soft-spoken or whispering tendency, it may be challenging for your guests to hear and engage fully in the moment. If they whisper, it will be impossible for me or any DJ to amplify their voice to an audible level.

Choosing a friend or family member as your wedding officiant can be a wonderful decision, as it adds a personal touch and creates lasting memories for all involved. The emotional connection and familiarity they bring to the ceremony can enhance the overall experience. However, it's important for you to evaluate their suitability for the role by considering their public speaking abilities, commitment to the task, and ability to amplify their voice. Not only have I DJ'd 100's of wedding ceremonies, I've also officiating eleven of them. Please take my advice to heart, and have an amazing and memorable wedding ceremony!

Have you chosen a friend or family member as your officiant? Please share this link with them - How to Officiate



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