Why hire an officiant rather than having a friend officiate the ceremony?

Not to be flippant but why hire a professional photographer when a friend has a phone, maybe even a camera?

Why hire a caterer when a friend has a kitchen?

Why hire a florist when you can get flowers at the store?

Why hire a professional when a friend can do it?

Recently a very popular and beautiful wedding venue in Savannah told me about a “horrible” (their words not mine)  experience with a guy who went online and “got” ordained just to officiate the ceremony of people he didn’t know but hired him for their ceremony.

At the ceremony he went on and on for 10+ minutes about another couple from another state.  He’s a great story teller and the story was interesting but it didn’t fit with this couple’s wedding day!  And the ceremony was over 30 minutes in length, nearly a 1/3rd was a story that didn’t even fit the wedding.

Simply because someone goes online and gets ordained for a minimal cost, doesn’t make them qualified to preside at a wedding.  It makes them legally able to officiate a ceremony, that’s different!

Here are things which 99% of officiants don’t know and are important for a great ceremony!

  1. Have a good quality handkerchief for either the grooms perspiration or the bride’s tears, or both!  I’ve given away hundreds of them over the years, maybe even 500.
  2. I know the best way to have exchange of rings go absolutely smoothly!  I should patten it!
  3. Listen for the pauses when the couple repeat their vows.  It’s important to listen for their emotions when they speak, listen don’t rush.
  4. How loudly should I speak during the ceremony if they don’t want a microphone for me?
  5. No stories off the cuff!  The ceremony dialogue is known ahead of time by the couple.
  6. Who stands first when the bride walks in?
  7. Is an aisle runner a good idea?
  8. What to do during awkward moments?
  9. The wedding ceremony is not from the bible.  “Jesus was a guest at a wedding the Cana of Galilee” is about the best one can do other than the readings often read at weddings.

Let me know what questions you have about hiring the right officiant for your ceremony.  You don’t even have to hire me to officiate your ceremony.  I don’t mind helping!

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