Officiating a wedding is not as complicated as many people believe. Still, it can be a huge honor. If you’ve been asked to preside over the ceremony of a couple you care about, then put thought behind how you go about the process. Rushing or failing to prepare can lead to a wealth of complications. A big part of preparing to officiate a wedding is understanding what is expected of you. From creating a script to obtaining proper documents, missing even one step can produce serious headaches. Use this guide to cover the most important steps and gain perspective on how to curate and officiate a wedding script.
Become an Officiant
The most obvious step in this process is to become an officiant. You don’t need to be a member of a clergy to accomplish this task. Most places allow religious performers to officiate, meaning you simply need to follow the right process and obtain your credentials. Though many counties will not require the officiant to show any credentials, there are specific areas that demand physical proof. Review the regulations and obtain any necessary paperwork. Taking care of this early reduces the odds you will be left without documentation when it is needed most.
Work With the Couple
After you’ve followed through on becoming an ordained officiant, you can start to look at the details of officiating a wedding script. This is where you sit down and chat with the happy couple. You need to know details like the official religion they belong to, which traditions should be kept, and what the general tone of the speech should be. Talking out these points can help to guarantee you’re on the same page. Plus, it can build a sense of excitement for the big day.
Draft Your Speech
Once the couple has given you the pertinent details, it is time to start drafting your speech. If you’re starting from scratch, it can help to review templates online. Looking at a handful of examples of texts related to officiating weddings can provide you with insight into the marks you need to hit. Overall, it is best to keep your speech on the shorter side. The crowd wants to get to the celebration portion of the evening, so don’t keep everyone in the venue a prisoner of your rambling monologue.
If you’re concerned about the length of the script, read it out loud a few times. A wedding officiating script needs to hit on a few points, but it doesn’t need to be anything spectacular or involved. Reading the draft to someone can help you catch any awkward phrases and get a feel for the overall duration. Try to select someone who will offer you useful feedback on the matter, as this can help you most when making adjustments and tightening the language.
Look at the Legal Details
Finally, the officiant at a wedding is responsible for handling a few of the legal details. Namely, you must sign the license and any associated paperwork immediately upon the completion of the ceremony. In some cases, the officiant will also be held to the task of returning the paperwork to the county clerk’s office. However, couples will often take on these responsibilities themselves to ensure there are no mistakes made. Reviewing the laws of the county and state where you’re performing the ceremony can also help you cover all your bases.
After being asked to officiate a wedding, it can be a good idea to dive into the responsibilities involved. Since crafting a solid wedding officiating script is key to your success, be sure to start on this task early. Review templates, talk to the couple about their desires, and perform your duties in an exceptional way.