Tips + Advice

6 Tips to Keep in Mind When You Have a Friend Officiate Your Wedding Ceremony

December 19, 2023


I'm a California wedding and engagement photographer. The blog has past weddings, planning advice, photo education and more!

Hi, I'm ashley.

I love it when couples choose someone close to them to officiate their ceremony! That simple choice instantly makes it so much more special and personalized. But, on the other hand, I do see rookie mistakes simply because hello… this is not their day job!!! That’s totally fine and people understand, but why not help them out and set them up for success that will lead to a seamless ceremony?

Here’s a few tips I suggest sharing with them before the big day:

  • Ask them in advance and help out by researching a script frame work you love.
  • Fill out all the paperwork on the license, except the signature and dates pertaining to your witnesses, the day before. Decide who is in charge of mailing the license after the signatures are all collected. Click the button below for some more advice on marriage licenses.
  • Ask them to address the crowd before the processional starts with any announcements, such as an unplugged ceremony, a welcome, etc.
  • Ask them to make sure “please be seated” is somewhere in their notes. Sometimes this is assumed and, if it’s not spoken, guests will keep standing! Click the button below for a blog all about this!
  • Ask that they step out of the way before pronouncing you newlyweds! It always looks funny to have someone’s head right between the newlyweds for their first kiss.
  • Let them know how much you appreciate them and encourage them to personalize the ceremony (while still keeping it at a reasonable length). You chose them for a reason, so make sure they know that 🙂 Click the button below for a few more tips for personalizing your ceremony!

Need some advice when it comes to hiring a professional officiant rather than a friend?

Check out this blog filled with 10 questions you should ask before hiring anyone!!

I send helpful information like this (& more!!!) out to my email list every single week!! Want to make sure you don’t miss that AND as a thank you receive my FREE wedding planning checklist?

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I'm Ashley, a California wedding and engagement photographer. The blog has past weddings, planning advice, photo education and more!




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