Trending Topic: Choosing an Officiant

Your wedding; imagine that magic moment when you say, “I do” and your life changes forever. Who could be better than your best friend to join you in marriage?

Can you do that?

It depends.

Choosing friends and family to officiate weddings is trending fast.

It’s understandable; who knows you better? But marriage laws vary from state to state. Recently Massachusetts passed a law allowing anyone to obtain a one day license to perform a ceremony. Fill out a 1 pager, bring it to your town hall, give them a check, and BOOM!, for 1 day you’re official.

However, in NH a similar bill, HB 1581, was just killed. That may not be a bad thing. There’s more to officiating a ceremony than most people know.

Job requirements

  1. Writing skills: To create the wedding of your dreams, the ceremony should be poetic, romantic, focus squarely on you as a couple, and flow effortlessly.

  2. Creativity: You may know what you want, but not how to translate that concept within the ceremony. Officiants offer wording, traditions, rituals, and readings based on experience and research.

  3. Public Speaking: the words need to be delivered articulately with importance, warmth, pacing, and emphasis in just the right spots.

  4. Experience: Although couples usually want their personalities reflected in the ceremony, they also want it to feel ‘official.’ It’s a balance that takes practice.

  5. Leadership: The officiant leads the ceremony. He/she sets the tone, calms nerves, makes announcements, and answers questions. If there is no wedding planner, the officiant may also direct.

  6. Coaching: If you’re writing your own vows, the officiant coaches you with your writing. If you are keeping your vows a surprise from each other, he or she serves to make sure your vows are in the same tone and about the same length so that they sound beautiful when delivered together.

So you want to get married in NH you still want your friend to do it. Okay, here’s something to consider.

Sign and Submit

In NH you need someone official to sign the marriage license to make it legal.

To help you, I can witness your friend perform the ceremony, sign the license, and submit it to the town hall where it was issued.

That said, I’ve witnessed some ceremonies that have made me wince- posturing couple’s bickering, nervous friend-officiants losing their place and stumbling over their lines, and the bride’s long soliloquy of vows to the groom’s off-the-cuff paragraph.

Add a ceremony coach to your team.

As your coach, I can,

  1. Meet with you, your spouse-to-be, and your officiant to learn about you.

  2. Write a customized ceremony using that information

  3. Review and give feedback on your vows

  4. Coach your officiant during a practice session

  5. Witness your ceremony

  6. Sign and submit your license

You deserve the wedding you’ve always imagined. Let’s make that happen.

#Officiant #JusticeofthePeace #weddingtrends

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