Just Said Yes February 2018

A friend becoming ordained?

Erica, on December 7, 2017 at 11:53 AM Posted in Do It Yourself

Has anyone had someone do this? I have a close guy coworker who is my right hand man and I know he would be great at this and would take such pride and honor in doing so. Everything I'm reading online says its about $40 and that's that! Any suggestions on who to go through, etc.?



  • Keisha
    Master September 2018
    Keisha ·

    Be weary of leaving the most important part of the day to someone who is not a professional. Also make sure and check that getting ordained online means you can perform a legally binding ceremony

  • Seshanna
    Dedicated October 2018
    Seshanna ·

    I did it, actually. My friends couldn't find a minister locally that would agree to their ceremony or vows, so they asked me to do it for them. I got ordained, got the paperwork needed for their license, and everything was wonderful. Just make sure the county you're getting married in will honor that ordinance (some don't) but really with a little homework it's not that hard.

  • An
    Super September 2019
    An ·

    Agree w @Rachel & @Keisha, plus I always feel like ceremonies that are performed by professionals are MORE personable and moving than someone that is a friend/family member. The last wedding I went to was performed by the bride's brother and it was extremely short (I love short weddings but this was like 3 mins), he was extremely nervous, and it wasn't at all moving or personable to the couple. This obviously depends on the person but I wouldn't take that risk on something so important.

  • K
    Dedicated November 2018
    Kira ·

    I will be married by a professional (getting married in church), however most of my friends have been married by one of their best friends or a family member. I have loved their ceremonies, so personable! Just make sure they are comfortable speaking in front of people!

  • bluevelvet
    Devoted October 2017
    bluevelvet ·

    We had a friend who became an officiant to marry us and it went great! I must say, though, that our friend is EXTREMELY comfortable in front of crowds and has zero problem with public speaking. Our wedding was great! But I do recommend being careful; public speaking is not for everyone. Plus if the coworker goofs up, this is YOUR WEDDING. And now you gotta work next to them. We both loved the personal touches he made and others thought he did a great job.

  • E
    Just Said Yes February 2018
    Erica ·

    Thanks for all of the input!

  • He'smarryingmeformycats
    Beginner June 2018
    He'smarryingmeformycats ·

    Take into consideration both how your friend does with public speaking and how you & FH feel about public speaking.

    I have a close cousin who's in seminary school and we considered having her officiate for us.... but then realized that we would feel lost and terrified without someone who truly knows what they're doing to guide us through the ceremony.

  • Josh & Justine
    Super May 2018
    Josh & Justine ·

    We've been to several weddings recently where the couples had close friends or family members perform the ceremony. As previous posters mentioned, it definitely does depend on how comfortable your potential officiant is at public speaking!

    There are state (and sometimes county) licensing restrictions you'll have to look into. This was the best place we found for all the requirements - https://theamm.org/minister-licensing/

    One of our best friends (a great public speaker) will be performing our ceremony and just got ordained! We're in NY, so he did have to get an additional licensing package for our county.

    Hope that helps!

  • pammat
    VIP October 2017
    pammat ·

    We had a very simple ceremony. Our friend -- someone who is WAY used to public speaking -- married us. We were very glad she did.

    Just look into all the legalities in your state and county...and look at them again...and again.

  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·

    FSS its PERSONAL, not personable.

    If you REALLY don't care about the content of the ceremony, (and many people don't, which works for them,) then go for it. What gets left out of these discussions is everything BESIDES the fact that someone may or may not be legal. The legality is the least of it.

    I get to talk to numerous couples a week (they are usually standing on a ledge, phone in hand) who had a family member or a friend bail on them. Because it looks so easy, hey, anyone can do it, right? Well no, when the rubber hits the road, it's terrifying for many.

    Don't pick a family member OR, in the "can't do it" category, a pastor who doesn't really do this very often; because they can suck just as bad as a nervous, inarticulate family member. Please don't put pro officiants in this category. I did more weddings last month than most pastors do in a year. This is what pro officiants do; that's why (some of us ) are good at it, and that's why we charge what we do. We make a living doing this; it's not a sideline.

    So, let's unpack this together.

    "It'll be more personal because they know you."

    No it won't because they'll probably just go to the internet, cop a bunch of stuff from some website and be happy to get through it without throwing up. OR they will attempt to make it personal by telling rambling stories about you that might or might not be appropriate. ( Remember, your parents are in the front row. ) By the time I'm at that altar space, I know you almost better than your random relative because I've put effort into getting to know you. Most of our reviews mention that their guests thought we were some family member...

    They're legal in my state.

    Eh, maybe. But if there is a glitch in the license, do they know how to spot it beforehand or fix it afterwards? Probably not. I've seen close to 2000 licenses in my career and even I get faked out occasionally, but I know how to check questionable shit before it hits the clerk so the process is streamlined. If it gets all the way to the state with a mistake? You could be looking at six months to get a 'real copy" back.

    "They're great public speakers; they do corporate training"

    It's not just public speaking; it's orchestrating an arc of emotion and sentiment that is inspiring and meaningful to the couple, with empathy for their parents and relatives. It's not just a recitation; this is very, very specific work delivered to an emotionally charged audience, not a legal brief (no offense to lawyers; I could never do that.....) It's knowing how to work a crowd; always unpredictable, frequently unexpected.

    With all due respect, while personal stories are a gorgeous addition to the ceremony IN THEIR PLACE, 'stories about when you were a baby" do not belong in a ceremony. Even if it's a civil ceremony, it's still a sacred experience and it should be constructed that way, with specific things said to elicit specific emotions from the guests.

    Of course we want them to be happy for you, but ideally, they are inspired by your story, renewed by talk of love and soulmates (not in a creepy, sappy way) and they should leave thinking they know you better. And themselves better.

    Your friend cannot do that if they are thinking they can cop shit off line and get through it.

    Hire a pro. Not just because I am one, (because 90% of you are not in NJ or have a church/temple in place) but because it's a better idea. And don't forget, if you hire a great officiant, they can lead you to other great pros, they can work with your venue, they can put your processional together; they're like a mini wedding coordinator. You'll have a partner; it won't be the blind leading the blind....

    Your cousin doesn't have a clue.

  • Katie
    Expert October 2018
    Katie ·

    My FBIL is doing ours. We wanted someone close to us who knows us to perform it. We never asked him to perform the ceremony or to get ordained. He went online did it and came to us with the certificate and asked if we'd be willing to allow him to do it. We were super excited because we weren't sure how to approach him about doing it. We offered to pay the $40 fee but he refused it. It works for us in our state because there are no restrictions other than having that certification but every state is different.

  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·

    Nas, did you see your script ahead of time?

  • FutureMrsHill
    Expert April 2018
    FutureMrsHill ·

    I was going to have my friend officiate my ceremony. FH said he wants a professional and I agreed. My friend was so happy we hired a professional. I placed too much pressure on her.

  • Staci
    Super February 2018
    Staci ·

    My dad is ordained and has married my 2 brothers and done several other weddings. I at first wasn't sure but now I realize how much this means to him and myself to have him be such a big part of our day.

  • BB-H
    Super September 2018
    BB-H ·

    My previous roommate had a close friend of theirs, who was already ordained and offered, do their ceremony. However, he was also studying law and was very careful about making sure everything was set legally. They were happy with their ceremony. I do feel like this is an outlier though.

    There are certain things that a professional can bring that others can't.

    With that in mind, if you do decide to go with your friend, stay with them on the whole process, don't say that you'll let them do it and just leave it at that. Talk about the ceremony and what you want and make sure you do your research on what's needed. You'll both feel better and more confident for it.

  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·

    @ Nas...that's BS. I would have fired him as soon as he told you that you wouldn't see the script, and I'd be asking for a refund now. There is really no excuse for that much incompetence. I"m sorry .....

  • J
    Dedicated September 2018
    Jaci ·

    My brother in-law got ordained to do his sister's wedding. My best friend is getting ordained for my wedding. I don't think it's a bad idea at all. I like the more personal touch of someone very important to me doing something so meaningful. I understand not everyone can do it or would want to. I think if you know someone and believe that they can handle it, do it. It's your day!

  • Whitney
    Dedicated October 2017
    Whitney ·

    We used on of DH best friend's who is an excellent public speaker. He actually did a wedding right before ours so he had some 'experience'. I also researched ceremonies and found one I liked and we worked on it together (2 meetings) until it was natural yet regal and suited us.

    We also wrote our own vows we had guests there from age 1-75 & we were told constantly it was the warmest ceremony they'd ever attended.

    Good luck!!

  • S
    Savvy April 2018
    Samantha ·

    We got my little brother ordained in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. He was super stoked to be a minister and is really looking forward to doing the wedding. We've been working closely with him for the reading and vows.

    I've been to plenty of weddings where professional officiants were awful and others where the non-pro friend or family member was great.

  • Jen
    Devoted October 2018
    Jen ·

    We have a friend doing ours. He has had his license for years, and I have been to a wedding he officiated last year for a mutual friend. It was beautiful, and I asked him as soon as my FH proposed.

    *sorry, posted twice

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