My wedding is scheduled for next March. My fiancé and I aren’t religious and we have decided to have a secular wedding. Lately, my fiancé has expressed to me that he’s not comfortable with a stranger officiating the wedding and to an extent I agree with home. We have a close friend who we have known for close to 15 years now who is very creative and used to work as a counselor. Now we are considering asking her to officiate the wedding and we plan to do what needs to be done for that work out. I’m just curious if any others have experience with having a friend or relative officiate a wedding. Yes, I know asking friends to officiate weddings is often looked down on.
I’ve never heard of having a friend being looked down on. We’re having a friend of the family officiant for us. He’s been knowing us since we’ve been together and apart of our family since middle school. I definitely wouldn’t see anything wrong with this. My coworker had a friend recently get married and their close friend also officiated their wedding. I think this is really common.
I haven’t heard of having a family friend as the officiant being looked down on as well. My husband’s family friend officiated our wedding. There were a couple steps he had to do with the county to be qualified to officiate the ceremony but besides that it was an easy process!
Double check the laws in the county/state you’re getting married in, we initially asked a friend to officiate but the state our wedding was in doesn’t allow people who have been ordained online to officiate marriages (Virginia). That said, I don’t think it’s looked down on at all, it’s pretty common these days.
Never heard of a friend officiating as frowned on. It is not legal in all states. Those states that do allow it, the laws vary so you need to call the marriage license office for information.
It’s recommended that they be comfortable public speaking, which not everyone is. Make sure you definitely have a rehearsal and are on the same page with them. Also, they need to submit all paperwork promptly in order for it to be legal.
We are planning on asking our friend to do it! He has been joking since I started dating my now fiancé that when we finally got married he wanted to officiate. Well we want to ask him to actually officiate next time we see them for our October 2023 wedding!
I don’t think it’s looked down on. Some people, like myself, tend to stay away from it because you can tell someone who doesn’t do this professionally from someone who does. They might be more nervous which will show or stumble over their words or maybe not be able to connect with all of your guests and be quite robotic because this is not something they do. That’s why we were definite that we wanted to hire someone to make sure it’s a smooth ceremony. However to each their own and I think someone you know marrying you can be special if that’s something you’re into
Having a friend officiate can be so fun, especially if they know both you and your partner well. If your friend is creative and good at public speaking, your guests will love listening to them. And I'm sure your friend will be honored. My partner's cousin is a rabbi, so we kind of get the best of both worlds, and we know the love and joy will shine through in the ceremony. I say go for it!
We just had my brother officiate our wedding last month and he did an AMAZING job. Everyone was telling him and us what a great job he did and joked that he should make it his part time job. It was so special to us vs having a stranger do it. He hasn't done much public speaking before but he took his role seriously and practiced beforehand (including recording himself to hear how he sounded) and it went better than I could have imagined. So, as you can see I'm all for the idea haha.
My brother-in-law officiated ours. He's also a professional who has done lots of weddings before. We're in a similar boat to you -- very not religious, so we chose someone who we knew would not impose any of those aspects into our ceremony.
We have absolutely no regrets and I don't think you will be looked down on! Since anyone can get ordained online, I think it's becoming more and more common and accepted.
I totally agree! Having a friend officiate your wedding IS a fun thing to do - just as long as it is done as smoothly as possible. I am having a professional officiant along with my best friend (of 53 years ) Our officiant will do the "I do" parts and my friend is doing the hand fasting ceremony. I am so so excited.
My fiance's cousin is our officiant (he's a funeral director lol so he's used to speaking in front of people and has officiated at other weddings). We love him and wanted to have him included and this was the best way we could and he was honored. I wanted someone who knew us, who would customize for us, and could make it fun and personal at the same time. I'm excited to hear what he says!