Almost every bride and groom I meet with tells me a horror story about attending a wedding where an Officiant/Minister/Rabbi/Priest started making off-the-wall comments that were embarrassing to everyone present. Recently a couple told me that after looking at another local Officiant’s website they ruled him out because based on how he describe himself, they were scared he would turn their ceremony into an opportunity for him to perform.
My conclusion is that all couples have fears about what their Officiant is really going to say during their wedding. That is perfectly understandable because they have opportunities to taste the food their caterer will prepare, hear the music played by their DJ or musicians, see photos taken by their photographer and see how their hair stylist will do the bride’s hair for her wedding. How will they know exactly what I will say during their wedding?
I am not alone in doing this, but the way I address this fear is by asking every couple to select from my planning booklet exactly what they want said in their wedding. At times they have very specific things they want said, for instance that the wedding is taking place where they met or in one instance a couple who loved animals changed a line in a prayer that said, “may they always welcome friends and strangers into their home,” to “may they always welcome friends and strange animals into their home.”
Based on what they select from my planning booklet I provide them with a draft of the ceremony that we review and edit until I get it just the way they want it. I offer advice or suggestions based on my experience but in the end the ceremony is completely personalized and uniquely theirs. Then at their ceremony, I stick with the script.
My hope is that this process helps calm the fears of the bride and groom so that they can, as much as possible, relax and fully enjoy and engage in their ceremony.