As a Wedding Officiant, what professional standards are you expected to comply with? Is there a certain level of ethics you must meet in your day-to-day work?
For these questions, we look to the Code of Ethics and Professionalism established by the Celebrant Association International.
According to the association, the code was created “to uphold the highest level of service and professionalism … while promoting freedom of choice in ceremonies and promoting the values of the Celebrant movement.” Continue reading
Whether you’re a seasoned professional wedding Officiant, someone who is just getting started in the profession, or if you’re only interested in performing a marriage ceremony for a friend or family member, we hope you’ll join our Officiant Forum.
While we’re just getting started and the cupboards are admittedly pretty bare, we’ve invited several industry experts to get involved to provide answers and advice on training, ceremony prep, local laws and procedures — just about anything that might come up during your day-to-day work.
Getting ready to perform your first wedding ceremony? We’ve got a few tips to help.
Getting asked to perform your first wedding ceremony progresses very quickly from “Sure, I’ll do it!” to “Yipes, what do I actually do?”
A wedding ceremony is a beautiful but complex thing. As the designated Officiant, you may not have realized it before, but you’re in charge. It’s the bridal couple’s show, but you’re guiding them through the ceremony. Once you arrive at the altar (or the other designated spot where the vows will be spoken) you’re running things.
What things? Every thing. When you officiate a marriage ceremony, you’re essentially hosting and narrating the program — you are literally the master of ceremonies! Speak in a voice that everyone can hear, even those in the back row — and especially great grandma in the second row. She doesn’t want to miss a word!
The bridal couple will be following your lead, so make sure that every “repeat after me” is followed by short and simple vows for each of them to repeat. Test it out on yourself, because if you can’t remember more than four or five tongue-twisting words to repeat (with your nerves frayed, and a big audience of family and friends staring at you) neither will the couple!
But that’s not everything…
Let’s say that you’ve been asked to perform the marriage ceremony for your best friend or, perhaps, your favorite cousin. What’s the process you must go through to become a wedding officiant or ordained minister?
You don’t have to be a priest or minister to become a wedding officiant!
Basically, the person performing a marriage ceremony must be legally ordained by a church or religious organization. Becoming ordained means that you are licensed to serve as an officiant (or celebrant, or ceremonial minister) and may perform weddings and other rites, such as funerals, baby blessings, and vow renewals.
Need to become ordained to perform marriage ceremonies? It’s fast and easy!
Click here to find out how…
You’re probably wondering how complicated the ordination process is, and how many years of education and on-the-job training you’ll have to undergo.
We’ll get those two questions out of the way immediately: the ordination process is actually quite simple, and there is no educational or training requirement — except one, which we’ll get to shortly.
Ordination simply means that the organization has confirmed who you are, made sure that you are of legal age to perform a marriage ceremony (in most states, it’s either 16 or 18 years old) and that you are capable of witnessing the bridal couple’s signatures on their marriage license, which you are generally required to return to the issuing agency (usually the County Clerk’s office) following the ceremony.