This blog post was written for you. You who are having a friend officiate your wedding and that friend has no f'ing clue what they are doing. Yay.
It's totally cool because your in the same boat, you also have no idea what you are doing. Double yay.
I teamed up with an officiant who does this sort of stuff, day in and day out, to bring you a blog post chock full of officiating fun facts, complete with a checklist and a sample processional order and a template. HOLY MOLY **wide eyes emoji**
START PLANNING YOUR WEDDING CEREMONY
Start with a few basic decisions. Who will be in your wedding ceremony? Where on the scale will your ceremony land as far as how traditional it will be? How religious it will be? How long it will be?
THE FIRST STEP IN PLANNING YOUR CEREMONY
Think about your preferences, and when I say your I don't mean just you, singular. I mean, sit down with your fiancé. Look each other in the eyeballs. Say words, like "I would like a wedding ceremony that..." and finish the sentence. Both of you, uninterrupted, and with a smile. Because wedding ceremonies are joyful.
THE SECOND STEP IN PLANNING YOUR CEREMONY
Determine what time you want to get married. This is vital for your invitations, for your programs, for communicating to all the other people who will be at your wedding.
'But Josey, how do I know what time my wedding should be at?'
Well, think about it.
Do you want there to be a gap of time in between the ceremony and reception? [2P ceremony, 5P reception]. Is the ceremony on site? Is there a room flip (meaning your ceremony and reception are in the same space)? What time is dinner [have dinner start 1 1/2 -2 hours after ceremony start time to avoid #hangriness]? Also, back up, how long is your ceremony!?
Need wedding timeline help? Check out Under the Veil Episode 022.
THE THIRD STEP IN PLANNING YOUR CEREMONY
Book based on your preferences.
CHURCH OR RECEPTION VENUE
PRIEST OR PASTOR OR PHONE A FRIEND
ASK READERS TO READ, USHERS TO USHER, GREETERS TO GREET
DJ OR LIVE MUSIC
ASK YOUR BRIDAL PARTY
GET A STATIONER FOR PROGRAMS + RESERVED SEAT SIGNS
PURCHASE CEREMONY ITEMS (ON ETSY. DUH)
THE FOURTH STEP IN PLANNING YOUR CEREMONY
Make selections and pick the things. If you've hired a professional officiant, they'll walk through it with you. Yay. If not, uhm, please keep reading because you'll need to decide on:
- Prelude music
- Processional song(s)
- Ceremony song(s)
- Reading (s)
- How you want to be pronounced
- Recessional song(s)
THE FIFTH STEP IN PLANNING YOUR WEDDING CEREMONY
Finalize all the shit. Your processional order, if your officiant is making announcements, how guests and you and your bridal party is getting to the ceremony and away from it, do you need valet or uber or a school bus. Egad.
THE FINAL STEP IN PLANNING YOUR WEDDING CEREMONY
Get your mother loving marriage license. If you are a Minnesotan, click here to view Hennepin County marriage license information. A few quick notes:
- Licenses vary county to county, state to state. Do your research, in advance. You don't want to forget to get a license, cause that throws a wrench in your honeymoon plans, and your legally-changing-your-name plans.
- Don't forget to schedule time in your wedding day timeline for SIGNING YOUR MARRIAGE LICENSE.
- It is your responsibility to get the license and to sign it. It is your officiant's responsibility to register (based on state law) and to mail in your marriage license.
You got this. Either that or you are hiring me, in which case... CONTACT ME.
Prosperity, Love & Happiness,
P.S. Photos by Kelly Birch Photography