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Top Ten Questions to Ponder Before Writing Your Wedding Script

So you’re almost ready to use Wedwordy in writing your wedding ceremony script! To help guide you, here are some prompts for you to reflect on.

Top Ten Questions to Ponder Before Writing Your Wedding Script

  1. How do you define your relationship? Choose readings, reflections, and wording that reflect your personalities and your ideals about married life. Wedwordy has several passages to choose from in all the elements that would resonate best with you, such as in Poems & Readings, Reflections, and even the Exchange of Vows.
  2. Where are you in the spectrum of traditional to contemporary? Wedwordy gives you the opportunity to choose passages that lean towards traditional such as the reading from Corinthians “Love is patient and kind…” or to contemporary such as the Key to Love “The key to love is respect…” and to mix-and-match to give your script just the right flavor!
  3. Is your faith central to your beliefs in guiding your marriage? Starting with Wedwordy templates such as Christian, Secular, Catholic, among other faiths, give you a starting point that honors your faith, and from there, you can tailor to your personal beliefs as a couple.
  4. Is your cultural background important for you to honor? There are unity rituals that are cultural-based in Wedwordy, such as the ritual of the cord/lasso, or stomping of the glass that you can add to your script.
  5. Are there any family expectations you feel need to be met? Often, couples find it a challenge to create a ceremony that reflects them and honors family at the same time! With Wedwordy, since you are able to mix-and-match elements that pull from tradition, faith, culture, poems, contemporary, and also add original external content, you can carefully harmonize wording that appeases and appeals to invested family!
  6. How comfortable are you in being the center of attention? Wedwordy gives you an estimate of the length of the ceremony, and allows you to choose elements where you have more to say, or less to say, depending on your comfort level.
  7. Would you like to share your story, personal vows? You know your guests better than anyone, so would sharing the story of how you met, or exchanging your written vows, be fun to include in your ceremony? In Wedwordy, when you choose the element “Story | Admiration”, you can give a space in the ceremony to allow your officiant to write a narrative about how you met and fell in love!
  8. Will you have friends/family participate in the wedding ceremony? In Wedwordy, there is an interactive “Shout Out” that allows your guests to respond with a resounding “I will!” to a series of questions lending their support, or perhaps honor a family member or friend by having them do any of the 20 readings and prayers available in Wedwordy.
  9. Will you translate the words, or some of the words, to another language? If you will be translating your script, or portions of the script, to another language for your officiant, keep in mind how that will flow in your ceremony, and how that might adjust the length of the ceremony as well.
  10. What do you want your gathered guests to remember most about your ceremony? Lastly, this is a good question to consider. This may help shape the flow of your wedding ceremony script. Consider what the highlights of the ceremony will be – a reading, your personal vows, a unity ritual, and consider the overall mood – light, traditional, fun.

Photo Credit | Nick Graham Photography

Helpful Advice from Pro Officiants

Officiants of Tan Weddings & Events have collectively officiated over 1500 beautiful weddings! From their experience, they share a few gems that will make your wedding ceremony sparkle and shine!

Secure Your Officiant, Like NOW!

If you are hiring a pro officiant, don’t procrastinate! The best ones book really fasy, especially during the peak wedding season. Also, not waiting until the last moment gives the officiant ample time to get to know you and compose words with you.

Use Wedwordy to Compose Your Script.

Whether your officiant is a pro or a friend you’ve tapped, you can use Wedwordy to compose your custom wedding ceremony script. You might want to write the script entirely on your own, or collaborate with your officiant. Either way, Wedwordy gives you the balance of convenience and personalization. Go with a template with pre-set elements and passages, if the script suits your needs. Or create a completely custom ceremony. Or blend it, and make it your own. Wedwordy gives you peace of mind with a complete, formatted ceremony, ready for your big day!

Rehearse, But Don’t Stress if the Ceremony Does Not Go Exactly As Planned.

Your coordinator, independent or venue, will often facilitate it. It’s not always easy to have every member of the wedding party present, so you can ask accompanying friends and family to serve as proxy. Have fun with the rehearsal! The main components are figuring out the processional order, the ceremony formation, and the recessional. Talk to your Wedding party about NOT chewing gum, or wearing sunglasses! Coordinate the height of bouquets, and where hands are during the ceremony. Determine who will have the rings. If being given away, choreograph with your escort! If on the wedding day, your coordinator can get guests seated, your Wedding Party lined up, bouquets and bouts ready, rings ready – then you’re good to go! Don’t sweat the details, and certainly don’t worry if your Flower Girl dumps all the petals in one pile on the aisle – it makes the wedding day just that much more memorable and genuine!

Hold Hands, Gaze Lovingly!

Throughout the ceremony, hold each other’s hands and look at one another. Smile. Squeeze or stroke each other’s hands to let your partner know you both got this! Holding hands keeps you at a nice, intimate distance for your photographers, for mics to pick up your vows, and for your officiant to be close and personal.

Your Officiant Should Step Aside for the Kiss.

Unless you want your officiant to be awkwardly gawking above you during your newlywed kiss, you should advise your officiant to step to one side (of course, if your officiant is a pro, they already know this). Your officiant will feel more confortable, and the pictures will look much classier.

Breathe. Soak in the Love!

It’s hard not to care for your own health and sanity during the week before the wedding. Make yourself the priority – not selfish at all – just know your vendors got your back, and your friends and family are rooting for you! Catch your breath. Hydrate. Eat. Sleep well. Open yourself to positive energy flowing your way.

Photo Credit | En Pointe Photography

Your Friend’s Primer to Officiating Like a Pro

So you’ve tapped your friend or family member to officiate for your wedding. It would be an honor, certainly. And quite a responsibilty. Here is a a comprehensive guide for what it takes to be exceptional in this esteemed role. Consider three important components: Authority, Capability, and Eloquence. Think A-C-E.

 

AUTHORITY

Who Can Perform the Ceremony?

In the United States, those who can legally perform weddings are a county clerk, judge, justice of the peace, or an ordained minister/member of the clergy. Despite popular belief, ship captains are not officially recognized in the US as having the authority to perform a wedding.

How Can a Friend Perform a Ceremony?

A  friend or family member must be ordained for the purpose of serving as an officiant. Also, make sure to check on your local government’s requirements. A multi-denominational organization such as the Universal Life Church makes it easy to become ordained online – just tell your honored officiant to go the ULC website and follow the prompts. Celebrities such as Lady Gaga and The Rock have done it! Imagine, Reverend Rock…

What Are My Officiant’s Official Duties?

The two main responsibilities of the officiant are performing the wedding ceremony and completing the marriage license paperwork.

 

CAPABILITY

What Qualities Should My Officiant Possess?

Whether you choose a professional or a friend, your officiant should possess qualities that make him or her the perfect fit for your wedding. Of course, “perfect fit’ is very subjective. Yet, it is worthwhile mentioning that exceptional officiants will possess the following qualities: dependable, enthusiastic, genuine, compassionate, and confident.  

What Skills Make My Officiant Up to the Task?

Less subjective is the skill set of exceptional officiants. The task should be approached like a job – not in the sense of drudgery, rather with a sense of integrity. To successfully fulfill the duties that come with this job, the officiant should be quite proficient with these skills: timely communication, organization, initiative, problem-solving, and creative thinking.

 

ELOQUENCE

What about Eloquence?

Eloquence is described as “fluency and power to stir emotions.” A wedding ceremony seems like a good place to practice such moving speech! Your officiant’s goal may not be to rally troops to battle, persuade a jury, or secure a sale, but, in a wedding, the words your officiant delivers should be heartfelt, to have authority and impact, to move people.

How Can My Officiant Prepare?

Before the wedding day, have your officiant PRACTICE the script. Remind your officiant to do the following in preparation for the big day:

  1. Say the words out loud, project your voice.
  2. Note what words and phrases need emphasis.
  3. Get an understanding of the general tone of the script.
  4. Visualize standing in position and be poised.
  5. Make eye contact.
  6. Deliver the words in a measured, but natural pace.
  7. Speak from the chest and throat, not the teeth.
  8. Be sincere, funny, whatever matches the narrative.

Is It OK for My Officiant to GO Off Script?

The officiant is speaking on your behalf, representing you! You were thoughtful in composing your ceremony words with Wedwordy, choosing passages carefully and intentionally. We recommend staying ON script. A professional officiant can deftly handle the occasional ad lib when appropriate, but especially for novice speakers, the script provides a level of security. Avoid the embarrassment of an inappropriate story or joke by your officiant friend: remind them to stay on script, that the wedding day is your day, not open mic night at a comedy club!

 

Here is a link to The Officiant’s Checklist by Wedwordy, containing 30 tasks and reminders from pre-wedding to post-wedding. A special shout out to Tan Weddings & Events for their expertise with this blog post. They have professionally presided over a thousand weddings!

 

Photo Credit | En Pointe Photography