Friends as Officiants :: Who to ask and how to get the job done!

As more couples move from traditional ceremonies to more personalized ones, they tend to desire a closeness to the person that will seal their lives together. Having a family member or friend as the officiant on your big day is a great way to honor someone special in your lives and to really add that personal touch to your wedding.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing the best family member or friend for the job:

  • Is this person comfortable speaking to a crowd? They will be up in front of all of your guests for a good portion of time (ceremonies usually last between 20 - 30 minutes).

  • Will this person be open to taking suggestions and direction from you as to what you would and would not like to include in the ceremony?

  • Is this person willing to perform the ceremony for you? Be sure to have a candid conversation about the duties you require of this person before they agree to be your officiant. While they may feel honored to be asked, some people may not be up to the task and no one wants an uncomfortable officiant leading their ceremony!

Once you’ve found the perfect person, here are the things they need to know!

  • Get ordained. Online is the easiest and fastest way to accomplish this. Organizations such as Universal Life Church or American Marriage Ministries provide all the information you need.

  • Know the marriage laws in the state where the couple is getting married. If the officiant has any questions, have them contact the local county clerk office.

  • Make arrangements to take care of the marriage license. The couple is responsible for obtaining the marriage license from the state before the wedding. The officiant is responsible for attending the signing of the license (usually after the ceremony is complete), looking over the license to be sure everything is accurate, and filling out the section of the license designated for the officiant. After the license is signed, either the couple or the officiant can return it to the appropriate state office for recording (check your state laws to see if there are specific requirements).

Whomever you choose, make sure to secure your officiant with plenty of time before the wedding so they can complete all the requirements, as well as meet with you to design a ceremony that will be unforgettable.


With all that Life has to offer,


Life Design Event Planning // Wedding Planner // Phoenix