Selecting our wedding officiant was pretty easy for us, although I know many couples that find this process difficult. But for us, it came down to figuring out which friend of ours, who isn’t in the wedding, would be good at it!
We never even considered a pastor/priest/religious figure, since we aren’t religious ourselves. And even the justices of the peace and other non-church affiliated officiants in the area were pretty expensive—the lowest I found was around $400. For an approximately 16 minute ceremony, that was pretty steep. So, we decided to ask one of our good friends to do it, and I know we will be very happy with our decision. He’s totally cool with us writing everything he has to say, he’s great at public speaking, and he’s a really fun, entertaining guy. He even took the initiative to get ordained online right after we asked him to be our officiant (even though it appears in our county they don’t actually verify if your officiant has been ordained or not)!
(personal party photos, heehee!)
And here is a rough draft of the ceremony I have so far, taken in bits and pieces from all over the web.
Officiant: Ask everyone to turn off cell phones and other noisy electronics (before everyone walks down the aisle)
Family and friends, I welcome each and every one of you, and thank you for coming today to witness the marriage of Miss Cola and Mr. C. It is a privilege to share such a happy occasion. We are here, not only to witness the vows and promises you’re about to exchange, but also to wish you both the very best life has to offer, in your future together as husband and wife.
We come together, not to mark the start of your relationship, but to recognize the bond that already exists between the two of you. Throughout history, what people have found that is essential for a strong and long-lasting relationship is that it be founded on what we call “love”.
I think it’s important that we consider this today because, after all, if you did not love one another, none of us would be here today. You would not be about to say your vows in a few minutes if you did not love one another. You would not be about to sign your names on a piece of paper and recording that you are now officially husband and wife, if you did not love one another. So, as important as this ceremony is, it’s important that we recognize that the foundation of your marriage was formed long before we ever came here today, and that is the love that you share.
But we hear all kinds of definitions of what ‘love’ is, on TV, on the Internet, in books and newspapers… So for the definition of what I’m talking about today, I’d like to read this:
Love is a friendship that has caught fire.
It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving.
It is loyalty through good and bad.
It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weakness.
Love is content with the present.
It hopes for the future and it doesn’t brood over the past.
It is the day-in and day-out chronicle of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories and working toward common goals.
If you have love in your life it can make up for a great many things you lack.
If you do not have love in your life, no matter what else there is, it is not enough.
So search for love.
Share it. But most of all… ENJOY IT.
Now, Miss Cola and Mr. C, you’ve gathered your friends and family together to celebrate this special day with you. There’s no doubt that you will be receiving some advice today. But I believe I speak for every witness here when I say:
Let your love be stronger than your anger.
Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend than to break.
Look for the best in your beloved rather than the worst.
Confide in your partner and ask for help when you need it.
Remember that true friendship is the basis for any lasting relationship.
Give your spouse the same courtesies and kindnesses you bestow on your friends.
Say “I love you” every day.
And so here you are today, to say your marriage vows to one another. Mr. C, please go first.
Mr. C: (reads his written vows)
Miss Cola: (reads her written vows)
Officiant: With these promises to each other in mind, Mr. C do you take Miss Cola to be your wife? Do you promise to love, honor, and cherish her for all time?
Mr. C: I do (at least that’s what he better say, LOL!)
Officiant: Miss Cola, with your promises to Mr. C in mind, do you take him to be your husband? Do you promise to love, honor, and cherish him for all time?
Miss Cola: I do (hellz yeah!)
Officiant: May I have the rings, please? Please place the ring on her finger and repeat after me: Miss Cola, I give you this ring, as a daily reminder of my love for you.
Mr. C: (repeats) Miss Cola, I give you this ring, as a daily reminder of my love for you.
Officiant: Miss Cola, please place the ring on his finger and repeat after me: Mr. C, I give you this ring, as a daily reminder of my love for you.
Miss Cola: (repeats) Mr. C, I give you this ring, as a daily reminder of my love for you.
Officiant: Miss Cola and Mr. Cola, you have made your marriage vows to one another, witnessed by your friends and relatives. You have sealed your vows with the giving and receiving of these rings. So now, by the power vested in me, I pronounce you husband and wife and invite you to kiss one another.
Officiant: Please put your hands together”¦ congratulations to the newlyweds!
Will you be writing, or have a hand in writing your ceremony? And how did you pick your officiant?