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  • Writer's pictureJinnae Anderson

Why Shouldn't my Aunt/Uncle Officiate my Wedding?

Updated: Feb 10, 2019

Weddings are a big industry, and I understand a couple’s desire to keep costs down by having a relative or friend officiate the ceremony. And, if everything goes as smoothly as one hopes, it might even work.

But what if it doesn’t? I was officiating a gorgeous wedding the other day when the standalone mic (provided by the venue) stopped working. In the middle of the ceremony. With 200 people in attendance.

As an officiant with decades of experience, I can think pretty quickly on my feet. I’d arrived early to the wedding, as always, to get to know the other vendors involved. I knew that the DJ was a very helpful guy and figured that he would do everything he could to help out if I could give him the time to do so.

I made a snap decision to step out from behind the couple, get closer to the audience, and proceed with the talk I had just started when I lost my amplification. It was around a 5-minute talk and it told the couple’s story – their magical beginning, what they loved about each other, meaningful parts of their journey, and their hopes and dreams. Fortunately I know how to project my voice, so no one missed out on the story.

By the time I got back to my place behind the couple, there was a new mic ready to go – and we continued with the ceremony.

Something like this happens with almost every wedding. As a florist I know once put it, weddings are simply controlled chaos – and sometimes the chaos isn’t so controlled! In those moments an experienced officiant will know what to do, whether it’s a quick joke, a pause, or an adjustment, to keep the ceremony moving forward as it’s meant to do.

Beyond handling the unexpected, I use my 25 years of experience to guide you as we craft a beautiful, unique ceremony that expresses your love and values. When rehearsal day arrives, I take you and your bridal party through the steps so that everyone knows exactly where to stand and what to do – keeping in mind that we want to maximize opportunities for your photographer on the Big Day.

When your wedding day arrives, I go out of my way to help you, your wedding party, your family and your guests relax and soak in the sacredness of the moment. I am not standing up there with “first-time nerves” — rather, I am standing there feeling comfortable, and happily intending on this day being a deeply meaningful, beautiful occasion for everyone involved.

These are skills and experience that your uncle/aunt/friend might lack — so please consider carefully when choosing your officiant! I have performed over a hundred weddings, and I don’t believe that any of those couples every wished they’d had an inexperienced friend or relative do it instead of me.

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