Wedding

Wedding Officiant Speech Ideas For A Friend’s Wedding + Templates

Officiating your first wedding can be a bit nerve-wracking. Whether you’re officiating for a relative or acquaintance, you want to make sure the ceremony is memorable for everyone, especially the couple. They’ll be busy with things like choosing their color scheme, sending out invitations and putting together a wedding ceremony program. To help them prepare for the ceremony, you should keep a list of deadlines, necessary legal documents and typical wedding ceremony proceedings.

Once you have an idea of what a general wedding ceremony entails, the approach you take for personalizing your speech depends on your relationship with the couple. A smooth ceremony allows family and friends to focus on the real reason they have gathered on that special day — to celebrate the union of two people they love.

In order to help you write a wedding officiant speech for an acquaintance or close friend, we put together this guide of things to prepare for, some dos and don’ts, and examples you can pull from for your own speech.

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How To Prepare

  1. Meet with the couple beforehand to get an idea of what they expect or wish to see at their ceremony. Be sure to discuss the length, tone and order of your speech. Whether they prefer a short ceremony, a secular officiant script or want to add their own creative spin, you’ll be prepared to provide that for them.
  2. Start writing your speech as early as possible and ask the couple for feedback. It’s always best to have a third party review your speech for any errors.
  3. Ask the couple for any rules they wish to implement during the ceremony. They may want to ask guests to silence their phones or refrain from taking too many photos.
  4. Establish the order of the ceremony with the couple. Some couples opt to sign legal documents at the ceremony in front of their friends and family, while others prefer to sign them in private, either before or after the ceremony. Make sure you know how they wish to proceed with this component of their wedding.
  5. Confirm that the marriage license is valid. States have different laws regarding the window of time a license is valid and can be signed.
  6. Be prepared for how and when to submit legal documents. Once the license has been verified, complete all relevant fields. On their wedding day, make sure all required parties have signed including yourself, the couple and witnesses.
  7. Be aware of any filing deadlines in your state and return the license to its issuance office appropriately. In many states, the couple can return the marriage license themselves.

From An Acquaintance

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If you’re not very close with the couple or just know one of them personally, you’ll want to go with a neutral approach. You can include their love story or your thoughts on what makes their relationship special. Whether it’s an inspirational anecdote or a heartwarming story, this approach is bulletproof.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Do include a short and sweet anecdote about their love story. If you know how they met or got engaged, weave it into the speech to make it unique to the couple.
  • Don’t get off topic. Avoid going on a tangent by keeping your script short and to the point.
  • Do practice your speech and the names of important family members. Depending on the style of the wedding, some speeches thank or mention parents and grandparents of the couple so you want to make sure you’ve got their names down.
  • Don’t go heavy on the jokes. Humor is great but when in doubt, keep it light. If you don’t know the family very well, some jokes may fall flat or not go over well with certain family members.
  • Do type up a nice copy of your speech for the couple to keep afterward.

Short And Sweet Wedding Ceremony Template

short and sweet ceremony

INTRODUCTION

Welcome family, friends and loved ones. We are gathered today to celebrate the union of _________ and __________. We are all here to support this commitment of love and to share the joy of  _________ and _________ as they choose to spend their lives together.

Thank you _______ and _______  (PARENTS) for your presence here today. Your love and unwavering support throughout their lives have given them the confidence and tools necessary to enter into this new chapter together.

_______ and _______, your marriage will be a lifelong promise to love, respect, trust and honor each other through the good, the bad and the unexpected. This union represents your commitment to support one another as individual beings but share your joys, sorrows, and dreams as one. A strong bond works in unison not only to nurture the best parts of your personalities, but to understand each other’s differences and flaws. You are committing to learn how to grow alongside one another while remembering to keep an open mind throughout your journey.

Today, you gain an equal partner that will be your confidant, your defender and your motivator through all of your aspirations and goals. You will celebrate each accomplishment, provide peace through every setback and most importantly, give love in life’s both big and little moments.

You are creating a new home where love, trust and loyalty are the foundation. No matter what the future throws your way, rely on those foundations and you shall only see your bond grow stronger and your souls grow wiser.

Marriage is not easy, but from what I’ve seen in the two of you, I know your relationship will be an example to follow. You show care and compassion, you trust one another and most importantly, you are each other’s best friend.

DECLARATION OF VOWS AND COMMITMENT

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Now ________ and ________, please join hands and face each other.

________, do you take ________ to be your wife? I do.

________, do you take ________ to be your husband? I do.

________, please repeat after me.

[OPTIONAL: PERSONAL VOWS]

I ________, take you ________ as you are, I promise from this day forward to love and treasure you for the rest of my life, to be your rock when things get tough, to be your number one fan in all of your accomplishments, to be grateful for all that you are and for choosing to spend the rest of your journey with me, to be patient and kind, to build a safe and loving home with you, to fill your days with laughter, to inspire you to pursue your dreams, to be faithful, to grow old with you and live a fulfilled life. This I promise you.

________, please repeat after me.

I ________, take you ________ as you are, I promise from this day forward to love and treasure you for the rest of my life, to be your rock when things get tough, to be your number one fan in all of your accomplishments, to be grateful for all that you are and for choosing to spend the rest of your journey with me, to be patient and kind, to build a safe and loving home with you, to fill your days with laughter, to inspire you to pursue your dreams, to be faithful, to grow old with you and live a fulfilled life. This I promise you.

EXCHANGE OF RINGS

Your rings represent this promise to one another. The never-ending circle is a symbol of an infinite, unbreakable love.

_______, take this ring and place it on _______ ‘s finger. Repeat after me:

_______, I give you this ring as a symbol of the promise I made to you today.

_______, take this ring and place it on _______ ‘s finger. Repeat after me:

_______, I give you this ring as a symbol of the promise I made to you today.

PRONOUNCEMENT

Having pledged your love and promise to one another today in front of all of your friends and family and by the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife.

You may now kiss the bride.

Congratulations! Friends and family, it is my honor to introduce to you: Mr. and Mrs. _______.

From A Close Friend Or Family Member

Knowing your audience well gives you a bit more wiggle room when putting together a creative wedding officiant speech. If you’re a parent, sibling or close friend you can always opt for a slightly comedic or playful tone since friends and family will be more receptive to inside jokes or childhood stories. As long as you remember to keep it about them, you’re sure to set yourself up for success.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Do include an endearing short story about the bride and/or groom. Use this story to add a little playfulness to your speech and pull at the heartstrings of friends and family.
  • Don’t tell embarrassing stories about the bride or groom. Keep your stories light and focused on their love for one another.
  • Do write a unique introduction. Since you know them personally, give yourself the freedom to stray from the traditional wedding ceremony introductions.
  • Don’t go into too much detail. Although you know the couple well, they may have invited acquaintances and distant friends to the ceremony so keep your speech concise.
  • Do type up a nice copy of your speech for the couple to keep afterward. A great wedding gift idea would be a framed print of their vows they can cherish for years to come.

Playful And Humorous Wedding Ceremony Template

wedding ceremony

INTRODUCTION

Welcome everyone! On this beautiful day, _______ and _______ have brought us together to celebrate their love and union in matrimony. Thank you all for joining us and being a part of their love story. _______ and _______ also wanted to thank _______ and _______, who are sitting in the front row, for blessing this union and always being an example of unconditional, pure love.

After years of nurturing a beautiful, strong relationship, it’s great to see these two tying the knot and taking the next step towards building a family. If you’ve had the fortune that I have, you have witnessed _______ and _______ meet, from a rom-com worthy friendship to falling deeply in love.

I remember the day _______ told me about their first date. There was a light in her eyes that I’d never seen before. She was excited and nervous. She worried that ______ didn’t feel the same connection she felt. Little did she know that _______ was already calling her “the one.”

It warms my heart to see the way _______ looks at _______. He looks at her as if she’s the last and only woman on Earth, and to him, I know she is. I’ve seen these two be there for each other through life’s unexpected twists and turns, only growing closer and stronger from each setback. I’ve seen them share laughs, collect a library of inside jokes and most shocking of all, I’ve seen _______ share her desserts with _______, which is when I knew this was serious.

Marriage isn’t easy but I trust these two. I have trust in their love, their friendship, and their commitment to one another. I know they’ll be there for each other, I know they’ll be loyal, and I know they’ll spend the rest of their lives growing and learning from one another. With that, I think it’s time to let them speak on their love.

DECLARATION OF VOWS AND COMMITMENT

wedding invitations and stationary

_______ and ______, have you come here today of your own free will to declare your commitment to one another?

We have.

Do you promise to be there for each other in the good and the bad? To grow with, understand and respect one another during your life together?

We do.

Then please face each other and share your vows.

[OPTIONAL: PERSONAL VOWS]

_______, today I promise to love you for the rest of my life, to fill your days with joy, to support you in days of sorrow, to be your best friend, to learn how to grow with you and build a home with you.

This I promise you.

_______, today I promise to love you for the rest of my life, to fill your days with joy, to support you in days of sorrow, to be your best friend, to learn how to grow with you and build a home with you.

This I promise you.

EXCHANGE OF RINGS

wedding reception

Let these rings represent your eternal love and the promises you have made here today. Let them be a symbol of your unbreakable bond and this new beginning of your life together with no end in sight.

______, take _____’s ring and place it on her finger and repeat after me:

With this ring, I promise to love and cherish you to the end of my days.

______, take _____’s ring and place it on his finger and repeat after me:

With this ring, I promise to love and cherish you to the end of my days.

Your love has now been strengthened by the promises you have made here today and the rings you have exchanged.

PRONOUNCEMENT

______ and ______, we have heard the sincerity in your promise to share your lives in marriage. We recognize your love and support your decision to build a home together. By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife.

_______, you may kiss your bride!

Everyone, give it up for Mr. and Mrs _______.

Wedding Invitations

After reading these tips and examples, you’re ready to write your speech and officiate a smooth ceremony. The couple will have the freedom to focus on other elements of their wedding checklist, like writing their vows and personalizing their reception. Whichever approach you decide to take — inspiring and sweet or slightly humorous — you’re sure to write a speech everyone will love.