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What do you say to officiate a friend’s wedding?

As an officiant, you hold a significant role in a wedding ceremony as you are responsible for the meaningful and heartfelt words that will join your friend and their partner in marriage. While the thought of officiating a wedding for the first time may be daunting, with a bit of planning, preparation, and care, you can create a beautiful ceremony that truly reflects the couple’s love story. In this blog post, we will explore what to say when officiating a friend’s wedding, and the different elements that you can incorporate to make the ceremony a memorable one.

1. Start with an Introduction:

As the officiant, the first words and actions you perform are critical. Therefore, begin the ceremony by warmly welcoming everyone in attendance. Let them know how much it means to the couple that they are all here to celebrate this special occasion with them. You can start by saying something like, “Welcome family, friends, and loved ones, we gather here today to celebrate the union of _________ and __________.”

2. Share the Couple’s Love Story:

The couple’s love story should be one of the main focuses of the ceremony. This is a wonderful time where you can share how the couple met, what makes them special, and what qualities they admire in one another. Highlight their journey together, including any significant milestones in their relationship while keeping the tone light, loving, and joyful.

3. Lead the Vows or Affirmations:

Traditional wedding vows are powerful and have been used for centuries, but some couples choose to write their own vows as a personal statement of love, respect, and commitment. You can encourage the couple to write their vows or work with them to come up with personalized affirmations that reflect their unique relationship and love for each other. This is also the time for the couple to exchange their wedding rings, which often serve as symbols of unending love and commitment.

4. Conduct the Unity Ritual:

A unity ritual is a symbolic gesture that represents the coming together of two individuals to form one union. It is a beautiful way to incorporate the couple’s values, beliefs, or traditions into the ceremony. Some popular unity rituals include lighting a unity candle, pouring sand into a unity vase, or tying a knot using a ribbon or rope. These rituals have become increasingly popular, and they add a special touch to the ceremony.

5. Declare and Pronounce the Marriage:

The marriage declaration is the moment that marks the official union of the couple. This is the time to share words of encouragement with the couple, remind them of their commitment, and confirm that they’re legally married. Declare the couple as husband and wife or partners, and invite them to share their first kiss as a married couple.

6. Conclude with a Meaningful Blessing:

As the ceremony draws to an end, take a few moments to say something meaningful to the couple. This is an opportunity to share a blessing or to express your support, love, and admiration for their union. You can say something like, “May your love and commitment to each other continue to grow and flourish with each passing day.”


Officiating a friend’s wedding is a beautiful and rewarding experience that requires a lot of planning, preparation and care. As an officiant, the ceremony will be your responsibility, and it is your duty to create a meaningful and heartfelt event that celebrates the love and commitment of the couple. By incorporating the above elements into the ceremony, you can create a wedding that connects the couple, their families, and their friends in a beautiful way that will be a cherished memory for years to come.


What are the opening words of an officiant?

When officiating a wedding ceremony, one of the most important aspects is how you begin the ceremony. The first words spoken by an officiant can set the tone for the entire wedding ceremony. Typically, it is considered a good practice to have an opening statement – a way to welcome everyone to the wedding and set the tone for what is to come next.

Generally, the opening words of an officiant should be warm and welcoming. They should aim to create a friendly atmosphere and make the guests and the couple feel comfortable and relaxed. The opening statement should express that the ceremony is a celebration of love and commitment. It’s important to note that the opening words are not just an introduction but a way to create a sense of occasion and to signify the union being celebrated.

One of the typical opening statements that an officiant can use is:

“Welcome to all of you, who have come to share in this important moment in the lives of BRIDE and GROOM. I ask you to join together in celebrating, acknowledging, and honoring this day and the vows that they will be making. By your presence, you witness and affirm the truth of their love and commitment to each other.”

This opening statement highlights the importance of the day and the role that everyone present plays in making it a success. It encourages them to be fully present and to honor the couple’s love and commitment.

Other opening statements could include a few lines about the venue, the joyous atmosphere, and how much of a pleasure it is to be a part of the ceremony. Some officiants may even include a joke or a personal anecdote to get things started off on a lighter note.

The opening statement delivered by the officiant should convey the importance of the day and the joyous atmosphere surrounding the wedding. It should be welcoming, warm and create a sense of elation in all who have come to celebrate the union of the loving couple.

What not to say as a wedding officiant?

As a wedding officiant, you are given a great responsibility to lead a couple’s most important day of their lives. You have the power to create a beautiful ceremony that celebrates their love and starts their new journey together. However, officiating a wedding comes with its own set of rules and etiquette. One of the most important aspects to keep in mind as an officiant is knowing what not to say during the ceremony.

First and foremost, it’s essential to always remember the couple’s preferences and respect their beliefs and values. It would be best if you never assumed anything about them. For example, avoid assuming their religion, their sexuality, or even if they want to be kissed at the end of the ceremony. Be respectful of their wishes and follow their instructions.

Another thing to avoid is bringing up any negative emotions or stories that could ruin the moment. As a wedding officiant, it’s required to be professional and keep things positive. Telling embarrassing stories about the bride or groom, or mentioning past relationships, is simply unacceptable. Avoid sharing anything that could make the couple feel uncomfortable or put them in an awkward position.

It’s also critical to avoid making any slip-ups that could leave a lasting impression. Double-check all the names, dates, and places to ensure there are no mistakes. Imagine the embarrassment of getting the names or date wrong in front of all their loved ones. Always triple-check to avoid any errors.

Finally, avoid showing up late. Being punctual shows respect and means a lot to the couple. Nobody wants to wait around for an officiant while they’re nervously waiting to tie the knot. Being early means you can use the extra time to go over any last-minute details or prepare yourself.

Wedding officiants must keep in mind all the things they shouldn’t say during the ceremony to fulfill their role efficiently. Remember to respect everyone’s beliefs, avoid negative topics, double-check for errors, and always be on time. By keeping these tips in mind, you can make the couple’s special day unforgettable for all the right reasons.

What is the officiants speech called?

In a wedding ceremony, the officiant’s speech is a crucial part of the overall proceedings. The speech is essentially the opening statement that sets the tone for the entire ceremony. This speech is known as the “invocation.” The invocation is where the officiant first addresses the audience and “invokes” the start of the wedding ceremony. This is where the officiant says something like, “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today…”.

The purpose of the officiant’s speech, or invocation, is to signify the start of the wedding ceremony. It is a chance for the officiant to welcome everyone to the ceremony and to set the tone for the rest of the event. The invocation is also an opportunity to share beautiful words and heartfelt thoughts with everyone present.

The content of the officiant’s speech varies from wedding to wedding. Some officiants read from pre-written scripts, while others opt for a more personalized approach. Many officiants will include a reading or a poem in their speech to add an emotional touch to the ceremony. Additionally, the speech may also include the exchange of vows, which is one of the most important aspects of a wedding ceremony.

The officiant’s speech, or invocation, is an integral aspect of any wedding ceremony. It is a chance for the officiant to share meaningful words with the couple and their guests and to signify the start of the most important day of the couple’s lives.