3 unscary ways to change perceptions

You’re an unscary person by nature

Not everyone at a wedding is looking at the officiant as someone they want to meet.

They have, we all have, our preconceived perceptions. Tell me if I’m wrong about that, please!

No matter how great of a job you do as an officiant, people may shy away from you. In fact, some look downright uncomfortable when you walk their way as if you’re a really scary person out to do them harm.

There’s been times when I looked at a wedding guest, and I wondered if they thought if they talked to me, I was going to put them on the spot.

A way to help change your own perceptions — Wedding Tip Wednesdays on Facebook

A scary, uncomfortable spot.

No vampire fangs

It’s clear I don’t have vampire fangs nor horns coming out of my head. I’m pretty darn sure I don’t give dirty looks or convey any vibes that I expect a confession about anyone’s lack of attending church or not praying every night.

I can’t tell you how many plane trips I’ve taken and when the poor person next to me asked me what I did for a living and I told them I was a minister. Oi vey. People sometimes sank in their seat and the conversation would revert to something they felt guilty about.

After enough of these kinds of encounters I just told row mates that I worked with people on a personal level. Then we could have a decent conversation.

If religion never came up I’d be happy as a clam whether at a wedding or on a plane, train or in an automobile.

Projection and expectations are scary

Too often when people hear the word “minister”, “reverend”, even “officiant”, they are unconsciously scared. They may assume you’re religious and by association, judgmental. They may irrationally think you’ll have expectations they can’t live up to (“I don’t go to church even though I know I should”) , (“Then don’t if you don’t want to,” I say to myself).

These fears of expectations originate in the eye of the beholder, in that person’s perceptions.

Ego happens

Or on the other end of the spectrum, certain guests want to match up holiness points. (It happens, what can I say). A kind of spiritual pissing match. “Oh yes, I can officiate too.” “I pray every day.” “My pastor is my best friend.” (I’ve heard them all.) It’s scary to see the ego come out that way, but again, it happens.

The sad part is

What can end up happening is people shy away from making a connection that could be really fun, helpful and even meaningful.

And yes, may even give an opportunity for you to receive a well-earned compliment. “That was really a nice ceremony you did.”

Tim is not a scary cat
My cat Tim is a very soft purrer

Ah, purr….

Lesson Learned

The bests unscary way to connect with people as who YOU are is to help change perceptions. To avoid the perception of-who-I-am-and-what-I want-from-you trap, I have a few questions I ask that help a huge amount to smooth the choppy waters of discomfort.

One caveat

Let me say quickly here as a kind of caveat that I believe it is our inherent nature to love and let ourself BE loved, but time and culture have made us wary and maybe even downright scared of each other.

Questions to break the ice

So here are the major questions I use that can help you if you run into the same kinds of situations (and I’m SURE you will).

  1. “Who of the couple do you know?” is the first question.
  2. “What can you tell me about him/her?” comes next.
  3. “How long have you known bride/groom?” works well for the last question.

These simple questions can break the ice and give you an opportunity to connect with a friend or family member of your couple. But you may also make a connection with someone who’s either getting married too, or knows someone who is getting married.

You can’t be on all the time

Really, though…you shouldn’t have to worry about making everyone comfortable or always making a connection. That’s not possible. You can’t be “on” all the time.

Sometimes I’m not in the mood for meeting people. But when I do walk out into a gathering of wedding guests, drinks in hand or searching for one, It’s much more fun to engage people.

When you do want to connect and make the impression YOU want to make, try using these questions to break the ice before or after a wedding you’re a part of.

Moments to remember

A nice connection can lead to moments you’ll remember, and hopefully they will too. You may be one who helps others to realize not all officiants/ministers/pastors are created from the same disparaging cloth. We’re really quite unscary!

How I can help

Helping you get more confidence and skillful is what I’m here for. I want to help you make a connection and build your reputation as a great officiant without risking sticking your foot in your mouth.

When reaching out to people you don’t know is done right, schmoozing with guests and breaking the ice will be a great way to get more credibility as an officiant. Being unscary is easier and more fun than you may imagine it to be.

Before you officiate next time

Please feel free to fill out the Contact Us form (won’t take rocket science to figure it out) before you officiate for your first wedding, big or small. We’re here to help you make the most of your ordination and show up as the most unscary person at the wedding.


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Rev Crystal

Your unscary helper,

Rev Crystal

Multi-tasking Officiants

Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

People believe they’re good at multi-tasking these days. Before you stop reading this blog because you think I’m going to bash multi-tasking, wait just a sec. Give me a minute more of your time between reading and eating your lunch.

Doing more than one thing at once seems a necessary evil because so many of us have a to do list that needs serious negotiating with an army of helpers.

We all do it, even though there’s plenty of research (here’s info from Forbes) refuting our belief that we can effectively multi-task.

Multi-service Multi-tasking

Which may be one reason I read on FB pages for and by officiants that they can wear more than one hat at a wedding. The Officiant may be the planner, musician, the DJ or florist. Some are also the make-up artist.

One officiant doubled as the photographer. S/He must have had four arms in order to lead the ceremony AND take pictures at the same time!

A way to make ends meet

I know that making a living on an officiant’s fee alone can be tough. So adding more services seems like the logical things to do in order to help make ends meet.

Kind of like services multi-tasking.

Having tried it myself, I felt extremely fortunate that my bride was easy-going, gracious and much more flexible than I would have been.

Like when the very expensive cake I’d ordered for her on the day of her wedding was the wrong size. But I’d negotiated an alternative which she was fine with. And time changes for getting into the beautiful venue didn’t phase her at all.

What I don’t want to get caught up doing

But I don’t want to have to  manage a microphone that doesn’t work properly when I’m leading the ceremony. Or have to calm an excited vendor who’s running late and can’t find the location.

Getting the groomsmen to the site on time or replacing the wrong color goblets while I’m focusing on inviting the OM energy to the ceremony is a distraction I don’t want to have to deal with.

Multi-providing within the ceremony

Where I do “multi-task” is to add services to the ceremony itself.  The term is multi-providing bonuses such as offering a wide array of special ceremonies a couple can choose from. Or using a questionnaire that will knock their socks off and elicit stories that completes their ceremony in a wonderful way.

For me that fits the bill of commanding a higher fee. What I do isn’t really multi-tasking but it is being inventive, collaborative and attentive. All with the same focus – creating a meaningful ceremony and putting the couple at ease.

My one stop service:   Keeping my own energy focused and not spread out all over the place on the day of their wedding.

More power to you

This is what’s right for me. I know that necessity is the mother of invention. If you wear more than one hat by service multi-tasking, you’ve decided multi-services is necessary for you to have more fun and/or earn the kind of income you need. More power to you!

Wearing one hat

Focusing on wearing well that one hat, instead of multi-tasking or multi-servicing and providing that one focus is the choice I’ve made for my wedding business. I ask and receive a higher fee because of this choice. My chosen task:  leading my couple in a meaningful, fun, romantic wedding ceremony where I am 100% present for them.

Leave a comment what your situation is and how you came to be a one task or a multi-service officiant. We’d love to hear your story.


Know Like and Trust
Crystal Yarlott, Officiant and Collaborator

Rev Crystal

For more ways you can improve your skills as an officiant, be sure to check out the 8-part online course, The Ready, Willing and Able Officiant Prep Program.


Or if you’d like personal coaching to get your officiant business up and running sooner than later with marketing and creative inspiration, Contact me by filling out our easy peazy form. I love helping new officiants get the right resources for them, and their marketing off on the right foot!

You’re always welcome to apply to join our private FB Group. To join, click here:  Private IDOWedPrep


Hacks for the Unhacky Officiant, Part 1

Here’s how to build your referral network with simple social media and networking hacks even if you don’t know what “hack” means (tricks and methods to get results). You can get more bookings with these simple methods that are at your fingertips.

(Download link below).

Networking hacksWith Wedding Professionals and Business Contacts

  1. Arrange to meet in person, by appointment with venue coordinator, head of photography, DJ, caterer, florist, or wedding planner.
  2. Research their website or Social Media pages to get an idea of what they’ve been up to, who they are and anything they’ve done lately. Be knowledgeable when you meet!
  3. Offer your card with a small gift like a few fresh baked cookies, muffins, fresh fruit or anything that’s small and notable. Nothing fancy or it’ll seem like you’re trying to bribe them. Do NOT leave a calendar. (Oh lordy mama hug me now if I get one more calendar).
  4. Ask for your Contact’s:
    1. Facebook @ address or link
    2. Instagram address or # (hashtag)
    3. Twitter Handle
    4. LinkedIn address
    5. Google For Business link

5. Are they on any big wedding websites like Wedding Wire or The Knot?

6.  Email address and direct phone number

  • How do they prefer to be contacted
  • What hours do they prefer to be contacted

7. Ask your Contact, “What can I post on my FB page and social that’s most helpful to you?”

8. Take a selfie with your Contact. Smile, please! Even get goofy if you dare. 😉

9. Make a little video of a part of the tour of your Contact’s business and post (watch for too jiggly a video)

10. Post your video or selfie to your FB page or website within a day of your example of using social media hashtags and @'svisit or your event

  • Be sure to tag your Contact
  • Include contact info for your Contact on your post (see photo>>>>)

11. Does your Contact or their business have a blog?

        1. Could you be a guest blogger or would they like to guest blog on your website?
        2. Can they post your contact info on their Social media and / or Instastory?

12.  Request to be on their Preferred Vendor’s List

13.  Create your own Vendor’s List and ask if they’d like to be listed (they’ll say yes!)

14.  If your Contact is on a wedding website, ask them if they’ll recommend your services in exchange for recommending their services

  •  You can put “As reviewed/seen in Wedding Wire” etc., on website or social media

Give these hacks a try.  You’ll see changes sooner than later in your bookings.

Download the hacks:  I DO_Hacks #1_19

There’s  more!!!




Click For Hacks #2, Networking As Part of a Wedding

We’d love to help you succeed as an Officiant, have more fun, get things done more easily, and set yourself a firm foundation to create a generous source of extra income for yourself. Contact Us through our easy, most enjoyable form or visit the Ready, Willing and Able Officiant Prep Program page.

It’s been a pleasure and a joy.

Rev. Crystal

Contact me for more information on how our simple, straight forward, practical program to prepare new officiants and inspire experienced officiants can help you.

How To Marry ‘Em Officiant Mentor

Successful Officiant
Bay Harbor, MI Wedding Photography | Kate + Michael | © Dan Stewart Photography | http://danstewartphotography.com

Officiant Mentor Wha?

When I’m at a wedding and the officiant launches into a service I’ve heard before, (Dearly beloved, we’re gathered here today to honor and celebrate these two people as they dedicate their lives to one another etc., etc.) it doesn’t take long for me to zone out and begin to appreciate the trees outside the window, or the flowers on the altar.

Seeing people zoning out at a wedding you’re leading is every officiants’ nightmare.

Today, we have a lot more freedom to be creative and vamp here and there. But if you’re a new officiant or considering becoming one you might not know where to start. For example, you may wonder —

  • Do I speak extemporaneously or use a script?
  • Do I introduce myself or not– and what do I call myself?
  • Where should I insert that piece of my couple’s history into their ceremony?
  • How do I lead a prayer?
  • Is it okay to be funny?
  • The groom’s mom is being really bossy — how do I handle that?

Let’s look at the first bullet point

Some training sources are against using pre-made ceremonies. Some make cutting and pasting from several sources a sign that the officiant isn’t worth their weight in gold (wrong-you’re always worth it!) At least that’s what I thought. Just today my inbox revealed that the biggest critic of “cookie cutter” ceremonies was also trying to sell new officiants his cookie cutter ceremonies.

Everyone needs training wheels, which using a pre-made wedding ceremony is – words and sentiments that you like and begin to use as your framework ceremony. It’s the place you start so you can continue on with the process of finding your own voice.

More questions

Over time, you will refine your words. Meanwhile, with the big important wedding coming up on your horizon, how do you know if you’ll strike the right tone with your couple? What’s appropriate and what’s not?

And how do you lead the couple in their vows? What do you do after they exchange their rings? Should you pray or not?

So you might not only have questions about content and delivery, you’re not sure what’s appropriate and what’s not. I get it!

I used straight out of the box denomination recommended ceremonies when I first started. There’s some threads of them left in the ceremony I use to this day. But my ceremony has evolved but it’s taken years of cutting and pasting. I’ve tweaked and been inspired over the past 29 years. It was time-consuming, especially when I had a full-time job.

But I also had training. I was prepared with a set of questions to ask as couple, and I also had help deciding what was appropriate and what wasn’t. I was in ministerial school and my teachers and fellow students were there to help me.

Is an Officiant Mentor for you?

So I can tell you, it can make a world of difference to bounce ideas off of and to give informed, constructive feedback. A mentor can be a HUGE help. An officiant mentor could be exactly who could help YOU!

PLUS not spending all your free time researching and gathering information is a great help. Or having to be in school for two years to learn how to do all those minister type things!

The question is—could you use some pointers to put your ceremony together? Do you want to find out how to get different kinds of information about your couple to make part of the awesome ceremony you have been asked or hired to deliver?

One of the things that really stood in my way was the preconceived notions I had of what was expected. Get those out of the way and you are much further ahead finding your voice and meeting your couple’s needs. Interested?

Free Download

Download the 5 Mistakes New Officiants Make and you’ll have in hand some important “don’t need to do’s. Once you look this over you can get on with the important business of finding the right resources and crafting a ceremony from all the millions that are available on the internet.

Really? Is that what you want to spend your time doing?

Or you could find an officiant mentor who will give you the benefit of their years of expertise making couples happy and successfully leading wedding ceremonies of all kinds.


Contact us today and let’s see how much easier and better a time you can have as an officiant. Know what you are doing before you do it!

Call today and we’ll talk over how you can go from beginner to better to best officiant ever!

Those of us at How To Marry ‘Em Mentoring at I DO, Wedding Officiant Training will listen, advise, and help you bring out not only the best in yourself, but in your couples too. Check out this bit of advice from an officiant mentor.

Kate + Michael | © Dan Stewart Photography | http://danstewartphotography.com


We offer a straightforward ceremony creation and officiant mentor coaching service.

Get your 5 Common Mistakes by filling in the easy peazy form below:

Woo, You & Weddings


Inspire and Celebrate — A Wedding Address can do THAT?

meditationYour wedding address is an opportunity to inspire, engage and entertain your couple AND their guests. Many officiants know this is possible through our Wedding Address. You know what I mean by Wedding Address? The WA is the words we say about love, marriage, and our couple’s love story.

So how do we use this opportunity without being preachy or sounding overbearing? We don’t want people to fall asleep or look everywhere but at the couple and you, right?

The goal is to be the best officiant you can be:

Engaging. Effective. Enjoyable.

The Spiritual Element

There’s a spiritual element to being an officiant that is super important. Here you have all these people, even if it’s just 3 or 4, that bring energy to this awesome event in a couple’s life. This gathering engages the principle JC talked about here,  “When two or more are gathered in my name there I am in the midst of them”. This principle of bringing so many people together at the same time has bearing on what happens in a wedding ceremony.

Not about Religion, so Hang On

Don’t get wompy on me if you aren’t religious. I know I’m quoting Jesus a lot here. This isn’t about the religion of Jesus. It’s about relevance and connection. So please, keep reading.

“Gathered in my name” doesn’t have to be about Jesus. Jesus was a manifestation of love (“God/The Father and I are One”) in a time when no one else knew what the heck that meant or who every woman, child and man really was – Marvelously Created.

Knowing the Quantum Connection

Jesus was someone who knew his connection with his higher self or God. The creator of the Universe! So “two or more gathered in my name” is a group of people gathered together in the name of love, of knowing the deepest connection and reality of all.

Isn’t that what a wedding is? People gathered in the name of love? (Okay, good food, drinks and rock ‘n rolling too). Dancing within the quantum field of creation. (I apologize to any physicists for my clumsy reference of the quantum field who may be reading this.)

Adding the Woo

To add a bit of Woo (I LOVE this word Woo) – the spiritual element or principle that sets the law of attraction into motion CONSCIOUSLY is this:  Woo  and you is how YOU as the officiant hold the space for Love to kick into high gear. Your officiant skills are engaged so the couple’s love is served and honored during the ceremony by calling it out from the git go of meeting your couple and preparing the ceremony.

This is the first level of adding the Woo factor to a wedding ceremony.

First To Do’s

To add the Woo factor to your wedding ceremony you gotta become the Woo. There’s so many ways of doing this, gang, so here’s my goal:  to encourage you to use the law of attraction consciously and let it help you tap into the wisdom and wonder that’s within you. To make life easier for you. It just takes practice.

So here’s a way to begin:

  1. Before you meet with and interview your couple, ask your Higher Self (call it Jesus if you want) to connect with the couple’s higher selves.
  2. Close your eyes and affirm or pray for this guidance, whichever resonates with you. This is what I usually do and please — put it into your own words.
    1. I ask for the spirit of the love that has brought the couple together to inspire the way I put their ceremony together.
    2. I ask that the couple be led to reveal to me what will bring the greatest meaning and joy to their ceremony.
  3. When I sit down to put together all the elements I’ve collected to create their ceremony, I ask for the Love that’s greater than what they now know to help me …
    1. Construct the ceremony that will be the most fun
    2. Infuse the ceremony with the joy that’s brought them together and will keep them together
    3. Inspire the ceremony with the words and elements that will truly please, satisfy and delight the couple and their guests.

Do these three things and you’ll begin to center yourself in the spiritual essence of what has led you to be an officiant in the first place. Your inner self knows what you can gain by being an even more wonderful officiant. This inner Woo is what connects you to the Love that’s brought your couple together.

The Course of course

One of the things the Ready, Willing and Able Officiant Prep Course does is provide a whole session of affirmations, prayer and self-care meditation. They’re in written form and audio. Both are designed for the religiously or spiritually directed. This segment of the program helps you get into the Woo state of mind so you meet more successfully with your couples.

Plus create and deliver the ceremony that sets you out as an engaged, effective and enjoyable officiant. Unforgettable.

To check out the RWA program, follow this link. It’s affordable, you can take it at your own pace, and it’s fully delivered right to your inbox.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Adding Woo And You To A Wedding Makes a Wonderful Ceremony for all.

Don’t be shy. Feel free to connect by filling out our amazingly fun (kidding) Contact Us form. Or post on our private I Do Wedding Officiant Training group Facebook page.

I’d love to hear from you!


Know Like and Trust
Crystal Yarlott, Officiant and Collaborator

Rev Crystal Y



Advertising — Free and Paid

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Hey there! You made it to the information download page to learn how and where to advertise!

Just fill in your name and email address below and the Link and Resource pdf will be delivered to your inbox.

It’ll be fun to see your name in whatever directory or medium you choose to advertise in. It’s a big step to make a commitment to do paid advertising. And it takes some skill to get your name out for free.

It can all be done, whichever form you choose and I hope these links and information are helpful to you.

Best to you!

Know Like and Trust
Crystal Yarlott, Officiant and Collaborator



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