Helping You Creatively and Effectively Succeed as an Officiant
Tag: officiant training
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).
With Wedding Professionals and Business Contacts
Arrange to meet in person, by appointment with venue coordinator, head of photography, DJ, caterer, florist, or wedding planner.
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!
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).
Ask for your Contact’s:
Facebook @ address or link
Instagram address or # (hashtag)
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 visit 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?
Could you be a guest blogger or would they like to guest blog on your website?
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.
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.
Contact me for more information on how our simple, straight forward, practical program to prepare new officiants and inspire experienced officiants can help you.
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.
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?
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.
We offer a straightforward ceremony creation and officiant mentor coaching service.
Inspire and Celebrate — A Wedding Address can do THAT?
Your 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:
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.
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.
I ask for the spirit of the love that has brought the couple together to inspire the way I put their ceremony together.
I ask that the couple be led to reveal to me what will bring the greatest meaning and joy to their ceremony.
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 …
Construct the ceremony that will be the most fun
Infuse the ceremony with the joy that’s brought them together and will keep them together
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 WeddingMakes a Wonderful Ceremony for all.
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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!
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This is true, first and foremost. I don’t care what your age is, whether you’re skinny, tall, overweight, bulky, baggy, saggy or boney. You’re a part of this world, and you’re beautiful.
Your situation may be far different from mine. You might not have the money to dress well (or want to), especially in the beginning of your career as an Officiant. It’s okay. You’re amazing. Look at all you’ve been through! What’s true about how you look and what it’s important, is because who you are speaks so loudly, I can’t see what you look like.
Now — remember how beautiful you are as I ask you: how do you feel about the way you look when you officiate? Good? Unsure? Like a million or a couple of bucks?
All of it affects your confidence level. And people are drawn to confidence because they want it for themself. Confidence is a healing power, and a business building asset.
So let’s reexamine the expectations of the way you look outside as an Officiant first.
Next week we’ll talk about reinventing the way you think about yourself as an Officiant inside.
Reinventing the role
Reinventing the role of Officiant is making leaps and bounds up and down and all around these days. Examining the way you look as an Officiant is part of that reinvention process we’re in.
On one of my favorite podcasts, co-host Rev. Clint tells about being asked to dress up like Elvis at one of his first weddings. He didn’t care for it and never did it again.
Las Vegas isn’t the only cool place in the country
Some of you may shout, “Oh contraire! I love to dress up, dress out, dress oddly.” Theme weddings are not only held in way cool Las Vegas or cultish New Orleans alone. You may have one in your own backyard!
FB Group research
You can see what other officiants are wearing in their posts in various FB groups. The clothes they wear ranges from super casual to robes with cleric collars, to a suit and tie, or an elegant dress. You can see some of us dressed in our choices in our Private Facebook Group.
(Side comment: Any man of any age or size looks GREAT in a tuxedo.)
What you wear obviously reflects your knowledge of the couple you’re officiating for – whether their wedding is formal or casual, beachy or woodsy.
Her acceptance really took me aback but that may be what’s important to her — anything goes.
Few Basic Guidelines for the Way You Look
In any event, here’s some guidelines I use for this reason: Officiants deserve to be a respected member of a couple’s wedding day. I have a hard time thinking that respect is being generated when the groom wears F__k on his shirt.
These suggestions can help you implement building a good reputation so you can feel more confident and are aware of your choices.
1. Never upstage the bride. Choose more conservative attire, even if you’re doing a theme-based ceremony.
a. The bride and her partner need to be the center of attention. I’ve seen some officiants look so flashy that it almost looks like s/he is competing for attention. One example is a new officiant wore a cocktail gown with a low v-neckline. She was sexier and flashier than the bride who was quite overweight.
b. Watch your own use of white and off-white. Even in contemporary weddings there seems to be a touch back to tradition that the bride is the only one wearing white or off-white.
2. Let your couple know what you like to wear and make sure they don’t have expectations that you’ll arrive looking like a pastor or conversely, a wild woman.
3.Ask your couple if they have a preference for how you look and/or dress.
a. One of my fellow officiant teams wants their couple to make a clothing preference choice for their wedding. They’ve got photos on their website of them dressed in each different optional outfit. I’ve heard others do this as well. I do not.
b. Do you think you’re expected to wear a collar, a robe or a stole? Check with your couple first to see if this is really true. It’s pretty safe to say that many contemporary couples are absolutely fine with your wearing contemporary clothing.
c. Every couple is different. Some care, some absolutely don’t. Others WANT you to be comfortable whatever you wear.
4. Be prepared for nasty, windy, cold or stifling, hot, humid weather. a. If It’s cold, I always let the couple know being cold is my least favorite activity in the whole world. I warn them I may wear long pants and a raincoat, wool coat rather than my usual simple dress. I also make sure I know they are the center of attention, not me.
If It’s Hot
b. When I’ve done a beach wedding (which is often synonymous with HOT, I always ask beforehand if it’s okay to wear flip-flops or go barefoot. A lot of couple’s end up kicking their shoes off or dressing down a notch or two when there’s a wedding at the water’s edge.
c. Wear a hat to protect yourself from mid-day sun. Make sure you batten down the hatches if the weather forecast is supposed to be windy.
5. Check your pearly whites. I’m embarrassed to mention this. I’ve failed to look in the mirror with a smile to check for spinach and sesame seeds several times when I’m in a hurry. Therefore,
a. Floss or brush your teeth before you grab your ceremony and head for the wedding site.
b. If you make videos for or about your couples, check your teeth, especially after meals and then get in front of the camera.
6. Bless the wind. Full skirts? Do I need to tell you to prepare for your Marilyn Monroe above the sidewalk vent moment?
7. Don’t work in the garden before your wedding. OMG I’ve done this way too many times. Then I’m digging dirt out of my nails or trying to touch up nail polish as I’m walking into the venue. And yes, I took a shower! Digging in the dirt can be so rewarding but wait until you get back to pull those weeds or plant those sunflower seeds.
8. Put your outfit together and ready the day before. (Forgive me sounding like your mother…)
a. Make sure your outfit is ironed unless you like the wrinkled linen look. Even an inexpensive outfit looks better when it’s been freshly ironed. TIP: Sometimes if I have a long drive to a wedding site, I’ll wear my jeans and change into my marryin’ outfit once I get to the location.
b. No spots, and is clean.
c. Women, if you wear them, make sure you always have an extra pair of nylons available. Those pesky runs probably aren’t going to be too distracting but still. I always feel better when I’m put together. (Hey that rhymes!)
Please leave a comment — gimme the shelter of feedback!!
Tell me what you think of these suggestions. What have you worn? Can you post a picture of yourself in what you usually wear on the blog or on the FB page?
I’d love to see, and I’m sure other officiants who follow this blog would love to see what your wedding clothing is.
Want more ways to reinvent the traditional officiant role? Get the free download, 5 Stress Free Ways to Officiate an Unforgettable Wedding. Watch for it to pop up if it hasn’t already.
What did you get out of the post? Let me know. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to hearing your stories about leading a couple in their I Do’s.
For information on our new officiant prep online courses, fill out our simple Contact Us form. We’d love to hear from you!
One of the biggest questions asked in the officiant Facebook groups I’m part of are about legal issues for Officiants. Now, I’m not super up on all legal matters, but I do know some. Better to know some than to ignore the good.
To get the guide Sober, Stone and Legal, fill in the form below and it’ll be quickly delivered to your inbox.
The following video is from a Facebook Live I did on Thursday, November 9, ’18. Let me know what your biggest takeaway is.
Please consider yourself invited to join the private facebook group if you’re not already a member. Click here to join: I DO Wedding Officiant Prep .
Is Online Ordination Legal?
For more information about why online ordination is legal in the United States, one of the largest internet ordination services, the Universal Life Church gives you the history including legal battles for the right to ordain on the internet, as well as see a copy of their Articles of Incorporation by clicking HERE.
Thanks for caring!
I look forward to hearing about your experiences leading a couple as they say their I Do’s.
Rev Crystal Y
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For information on our new officiant prep online courses, fill out our simple Contact Us form. We’d love to hear from you!