How To Marry ‘Em Officiant Mentor

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.

Interested?

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:









Sober, Stoned and Legal Issues

Legal issues

Legal Issues Guide

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

GET YOUR GUIDE BY FILLING IN YOUR NAME AND EMAIL BELOW

For information on our new officiant prep online courses, fill out our simple Contact Us form. We’d love to hear from you!

Why Our Officiant Relationship is Unique

Our Officiant Relationship is Unique -- Courtney and Trenton

You can listen to me rant this blog post here:  Why Our Officiant Relationship with our Couple is Unique.

My Rant About the Unique Officiant Relationship with Couples

Recently I had a very long FB conversation with a fellow Officiant in an Officiant FB group. Right off the bat let me say that it was civil and we learned about each other.

What piqued my interest was the photo she’d posted on the page. In the photo she looked very happy that she’d just done this simple vow exchange ceremony. Her comment was that her friend had PhotoShopped the picture so her hair didn’t look as bad as it had in reality.

But what got me was the groom had gotten married while wearing a T-shirt with the word F__K on it. In Bold. Center of the shirt.

Really honey pie? You couldn’t find anything else to wear? That’s the statement about life you wanted to make on your wedding day?

What’s Disrespectful about F__K

I was floored. I commented that I’d have made him change his shirt before I’d have conducted anything for him. “I didn’t realize I’m getting as sour as I am” but I continued that it seemed very disrespectful of the serious AND joyful event that was taking place.

“The bride didn’t seem to mind,” she wrote. “After all I’m just a vendor providing a product or service for a fee, so who am I say anything?”

Which on one hand I can totally agree with.

But on the other hand, to think of ourselves as a vendor is to diminish the importance that we are standing there when two people make these promises to each other that tie their karma, their intentions, their past, present and future to one another.

If Their I DO’s Don’t Stick

If the couple doesn’t take their vows seriously and their I DO’s don’t stick, this breach of trust could cause a lot of grief, anger, disappointment, and heartbreak not only for themselves but for family and friends too.

AND let’s not forget it can cost a LOT of money to get unhitched.

Our Relationship is Unique

Because we are the ones who share the moment with them in a way no other vendor does, that we actually lead them in their vows and then sign on to the fact they’ve exchanged these important promises, our relationship with them IS unique.

And because for some (obviously not the groom in question) there is a bit of mystique that still surrounds (thankfully) the office of Officiant, we have the opportunity to bring to bear the spiritual significance of the event. As we stand in our spiritual “Office” we should also ooze that we respect and value what we do.

We are more than reciters of an often repeated ceremony.

We say more with our words than “have you come here freely to marry one another.”

We are the holders of the importance of the commitment of marriage, of the delight that love has graced our couple’s life.

We Officiants hold this importance first by respecting the institution of marriage and the courage a couple has to have in order to risk promising “until death do us part”, even “through all the changes of our lives” to one another.

And helping them to respect it as well.

If they don’t respect this, then we have a teaching moment on our hands.

Because I feel in many ways we’re way too casual about the kind of things that can do lasting harm.

The Internet is Your Congregation

Consider this too. Even though many of us were ordained by simply signing up online, the only reason anyone was able to do this is because we agreed the internet was our congregation.

And congregations are spiritual in nature.

There is still an aura of ministry around being an Officiant. And ministry gives us a power to influence, my friends. It touches that which is greater than one’s self and can bring magic, delight and wonder into our life.

An f’ing t-shirt can’t do that.

So recognize your “aura” shall we say, the power of being an Officiant and use it wisely. Lead your clients and potential clients through your words and actions that the ceremonial act they’re signing up for is a beautiful, awesome event.

Because love truly is a many splendored thing.

And Mr. F t-shirt, if you can’t for 5 minutes respectfully acknowledge that and relegate your crass garb to mowing the lawn or fixing the carburetor, then I’m not the Officiant for you. You can either take that shirt off for a civil one or I’ll refund the fee you paid me.

Can I say it again? Being an Officiant is one of the most fun professions ever. And it carries weight, power and as such deserves respect.

This is why I believe our relationship with our clients is unlike any other relationship on the wedding team.

Our service and product is of the heart. We’ll remain in our couple’s memory for many years to come.

Take Advantage of Teaching Moments

Take advantage of teaching moments. And stand for the beauty and depth of the promises two people are going to make to each other.

Thank you for listening. My rant is now over.

Respectfully,

Rev. Crystal Yarlott

 

For information on our new officiant prep online courses, fill out our simple Contact Us form. We’d love to hear from you!

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