The Pros and Cons

You may assume where I stand on this topic, after all, I officiate weddings in Indiana for a living. There are some really great reasons (and not so great reasons) to have a friend or family member conduct your wedding. I thought, instead of avoiding this topic, I’d tackle it head-on so you can make the best possible decision about what is best for your wedding day.

At times, planning a wedding can feel like herding cats at the three-ring circus. There are all of these moving parts and sometimes, none of them feel like they fit together. When deciding on who you want to officiate your wedding there are plenty of things to factor in. One of the more prominent decisions is wondering if you should have a friend or family member do the honor of marrying you. Here are some pros and cons to consider when making this important decision.

The Pros of Using a Friend or Family Member to Officiate Your Wedding

Sentiment – There is no doubt that having someone you know and love dearly will make your wedding day even more special. The potential candidate is likely privy to your love story and knows you and your significant other better than most. This person may be able to give you additional insight into your wedding day festivities to help you create the magic you and your partner want that day.

On the other hand, even though they know you well, they more than likely will not take the time to ask the questions needed to reflect on the things you care about most in your ceremony. A professional has experience with asking the right questions and wording your love story.

Free-Range on Creating the Ceremony – One of the more attractive reasons to have a friend officiate your wedding, is you all get to dream up almost anything. While there are professional officiants who are happy to do this too (like me), some couples are drawn to having a friend work with them to build a ceremony to remember.

A Professional Officiant may have more options to offer you that you and your chosen friend do not know about. Especially since you may have not ever been married before, even if you have, there are so many ideas a Pro can give you based on your interests.

Cost-Effective Option – The brass-tacks, wedding costs are consistently climbing. Each time you turn around you’re handed a new invoice. A friend or family member isn’t likely to charge you a fee to officiate the wedding. This can be a rather promising option.

Just like with everything else, the value in paying these professionals will surely pay off and will exceed the dollar amount you paid them.

A Great Option for Highly Organized and Confident People – What might seem like a fairly straightforward set of word exchanges, the officiant is in charge of making sure the entire ceremony is magic. This doesn’t just mean saying the right things at the right time, but is also someone who directs things, keeps composure if someone forgets something, and is polished in front of a lot of people. Furthermore, with hiring a professional you won’t have to worry about your friend/family getting ordained properly. Sending in the appropriate paperwork to ensure the marriage is legitimate is an important task.

The Cons of Using a Friend or Family Member to Officiate Your Wedding

Officiating a Wedding is an Awesome Responsibility – If you’re going to go to all the work of having a friend or family member conduct your wedding, make sure your candidate is up for the task. Not only do they need to be ordained through a reputable source, but they also need to do the research necessary to ensure your ceremony is unique and follows any of the Indiana state laws.

Consider “Not” Putting a Friend or Family Member Under This Pressure – One of the main reasons we have weddings, to begin with, is to allow the people we love a chance to observe and appreciate you as a couple. While it might seem like a great honor to bestow on someone you love, this responsibility might place that very same person under more pressure than they bargained for. Opting for a professional if you want everyone to be relaxed and relish at the moment.

Your Contribution Will be Crucial – Chances are, you will be adding more tasks to your plate by having a friend or family member officiate your wedding. Not only will you want to ensure this person has all their required documentation but you’ll need to have a lot of input into how the ceremony will go and what is said.

Hiring a professional can often alleviate this as they have officiated plenty of ceremonies and can help direct you in what they need from you to make the ceremony all your own.

When in Doubt, Team Up – If the task seems too mammoth for your special candidate, split the difference and have them team up with a pro. This is one way to turn a “con” into a “pro” by using an officiant and still honoring someone special to take on a part of the ceremony. Allow the professional to lead the ceremony and take on the official tasks, but have your guest of honor offer their hand at a special reading during the ceremony. While not all officiants will do this, I am more than happy to accommodate you.

I hope this has given you some insight and helps to make your decision an easy one. As always, if I can answer any of your questions regarding officiating your wedding, please reach out to me, and let’s talk about how to make your day one-of-a-kind.

If you do decide to have a loved one officiate, this is the easiest DIY template to help them create your ceremony. DIY Wedding Ceremony Template and Scripts