The best of weddings make us cry...and it takes one darn good officiant to make that happen! Lately, more and more of our couples are turning to their friends and family, asking them to officiate over one of the most important moments of their life. We love this! One more way to personalize the day and have someone close to them really compliment who they are as a couple and reflect their love story.... but it is no easy feat! Often those that have been honored with the responsibility are left wondering where to begin. This is where one of our favorite officiants J.P. Reynolds comes in! We were so excited to learn that he has written a new book..to help all those novice wedding officiants and first timers out there to conduct the ceremony!
As one of the best in the business, he officiated both our twilight inspired wedding and our dog beach inspired wedding. His expertise really shines through during the ceremonies he is involved with and we are thrilled he has shared his knowledge and wisdom for others to learn from. You can purchase his book "How To Officiate a Non-Denominational Wedding Ceremony" here.
So what are some wise ceremony suggestions from the talented J.P. who after orchestrating 1000 ceremonies has nearly seen it all? We asked J.P. to share a little more advice that we could pass on to all of you!
1. The ceremony should be simple, have flow, and not bogged down with rituals needing lengthy explanation.
2. The heart of the ceremony is the vows. Whatever is done prior to the exchange of vows must lead up to that moment.
3. My job is to welcome, cheer, and encourage all present. A ceremony is not a place for a PowerPoint presentation on marriage!
Vows: Most couples are uncertain if they want to write their own vows. Many are afraid their vows will sound “cheesy.” Rather than writing “vows,” I suggest you write a “note” in which you tell your partner what he or she means to you. You’re not writing a lengthy letter; rather you’re taking a moment to express something of what is in your heart. Prior to the couple repeating the traditional vows, I invite them to read aloud their words of gratitude. Then, after they’ve each spoken from their heart, they repeat after me some variation of the traditional vows. Many couples like this option because it relieves the stress of writing “vows,” yet gives them a moment to say something personal.