3 Reasons to Get Married By Someone You Know

My favorite ceremonies to watch, are the ones where the officiant clearly knows and loves the couple getting married. In the photos above, the groom's collage roommate performed the ceremony (he'd gotten ordained online). This was the guy who was closest to the couple from the first "Does he like me?" "Should I call her?" moments, all the way through the ups and downs and finally to the altar. The stories were heartfelt and hilarious. Also, I loved that throughout the rest of the day, the friend/officiant was treated as a member of the bridal party, included in the photos, etc.

Here are three reasons why you might consider having someone know you well perform your ceremony. Maybe that is someone who's ordained already, a pastor or rabbi, but maybe that means considering having a friend or family member get ordained in order to perform your ceremony. OR- consider doing both, if you're set on having a religious officiant, you might consider having someone who knows you do all but the official parts. We've seen this work well on a few occasions.

Here are my 3, fairly simple reasons:

1. They KNOW you! And all your guest want to too! A well spoken friend can speak to who you are as a couple, giving your guests better idea about who you are and what is important to you as a couple. Especially for couples who have pretty separate groups of friends and families who haven't spent much time with the two of you, this is a great way for them to get to know you as a couple. 

2. They won't make any crazy mistakes. Once we shot a wedding where the officiant kept getting the grooms name wrong. Really! I'm not making this up! All through the ceremony. Wrong name.  Obviously, that's an extreme example, but it is fairly obvious and impersonal to have an officiant speak in generalizations about marriage. 

3. They're in it for the long haul. In most faiths, the idea of having a rabbi or pastor marry you isn't just for the purpose of signing the official documents. This person would have been meeting with you before the wedding, offering you counseling and support, and they'd be someone you could come to after you were married. If you're hiring an officiant just for the day, you're missing out on all of that. Who is the person you'd regularly seek out for relationship advice/support? Someone who's relationship you respect. A parent, grandparent or mentor? Perhaps they are the person who should be officiating your ceremony. 


  1. YES! We had my Dad officiate ours, and it was one of the very best decisions we made on the big day. He was as I know him - funny, supportive, and loving - and put us at ease. I also had huge nerves about getting someone we didn't know to do it because we are two women, both wearing dresses, and in every two dress wedding we'd attended until then, the officiant mixed up the names. My Dad definitely knew ours! Though at the end he did pronounce us 'Mr & Mrs Smith' on accident, it made everyone laugh! x

    1. Great point about mixing up names!
      And I love the Mr & Mrs goof...When it's someone you know, a little slip like that becomes an endearing antidote for years to come instead of an eye-rolling "I still can't believe that happened".