wedding ceremony

Find your perfect officiant

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

Choosing a wedding officiant is not the easiest wedding planning task. It’s often something that couples don’t worry about until late in the planning process. And they usually have no idea where to start. Unlike your wedding flowers or wedding outfit, you probably haven’t spent too much time picturing your wedding officiant. But it’s time to start!

Most couples say they want to plan a wedding that perfectly reflects them. They work hard to pick the flowers, food, décor, and music that represents who they are as a couple at the reception. But why not let the ceremony also reflect who you are? By choosing the right wedding officiant, you can create a ceremony that is so you, your guests will swear your wedding officiant has known you forever.

Finding the perfect wedding officiant for you is incredibly important. This is the person who is going to share your love story. This is the person who is going to represent you on your big day. And this is the person who is going to feature heavily in your wedding video, so you should really love what they’re going to say and do!

Photo by Emily Nicole Photos (2)

Tips For Choosing The Right Wedding Officiant

Do Your Homework

 When searching for the right wedding officiant, it’s important to do your homework. One of the best ways to find officiants is to tap your network. Reach out to recently married friends or join local wedding forums online to ask for recommendations. Once you’ve found a few officiants or officiant companies that look promising, check them out online. Make sure to read their reviews and see if you can get examples of their work.

Meet In Person

 The best way to get to know your potential officiant is to meet them in person. If that’s not possible, try to get them on the phone or on a Skype video call. You don’t want to spend months only corresponding by email. It’s important that you can meet this person and get to know them. When you meet, you’ll have a chance to ask all of your questions and ensure they’re a good fit for you.

Make sure your officiant knows your story

Make Sure They Get To Know You

 As much as the first meeting with your wedding officiant is about you getting to know them, you also want to make sure that they are getting to know you. Your ideal wedding officiant should be very interested in getting to know you as a couple. They should be interested in hearing your love story, learning what you want to happen at your ceremony and figuring out what tone you’d like to set on the big day.

Check Your Options

 Your perfect officiant should be able to offer you lots of options when it comes to planning your ceremony. You don’t want them to perform the exact same ceremony that they have at hundreds of other weddings. Every couple is unique and they deserve to have a unique ceremony that represents who they are. Your officiant should be open to making changes and giving you options for different types of vows, readings and ring exchanges.

Know what your officiant is going to say

Know What They Are Going To Say

 There shouldn’t be any surprises when you’re standing at the end of aisle. You should know exactly what your officiant is going to say on the day of your wedding. And you should be comfortable with every word and phrase they’re planning to say. Your officiant should share their script with you so you know exactly what is going to happen.

Make Requests

 If there is something you and your partner absolutely don’t want during your ceremony or something you can’t imagine getting married without, your officiant should know about it. Communicate these requests early to ensure your wedding officiant can accommodate them. You’ll want to bring up these requests at your first meeting with your officiant so they know exactly what you are looking for and not looking for.

Trust Your Gut

 At the end of the day, you need to listen to yourself. Do you trust this person to be your officiant? Do you trust them to perform the kind of wedding ceremony that you’re looking for? Do you feel chemistry with your officiant? If anything feels off, this is not the officiant for you. You don’t want to have any apprehensions or regrets walking into your ceremony.

Know you have found the right officiant

How You Know You Have The Right Officiant:

 The perfect wedding officiant is going to spend time listening to your love story and getting to know you. They’re going to ask about your goals, the ups and downs of your relationship, how you met, how you popped the question, and what you envision for your wedding ceremony. They’re going to reach out to your friends and family to learn even more about you as a couple and incorporate personal anecdotes into the ceremony.

By taking the time to genuinely get to know a couple and their story, an officiant can deliver the perfect ceremony. For example, Young Hip & Married officiant Randy Hamm was marrying Robyn and Daniel at L’Abattoir in Vancouver in the summer of 2016. Randy began the ceremony by talking about who the couple were and how they met – details he learned through many conversations with the couple and their friends and family.

He then included a fun personalized detail about why the couple might have chosen him as their officiant. The bride’s family works in the meat industry and the couple had decorated their venue with farm animal toys and even chosen the venue as it used to be a slaughterhouse. So Randy joked that the couple hired him because his last name is Hamm. Everyone laughed and the atmosphere instantly became more comfortable and intimate. Robyn and Daniel felt as if Randy was an old friend marrying them.

At the end of the day, you should feel like your wedding officiant is a member of your team who really gets you. If you’re a funny, quirky couple, your officiant should be able to incorporate that into your ceremony. Your wedding officiant should be able to tell your love story and represent you as a couple so well that guests wonder if the officiant has known you two your entire lives. And when you choose this officiant, you should feel 100% confident not just that they will get the job done but that they will create an amazing ceremony that’s perfect just for you.

Looking for a creative way to fund your honeymoon or wedding expenses? Set up a Honeyfund honeymoon registry today.

BIO: Young Hip & Married exists for two reasons: to help couples get married and stay married

We’re on a mission to eradicate dull and boring wedding ceremonies from the face of the planet and to help couples create a sweet lifelong union that gets better with age. If every couple is different then why have we all been to the same boring ceremony so many times? Young Hip & Married will marry you YOUR way”creative and personalized ceremonies are our specialty.We don’t just want you to have an amazing personal ceremony, we also want your marriage to be fun and exciting and to last forever. Our relationship coaching is designed to equip couples with the necessary knowledge, resources, and skills to not just stay married, but also love the journey. Your marriage is one of the most important relationships you’ll ever have”let us help you start off strong and thrive for life.


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Tips for writing wedding vows

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

Can you recall the most memorable wedding ceremony you’ve attended? What made it unforgettable? I bet the one that you are recalling is the one with the most compelling wedding vows exchange.

You listened attentively as the couple read their own personal wedding vows to one another, promising how they would love each other for the rest of their lives.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as the groom poured out his heart and soul to convey his exact feelings for his new wife, their relationship and his commitment to her.

When it was the bride’s turn, she reached behind her cueing her maid of honor to hand over the sacred words of promise that she drafted several months before but touched up only hours ago. She read her handwriting verbatim and tears rolled down her cheeks.

The reason the wedding vows exchange is so impactful during the wedding ceremony is because personal wedding vows capture what’s special about your unique relationship as well as your personal feelings about the person you have fallen head over heels in love with. There’s no better way to start your marriage off on the right foot than with your own personal words of promise.

Make wedding vow writing personal

Overcoming Writer’s Block When Writing Wedding Vows

But many engaged couples stumble over writing their vows. Some get writer’s block from just thinking about it. What to say and how to say it can be overwhelming especially when there’s so much emotion involved and a room full of everyone staring out you hanging on every last word.

Not to fear! I have pulled together a few helpful tips from my start-to-finish vows writing course, How to Write Personal Wedding Vows That Wow, to get you going in the right direction!

Tip #1 – Organize Your Thoughts

For the next week, put a tiny notebook in your purse or use any notepad app on your phone and jot down everything and anything that your fiancé does or says that puts a big smile on your face.

This exercise will help you recognize all the tangible and intangible things about your fiancé which you can use to write your personal wedding vows. For example, do you love when he gives you a goodnight kiss or a big hug after a long day at work?

Do this exercise for an entire week and you’ll have a great outline for your vows when the time comes to sit down and write.

Let a picture remind you of what you love

Tip #2 – Focus In

The very best way to get in the mindset of writing your own personal wedding vows is to look at a picture of your fiancé. It’s super simple and yet so effective to get your mind thinking about all the reasons why your fiancé is the one that you want to marry. Write everything that comes to mind. Don’t try to capture the perfect words just yet. Just think of this reflection exercise as a brain dump.

Tip #3 – Start In The Middle

Many times, people get stuck on how to start writing your own wedding vows. They can’t move past that perfect opening paragraph, but I’ve got a simple exercise to get you moving forward. Don’t even think about how you’re going to start your vows. Forget that for now. Start in the middle with your I promise statements.

Now is the time when those notes you’ve been taking come in handy. Open up your notepad and read all the ways that your fiancé makes you feel loved and special.

  • How will you return those feelings?
  • How will you love, cherish and honor him or her?

Start your sentence with I promise and let your thoughts flow freely. You can edit it later. Make sure to put your phone away and carve out alone time when it’s just you and your unfiltered thoughts about building a life with your special someone.

Put time into writing your vows

Approaching The Task Of Writing Your Vows

If you choose to write your own vows, you, in essence, have indicated that these wedding words are important to you and represent more than simple sentences on a piece of paper. They are the building blocks of your marriage. As such, you need ample time to write a first draft and revise it to make sure your vows reflect your heartfelt thoughts and feelings. Think about your partner who you will be saying your vows to. You would want him or her to deeply feel all the intent you put into your vows. Not to mention that the key to feeling confident in any situation you are uneasy about is preparation.

Any good speechwriter will tell you that they start on their draft months prior to the big day. Why? Because they need time to write, write some more, delete, rewrite, edit and finalize. That’s the difference between an amateur and a professional. Which do you want to be on your wedding day?

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 Bio: Kristen Rocco is the professional love storyteller and wedding writer of Love Notery. Putting her professional background as an interviewer and writer to work, she created Love Notery to help engaged couples capture their love stories in the beautiful words they deserve to share on their wedding day and treasure as a wedding heirloom for generations. Her wedding vows writing course exclusively designed to help engaged couples from start to finish write heartfelt and meaningful personal wedding vows is now available at

 Find Love Notery and its collection of real-life love stories at




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