The wedding ceremony is the most important part of the day, and so there is a lot of pressure on the couple to choose an expert, someone who can ensure that the whole thing goes smoothly. However, in families where members are clergy, or have the necessary license to perform marriages, there may also be pressure on the bride and groom to allow the family to select an officiant from among their own number. While it can be difficult for the couple to choose, there are some aspects to consider before selecting that family friend.
An Experienced Wedding Celebrant
Having an experienced wedding celebrant at the ceremony, and particularly one who is a friend or relation, can be an excellent idea. The bride and groom are more likely to be relaxed during the service, and there is also a spirit of closeness and community that a relative stranger might not be able to provide. Those kinds of friend-officiant deals are perfect for everyone, but in most situations, the person chosen for the service is either an amateur, or one who is not really experienced or qualified to perform the ceremony.
There has been a trend recently for brides and grooms to choose an officiant who has had no experience, and this can turn the ceremony from dream to disaster. Firstly, a professional will have performed at many services, and will have experience of how situations can turn negative. A small mistake on the behalf of the groom, perhaps, could throw someone who does not have experience in the role, while a professional will be able to smooth over the error and carry on as usual. There are small incidents that can make or mar a ceremony, and a professional will be able to recover and ensure that the happy couple have a great experience.
Professional Or Amateur?
The worst aspect of asking a friend or relative with no training to perform the service is that the officiant can become very nervous, and may not complete the service. It is possible for the person performing the ceremony to faint, or to make serious errors. Embarrassment can do strange things to some people, and this might include the officiant suddenly swearing, stammering, or starting to laugh. Their lack of professionalism might also affect the legality of the service – failing to complete paperwork or go through the necessary legal steps – meaning that the happy couple are never actually married in law.
There are also other factors which a bride and groom need to consider. The professional wedding officiant performs a number of hidden roles which will not be completed by the amateur. For example, the photographers, planners and venue staff often fear being part of the marriage where the officiant is an amateur. The inexperienced friend or relative will often find themselves being guided by those professionals, rather than helping to ensure that each expert completes their role. This can lead to a wedding which is much less organised, and less fondly remembered, than the bride and groom may have wished.