How To Ask A Friend To Officiate Your Wedding [Perfectly]

Asking someone to officiate your wedding is a big deal. When it’s your friend it’s that much more special. But how can go about this touching question? And what are some things you are going to need to consider before you do? This is what you are going to need to know.

So how do you ask a friend to officiate your wedding? Asking your friend to officiate your wedding can be a really special, well-planned in-person moment or as simple as a casual conversation over the phone. There is no black and white rule to how you have to ask but there are a few different tips and tricks to making it a great experience for both of you. 

Let’s talk about the pros and cons of having a friend officiate your wedding and the best way to go about it. 

We’ll be looking at the exact things you can do so be sure to keep on reading!

Can Friends Officiate A Wedding?

A friend can absolutely officiate a wedding but first, they need to get ordained in order to legally marry you and your significant other. 

But how do you get ordained? It’s different from state to state, but there is a general process to follow. 

Steps to getting ordained:

  1. Find out the different rules for different states in order to get your marriage language. 
  2. Choose an online organization that is credited. 
  3. Pay any licensing fees and register online. 
  4. Have your paperwork for proof of being ordained. 

After all of this (which in reality is not a lot) you can officially officiate your friend’s wedding!

Or anyone for that matter!

Should A Friend Officiate Your Wedding?

Having a friend officiate your wedding can be a beautiful experience and make your wedding much more intimate and special. However, it’s not always as desirable for all couples depending on their values and ideas for their ceremony upon closer reflection.

Ultimately, there are both pros and cons to having your friend officiate your wedding:

Pros:

  • Having a close friend officiate your wedding is great because it’s personal. When the person knows you as a couple the words that speak during your ceremony will be heartfelt and special. 
  • It can be a bit more relaxed having someone know to officiate your wedding. Sometimes couples can get nervous having a religious figure or someone else officiate the wedding. 

Cons:

  • If you have a religious background, having a friend that shares the same religious values can be difficult to find. It can also be difficult for them to replace the religious leader in your community. So if religion is something that you prefer, having a friend may not be the best option. 
  • Sometimes when couples go to ask their person of choice to ordain them they go through a process of getting to know that person and each other. Someone who is ordained may have the couple go through questionnaires or conversations to learn more about each other. This might be something that you don’t actually feel comfortable doing with a friend. 

How Do You Ask Someone to Officiate Your Wedding?

If you decide that the pros outweigh the cons and you decide that you want to ask your friend to officiate your wedding there are a number of ways you can do this.

Everything can have a little personal touch but here are some of the best ways to ask!

A Night Out

Asking the person to come out to dinner with you is a great way to ask them to be your wedding officiant.

Because this can put them on the spot a little bit it may be a good idea to ask someone you are fairly confident will want to do it.

Having said that, you can let them know you want to take them out with your significant other as a celebratory dinner from your engagement. 

If you have an extremely personal relationship with the person (we are guessing you do) you can take them to their favorite restaurant or a spot that means something to the three of you if you are all friends.

Technically your significant other doesn’t need to be there if they are a primary friend one person in the relationship.

But it’s not a bad idea since you want your officiant to know the both of you for the wedding. 

You can also make it a picnic at the beach or something special that lets them know you really appreciate them and want them to be a part of your special day.

A Personalized Gift

If taking them out isn’t something you want to do because you feel it puts too much pressure on them then that is totally fine.

Sending a personal gift as you would for your best men and your bridal party is another thoughtful way to do it.

Engraved wine bottles if they are a wine drinker are a perfect way to start the process or even a beautiful bottle of champagne.

If they are someone who doesn’t love alcohol gift cards and a beautiful handwritten card expressing why you want them to be your officiant is also appropriate.

If you have a hard time doing this it may be because the person is not the right person for the job. 

Nevertheless, if you are looking for a gift – look no further than over at Minted.com.

You can get beautiful, personal gifts from independent artists for a great price that will be treasured for a long time.

It’s my personal go-to site for all things gifts-related.

So, be sure to check it out!

In-Person vs Not

It’s always better to ask the person you want to officiate your wedding in person.

You can give them time to respond later saying they can think about it but calling them over the phone or sending a text would be considered less personal.

Some may feel this is fine because they really know the person but expressing gratitude in person can never be replaced. 

At the end of the day, it is certainly your wedding and however, you feel it is best handled is up to you.

But the rule of thumb is the more casual you make it, possibly the more casual the person will be.

This can result in an undesirable outcome for the ceremony because of either lack of effort or poor communication. 

That’s why talking about what is expected of the officiant as far as the ceremony and leading up to the wedding is so important.

Communication from an early stage helps the process go a lot smoother whether you have a relationship with the officiant or not. 

Things to Consider Before Asking Your Friend to Officiate your Wedding

Even with a friend being the officiator for the wedding there are a few things to consider before asking them.

Timing is key and choosing the right person is also a very important part of the process.

A couple should consider who they want before choosing just any friend.

With these tips below, a couple can find themselves more prepared and confident in their decision. 

Ask Early 

An officiant even if a friend has the absolute responsibility of being at the wedding.

Since they are really the only ones who can marry you to your significant other it is crucial they are committed and available for the process and wedding. 

It is never too early to ask the person you think will be the officiant for your wedding.

Even immediately following engagement is fine.

Just remember to take the necessary time to think about who would fit this role perfectly and does it make sense for both of the wedding parties involved. 

Ask Someone With Character 

You may want it to be your best friend but the reality may be that they have stage fright.

There are other roles for certain people in your wedding but choosing a friend who has charisma and doesn’t mind speaking is so important. 

Charisma means they will be a presence when speaking at your ceremony and they will know the right words to say if you don’t follow a traditional script.

This is usually the reason why couples choose friends. So make sure they are willing to fill the big shoes of the officiant. 

An Intimate Wedding

When asking a friend to become the officiant for your wedding, the ceremony automatically becomes more intimate which is why so many people love to ask friends.

They should know you as a couple best and then, in theory, can deliver the right words at arguably the most important moment.

But in order for this to come to fruition, your friend must be properly ordained by receiving a certificate and paying their fees that abide by their state law.

If all of this is in check then your friend can absolutely marry you and your significant other.

And even if they are not, it is not difficult to go through the process if you have enough time. 

But when choosing someone to be your officiant you want to make sure they have the right charisma to encapsulate this special moment.

If they do, then make sure to ask early enough because the time commitment is crucial.

When you do ask you want to make sure that you let them know why you are personally choosing them.

Show your friend how much you appreciate them by getting them a gift or taking them out to dinner.

They don’t need to answer right away but likely if they are your friend they may be thrilled to play this role in your wedding.