How To Ask A Friend To Officiate Your Wedding

There are three steps on how to ask a friend to officiate your wedding. First, we will talk about how you must choose your wedding officiant, ask your friend, and finally, help them get ordained to ensure that the ceremony will be legally binding. 

This role has different responsibilities, so you must do your research carefully. And if you also want to invite other friends to your wedding, you can read how to ask someone to be at your wedding

how to ask a friend to officiate your wedding

It’s best to notify your wedding party and guests that you want them in the wedding at the best time possible to prepare, especially if they have a role in the ceremony. 


How to Have a Friend Officiate Your Wedding


Step 1. Assess the role carefully

  • Remember that the wedding officiant performs and leads the wedding ceremony; that being said, choose a friend who you think can handle these responsibilities without feeling overwhelmed
  • You don’t want to force someone into this role as it involves other tasks besides reading a ceremony script
  • Choose a friend who is comfortable speaking in front of a crowd; it would also help if your prospective wedding officiant is charismatic to make the ceremony feel more intimate
  • Another essential characteristic of a wedding officiant is being articulate, as you want everyone to understand the flow of the ceremony and have the guests focused on what’s happening at the front
  • You should be close with the friend you’re choosing to be the wedding officiant as you’ll work together to plan the ceremony; it’s best to have the same values and opinions, especially if your wedding is non-religious and you’d want a tailored ceremony
  • Your friend should be familiar with the ceremony script, responsible enough to prepare it and keep copies as backup, and can also do the readings that are part of the ceremony
  • Make sure that your friend appreciates and truly wants to celebrate your union; we may have friends who can potentially go off-script and make the wedding ceremony uncomfortable
  • Ask a friend to officiate your wedding only if you can trust them before, during, and after the ceremony; this is crucial, especially after the wedding when the officiant signs the marriage certificate then files it to the registrar to make the wedding official


Step 2. Ask your friend in advance

  • You must ask your friend as early as a year or six months before the wedding; this way, you can find out if they have the time to do all the necessary preparations without them feeling pressured and overwhelmed
  • When you ask your friend to officiate your wedding, they will need to order credentials and prepare the documents, register, work, and plan the ceremony with you, and also practice before the big day; remember that we all have busy schedules, so it’s best to know early on if your friend can do all these tasks
  • Remember to have a sit-down conversation when asking a friend to officiate your wedding; this will clarify all the potential questions and requests from both sides and avoid potential miscommunications early on
  • Dedicate a time to talk with your friend, be it over lunch or coffee, instead of leaving them an email or message without much information
  • Guide them on what to wear to officiate a wedding
  • Be open-minded to the idea that your friend says no to your request; remember that being a wedding officiant requires many responsibilities, and they probably want you to have the right person for it


Step 3. Help your friend get ordained

  • Once your friend agrees to officiate your wedding, remember that you’ll also be helping them get ordained if they’re not ordained already; it’s only right that you assist them as you’ll be the one requesting them for this role
  • Check the legal ways to apply in your state; there are even free online ordinations like the one offered by the American Marriage Ministries
  • Make sure that your friend has all the qualifications to ensure that they’ll be ordained; some may require documents and other fees 
  • During the process of getting ordained, check if your friend is ticking all the legal boxes; for example, some states require the ordained to register with the court or appear at the City Clerk’s office 
  • Do your research about the wedding laws in your state to avoid any potential issues as the wedding day gets closer


Can My Friend Officiate My Wedding?

A friend can officiate your wedding as long as they’re legally ordained. In addition, there are various organizations that they can check out, some needing more requirements than others. 

However, you must fix all the necessary documents and paperwork, depending on your state. Your friend may also need to stand before a judge to get a license for performing a marriage. 

Another factor to consider is that your religion may not recognize your marriage if someone outside the faith performs it. Therefore, keep the type of wedding you’ll have in mind to ensure that your marriage will be recognized and legal. 



And that’s it! We’ve just discussed how to ask a friend to officiate your wedding, where you need to assess if this role is for them, ask them in advance, then help them get ordained if they’re not ordained yet. 

This role can be overwhelming as it requires different responsibilities, so choose a friend to do it carefully. You also want to be open-minded in case they say no. 

We hope this helps you; let us know how your talk with your friend went. 

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