Advice for couples from a certified professional wedding officiant

  • Published Apr 3, 2024

    6 mins read
  • Written by:Laura C. Cannon, CPWO
Advice for couples from a certified professional wedding officiant


As a Certified Professional Wedding Officiant, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the union of countless couples, each with their own unique story and vision for their special day. Over the years, I’ve gathered a wealth of insights and advice that I believe can help any couple navigate the journey to their wedding day with grace, joy, and a deeper connection. Here, I’d like to share some of these insights with you, in hopes that they will guide you as you plan for one of the most significant moments of your life.

Communication is Key

Throughout the planning process, communication with your partner, family, and vendors is crucial. Make sure you and your partner are on the same page regarding what you both want for your wedding day. Discuss your vision, budget, and any concerns openly and honestly. When working with vendors, clear communication can help avoid misunderstandings and ensure that your day runs smoothly. Remember, your officiant is also there to support you, so don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and questions about the ceremony itself.

Embrace Your Uniqueness

First and foremost, remember that your wedding day reflects you and your partner’s love and commitment to each other. In a world where it’s easy to get caught up in trends and expectations, I encourage you to embrace what makes your relationship unique. For example, in recent years, we’ve observed a notable trend among couples, particularly those in long-distance relationships, opting for Online Marriage. This modern approach to nuptials has been a game-changer for partners separated by vast distances or international borders.

Online Marriage leverages technology to bridge the gap, allowing couples to celebrate their union without the constraints of physical location. This innovative solution not only circumvents logistical hurdles but also embodies the essence of commitment and love in the digital age. By embracing remote ceremonies, long-distance couples can share their special day with loved ones worldwide, turning geographical challenges into a unique opportunity to unite friends and family in celebration, regardless of where they are in the world.

Whether it’s choosing a non-traditional option like online marriage, or incorporating elements from your cultural backgrounds into a traditional wedding ceremony, or writing your own vows, let your personalities shine through. Your wedding should be a celebration of who you are as a couple. 

Remember the Why

It’s easy to get lost in the details of wedding planning, from choosing the perfect decorations to finalizing the guest list. However, it’s important to periodically take a step back and remember why you’re getting married in the first place. The essence of your wedding day is the celebration of your love and the beginning of your married life together.

I encourage couples to work together to brainstorm a list of the values that really matter to them in their marriage. From the list of values consider writing down goals that would be evidence of you moving towards these shared values. For example, if you both want to make communication a priority in your marriage, you could set a goal to have quarterly ‘temperature checks’ with each other to see how each person is feeling about the relationship. A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that when people wrote down their goals, the likelihood of achieving those goals increased by 42%. This is a great way to set your marriage on the right track for success. 

When things get stressful, remind each other of your shared intentions, and let them be the guiding light in your decision-making process.

Consider a Pre-Marital Counseling Session

Many couples find great value in pre-marital counseling or workshops. These sessions can help you strengthen your relationship by improving communication skills, setting realistic expectations, and discussing important topics such as finances, family planning, and conflict resolution. Investing in your relationship now can lay a strong foundation for your married life. Ours has convenient and affordable options for couples ready to start the pre-marital counseling process. 

Take Time for Each Other

In the midst of planning your wedding, don’t forget to take time for each other. Schedule regular date nights where wedding talk is off-limits and focus on enjoying each other’s company. This can help relieve stress and keep your relationship strong during what can sometimes be a challenging time.

Invest in Your Ceremony

As an officiant, I’ve noticed that couples often spend a significant amount of time and resources on the reception but may overlook the importance of the ceremony. Your ceremony is the heart of your wedding day—it’s the moment you officially unite as partners. Consider personalizing your ceremony to reflect your relationship, whether through meaningful readings, music, or rituals. These elements can add depth and significance to your ceremony, making it even more memorable for you and your guests.

When pondering who should officiate your wedding, the thought of involving a dear friend or a beloved family member might feel intimate and special. However, the expertise, experience, and legal acumen a professional officiant brings to your day are invaluable. These professionals not only ensure the legality of your union, based on their comprehensive understanding of local laws but also bring a level of smoothness and polish to your ceremony that comes from years of experience. Their ability to customize your ceremony, providing guidance on vows, readings, and rituals, ensures that your wedding reflects the depth and uniqueness of your relationship.

Moreover, opting for a professional officiant allows all your guests, including those you might have considered for this significant role, to fully immerse themselves in the celebration without the added pressure. A professional stands as a neutral, stabilizing presence, ensuring the focus remains on you and your partner’s love story, fostering an environment where every moment is about the union being celebrated. This decision underscores the seriousness of the commitment being made while allowing you to treasure a beautifully orchestrated ceremony that resonates with personal significance and legal integrity.

Be Present on Your Wedding Day

Finally, on your wedding day, make a conscious effort to be present. The day will go by quickly, and it’s easy to get swept up in the hustle and bustle. Take moments throughout the day to really take it all in—the love, the joy, and the celebration. Despite the best planning, not everything may go according to plan, and that’s okay. What matters most is the commitment you’re making to each other. Remember, your wedding is just the beginning of a lifetime of love and adventure – cherish each moment.

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