These days, nearly anyone can become an ordained minister. Not by spending years in school, not by dedicating themselves to the cloth, but by opening up a web browser on their smartphone, filling out a form, and waiting for official ordination documents to come in the mail. This has led to a slew of couples asking good friends or family members to officiate their wedding. While this is a nice sentiment, there are a few things to consider before offering the role of ‘officiant’ to your best friend who just got a minister license off of Google.

It Might Not Be Legal

First, consider this: Some states do not recognize marriages performed by online ordained ministers. Most states have statutes in place stating that a marriage ceremony must be performed by a judge, government official, or clergy member — sounds easy enough. After all, your future brother-in-law just became a “minister” after spending five minutes online. However, not all states define “clergy member” the same way, and some do not recognize online ordinations as official members of the clergy. States including New York, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia generally do not recognize online ordained ministers as being able to legally unite a couple in matrimony.

They Aren’t Professional Speakers

We’ve all been to a wedding ceremony where they officiant fumbled over their words, fiddled with papers, and just didn’t seem organized. This is likely because they were very inexperienced at their profession of wedding officiant, or, more likely, they were a friend of the couple who has never spoken in front of a crowd before, and certainly not in the way that an officiant speaks. Your wedding officiant should be someone who has dedicated their professional life to perfecting the art of public speaking and ceremony.

They Might Take Too Many Liberties

There’s a time and place for the best man or maid of honor to address the guests in a humorous speech, and during your ceremony is neither the time nor the place. If your officiant starts roasting the couple during the ceremony or throws in their own anecdotes, it’s going to make things awkward and uncomfortable for everyone watching, and especially for the couple. When you choose a wedding officiant with Capital Region Ceremonies, you get final say over every word of the ceremony. You don’t have to worry about us bringing up anything regarding ex-girlfriends, embarrassing moments from your youth, or anything like that. You should expect the same professionalism from your wedding officiant as you would from any other vendor that you hire. That’s not to say we won’t make your ceremony personalized, humorous, or sentimental — we’re just saying that you will know what to expect with us.

Expect The Unexpected

At the end of the day, you never know what will happen in the days leading up to your ceremony. You might get into a huge fight with your friend who is supposed to unite you and your future spouse in marriage the day before the wedding. They could get into a car accident, get sick, or have to leave the state for a family emergency, leaving you without an officiant. At Capital Region Ceremonies, we have several qualified Life-Cycle Celebrants who can step in at the last minute if something goes wrong. If they happen to all be busy, we have a great relationship with other wedding celebrants in the region and will make sure you have a professional at your ceremony. While we always try to honor our commitments, you never know if the officiant that you’ve been working with is going to have a horrible accident right before your wedding. You can count on us to have to resources to ensure your wedding still goes off without a hitch.

Choose The Albany Wedding Officiants You Can Count On

At Capital Region Ceremonies, we believe fully that performing ceremonies of any type is an art form, and as with all art, the artist only gets better with time and practice. Our experienced Life-Cycle Celebrants are knowledgeable about all cultures and religions, and can perform religious ceremonies for all faiths (or multiple faiths), non-religious ceremonies, same-sex marriages, and any other type of ceremony with reverence and respect for all parties involved. On your wedding day, we work for you. Be sure you choose an Albany wedding officiant with the experience and skill to create a truly spectacular day!