Are you thinking about hiring a cheap wedding officiant? Here’s 8 reasons to think again!
What is a friendor?
In the “wedding world” right now, there’s a popular trend to ask a family member or loved one to replace professional wedding vendors and supplies. We call this a “friendor,” or a friend hired as a vendor for a wedding. Friendors can be a great way to involve friends in your wedding, save cash, and receive personalized service.
You may save dough by hiring a friend with a good camera instead of a professional photographer or replace a Make-up Artist with a cousin who “got good” at makeup by watching Tik Tok tutorials. Even so, replacing a wedding officiant with a “good public speaker” who supports the couple in their commitments.
Asking a friend to be your marriage officiant may feel like an excellent choice. I get it. This person holds a special place in your relationship. They know you and your beau all too well, and it’s someone you have a great bond with, making them an ideal person to lead a meaningful ceremony for you both. But a “friendor” to officiate your wedding might not be the best decision.
But, as a professional wedding officiant, I’ve seen couples choose a family or friend to officiant the wedding ceremony, and it plays out in a few different ways. The most common scenario is when I’ve needed to pick up the pieces when the family or friend bit off more than they can chew when they’ve realized there’s so much more to the job.
#1 It’s not legal.
Most folks do not have the license to perform the job. If they do not have a license to officiate, they cannot legally marry you. Even if they have the proper ordination, do they have experience with it? Do they know how to legally execute your marriage license?
#2 There’s a lack of knowledge.
Your friend loves, respects, and knows you. But, they don’t know about weddings. Most “friendors” don’t have wedding experience. Your friendor may not know how to speak in front of a crowd or cue the music. They might not understand the timeline to make a wedding ceremony, including the first kiss, run smoothly!
Friendors are typically free (or deeply, deeply discounted). It’s not their profession, and they love you, so they’re just learning new skills for those reasons. And sometimes they’re starting a new side hustle, like baking a wedding cake for their new baking business. They might be doing you a solid (in price), but do you think your wedding is the best place for the trial run of their new business venture?
#4 It’s all about them.
I’ve heard so many stories of friends taking on marriage celebrant role and making it all about them. For example, one bride tells me that her “officiant-friendor” made a bunch of jokes about her relationship with her instead of focusing on the bride and groom’s relationship. Yikes!
As a professional, I believe that newlyweds shouldn’t be surprised on their wedding day. So, we customize your script well in advance!
#5 Mistakes are bound to happen.
When you hire professionals, you’re paying for experience and professionalism. If you hire someone who isn’t experienced, mistakes will likely happen. One of our Nebraska officiant friends shared a story about an officiant-friendor messing up the paperwork, and the couple had to pay fees and extra time to get it corrected! So frustrating.
#6 Money and friends = Bad News Bears
Friends and money don’t mix. Sometimes splitting the check at dinner gets awkward, but what about your wedding? How much are you paying them? How much should you tip them? You might think you’re getting free services, but your friend was planning only to take 25% off her regular services. What happens if you miss the bill? Do you want to upset your friend because you have to send a late payment reminder? Woof!
#7 They won’t have that much fun.
When newly engaged couples choose to hire friendors, they often forget one thing: you’re asking your friend to work during your special day. Instead of allowing them to celebrate your wedding as a guest, now they have responsibilities. As a result, they’re busy performing wedding-day tasks when they should be chowin’ down on delicious food and tearin’ up the dance floor with you.
#8 Honor friends in other ways.
Instead of hiring your pal to officiate your wedding, why not ask them to give a toast? Then, he won’t need a license to tell his awful jokes! There are many ways to honor your friends on your wedding day, like hosting pre-parties, ushering in, or helping you get ready on your big day.
Hire an Omaha Professional Wedding Officiant
Tell your friends that you do not want them working. Instead, you want them to enjoy their time as they help you celebrate your marriage. Hire a professional wedding marriage commissioner to not worry about legalizing the contract, mixing money and memories, or having the day run smoothly from start to finish.