How to Prep Your Friend to Officiate Your Secular Wedding

secular wedding officiant conducting ceremony with groom and bride

Is it important for you to have your best friend officiate your secular wedding? This non-religious ceremony gives you the freedom to marry how you want. In truth, the non-legally binding and symbolic contract is without your marriage being officially recognised.

Basically, you can assign the task of registrar, to a dear friend or family member. They can fill the shoes of the celebrant-officiant. On the flip side of things, it will not be legit or valid and the person you choose needs to know how to act. And be up-to-scratch with how to officiate a secular wedding. Moreover, abide by the proper formalities and the sequence of the proceedings. Why? This way your celebration of love looks and feels authentic.

But, don’t fret! You can steal these practical and creative tips from me. Thereafter decide if you really want a professional or your best friend to conduct the special event. More importantly, find out what best suits you and your personality before the non-religious wedding ceremony takes place. Read on…

Secular wedding | Easy steps for your friend to make it happen

wedding celebrant officiating a ceremony with family and bridesmaids looking on

Photo credit: #weddingdaywinners

Tip 1. Mock weddings need a practical guide

Firstly, you can create a secular ceremony minus hymns, religious readings or prayers. So, tell me wouldn’t it be wonderful to have your mum or someone who “gets you” officiate your wedding? But, how do you fulfill your wishes and host a personalized event? Well, to start with you’ll need a practical guide and a coherent script for the special occasion.

Tip 2. What’s the true cost of friendship

Secondly, transform your day into an absolutely stunning affair beyond your wildest dreams. Be aware that your relative or friend can officiate your non-religious wedding. Even more more exciting this can be achieved for less than the registers fees [NL]. So, have a modest civil wedding first and a big celebratory ceremony afterwards. Furthermore your chosen officiant can only guide you through a symbolic marriage service.

Tip 3. Prepare for the next step

The next step is your big day and that probably feels quite surreal. Yet, the question is who will conduct the secular wedding? Once you’ve decided on not to fork out 450 – 1200 euro’s on a registrar led civil ceremony [NL]. Your own officiant will need to create a dialogue within your wedding speech. Additionally, this explains what your relationship means to you. So, convey your wishes for your special day.

Tip 4. Thought provoking wedding toasts 

At the end of the day, the officiant has an indispensable and valuable role to play as emcee. By uniting your guests, everyone feels they are part of your event. In addition, they can narrate your storybook wedding, announce your arrival and exit of the venue. Pop over to 5 ways to be the best master of ceremonies ever. And use the ideas to create the perfect script, program and vows.

Tip 5. P.A system and microphone 

And there’s more…staging your own big event sounds amazing, does your friend have what it takes to fulfill the role of the important job? Remember, your wedding guests want to hear everything. Therefore, the officiant’s voice should be amplified over a P.A system. Use a cordless microphone (or headphone). And make life easier inquire about this at the wedding venue. This will ensure that your vows and speeches are audible.

Tip 6. Well-dressed and well-spoken

Let’s face it, the  officiant’s  responsibility is to connect with you and your wedding guests. Therefore, he or she should dress to impress, look and act the part. This means they need to acquire an appropriate outfit. As a matter of fact, they need to wear something that brings out their personality.

Tip 7. More than one friend can conduct your ceremony

Another thing is your personal celebration of love can be conducted by as many friends as you want. It’s a special celebration which can be a loose and unstructured ceremony. But, whatever wedding you are planning, it’s paramount to have the right running commentary. Inevitably, your master of ceremonies will make your dream day run smoothly, be perfect and fun.

Tip 8. Your voice, your choice and your decision

In the likelihood you’ve found the right person or persons. Or if you choose a dear friend to officiate your non-religious wedding you keep in with your personal wishes. Most importantly there are no rules. It reflects the values, cultural heritage and beliefs you both hold. What’s more, you create a wonderful upbeat event.

Tip 9. Be confident, dignified and rehearse

Here is something else I want to share with you. As a master of ceremonies and wedding officiant I have lots of rehearsals. And record my voice beforehand in order for my public announcements or personal speech to sound smooth and not choppy. So, do your best to compose yourself in advance of the secular celebrations.

Tip 10. Body language

And there’s more…the officiant should embrace their own body language. And improvise and feel confident during the festivity. Your MC’s overall approach will echo the secular wedding or party event, because they represent you. Here are even more powerful body language tips for your master of ceremonies to rock your ceremony.

Tip 11. Use a script, cue or note cards

To conclude, secular [mock] weddings give you the opportunity to officiate your own marriage service when you want, where you want and how you want. And the key tip for a professional presentation is to create a script, cue or note cards for your officiant. This will be of great use during your ceremony and ensures no hitches along the way. Find out how to make and use them effectively at


Over to you….

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About Clover Jean: I'm a Londoner based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Being a specialist celebrant | marriage officiant | wedding ceremonies MC with a gospel choir is rewarding work. But, what's my guilty pleasure? I love food, travel hotspots and on-line retail therapy. Get in touch, via Instagram #cloverjeanamsterdam or Facebook. LIKE, SHARE, SPREAD THE LOVE & see you soon!

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