Thinking of having your friends perform your ceremony? Things you should know
Interview Wanderlust Bay founder, Michael Motylinski
All Images in this post are credited to https://stthomasweddingofficiant.com
Q: How long have you been an ordained minister? What inspired you to become one?
I have been an ordained minister for about 14 years. It started in a fairly uninteresting way, my brother wanted me to perform his ceremony, so technically that’s what inspired me to do it. What inspired me to be more involved was the joy and thrill that involves being in people’s weddings, the more I did it, the more fun I had. It’s a thrill and I love it.
Q: How many couples have you married?
Q: What is Wanderlust Bay? Why did you create it?
In the online ordination world, there were very few options. They didn’t seem to really focus on weddings, it was more, “join our church” or “be a part of this organization”. I felt that weddings are one of the coolest, most fun things to be a part of, and I created Wanderlust to focus on just weddings and how awesome they are. Universal life for example, is actually a church with outreach, recruiting etc. We’re about performing the most beautiful weddings in the world and having a great time.
Q: Is getting ordained online legal?
Yes, almost every jurisdiction within the US recognizes ministers who are ordained online to perform weddings, there are very few exceptions that require additional licensing.
Q: What advice would you give to couples who are thinking of having their friends or family members perform their ceremony?
Definitely do it. Highly, highly recommend it. It adds, out of the gate, a level of intimacy and personal touch that hiring a stranger will never give you. I had my dad do mine, and just being up there looking at him made it so much more personal and intimate. A lot of people do their pastor, but how close are you to them? That’s why I recommend it.
As far as logistical advice, there’s some work that’s involved. Don’t pick “cousin Rob” because he’s the funny one and give him no direction. Without your guidance, he’ll get up there and not be funny. You have to give that person a lot of direction as to what you’re looking for and because it’s someone you know, you can be more firm and direct with them about what they should and should not say.
Q: What are some benefits to having a friend or family member perform your wedding ceremony?
They’re more accessible. It’s easier to call at any time with questions or things to add. You don’t feel like you’re on the clock. They have a personal connection to you and they know you better, so they’re able to personalize your wedding (and you save money!)
Q: Any tips or tricks for performing a great ceremony?
- Do it sober
- Know the general outline of your ceremony. You don’t have to have it memorized, but there are parts of the ceremony where things happen and you have to do stuff (like the ring exchange, etc.). Be familiar with the run of show so you don’t look awkward or disorganized, know what’s happening next. That’s what I see new people struggle with the most.
- Your opening and closing should be “off the cuff”, it’s the most important part of the ceremony. What I mean by that is, you shouldn’t be looking at your script. It should be something from the heart, and it’s your moment where everyone is listening to you. Be able to speak to the couple and the audience at the beginning and the end, because that’s what counts.
- Keep it under 15 mins or less
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