Fifteen years ago, it was practically unheard of to have a friend officiate your wedding. But as culture shifts, so do wedding trends, and the friend-turned-officiant is officially here to stay! It's hard to know exactly how many couples are opting for a "first-time officiant" over a professional one, but surveys suggest that in the last five years, between 25 and 40% of couples have chosen a friend to officiate.
Here are five reasons the friend officiant is here to stay.
1. Fewer couples are religious.
As of 2021, fewer than half of U.S. adults belong to a church, synagogue, or mosque. As more people consider themselves non-religious, it has become less important to them to have clergy involved in important milestones such as weddings.
2. A friend adds a personal touch.
Even the most experienced professional officiant can't speak to the magic of your love better than someone who's witnessed it firsthand. Inviting a friend or family member to perform your ceremony allows you to work with someone you trust to craft a ceremony that reflects your story and your values.
3. A friend is (usually) easier to book.
Thanks to two years of pandemic delays, 2022 is a year for the record books with an estimated 2.6 million weddings to take place this year! Officiants (like all wedding vendors) are in higher demand than ever, so asking a friend to fill in as your officiant can save you the pressure of trying to fit into an overbooked officiant's schedule.
4. Friends don't ask for deposits.
Wedding costs add up quickly, and lots of vendors will require a large lump sum up front. If you have a friend officiating, you should still find ways to show your appreciation, but you can rest easy that you won't lose a large deposit if plans have to change.
5. Better ceremony photos!
You can't tell a priest what to wear to a wedding, but you can ask a friend to coordinate with the wedding party, blend into the background, or even wear a themed costume! Plus, there's the added benefit of not having a near-stranger standing between you in your ceremony photos.
Something New Ceremonies is a new kind of wedding planning service specializing in helping couples and first-time officiants design personalized wedding ceremonies that honor the unique magic of every love story. Want to know more about how I can help you plan the wedding ceremony of your dreams with a friend as your officiant? Send me a message!