I don’t crack jokes. Maybe I should clarify that: I don’t crack jokes during your ceremony. I may tell you a joke at the rehearsal – it’s a little trick I use to break the ice. But I’m definitely not going to get on the mic and be silly. I’m not going to start your ceremony with the quote from Princess Bride that starts with “mawarriage.” I make sure my ceremonies are full of levity and joy and your guests will definitely laugh, but there will be no “Hey, did you hear the one about…” jokes.
I don’t rush. I believe with my whole heart that a ceremony should be savored. You need time to get settled and sink into the moment, which takes at least 10 minutes. Then you need time to enjoy the acts of saying your vows and sharing rings and whatever other details we add into your ceremony. We don’t want to rush through the most important aspect of your entire wedding day. Let’s slow things down and soak it all in.
I don’t go on and on and on and on…I believe the perfect ceremony length is about 25-30 minutes. Anything longer than that and your guests will start to tune out. You’ll all get fidgety and antsy and ready to transition to the cocktail hour.
I don’t talk about God. As a licensed Maine notary public, I’m a secular (non-religious) officiant. I am not ordained and do not belong to a church. While I have my own personal spirituality, I am not religious. It would be disingenuous of me to talk about God, so I don’t do it. Not to worry, though, if you want to bring your religion into your ceremony, I have lots of ideas on how you can do that.
I don’t use the word “obey” anywhere in the ceremony. This was something I chose not to say from the moment I started officiating weddings in 2011. I don’t believe that either individual getting married should obey the other. I felt this way waaaay before Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle made it a thing.
I don’t add in language about giving away the bride. There’s a tradition where the officiant asks “Who gives this woman to this man?” and usually the Father of the Bride says “I do.” I find this outdated and don’t include it in any of my ceremonies.
I won’t ask your guests if they have reason to believe you shouldn’t be married. There’s another tradition where the officiant asks everyone present if they know of any reason “why these two should not be married,” you know the whole “speak now or forever hold your peace” part. Yeah, I don’t do that.
An alternative title for this post was “I may not be the right officiant for you…and that’s ok.” Finding the right officiant for your Maine wedding should be a thoughtful process. You should most definitely do your research and find one you feel a nice warm connection with; someone who can earn your trust. If that’s me, that’s wonderful, if it’s not me, that’s ok, too. We have a diverse group of professional officiants in the state, I’m sure you’ll find someone you connect with!