If you’re in the middle of planning your wedding ceremony, you may find yourself wondering, “What does the priest say at a wedding again?” Sure, you’ve heard a million wedding officiant speeches over the years but you can’t remember what they actually say.

So you know you need someone to marry you, but you’re not sure what they should say at your ceremony. Besides the vows and rings, what else happens? What should go into a wedding ceremony script?

As wedding officiants here at Young Hip & Married, we kind of consider ourselves experts on the subject. So let’s dive into what wedding officiant speeches should (and should not) include so you can enjoy the ceremony you’ve always dreamed of – that doesn’t put your guests to sleep!

What is a wedding officiant speech?

A wedding officiant speech, also known as a wedding officiant script or wedding ceremony script, is simply the words spoken during your ceremony.

The wedding ceremony script will outline every part of your ceremony – what happens, when it happens, and what is being said. This will include moments like your vows, ring exchange, declaration of intent and any wedding readings.

If you’re specifically looking at what your wedding officiant will say, this part may be referred to separately as the wedding officiant speech or wedding officiant script. Part of the larger ceremony script, this speech would be the specific words your officiant speaks throughout. These can include words of welcome, passages about marriage, sharing your love story and giving your guests instructions for after the ceremony.

wedding officiant ceremony script, young hip and married langley wedding
by Erica Miller Photography

What should be included in wedding officiant speeches?

Wedding officiant speeches (the part of the ceremony where your officiant is speaking) should consist of two parts: 1) any legal requirements, 2) what’s important to you.

Depending on where you are getting married and who is marrying you, that person may need to include things in their ceremony script in order to legally marry you. Check in with your wedding officiant, marriage commissioner or justice of the peace to ensure they’re fulfilling any of their legal requirements.

Next comes the fun part! What do you want your officiant to say during your ceremony? Contrary to what we see in movies and on TV, most of the traditional parts of a wedding ceremony are not actually required. Throw all of that out and only include the bits you find meaningful and important to you.

Find out what happens during a wedding ceremony and check out our wedding ceremony FAQs for some inspiration in planning your big day!

This is your chance to tell your unique love story! In a Custom & Creative Ceremony, your Young Hip & Married wedding officiant will work with you to write a completely personalized wedding ceremony script. This can include sharing your love story with your guests, special readings, prayers and/or quotes, creative elements, and anything else unique to you.

Do we need a wedding ceremony script?

Absolutely! Click the link above for precisely why having a wedding ceremony script is so important.

Your wedding ceremony is a once in a lifetime moment. It’s the reason for the awesome party afterwards and deserves to be treated with care. More than that, it deserves to represent you and your love! Every word and moment of your ceremony should be meaningful and approved by you – not something that bores you or, worse, makes you cringe!

wedding officiant script with young hip and married in stanley park vancouver wedding
by Erica Miller Photography

Can you have a fun wedding officiant script?

Absolutely! Your wedding officiant script can and should be fun! The whole reason we started Young Hip & Married was to eradicate boring wedding ceremonies from the face of the earth. If every couple is unique, why have we all been to the same boring, stuffy wedding ceremony?

You are allowed to have fun at your wedding ceremony! Yes, it’s a serious commitment you are making. But that doesn’t mean you can’t smile, laugh, share private jokes or even break into song. The best wedding ceremonies we officiate (and attend!) are the ones that feel deeply personal to the couple and have everyone – the couple and their guests – smiling from ear to ear.

How do you officiate a wedding?

It takes more than just a wedding officiant speech to officiate a wedding – but having one is an important step.

To officiate a legal wedding, you need to be licensed. In Canada, only wedding officiants, marriage commissioners, some justices of the peace and certain religious representatives can legally marry couples. Unlike in the United States or in the movies, friends cannot get ordained online in Canada.

But officiating a wedding is more than just having a licence and a script to read from. We like to think there’s a certain combination of personality, training and experience that create a great wedding officiant – and our couples think so too!

A great wedding officiant brings warmth, professionalism and care to their ceremonies. They lead, without stealing the spotlight, and share their couple’s love story, without making guests feel excluded. They support their couples – from meeting in person over coffee and answering questions via email to facilitating the wedding rehearsal and officiating the ceremony on the big day.

A great wedding officiant makes your wedding ceremony personal, stress-free and everything you’ve dreamed of!

wedding officiant ceremony script with young hip and married
by Amber Leigh Photography

Ready to book your wedding officiant? Meet our team and get in touch to book your ceremony package. Or if you’re looking for help with your wedding officiant speech or ceremony script, reach out!