More and more engaged couples are choosing to have friends or relatives officiate their nuptials instead of a religious leader or civil servant. With just a few online clicks, local graphic designer Scott Siskind became ordained and part of this trend, officiating at numerous friends’ weddings over the last few years. Siskind shares advice for others similarly called to serve.
A: A couple who I’m close friends with were getting married. They were of different faiths, and they didn’t want religion be a part of their wedding. So I jokingly said, “Well, I’ll get my certification online and I’ll marry you.” They said, “Let’s do it.” So what started as a joke turned into a real thing, and it’s been great.
Q: What do you enjoy most about it?
A: Honestly, it’s just nice, especially when you are doing it for friends. It’s a great way to really be a part
of their wedding. It means something more for the couple, I hope, just knowing that they have been
married by a friend, someone who’s known them for a long time. It’s a good feeling.
Q: Do you have a favorite unexpected moment?
A: Many of the weddings were outside, so we could hear a lot of noises. In my first wedding, the bride was starting to tear up a little bit as she was reading her vows. She’s trying to speak through that, and as that’s happening, a bunch of police cars go by [with sirens blaring]. It was a funny moment inside a more tender moment for the couple.
Q: How do you prepare?
A: I usually read through my script a few times. I will break it up and draw hard lines on what I’m reading to remind myself not to talk too fast and to take pauses.
Q: What would you tell someone who’s thinking about becoming an officiant?
A: Go for it. Wedding officiating is very easy as long as you don’t mind public speaking for a few minutes. I feel like it’s a very special way to be part of someone’s wedding.