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Tips and Scripts for the Wedding Emcee and Officiant

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marriage officiant speech

The Do’s and Don’ts of Delivering a Marriage Officiant Speech

Delivering a marriage officiant speech is one of the most important roles you will play as the person officiating a wedding ceremony. Your words will set the tone for the couple’s big day and their marriage ahead, so it’s crucial to get it right.

I’ve conducted hundreds of ceremonies as a professional celebrant and wedding mc. Over the years, I’ve learned some key dos and don’ts when it comes to preparing and delivering a meaningful, memorable marriage officiant speech.

What Do You Say in a Marriage Officiant Speech?

When writing your marriage officiant speech, you’ll likely include:

  • A warm welcome to guests
  • Background on the couple and their love story
  • Meaningful readings, poems, or blessings
  • The exchanging of vows
  • Pronouncement of marriage and first kiss
  • A charge or advice to the newlyweds
  • Farewell and introductions

While the basics stay the same, a good marriage officiant speech script is personalized to reflect the couple’s unique relationship. For more guidance, check out this handy How to Officiate a Wedding Guide.

Do - Tell the Couple's Love Story

Sharing the couple’s unique love story is one of the most important elements. Make your marriage officiant speech meaningful and personal by incorporating specific details such as:

  • How the bride and groom first met. Was it a blind date, set up by friends or a chance encounter? Describe the moment they crossed paths and knew there was a spark.
  • The proposal story. Set the scene – where and when did he pop the question? How did she react? Share any quirky or funny marriage offficiant speech details.
  • Special places, songs, memories, and traditions that define their relationship. Mention favorite date spots, travel adventures, nicknames, or inside jokes.
  • Their values, dreams, and goals as a couple. What core beliefs strengthen their bond? What hopes do they share for the future?

You make the speech personal by weaving in these intimate moments and reflections. Focus on the highlights that convey their compatibility, commitment, and passion.

marriage officiant speech

Do - Write and Script Your Marriage Officiant Speech

While you’ll want your delivery to feel natural, it’s smart to write and script your marriage officiant speech. Outlining the flow and drafting your remarks allows you to:

  • Organize important moments and details into a logical sequence
  • Refine phrasing and word choice for just the right tone
  • Time and pace your speech appropriately
  • Practice your delivery until it’s smooth and polished

Follow a natural progression, tying elements together into a cohesive narrative. Well-chosen words delivered confidently from the heart have maximum emotional impact. For professionally written samples, Click Here to buy Wedding Officiant Speech Script

Do - Add Lighthearted Touches

A marriage officiant speech should not feel stiff, somber, or overly formal. While you want sincere, thoughtful content, adding some lighthearted touches is equally important.

Share amusing anecdotes, quirky details, and playful inside jokes that show the couple’s fun-loving side. A bit of humor makes your speech more engaging, helps guests connect, and balances meaningful moments.

Do - Rehearse Your Marriage Officiant Speech

Practice makes perfect when it comes to public speaking. Thoroughly rehearse your marriage officiant speech in front of someone several times before the big day.

Rehearsing your remarks aloud allows you to:

  • Refine the pacing so it sounds natural
  • Work on smooth, confident delivery
  • Become comfortable with the flow and content
  • Get feedback to polish your performance

It also builds confidence so your speech feels heartfelt instead of scripted. Run through it enough times to have it memorized.

Do - Use Cue Cards or a Tablet for your Script

officiant speech script

Rather than shuffling papers, use discreet cue cards or read your remarks from a tablet. This allows for a polished, professional delivery.

Cue cards enable you to have key phrases handy without staring at a sheet of paper. For longer scripts, a tablet lets you scroll seamlessly through remarks.

Devices like iPads also let you adjust font size for optimal visibility. Look up frequently to make eye contact while speaking from the heart.

Don't - Deliver a Generic Officiant Speech

Resist copying boilerplate scripts found online. Take the time to craft original remarks that feel personal to the couple. Avoid reciting generic officiant speeches that seem impersonal.

Get to know the bride and groom before writing your speech. Use what you learn about their relationship, personalities, values, and quirks to shape meaningful, customized remarks.

Don't - Rely on Off-the-Cuff Delivery

It may be tempting to speak spontaneously in hopes of sounding natural. But delivering your marriage officiant speech completely off-the-cuff is risky.

Without notes, it’s too easy to go off track, make mistakes, or forget important details. Following a well-prepared script or outline eliminates uncomfortable pauses, rambling, and inappropriate remarks.  

The ULC Officiant Speech Writing recommends carefully scripting your officiant speech rather than improvising. The structure provides confidence while allowing flexibility.

Don't - Get Drunk Before Officiating

While weddings involve champagne toasts, avoid overindulging before you officiate. Being intoxicated could lead to slurred words, inappropriate remarks, or forgetting your speech.

Stay sharp and professional by pacing yourself and drinking in moderation until festivities start after the “I do’s.” Keep a clear head to deliver an elegant, heartfelt ceremony.

marriage officiant speech script

Don't - Use Off-Color Humor

Your role is to honor the couple, not entertain guests with off-color humor or attempts at stand-up comedy. Avoid profanity, sexual innuendo, roasting the bride or groom, sharing embarrassing stories from the past, or other off-color remarks.

Keep your funny officiant speech light yet tasteful, sincere, and family-friendly. The focus should remain on the couple’s love story – not crude jokes that make guests uncomfortable.

Don't - Upstage the First Kiss

The officiant moves discreetly to the side after pronouncing the couple “husband and wife.” Don’t upstage their first married kiss by standing front and center.

Politely step aside so photographers and guests can witness the romantic moment. Otherwise, you’ll block key images and views of the couple sharing their joyous first kiss.

Summary

Delivering a heartfelt yet lighthearted marriage officiant speech is an honor and privilege as the wedding officiant. Avoid rookie mistakes and create an unforgettable ceremony by incorporating the couple’s unique love story, carefully scripting remarks, rehearsing thoroughly, and maintaining a professional demeanor.

With the right preparation and delivery, your personalized words will touch the bride and groom’s hearts and give their marriage an incredible start surrounded by loved ones.

As an experienced wedding MC and officiant, I’m happy to provide guidance to help you craft a flawless marriage officiant speech for any ceremony. Click here to view sample scripts and helpful resources for officiants.

Special Thanks

Photos: Jessica Hoang, Pot Thomas Photography
Celebrant: Marry Us Gary

The Do's and Don'ts of Delivering a Marriage Officiant Speech

Gary is dedicated to ensuring that wedding officiants and wedding emcees like you excel in creating unforgettable wedding experiences! With a passion for celebrations, he is an enthusiastic, down-to-earth, and fun Wedding Celebrant and Professional Wedding MC, operating in Australia.

Count on Gary to provide expert guidance and a relaxed approach to help you deliver remarkable ceremonies and receptions. His goal is to empower you to curate the best possible wedding day for couples, where every detail is thoughtfully arranged, and the party atmosphere is electrifying!