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August 30, 2007 12:34 PM   Subscribe

I'm officiating my younger sister's wedding, and want to find out what they want out of their ceremony.

My youngest sister wants me to officiate her wedding.

I live in California, and she and her fiancee live in Fairfax, Virginia. I won't be able to talk to them in person until December at the earliest, and I'd like to send them a questionnaire that they can fill out separately that will give me some guidance on their preferences, and what they want out of their ceremony.

What kinds of questions should I ask, and how should I word them to get the most useful answers?
posted by scrump to Society & Culture (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When is the wedding? Can you call them before then? I think this should be something they should talk with you together about, since they'll need to come to a consensus before telling you what they want.


Are there any traditions you want me to draw from?

How long should it be?

What do you NOT want?

What tone are you looking for? Formal? Informal?
posted by canine epigram at 12:45 PM on August 30, 2007

Seconding canine epigram's suggestion of asking what they don't want. Often this is easier and should help to narrow things down quite a bit.
posted by boreddusty at 12:53 PM on August 30, 2007

Also ask them what they intend to do as their part, preferably separately. I have been an officiant 3 times, and in ceremony 2 I stated I had a bit of Shakespeare that came to mind. The look of sheer terror on the bride's face - since she had intended to read some as well, and had no idea in that instant if we'd picked the same thing - was amusing in retrospect but not so fun for her at the time.
posted by phearlez at 1:41 PM on August 30, 2007

I've been in your spot. I tactfully explained to the couples (dear friends) that I wanted the ceremony to be just as they would like it. By asking me, an amateur (but thanks to the internet not a "lay" person) I assumed they didn't want to have their ceremony dictated to them. To that end, I asked them to provide me a script - the whole ceremony from beginning to end. It would then be my job to suggest changes or begin discussions about details. In the end, they got the ceremony they wanted that was "Quality Controlled" by a friend.
posted by GPF at 1:42 PM on August 30, 2007

Are they writing their own vows? If so, you probably need to know what they plan to say (you don't have to tell the other party, obviously) ahead of time, so that you don't both choose the same poem to read.
Do they have any poems, passages, or songs that they would like included?
Do they want you to acknowledge religion/god at all or be totally nonreligious?
Are there any symbolic elements they want included? (candle lighting, glass-stomping, etc.)
How long do they want the ceremony to last?
What do they want you to wear?
posted by gatorae at 1:54 PM on August 30, 2007

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