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Destination I Do
Thursday, February 21, 2019

How to Choose a Wedding Officiant

Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of American Marriage Ministries

Choosing an officiant for your destination wedding is a highly personal, important part of the planning process. Not only will your officiant make your commitment to each other legally binding, but they will set the overall tone for your ceremony. There are few things worse than attending a wedding in which the officiant clearly doesn’t know the couple and stumbles their way through an impersonal and generic ceremony. What’s the safest way to ensure a sentimental and highly personalized ceremony? Choosing your officiant from amongst friends and family. Online ordination has been a growing trend over the years. In fact, it has become common enough that there is a non-profit dedicated to creating professional and proficient officiants online – American Marriage Ministries (AMM). 

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This Seattle-based non-profit ordains ministers online and guides their officiants through the process of creating and delivering a professional ceremony. They also advocate for their ministers across the country to marry all types of couples – ensuring that everyone can marry who they want in a way that reflects their own values and beliefs.

American Marriage Ministries believes that choosing your officiant is as important as selecting your bridal party. Asking someone to be a bridesmaid or groomsmen can be quite an elaborate process, so AMM thought choosing an officiant should be just as celebratory. That’s why they created the “Will Your Marry Us?” gift package. It’s meant to be an unexpected and touching way to ask a friend or family to get ordained in order to marry you and your spouse. Here’s how the process works from start-to-finish in three easy steps: 

1. The couple goes to theamm.org/will-you-marry-us and purchases their “Will You Marry Us” Gift Package, which is shipped to them. Then they give it to their officiant (AMM can also send it directly to the officiant if that’s easier).

2. The officiant gets ordained online through theamm.org and enters his or her unique code that is included in the package. AMM sends the officiant their ordination documents, along with all required legal forms and instructions. 

3. The officiant and couple can then use the tools and instructions included in the “Will You Marry Us” gift package to prepare and deliver a memorable and legal wedding ceremony anywhere in the USA. 

“Officiating weddings requires preparation and practice, and asking someone to perform your ceremony shouldn’t be done lightly. That’s why you choose someone who you know, trust, and love to officiate. Our 'Will You Marry Us' Gift Package is a chance to express this appreciation,” says Natasha Anakotta, AMM Director of Marketing & Support Services. The 'Will You Marry Us?' gift package is priced at $95 and includes the following:

• 1 Copy of our AMM Minister’s Manual

• 1 Ordination Certificate

• 1 Letter of Good Standing

• 1 Certificate Holder

• Minister Licensing Instructions (where applicable)

• Minister Licensing Application Materials (where applicable)

Wedding Ceremony Materials

• 1 Embroidered AMM Satin Wedding Officiant Stole

• 1 "Will You Marry Us?" greeting card + navy envelope

• 1 Copy of Asked to Officiate, Ceremony Writing and Delivery Guide

• 1 Screen Printed Canvas AMM Minister’s Tote Bag

• 1 Embossed AMM Minister’s Pin, Struck from Jeweler's Metal

• 2 AMM Embossed Gold Embossed Presidential™ Custom Pen 

Choosing to have a destination wedding means you’re willing to think outside the box and go above and beyond to treat your most treasured loved ones. Continue the trend and create a one-of-a-kind ceremony by having a loved one officiate. For more information or to speak with someone at American Marriage Ministries, please call 206-395-9164 or visit theamm.org.

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