weddings

Discover all you need to know to officiate your best friend’s wedding. Find out why ‘By the power vested in me…’ are words you will never forget.

In order for a marriage to be legally binding, the wedding ceremony itself must include two key elements. Discover all you need to know to officiate your best friend's wedding.

In order for a marriage to be legally binding, the wedding ceremony itself must include two key elements. Discover all you need to know to officiate your best friend’s wedding.

So, you’ve been asked to officiate your best friend’s wedding. Definitely on fleek. To be entrusted by one’s best friend to take the sacred role of a priest or judicial official in his or her wedding is a big deal. Forget fear and anxiety, doing the honor is a full and rewarding experience.

Still, you may want to take a quick look at what you need to know and how to prepare to officiate your best friend’s wedding.

How do you Become Ordained to Officiate your Best Friend’s Wedding?

Definitely, you need to be a legal officiant to officiate your best friend’s wedding. Each state has its own say on who can and cannot officiate marriage ceremonies; even legalities in individual municipalities within states vary as well.

Overall, it’s a simple process that can take place online. But most states do require marriage officiants to be over 18 years old.

Next, call the registrar in the township hosting the wedding and find out the criteria for legality. The internet is your buddy. Check online to get the rules and policies that apply to your state.



Be creative when officiating a friend's wedding. This alternative unity ceremony will help love grow.

Be creative when officiating a friend’s wedding. This alternative unity ceremony will help love grow.

Have the officiant wear a GoPro during the wedding and get a whole new perspective on the ceremony.

Have the officiant wear a GoPro during the wedding and get a whole new perspective on the ceremony.

Find out What the Couple Wants

Although you are officiating your best friend’s wedding, it is still their wedding. Have a sit-down with the couple you are marrying and hash things out. Ask them if they can provide a basic outline you could later personalize. You don’t want to ruin their moment by deviating from the tone and vibe they have in mind.

Are there specific traditions to incorporate, or family members to recognize? Are certain religious rites included? Is it going for to be an offbeat and informal affair, or a serious and important tribute?

Moreover, some couples like surprises when their best friend officiates their wedding, while others want veto power on every detail of the ceremony. Regardless of their preference, know their stance on risqué jokes or references. You might know your soon-to-be-wed pals to the letter, but never jump to conclusions or make assumptions.

Ask, take note, and make their day lit.




Love this romantic wedding photo captured by Robert Hall Photography. A home ceremony in Michigan.

Love this romantic wedding photo captured by Robert Hall Photography. A home ceremony in Michigan.

One of the most expected moments of the wedding ceremony: the kiss. Photo: Lisa Czech Photography.

One of the most expected moments of the wedding ceremony: the kiss. Photo: Lisa Czech Photography.

Don't forget about the send off part of the ceremony. Use cute prints or newspaper to make the cones and your wedding colors for the confetti.

Don’t forget about the send off part of the ceremony. Use cute prints or newspaper to make the cones and your wedding colors for the confetti.

Research and Prepare to Officiate your Best Friend’s Wedding

Starting earlier—weeks or months before the wedding—will keep you in control. Study wedding clips (similar to the one you’ll be officiating) and take note of length, specific jokes, structure, traditions, etc.

In preparing your delivery, collect memorable materials specific to the couple, and enlist the help of an editor if necessary. If the couple doesn’t want surprises, run your final wedding script by them and get their veto.

Jewish law does not require that marriages be performed by a rabbi. Photo: G. Chapin Studios.

Jewish law does not require that marriages be performed by a rabbi. Photo: G. Chapin Studios.

Don’t Forget to Plan a Rehearsal

Rehearsals are a must-have. You wouldn’t dare going in blind when officiating your best friend’s wedding.

Traditionally, the officiant heads the rehearsal. Sometimes the wedding planner leads everything. Be sure to talk with the couple to figure out whether a wedding planning play might come into play.

And if you are assigned to plan the rehearsal, plan the ceremony to a tight perfection. Is it an overwhelming job? Yes. Humbling and touching? Of course. So you really don’t want to blow it. Thankfully, rehearsals help every party know what is required of them and when.

You need to be a legal officiant to officiate your best friend's wedding, but it will be well worth the effort. Rancho Palos Verdes from The Brandon Kidd Photography.

You need to be a legal officiant to officiate your best friend’s wedding, but it will be well worth the effort. Rancho Palos Verdes from The Brandon Kidd Photography.

Who knows? Maybe you will also get a nice bottle of Jacks when the couple proposes to you.

Who knows? Maybe you will also get a nice bottle of Jacks when the couple proposes to you.

As a friend of the couple you may wear tartan kilts if the wedding you are officiating is Scottish.

As a friend of the couple you may wear tartan kilts if the wedding you are officiating is Scottish.

How to Officiate your Best Friend’s Wedding: The Order of Events

Just in case planning the rehearsal is absolutely your responsibility, here’s the usual order of events: the procession, opening remarks, the charge to the couple, the exchange of vows, the exchange of rings, the pronouncement of marriage, the kiss, the closing remarks and the recessional.

The charge to the couple is where you remind the couple about their duties and roles in marriage.

The recessional refers to the formal exit of the bridal party, just as the procession refers to its entrance. The order is slightly different according to the faith, so make sure you research it in advance.

'By the power vested in me...’ and ‘I now pronounce you’ will never feel so wonderfully tense and palpable.

‘By the power vested in me…’ and ‘I now pronounce you’ will never feel so wonderfully tense and palpable.

There is no need for you to wear official wedding minister attire.

There is no need for you to wear official wedding minister attire.

Getting ordained is simple.-If your friends ask you to officiate at their wedding, do it.

Getting ordained is simple.-If your friends ask you to officiate at their wedding, do it.

How to Officiate Your Best Friend’s Wedding: Make it Legit

For a marriage to be legally binding, the ceremony must include two key elements. The intent and the Pronouncement. The intent is where you ask the couple if they take this person to be their lawful wedding partner. The Pronouncement is where you get to say “I now pronounce you.” Make sure these two elements are included in your wedding ceremony script!

After performing the ceremony, comes the most important paperwork: filling out the marriage license. Properly and fully fill the application and make sure you bring it to the wedding. The license should be returned promptly to the correct authority after the ceremony to ensure that it doesn’t expire. Marriage licenses tend to have a 30 to 60 day validity. This is the officiant’s responsibility in the majority of the states. You can mail the license, but dropping it off in person is preferred in order to avoid any unforeseen complications.

Photo Gallery that will Inspire You to Officiate your Best Friend’s Wedding

Now you might want to start ruminating on details—what you will be holding the procession, pulpit logistics, microphone, binder, etc. Relax. Draft a delivery that is intimate and humorous. And practice your near-final draft in front of a small audience before D-day.

Although you cannot officiate your best friend's wedding at City Hall, get inspired by this fab idea!

Although you cannot officiate your best friend’s wedding at City Hall, get inspired by this fab idea!

I love the idea of an unplugged ceremony. People shouldn't be ruining somebody else's special moment. They do turn off the phone at the movies. amiright?

I love the idea of an unplugged ceremony. People shouldn’t be ruining somebody else’s special moment. They do turn off the phone at the movies. amiright?

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Photo Credits: Offbeat Bride, Bridal Guide Magazine, Scottish Kilt, Fabmood, refinery29, islandminister, Brides, newweddinginspirations, Ruffled, Once Wed

Throw the perfect Cuban-inspired wedding bash with these easy tips and must haves featuring Havana cigars, Señoritas and mojitos!

Imagine your wedding. Hanging greenery, colorful flowers as centerpieces, candles in pink votives over a rustic wood table with wooden folding chairs. Parrot optional.

Imagine your wedding. Hanging greenery, colorful flowers as centerpieces, candles in pink votives over a rustic wood table with wooden folding chairs. Parrot optional.

Mix vintage deco, retro and abundantly lush greenery together and your fantastic Cuban-inspired wedding theme is almost ready.

The renewed interest in Cuban culture, with its bright and tropical colors coupled with fluid flamenco-style bridal gowns, has become a trend in this year’s weddings. Their color palette of deep purples, turquoise, tangy mandarin, bright corals, sunny yellows, playful fuchsias and greenery (Pantone’s color of the year) has all the ingredients for a fun and carefree wedding. Complete the Cuban-inspired wedding theme with Latin food and drinks and delicious rum infused cocktails.

Cuban-Inspired Wedding Decor: The Kingdom of Art Deco

Cuba is an exotic place brimming with passion. A Cuban-inspired wedding will reflect the couple’s passionate love for each other. With a fusion of Spanish, African and Caribbean cultures, Cuba offers ample inspiration for the reception’s food, music and attire.

The wedding decor will be the final touch that will complete the illusion of a Cuban adventure for guests. One only has to imagine Havana in the twenties to paint the scene at the house of an “hacendado” on a tobacco or sugar plantation. Carved wood with floral motifs, voluptuous palm trees and ferns, broad cane chairs and a wedding palette with brushstrokes of brown, turquoise, orange, ivory and of course the Pantone color of the year, greenery in the centerpieces, and on the tableware and cushions.

Have some antiques handy? Decorate the room with them. Take advantage of old Cuban cigar boxes if you have any, or use rum bottles to save on creative centerpieces with tropical flowers such as heliconias, birds of paradise or orchids. Place a cigar with a personalized label as a wedding favor on each plate. Now we are getting fancy!

Accompany the Cuban-inspired wedding decor with an exotic menu and cocktails with a defined Cuban accent. So bring out the rum. It’s time to have fun in an elegant way!

Lily gold and amber over topaz slate at The Ebell Club in Long Beach. Wedding photographer: Suzy Van Dyke.

Lily gold and amber over topaz slate at The Ebell Club in Long Beach. Wedding photographer: Suzy Van Dyke.

Bring Cuba into your wedding and your backyard with these succulent centerpiece ideas.

Bring Cuba into your wedding and your backyard with these succulent centerpiece ideas.

Tropical Cuban-Inspired Weddings with Cuban “Sabor”: Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

Mojitos are the perfect cocktail for Cuban-inspired weddings. Accompany them with tempting meat pies or “empanadas” and crispy tostones. Among other drinks, you can serve Cuba Libre, which is a mixture of rum, Coca-Cola and lime juice, or mojitos with non-traditional flavors such as peach, cherry or pineapple. Do not forget to add some Cuban-inspired non-alcoholic beverages such as guava, coconut, or lime flavored water.

Here is a very ingenious idea for a mojito bar. Use fresh mint to make unique ice cubes. Take a little mint, put it in each of the ice tray spaces and then fill it with water. Let the water turn into ice and there you have it. Great idea for a summer wedding.

The Blushing Cuban passionfruit raspberry cocktail is a vibrant & exotic blend of fresh passionfruit, raspberries and Cuban rum.

The Blushing Cuban passionfruit raspberry cocktail is a vibrant & exotic blend of fresh passionfruit, raspberries and Cuban rum.

Cuba is famous for its meat dishes. Some of the main course choices for your party might be “Ropa Vieja”, “Masitas de Puerco” or marinated fried pork, oxtail stew or grilled ribs. For a lighter meal, you can offer “sandwich medianoche” that can be served either hot or cold, hence its name since you can eat them after a night of painting the town red. And where will you find more merriment than at a Cuban wedding? The midnight sandwich has grilled or fried pork slices with cheese pressed between toasted French bread slices with butter on both sides (and well pressed).

Add a fresh and colorful Cuban salad. You will only need tomatoes, onions and radish slices sprinkled with olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice. Or a chickpea salad with green and red peppers and sweet yellow onions with a dressing made from fresh lime juice, olive oil, and a pinch of cumin. Yummylicious!

A delicious Cuban-Rican recipe: Sofrito salsa and tostones.

A delicious Cuban-Rican recipe: Sofrito salsa and tostones.

Blueberry lavender mojito, refreshing and pretty.

Blueberry lavender mojito, refreshing and pretty.




It’s time for Desserts!

Pick some of these delicious temptations to complete your wedding menu. Flan served in individual cups and sprinkled with a little cinnamon or nutmeg, or “merenguitos” (mini meringues) made of egg whites beaten with sugar and then baked.

You also have arroz con leche topped with cinnamon and juicy raisins. Then, for some pastry or cake options, there are señoritas, pastelitos and capuchinos. Señoritas are confectionary made with layers of puff pastry filled with custard cream, served in a variety of vanilla or chocolate flavors. They are very similar to the Napoleon. Pastelitos are small pastry buns stuffed with guava, cream cheese, or shredded coconut drizzled with syrup. And the Cuban capuchinos and cabezotes are small cakes shaped like a yellow cone, soaked in a syrup made with cinnamon, orange and lemon peel, and anise. You will want to lick your fingers! (Just not at the wedding … do it in the kitchen) 😉

For the dessert table you may present sweet coconut candy, guava candy, more merenguitos or nougat.

Cuban domino cookies by the Cookie Connection.

Cuban domino cookies by the Cookie Connection.

Adorable and original memory of your wedding. Mint mojito flavored lollipop.

Adorable and original memory of your wedding. Mint mojito flavored lollipop.

Cuban-Inspired Wedding Photo Gallery

Cuban Wedding Traditions

Let’s take a look at a couple of Cuban wedding traditions and feel free to incorporate something beyond the Cuban decor to your wedding!

Money is Always Welcome at the Onset of a New Lifetime Adventure

The money dance is another very old tradition at Cuban weddings. Guests would dance with the bride and pin money on her dress to help the couple off to a great start.

Usually, the bride’s family pays for the wedding, and both the bride and groom’s parents give an important gift to the newlyweds, like money or a house. Nice tradition, right? 😉

Cuban-inpired wedding cake surrounded by coral flowers. Dreamy! Wedding photographer: Jose Villa Photography.

Cuban-inpired wedding cake surrounded by coral flowers. Dreamy! Wedding photographer: Jose Villa Photography.

Cuban Wedding Favors

Another Cuban tradition is for the couple to thank their guests by giving them a small handmade gift or some personalized ribbons with their names on them. If the wedding calls for it, the favor becomes a good Cuban cigar to celebrate the union.

Proper Cuban-Inspired Wedding Attire for The Couple and Guests

Cuban wedding dresses are stunningly beautiful and white (if the bride is a virgin). If she’s not, tradition dictates her dress should be red. Fortunately this tradition is almost gone and a bride can wear a red wedding dress just because she wants to!

With so much dancing, delicious food and drinks to look forward to, dressing comfortably and elegantly is a must. Ladies may wear summer cocktail dresses, while gentlemen can wear linen guayaberas, shirts with tropical motifs and elegant fedora hats. Everything should remind you of old Havana and a tropical paradise.

These 1940s iconic and adorable navy blue suede heel pumps are a classic and will match a vintage theme to perfection.

These 1940s iconic and adorable navy blue suede heel pumps are a classic and will match a vintage theme to perfection.

Original bridesmaid dress for a Cuban-inspired wedding. Wedding photographer: Jose Villa Photography.

Original bridesmaid dress for a Cuban-inspired wedding. Wedding photographer: Jose Villa Photography.

We hope these ideas will help you organize your Cuban-inspired wedding reception. Make sure to check more wedding inspiration ideas on our Pinterest boards!

Fabulous Cuban-Inspired Wedding Ideas Photo Gallery

Decor and details for Cuban-inspired weddings.

Decor and details for Cuban-inspired weddings. Cuban Party Photobooth Props by Pure Simple Things. Custom Printable Cigar Band Napkin Ring.

Hibiscus and palm leaves decorating ideas for a tropical wedding. Wedding photograper: Krista Jones Photography.

Hibiscus and palm leaves decorating ideas for a tropical wedding. Wedding photograper: Krista Jones Photography.

Ultra original Cuban tile invitations. Photography by Heatherjeany on Flickr.

Ultra original Cuban tile invitations. Photography by Heatherjeany on Flickr.

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Photography credits: nousDECOR, Brit + Co, mydomaine, indulgy, popsugar, Style Me pretty.

We’ve rounded up a collection of the best wedding wishes to write on your wedding card! Get inspired or copy away!

Put your gorgeous engagement portraits to good use with this easy multisided card box that lends itself well to any wedding style.

Put your gorgeous engagement portraits to good use with this easy multisided card box that lends itself well to any wedding style.

Engagement season is in full swing so it’s time to brush up on all the wedding wishes you’ll need to write inside those wedding cards soon. From casual wedding greetings to religious wedding wishes, we have your wedding cards covered.

How to Congratulate the Soon-To-Be Married Couple

It can be difficult to come up with something original to write on a wedding card that hasn’t been said a thousand times before. The old rule of thumb used to be “congratulate” the groom and offer the bride “best wishes.” Today, either one works, or you can choose a different sentiment that fits your relationship to the couple instead.

Whether you’re attending the wedding or not, it’s customary to send your well wishes to the soon-to-be married couple. If you’re attending the wedding, you can bring a card with you even if you already sent a gift in advance, or you can send a card before or after the wedding date.

Otherwise, you can mail it directly to the happy couple or hand it over in person on any occasion before the wedding.

What to Write on a Wedding Card

While there are no carved in stone rules for what needs to go on the card, there are some basic etiquette rules you can follow.

The most meaningful inscriptions are ones that were customized for the couple based on your personal relationship with them. Use or gather inspiration from these wedding wishes to ensure that your wedding card is heartfelt and treasured for years to come.

Remember that what you write in the wedding card will depend on your style, how well you know the couple and what your relationship with them is.



Wedding messages. What to write on a wedding card. A step-by-step simple plan for writing the perfect wedding wishes.

Wedding messages. What to write on a wedding card. A step-by-step simple plan for writing the perfect wedding wishes.

Formal Wedding Congratulations

For a couple you aren’t personally close with, more traditional wedding wishes are in order. There are still plenty of ways to make your formal greeting stand out. These are some great ideas for traditional wishes that are perfect for sweet and formal wedding cards.

  • “Best wishes for a lifetime of happiness.”
  • “Congratulations on your marriage.”
  • “Wishing you all the best as you begin your new lives together.”
  • May today be just the beginning of a lifetime of happiness together.

Best Casual Wishes to Write on a Wedding Card

Wedding card messages for family, friends, and close work associates are often more casual and allow you to express your feelings more freely.

You may have spent years of your life with this couple, and you’re as happy for them as they are with each other. This wedding card will mean a lot to them, so it is important to properly convey your emotions. Here are a few ways to show them how truly happy you are for them as they start a new chapter in their lives.

  • “So happy for you two!”
  • “Cheers to a fantastic couple!”
  • “All our best as you begin your marriage!”
  • You are two amazing people. Or, maybe I should say, one amazing couple. Congrats!
  • We’re so happy for you! May your lives be enriched by each other.
  • Congratulations! And thank you for letting us be part of your special day.
  • May you celebrate every day together the way you have celebrated today.
How to write a wedding card. And so the adventure begins....

How to write a wedding card. And so the adventure begins….

How to Write Funny Wedding Wishes

Weddings aren’t all serious business. Funny wedding messages are appropriate as long as they’re in good taste and you know the couple’s sense of humor! A funny wedding greeting could even make your card stand out.

Funny wedding wishes are a great way to add your own personal style to the wedding card. Keep things light with these witty phrases perfect for a laid-back couple!

  • “Finally!”
  • “Congratulations and remember Happy Wife, Happy Life!”
  • There’s no backing out now! (I have a getaway car outside if you change your mind.)”
  • Here’s to limiting your options: ’til death do us part.’
  • Did you know sequoia trees live 1,300 years? If your marriage ever gets old, just be glad you’re not sequoias.

What to Write on a Wedding Card to a Close Family Member

When writing a wedding card for a close family member, go personal! Unless your relationship is tense, in which case you may want to go with a more general message. If you are the best of friends, let those feelings show. Mention some joyful memory from the past, something you admire in them, or quote one of their sayings! But above it all, don’t forget their better half!

  • From a parent – “This is a day we’ve been thinking of since you were just a little girl/boy. We’re thrilled you have a wonderful person like _______ to spend the rest of your life with.”
  • To a brother- or sister-in-law – “You’re the brother/sister I never had. Welcome to the family! We love you!”
  • The only thing that could make us more excited now is grandchildren!
Recipe for joyful living by torrie t. asai.

Recipe for joyful living by torrie t. asai.

How to Write the Best Wedding Wishes for a Friend

Wedding card greetings for a friend are more personal tone. Still, it’s best not to go overboard. Express your feelings, share a memory or go with a casual wedding wish but keep it classy! This is a keepsake!

  • “We’ve been friends our whole lives, and I’ve never been happier for you. Congratulations to you both!”
  • “I’ve watched my dear friend fall in love with a wonderful (man or woman), and I’m honored to stand with you today as you become husband and wife.”
  • We hope your wedding bliss fills you with as much happiness as it has for us. We love you both very much and congratulations.

When to Write a Religious Wedding Card

Not all couples are religious, but if you know religion is very important to the bride and groom, you may want to write a religious wedding card. Especially if you are religious too as it will sound more sincere and heart-felt.

  • “May God bless your marriage and your lives together.”
  • “Mazel Tov!”
  • Blessed is the one who created human beings. Bless the two of you. May you know it all–joy and struggle, beauty and sorrow, sweat, tears, solitude, companionship, laughter and ecstasy. May your marriage be strong enough to support you to experience whatever you must as you come to know yourselves and each other and to discover the entire range of your humanity in the process of soul making. (the Sheva Brachot)
  • You two are truly blessed. May the blessings continue for both of you. Congratulations on your wedding!
  • The strongest marriages are built on the strong foundation of our Lord.
  • We are praying that God guides you in your new adventure. May God pour out blessings on you both.
Two are better than one Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.

Two are better than one Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.

Original Wedding Wishes on Social Media Posts

If a card isn’t your style or you’ve already sent ahead a gift, posting on their social media timeline is a fun way to go. Social media well wishes can go from a simple “best wishes” to posting a memorable picture on their wall. Remember la abuela may be reading the post!




Best Belated Wedding Wishes

Forgetfulness happens to the best of us, especially if we cannot make the wedding. It’s late but send a card anyway for them to read after their honeymoon. You’ll get bonus points if you include a gift card!

  • “We’re sorry to have missed your special day, but we wish you a lifetime of happiness!”
  • “It’s never too late to congratulate you on your wedding and send our wishes for a happy life together!”

Funny engagement or wedding card. Congratulations card.

Unique Wedding Wishes to Write on a Wedding Card

Combine some of the ideas above to your own inspiration to write the most unique wedding wish. If you’re still searching for that perfect congratulatory note, here are more wedding card ideas to help you get those creative juices flowing.

  • Marriage defies the rules of mathematics because one plus one equals one.
  • “Love doesn’t make the world go ’round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” –Franklin P. Jones
  • “Husbands are like puppies… they need to be loved (and housebroken).”–Blake Flannery

In the end, there is no perfect formula for wishing the best to the people we care about. Be genuine, add your personal touch and we are certain it will be the best wedding card ever!

What to Write on a Wedding Card to a Daughter or Son.

What to Write on a Wedding Card to a Daughter or Son.

Wedding congratulations card. You tied the knot. Funny wedding card, Two is better than one and hand drawn wedding wishes. Please, leave your wishes for the new Mr & Mrs wedding sign.

Charming cards for wedding wishes. Personalized stationary, cute cards and more...

Charming cards for wedding wishes. Personalized stationary, cute cards and more…

Congrats! Best Wishes! Enjoy!

Congrats! Best Wishes! Enjoy!

Funny wedding wishes for close friends.

Funny wedding wishes for close friends.




Original wedding wishes. Cute rustic wooden box to collect your wedding cards | Happily ever after and to my mom cards

Original wedding wishes. Cute rustic wooden box to collect your wedding cards | Happily ever after and to my mom cards.

Funny wedding wishes: Chocolate Card | Congratulations card with Soy Sauce

Funny wedding wishes: Chocolate Card | Congratulations card with Soy Sauce.

The Apache Wedding blessing.

The Apache Wedding blessing.

Watercolor Card for wedding wishes!

Watercolor Card for wedding wishes!

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Wedding Photography Credits: Bridal Guide Magazine, katmariacatstudio, hitched, Wit & Whistle