When you’re walking down the aisle, you not only want to be overcome with happy tears over the person you’re walking toward, say your vows, and kiss hello a future together, but you also want to feel calm and cool about the person who is going to officiate your wedding.
Not every couple picks a pastor, a rabbi, or a religious leader. You can literally have any friend, family member, or celebrity you adore take on the role of wedding officiant and entertain your crowd as you and your partner commit to holy matrimony in front of everyone.
Lisa Vanderpump knows a thing or two about this. She’s not only officiated a wedding at PUMP, but also the Vanderpump Rules wedding of Tom Schwartz and Katie Maloney-Schwartz. (It's still not known if she'll be making the trip to Kentucky for Jax and Brittany, or to the still-TBD location of Lala’s wedding.) She's not the only Bravoleb officiating weddings. Cary Deuber (from The Real Housewives of Dallas) and Sonja Morgan (from The Real Housewives of New York City) are both wedding officiants and probably available for hire, although with a seriously steep price tag.
If you want to have your friend be the officiant for your wedding, here are four simple ways to make that happen in less than a week. (Trust us... and Andy Cohen!)
Research the Rules of Your State
The legal process of how a person can officially become ordained depends on the state that you live in. You can find out all the details about what your state’s process is by viewing your state’s Secretary of State website. Look for the office that handles marriage licenses and talk to them about whether or not your friend would qualify to become an officiant. In some states, the person has to be a religious officiant, but in others, someone can become ordained by a non-denominational organization.
Send in Your Application
For a small fee of around $35-50, a person can apply to become ordained through a non-religious organization. The best part is, most of the time this can be done online by filling out a form and sometimes taking a short online class.
Plan the Ceremony
While it might seem like a fun and easy thing to become ordained and officiate a wedding, there’s a lot of work involved. This person may also be responsible for acting as the emcee of the ceremony, making sure it flows, and leading the crowd through the couple’s love story. Sit down with your friend to give him or her a feel of the traditions you want to incorporate in the ceremony, the poems or passages read, and the parts of your adventure together that you want shared with the guests. Beforehand, decide if you plan to be prompted with your own written vows or if this person will be providing a set of common vows instead.
Practice Makes Perfect
Any newly ordained wedding officiant can't default on getting up there and winging it. Practice the ceremony out loud enough times so that everyone knows the words well enough that you'll feel comfortable and your friend won’t be eyeballing a script the entire time. You can even get together before the official rehearsal and work through a ceremony outline or script so everyone has a good feel for what to expect and have any changes made well before the big day arrives.
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