Backyard Wedding Ceremony Tips
With City Hall closed and big weddings out of the question right now, backyard and small weddings are hot! Couples are hiring JOPs and officiants, and some have friends or family members get ordained for a day and perform the ceremony. If you’re going the DIY route, these are MUST HAVE TIPS to give to your loved one before they officiate.
PLEASE BE SEATED – the officiant should ask everyone to please rise or stand when the last person (the bride, or groom, or both) is walking down the aisle. They will typically kiss or hug a parent or loved one, then begin the ceremony. At this time, your officiant needs to tell everyone to be seated! I’ve seen way too many ceremonies where people stood… the whole time… and looked around awkwardly at each other like “who’s gonna sit first” – it’s awful. So don’t forget that very important direction!
NO FLOWERS – if there is a bouquet, it should be taken away by a family member, wedding party member, or if the couple is alone, placed on the ground. If someone is holding a bouquet, they cannot hold hands with their partner during the ceremony! Which leads me to my next one…
JOIN HANDS – there are too many ceremonies where the couple stands 5 feet apart with their hands to themselves. The officiant, after telling everyone to be seated, should tell the couple to join hands and face one another for the ceremony.
LOOK AT EACH OTHER – tell the couple to look at each other, not the officiant during the ceremony, to avoid capturing the back of their heads. Just look into each other’s eyes and listen with your ears!
GET OUTTA THE WAYYY – when the ceremony is over and it’s time for the big kiss, RUN! Start stepping to the side when you say “You may kiss your partner” so that by the time they kiss, the officiant is fully out of the frame. That way, there’s not an awkward head growing out of a shoulder or in-between faces.
No matter what your ceremony looks like, how many readings you have, if you’re reciting your own vows or not, your ceremony will be an AMAZING one if you and your officiant follow these tips!
Bonus tips for the couple:
NO PHONES – hand write your vows on paper, in a booklet, anything that isn’t a screen! It photographs much much better!
KISS LONG – take your time on your first kiss, or kiss a few times – it leaves plenty of time for allll the angles, zoomed in and out shots, etc for the best first kiss photos!
GET CLOSE – no need to leave room between you two – stand nice and close together for the ceremony!
Also to note: please do not send this list to a professional JOP or officiant – they already know what to do! They’re pros! This is only for friends and family members DIYing the ceremony.