This Class Teaches Friends How to Officiate Your Wedding!

Historic Florida Art Center Wedding

One of our favorite ways to truly personalize your wedding? Have someone close to you officiate the ceremony! It really is THE most important part of the day, and who better to guide you through than someone who truly knows you as a couple? Of course, there are a few things to consider. Like, how can you trust a friend or family member to officiate a wedding ceremony well if they haven’t done it before?

Alisa Tongg, an award-winning, certified Life-Cycle Celebrant and ordained minister, has your answer. She launched a first-of-its-kind online course called Wedding Ceremony Master Class for the Friend Officiant! This three-part online course will teach the “friend officiant” the process of authoring and performing a simple and meaningful ceremony. We love this idea especially now, considering the fact that no one knows for sure when large gatherings will be safe again. Calling on a friend or family member is a great way to keep your party small and meaningful.

Read on for all the details!

photo above by Ardency and Arrow // from this Black Tie Botanical Wedding

Call on a Friend to Officiate

Earthy Boho Vow Renewal

photo: Light as Gold // from this Surprise Wedding

About two years ago, wedding planners and professionals started approaching me to see if I would put together a ceremony ghostwriting + training package for clients who have asked a friend to officiate the wedding ceremony. Couples want all the pieces of their wedding to be a reflection of who they are. Having someone who loves them in the role of officiant is a natural draw for many.

But the problem, according to Alisa, is that even the most outgoing and put-together friends are still laypeople when it comes to leading the process of creating ceremony flow and content. This can often lead to chaos for everyone day-of. The Wedding Ceremony Master Class walks the friend officiant through the process so they can knock a wedding ceremony out of the park!

Included in the Three-Part Master Class

boho wedding in the woods

photo: Hana Gonzalez Photography // from this Mountaintop Wedding

The Wedding Ceremony Master Class is comprised of three parts, including:

Making It Legal

Online ordination is the legal tool for the lay officiant in the majority of states. However, there are a handful of states where a friend who has been ordained online actually puts their friends’ marriage in legal jeopardy. The class reveals the legal pathway for a lay officiant in every state so that the marriage will be recognized.

Writing a Ceremony

Starting with what questions to ask the couple, the class will take friend officiants through Alisa’s tried and true process to create a heartfelt ceremony that lasts about 20 minutes.

Performance Ready

From what to wear to when to collect the marriage license, the final part of the class prepares the friend officiant to deliver a memorable ceremony, for all the right reasons.


How far in advance should you get started? Students of the class can enroll and complete the class at their leisure; however, Alisa recommends you start the class at least a month in advance of the wedding date.

How much does it cost and what’s included? The entire course takes about one hour to complete and costs $299. It includes 14 concise lesson videos that will give you everything you need to craft the perfect ceremony!

For more FAQs and to get started, check out Alisa’s Wedding Ceremony Master Class for the Friend Officiant!