As wedding officiants, we’ve got a lot of options when it comes to getting our wedding ceremony script down in black and white.
Are you still using Microsoft Word? Or Apple Pages? Or a Bic and spiral notepad?
I recommend Google Docs. I’m not going to go into all the particular features that make it top-notch. You can explore that here.
For today, here are 3 immediate and tangible benefits to why Google Docs is ideal for us wedding officiants specifically.
1. We can build and share the wedding ceremony script with our couple
Before collaborative, free software like Google Docs became widely available, here’s what wedding officiants had to do: write the ceremony script in a Word doc, then email it to the couple. Then the couple would mark it up and send it back, and then the officiant would make changes and send it back… okay, that’s enough; I’m exhausted.
Here’s what we can do now with Google Docs:
- First, we write the first draft of the wedding ceremony script in Google Docs.
- Then we write comments in the margins where certain items and elements need our couple’s attention.
- Next, we go to the document’s “Share” options, add our couple’s email addresses, and give them editing privileges. They’re in!
- Finally, we reply to our couple’s comments and edits as they come in – in real time, even!
It’s that easy, and it’s great for both our couple and for us. Who wants more emails and text messages? Not me! And they don’t, either.
When the wedding ceremony script is in a Google Doc, we have a working “hub” where collaboration happens nice and cleanly.
No extra crowding via emails and texts on our other message platforms. We simply check in on the Google Doc periodically and watch it come together.
2. Our couple can share the wedding ceremony script with their relevant wedding vendors
I love watching a couple light up when I throw in this bonus feature.
In our wedding planning session, I always ask my couple if they have a wedding planner or day-of coordinator. If they do, I get the wedding planner’s name and email address if possible.
First off, I always want to connect with their wedding planner or coordinator and photographer on Instagram or in a quick email before the wedding because we’ll be working closely together on the wedding day. I just say hi and that I look forward to working with them.
But there’s another reason I ask.
I always ask the couple if they think their planner and/or photographer might like to be added as a collaborator who can view the wedding script.
Whether or not the planner or photographer takes us up on it, the couple thinks it’s a great idea that we ask.
And quite often, the planner and photographer are thrilled to be able to see exactly what’s going to happen, and what we’re going to do and say – and when – in the wedding ceremony. It helps them map out the important pacing and logistical elements that they’ve gotta do well before, during, and after the ceremony.
When we share the wedding ceremony script with the vendors, we’re in their good books before they even meet us! Google Docs makes it very easy and really helpful for them. And our couples love the idea, too.
3. We can share the wedding ceremony script with a fill-in officiant (*knock on wood*)
In my initial meeting with any couple before they sign on with me as a client, they almost always ask this great question:
“What happens if you get sick and can’t officiate on the wedding day?”
When we have every single word and element of the wedding ceremony script written down in a Google Doc, here’s how we can answer that question to our couples:
“If I for whatever reason I’m bed-bound on your wedding day, I’ll call one of my good friends who has experience officiating weddings. But does a different officiant mean you’ll get a totally different ceremony? Not at all! I would simply add their name to the list of Google Docs collaborators.
All that our replacement officiant will have to do is open our Google Docs wedding ceremony script, rehearse the ceremony we’ve created together, and read it in the wedding ceremony.
You’ll barely notice I’m not there.”
Whether or not that last line is entirely true, this answer goes a very long way to making the couple feel comfortable – even if something goes wrong and sidelines us on the big day.
And there’s even a backup to that backup! Let’s say we were sick, and every backup officiant friend or colleague we know couldn’t do it, either. Is our goose cooked now? Not even!
All the couple will have to do now is choose someone they know who performs well in front of a crowd, and get that person to review the wedding ceremony script in the Google Doc. The big wedding event could go on; we would worry about the legal and signing stuff later.
In a nutshell, it’s the collaborative, real-time shareability that makes Google Docs so ideal for us wedding officiants.
We can share the wedding ceremony script with our couple, with our fellow vendors, and with any replacement officiant in a pinch.
Ready to make the switch? There’s a much better way than sending that wedding script back and forth in email attachments or faxing and re-faxing multiple rewrites of that draft from your spiral notepad.
Google Docs is perfect for wedding officiants: it’s free, it’s quick, and it delivers peace of mind.