All About Officiants and Faith and Civil Based Vows

 In BeachWeddingPodcast

Introduction –

Show 7 talks about what is an officiant and how do I get one? It also discussed Faith and Civil based ceremony vows, as well as personal vow, customization and ethnic or religion specific vow additions/changes.

  • Name & Company – Location
  • What we do
  • This is The Beach Wedding show number 7.
  • In the podcasting world there is statistic that most new podcasts dwindle and stop after 7 episodes. Well we are right on that number! It is time consuming, but we love it and cant wait to bring all of the new shows to you! So much more to do.
  • Today’s personal thoughts – We are the antithesis to most wedding planning podcasts
    • I listen to a couple and have tried many
    • I am a male, most podcasts are one or more females. My wife is a huge part of our business. She has skills I will never nor could ever have
    • I will keep the focus on you the listener, and on professionalism. I will not curse, or try and act really cool for entertainment or swag points. If that makes this show dull or less entertaining, I will take that risk. I believe you can be entertaining without being crass or explicit.
    • I will not make this show about politics. While politics affect seemingly everything, and Marriage is a political issue, with States having policy, plus the Supreme Court ruled about same sex marriage with Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015.
    • At some point in the future I will tackle the issue of the collision of Faith & Religious rights of business owners with the Supreme Courts Ruling and the law of the land.

Why we are really focused on customer service

  • A wedding is one of the most important moments in your life. We want to provide the highest level of customer service and satisfaction. Tour reputation and service becomes your brand.
    • A story about Glyph – The Scarlett Letter.
    • in 1995, I was CEO of a company that provided digital storage devices for recording digital audio used in production of music, film, TV etc. One of our dealers in SF called about a problem with some of our storage devices being on a live sound stage at the Saul Zaentz Film Center in Berkeley Ca. The film was The Scarlett Letter and the primary star was Demi Moore with Robert Duval & Gary Oldman. I told the dealer grab some brand new devices of ours, out of their inventory and I would pay for courier from SFD to Berkeley. They replied “ we don’t have any of your devices in stock, only your competitors”. So I said “deliver a couple of our competitors devices to the sound stage, I will pay for the courier and replace those items with our inventory”. This solved the problem that day, and helped build our legacy of being dedicated to swift and amazing service. I want to apply the same type of response and commitment to any wedding that we are involved in.
  • Talk about reaction to issues, weather etc.


Set the Stage – 6 questions to consider about Officiants – Faith & Civil Based Wedding Vows

  • What does the officiant do and how do I get one?
  • Can I bring my own officiant?
  • What type of vows are used for beach or destination weddings?
  • What are faith based vows?
  • What are civil vows?
  • What about ethic or religion specific vows and ceremony additions?

1) What does the officiant do and how do I get one?

    • A person, typically a pastor, minster, judge or notary is some states, who performs a service or ceremony
    • Can be man or woman, religious or civil.
    • They typically assist with creating your ceremony vows
    • They may be available to perform vows in different languages, Spanish being one example here in Florida
    • We provide and include officiants in all of base packages.
      • Male & Female
      • Spanish is available
      • We have Marriage Minsters & Notaries
    • We also provide officiant only services – if you have a wedding already planned and need just an officiant.
    • There are many other officiant only companies & people in any given regional location.

2) Can I bring my own officiant?

    • The answer for us, is Yes!
      • Pastors, minsters, judges, Florida notaries are all OK.
        • Make sure they are legally licensed to perform marriages in Florida
        • Catholic Priests can only perform marriage in the Catholic Church.
      • They would develop your ceremony vows with you.
      • They would file your marriage license after the ceremony.
      • If you have your own officiant, and they have not done a beach wedding, you may want to consider a rehearsal, especially if you have a bridal party with a processional.
      • We will answer any questions and meet with your officiant 30 minutes before the ceremony if necessary.
      • We always provide a PA system and handheld wireless mic for your own officiant.

3) What type of vows are used for beach or destination weddings?

      • There is confusion about vows. many clients say “we will write our own vows”. That is awesome, we love that. The personal vows, from the heart that the couple say to each other in the ceremony is the most touching, and best part! But those are “personal vows”. They fit some where in your ceremony vows.
      • The ceremony vows have the actual structure of the wedding ceremony. An opening and greeting, charge to couple, the I do – vows, the ring exchange, and the proclamation of marriage.
        • Besides personal vows, other in ceremony additions to vows.
          • Unity Sand Ceremonies
          • Typing the Knot Ceremonies
          • Scripture readings
          • Prayer
          • Adding Children/family language
      • Ceremony vows are normally either faith based or civil (non-religious) vows.

4) What are faith based vows?

      • Faith based vows for this discussion will be Christian, non-denominational vows mentioning prayer, scripture etc.
        • We provide 3 examples of Faith Based Vows on our website to be reviewed and selected
        • They may be edited or modified, you may like the ring exchange in one set of vows better than the vows you selected for instance.
        • Many people choose simple civil vows and add scripture in various areas
        • Catholic, Jewish, Native American and Hindu may all have special vows and will require custom vow writing by your officiant.
        • They still follow the structure previously mentioned.

5) What are civil vows?

      • Civil ceremony vows are non-religious.
        • They can can short, basic and simple
        • For beach weddings, Seashore vows invoke language around the ebbs and tides and calm and storms of the ocean. These are extremely popular.
        • They may be edited or modified, you may like the ring exchange in one set of vows better than the vows you selected for instance.
        • They still follow the structure previously mentioned.

6) What about ethnic or religion specific vows and ceremony additions?

    • Catholic, Jewish, Native American and Hindu may all have special vows and will require custom vow writing by your officiant. You may seek out an officiant that specializes in these types of specific ceremonies.
    • African American weddings can have several traditions during the vows such as “jump the broom”, “tasting of the elements”, or “crossing sticks”. We have done several of these ceremonies.
    • Hispanic families may want the “13 Gold Coins” exchange as part of the ceremony. Our daughter Maya married Edwin who was born in Columbia and we included this beautiful in ceremony add on in the vows.
    • Ask your planner to assist you with any ethnic or religion specific vows and ceremony additions


    • Our website has so much information around officiants and vows. Just go to The link is in the show notes. You will find examples of faith based and civil based vows, scripture and in ceremony add-ons.
    • We provide officiants in all of our base packages as well as officiant only services
    • You are allowed to bring your own officiant when you work with us. Ask your planner about this specifically..
    • Choose between faith based or civil based vows. You can customize the vows – shorten, add items etc.
    • Consider writing your own “personal vows” to each other to be included in the ceremony vows.
    • You may want to include ethnic or religion specific vows. Give your planner time to find the resources and perhaps officiants who specialize in these areas.
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