5 Tips for Writing a Wedding ScriptJun 14, 2021
If you’re officiating a wedding, writing a captivating wedding script is crucial. Why? The words spoken at the wedding are what gives the day meaning. Word something improperly and the entire tone of the day can be impacted.
A wedding script is a document containing all the words that are to be spoken on the day of a wedding ceremony. It is, without a doubt, one of the most important tasks given to any wedding celebrant.
Even if you are not a natural writer, basic principles can be applied to your script to help it shine, regardless of your literary prowess (or lack of).
Here are 5 tips for writing a wedding script that will create a memorable experience for the happy couple and their guests.
1 - Plan Early
Benjamin Franklin wasn’t wrong when he said “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. For most couples, a wedding script is usually among the last items on their to-do list. As a wedding celebrant, it is your duty to help the couple plan to make their wedding script a priority. If you want a fun-filled, memorable day, ensure that the wedding script is written early with enough time for edits and final drafts.
During the first meeting you have with your customers, talk to them about important words and phrases they’d like to be spoken. Pick up on their lingo and take notes of what they’re saying. Early planning helps create a personalised script - not just something generic that’s been printed off the internet a thousand times.
Early planning also allows the couple to reflect on language and make adjustments if and when necessary.
2 - Think about the Ceremony’s Timeline
The wedding timeline is essentially the agenda from start to finish. Typically, weddings include:
- Opening remarks
- Declaration of the ceremony’s intent
- The procession
You can add (or remove) items depending on what the couple wants. How you conduct every item determines the mood of the ceremony. Estimate a timeframe for each item, then organise them cohesively to ensure a smooth transition.
3 - Involve, Involve, Involve...
You may have a wealth of ideas about the ideal wedding script for your customers. But what about their ideas? And the ideas of their friends and loved ones? When it comes to bashing out creative scripts, the more the merrier. If your couple has children, their children may want to hear certain words, phrases or even jokes in the wedding script. Specific people (for example, those who could not make it to the wedding) might need a respectful mention. The more you involve your couple in the script writing, the more special the day will be. Make sure you communicate with them via email with ideas and drafts until they are 100% happy.
4 - Tell Stories
One or two simple, charming stories scattered throughout the script is a lovely way to retain guest engagement. Hearing stories rouses fundamental needs rooted deeply in our human evolutionary origins. You may want to tell stories from the past, the present or the future (or blend all three) to give guests a fuller picture of the journey the couple are on. Again, talk to the couple about which stories they may want told (and which ones to avoid).
5 - Time It
The way we read in our heads is different to the way we read out loud from a script. Silent reading tends to be much faster, using our inner monologue to process the words. When reading out loud, especially in front of others, the pace reduces significantly. There may also be pauses for reflection or laughter which are not considered when practising the script alone. As a celebrant, you must ensure you stay within allocated timeframes throughout the ceremony. Therefore, practise reading your script aloud in front of a pretend audience and time it to ensure you stay within the frame provided. You could give yourself bursts of time to work within (such as 1.5 dedicated to section one of your script, another 3 minutes dedicated to section 2). This way, you can be sure you’re staying on track.
Writing an interactive and relevant wedding script requires more time than you may think. Start early enough so you will have enough time for adjustments if need be. If you are new to celebrancy and this is your first wedding script, feel free to reach out to another celebrant within the professional celebrants Facebook group. Alternatively you can call us on 033 33 404 434, and we will be glad to give you a hand in sourcing materials and resources that can help.