Words Matter

Have you been to a wedding ceremony lately? It’s not just the famous words (“I do”) that matter. One couple heard a minister say “Dearly beloved” and cringed. These two words reminded them of a funeral. Describing wedding rings as a “symbol” cheapens them in the eyes of some people. A young couple married in an old-English church were asked to ply their troth. I met them a few years later and we laughed over the way they were using these words to poke at one another – until they were comfortable enough to ask me what “ply” and “troth” meant. Sadly, many officiants use badly written wedding ceremonies. Still others have improved their texts but present them boringly, looking down rather than face-to-face and then reading in monotone – robbing the wedding of intimacy. Most people, even officiants who talk in public, are not skilled public speakers. If they were they wouldn’t be such cardboard cutouts. And they would critique their words, adjusting themselves to their listeners. Every wedding is a treasured occasion. Don’t let yours be forgettable or, worse, remembered for the fact of you having a lousy officiant.