Created by the award-winning celebrant featured in:


This Class Teaches Friends How To Officiate Your Wedding!

A message from the Instructor:

“Three years ago, I started to be approached by wedding planners and other wedding professionals, asking if I would put together a ceremony ghost writing/ training/ coaching package for their clients who have asked a friend to officiate the wedding ceremony. I know the primary appeal of having a friend officiate is that personalization is such a strong factor for today’s couple. Couples want all the pieces of their wedding to be a reflection of who they are, what their story is, and what their hopes are for the future—authentically.

Having someone who loves you in the role of officiant is a natural draw for modern couples. I get it! The problem is that even the best, most put-together-public-speaking-loving-friend, is a lay person when it comes leading the process of creating ceremony flow and content. What ends up happening is the honored friend (or worse yet, the bride!) devotes tens of hours scouring the internet for sample ceremony scripts and cobbling together official-sounding language that is NOT an authentic representation of your personality and style. Lots of times, the friend (knowing the cobbled together script is not great) panics and backs out of the responsibility close to the event date, or shows up at the wedding unprepared for day-of considerations, causing chaos—hence the requests from a handful of wedding planners to create something to help this phenomenon.

I’ve created this online Wedding Ceremony Master Class to take Friend Officiants through my process of authoring and performing a simple, genuine, memorable and meaningful ceremony. Wedding Ceremony Master Class students will receive a tried and true questionnaire to help the couple and their Friend Officiant identify important sentiments that need to be included in the ceremony, a Starter Ceremony –a framework for the Friend Officiant to work in, a demystification of what legally needs to be said/done in the ceremony, and (my favorite part!) a coaching session to help prepare the Friend Officiant to knock it out of the park.

Hiring a professional celebrant/officiant can cost $800-$1900. So when you ask a friend or a family member to officiate your wedding ceremony, give them this class and all the tools they'll need to create the type of magical experience you are imagining. Every aspiring Friend Officiant receives 1 Starter Ceremony Script, 14 Jam-Packed Video Lessons by yours truly, the Couples' Questionnaire that I use to customize and create all of my award-winning ceremonies, and my Primer on Vows. It's a big gift they are giving to you, and if they do a good job, it's an opportunity to deepen your bonds of friendship too.

-- Alisa Tongg, Fairy God Celebrant


Celebrant Alisa Tongg, photo credit: Pat Robinson


Alisa Tongg Celebrant, With Love and Embers



“The Wedding Ceremony Master Class is a class I wholeheartedly recommend if you’re asking a friend or family member to officiate your wedding. Let the hallelujah chorus sing!”

— Danielle Pasternak, Put a Ring on it Podcast


A three-part course:

1)   Making It Legal. 

  • What’s the REAL wedding? An overview of marriage licenses and why it matters to the Friend Officiant.
  • A look through the marriage laws of four representative states and suggested pathway for a lay person to officiate a legally recognized wedding ceremony. Alternative solutions for the Friend Officiant when an online ordination does not meet the qualifying legal requirements for an officiant.
  • Wedding Ceremony Master Class will equip Friend Officiants to be able to confidently use the phrase, ‘by the authority vested in me…’”

2)   Writing a Ceremony. 

  • A step-by-step walk through of Celebrant Alisa Tongg’s primary tool for creating custom and heartfelt ceremonies, her Couple’s Questionnaire.
  • Structural overview for Celebrant Alisa Tongg’s Starter Ceremony for the Friend Officiant. And number one best way to ensure that your ceremony includes natural, authentic and non-gaggy language.
  • Introduction, Unplugged Ceremony, Joining of Families, Love Story Message, I dos, Ring Exchange, How to Introduce Readings, The Power of Social Contracts, Final Blessing, Declaration of Marriage and how to set your friends up for a fabulous first kiss as a married couple--this step-by-step guide will help Friend Officiants to create a heartfelt, simple, meaningful and appropriate ceremony that will be about 20 minutes in length. 

3)   Performance.

  • Learn how to print and format the final wedding ceremony script, and what's the best thing to have in your hands.
  • Dressing for a celebration, finding your style and hacking your body for a boost of confidence.
  • How to work with one microphone on a stand for all ceremony needs.
  • Your friends hired a film crew to make a movie of their wedding, what every Friend Officiant can do to ensure it will be an awesome one. 
  • The one simple thing you can do to make every wedding photographer love you.


This 64-minute course consisting of 14 jam-packed video lessons, Couples' Questionnaire, Starter Ceremony, and Primer on Vows, will give you everything you need to craft a simple, genuine and memorable ceremony.

Alisa Tongg Celebrant Officiating, Rachel Pearlman Photography, New Jersey

Friend Officiants Will Receive


1) My tried and true Couples’ Questionnaire so they can have lots of appropriate information to draw from when writing the love story message.

2) An inclusive starter ceremony that covers: Joining of Families, Remembrance, Introducing Readings, Love Story Message, I dos, Ring Exchange, and Final Blessing—all written in the voice of a trusted friend or beloved family member. This allows the friend officiant to spend the bulk of their creative efforts personalizing it, not trying to figure out structure, appropriate tone or flow.

3) A run through on where to look up each state's marriage laws, and suggested pathway for a lay officiant to conduct a legit and legal ceremony, in all 50 States.

4) My Primer on Vows for the Couple to use so that their vows can be as awesome as the rest of the ceremony.

5) A coaching session that will cover the common pitfalls Friend Officiants make, and ways to ensure that the ceremony will be memorable for all the right reasons.


A glimpse into the curriculum

Some of the topics Wedding Ceremony Master Class for Friend Officiants will cover:

  • 01

    What’s the REAL wedding? An overview of marriage licenses and why it matters to the Friend Officiant.

  • 02

    A look through the marriage laws of four representative states and suggested pathway for a lay person to officiate a legally recognized wedding ceremony. Alternative solutions for the Friend Officiant when an online ordination does not meet the qualifying legal requirements for an officiant.

  • 03

    A step-by-step walk through of Celebrant Alisa Tongg’s primary tool for creating custom and heartfelt ceremonies, her Couple’s Questionnaire.

  • 04

    Structural overview for Celebrant Alisa Tongg’s Starter Ceremony for the Friend Officiant. And number one best way to ensure that your ceremony includes natural, authentic and non-gaggy language.

  • 05

    Starting the Ceremony, Welcome Announcement. What is an unplugged ceremony? How not to be a distraction to your friend’s Gran.

  • 06

    The Processional—Celebrant Alisa Tongg explains what is and is not the responsibility of the Friend Officiant for one of the most universally symbolic aspects of the wedding ceremony.

  • 07

    Joining of Families--Celebrant Alisa Tongg’s Starter Ceremony lays out ways for being inclusive of a couple’s family and broader community of support. Explanation of how the Friend Officiant can weave in a remembrance for important loved ones who cannot be present, into the ceremony.

  • 08

    Readings: How to seamlessly include a reading of the couple’s choice and how to introduce their reader in ceremony.

  • 09

    Starter Ceremony Script for the Legal Part of the wedding ceremony. How to add personal flair and the couple’s love story in a way that is appropriate for a wedding ceremony. Learn what language needs to be in a wedding ceremony for it to be considered legal and what parts are negotiable.

  • 10

    The power of social contracts, and what is the best and most appropriate unity ritual for a Friend Officiant-led wedding ceremony.

  • 11

    Sending your friends off with a final blessing. Declaration of Marriage and how to set your friends up for a fabulous first kiss as a married couple.

  • 12

    Alisa Tongg shares how she prints and formats hers and what is the best thing to have in your hands during performance. Dressing for a celebration, finding your style and hacking your body for a boost of confidence.

  • 13

    How to work with one microphone on a stand for all ceremony needs. Your friends hired a film crew to make a movie of their wedding, what every Friend Officiant can do to ensure it will be an awesome one. The one simple thing you can do to make every wedding photographer love you.


Alisa Tongg is an award-winning certified Life-Cycle Celebrant and ordained minister who has been creating and performing personal ceremonies for nearly a decade, with hundreds of five-star reviewed weddings. As a graduate of the Celebrant Foundation and Institute she studied and formally trained to become a ceremony expert for interfaith, intercultural and religiously unaffiliated couples as well as for blended families. Alisa Tongg is the first Certified Celebrant to be recognized as such in the New York Times Vows section, and she is leading the way, working together with lawmakers to update the marriage laws in Pennsylvania so that couples have a greater choice for a legally recognized personal wedding ceremony.

Covid-Era health challenges give even more reason to have a loved one closely involved in your ceremony., Pat Robinson Photo.

Covid-Era health challenges give even more reason to have a loved one closely involved in your ceremony.


No one knows how long we're going to have to be mindful about crowd size, and if these restrictions continue through next year, couples may want to prioritize a close friend or family member being at their microwedding ceremony instead of an outside professional officiant. Wedding Ceremony Master Class, although released before the COVID-19 outbreak, allows couples to keep their attendee circle tight and still get the wedding of their dreams.

Endorsements + Testimonials




“I wish I had this class right now.”

— Elyse Moody, Martha Stewart Weddings.

 



“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 but meaningful.”

— Green Wedding Shoes

 



"Wedding Ceremony Master Class fills a need that has not been addressed before! Perfect for couples who are having friends officiate as there has not yet been a place to go to for professional guidance, legal guidance and ceremony delivery. As a wedding DJ, I have had many a pep-talk with a family/friend-officiant before a ceremony, to help them feel like they got their bases covered, and that they are saying the right things in the right order, and this should not be happening on the day of, right? Also an officiant myself, I highly recommend this course for your friend officiant, especially if they are new to this. This course is beautifully and thoughtfully written, designed in perfect bite-sized lessons, and is all delivered by Alisa Tongg, who really cares about your big day, no matter who you choose to officiate it. Very reasonably priced too, for something you can’t afford to just go and 'wing it.'"

— Rev & DJ Cherish the LUV

 



“SO MANY people need this, so their friends and family aren’t looking crazy!”

— REV. ROXY Birchfield

 



“The Wedding Ceremony Master Class is a class I wholeheartedly recommend if you’re asking a friend or family member to officiate your wedding. Let the hallelujah chorus sing!”

— Danielle Pasternak, Put a Ring on it Podcast

 



“Thank you again for your Master Class. I finished it last week and it was extremely helpful.”

— Angelo P.