about

MARK ALLAN GROLEAU

Officiating a wedding for the first time is an honour and a joy. Coming up with a ceremony for the first time, maybe not so much.

In fact, you’re probably reading this right now because you’re in the same place I was a few years ago, asking, “How do I put together a wedding ceremony? What are the cool kids doing now? What are they wanting now? How do I not make an a** outta myself, or worse – bore everyone to death?”

What I needed was How to Officiate a Wedding. But it didn’t exist. Nothing like it did.

Until now. Which means you won’t have to go through the 7-Gs, pinned-to-your-seat, face-peeling learning curve I did.

The early years

As a newly-ordained minister, you’re supposed to marry people. It’s in your job description. So the first time I was asked to officiate a wedding, the first thing I did was pull out a wedding I’d written for a seminary assignment a couple of years before. I quickly scanned it over, and… uh oh. Sure, I’d gotten an A-grade on this paper, but there was no way I was using this in the real world. It was, uh… unfit. (Don’t believe me? Okay, you asked for it. See for yourself. Riiiiight?)

So then I asked some older ministers what they did. Then I cracked open my denominational Handbook of Services for the first time. Then I Googled like mad.

I cobbled together a decent service.

And then I came to the realization that I did not love officiating weddings in the least.

The company man

One day I got a cold-call from the owner of an officiating company (now a good friend of mine). He’d heard about me and wondered if I’d like to work as a professional wedding officiant on the side. The conversation went something like this:

“Hi – Mark?”

“Hi!”

“I’m the owner of really cool wedding officiating company. I got your name from someone. Wanna join our team?”

“No. I don’t like officiating weddings. It’s boring.”

“Not our way. We tell the couple’s story!”

“Eh – what’s that now???”

He told me how they make wedding ceremonies really personal and encourage their officiants to find out how the couple met and why they’re getting married, and to include that in the ceremony.

I was hooked. Within a few months, I was officiating a wedding every few weeks – learning the ins and outs of wildly different ceremonies, finding out what did and didn’t work, and honing the craft of telling amazing love stories.

Oh – and getting great reviews. Oh – and generating wild word-of-mouth recommendations. And starting to think, “I’m not sure I need to give the company 50% of the $800 ceremony fee anymore.”

Why not just get all the money I work for?

Going it alone

It was time to take a bold leap and see if I could find my own clients.

To do that, I had to figure out how I was going to market myself. To do that, I had to figure out what my “unfair advantage” was in the wedding officiating market. (In business-world speak, this is called your unique selling proposition.)

I thought about my clients up to this point and what they all seem to really want. Almost without fail, every time I sat across from a happy, doe-eyed, newly-engaged couple wanting a wedding officiant, they’d say this:

“Please, just for the love of God… we just don’t want a boring ceremony! Sweet Lord, just anything you can do to make our ceremony not skull-numbingly boring like every other wedding we’ve been to! PLEEEEEASE!”

Boom. That’s it.

Unboring!Wedding was born. And I’ve been booked every weekend ever since.

Where you come in

You’ve got a wedding to officiate. And you need help putting the ceremony together. And you’ve come to the right place.

“So… wait a sec. You’re an officiant; I’m an officiant. Aren’t I the competition?”

Good point. Why would I help you? Shouldn’t I just be sitting on my officiating secret and milking it for all it’s worth and leaving you as far behind in the dust as I can?

Well, I don’t wanna get all philosophical and misty-eyed here. So I’ll just say this: I try to live my life rejecting the scarcity myth. The myth that there’s not enough to go around. That I need to get mine first.

Rather, I practice the belief that a rising tide lifts all boats, and there’s plenty to go around.

There were over 160,000 weddings in Canada last year alone. I can officiate only about half of those at best. (Ha ha! Okay, a third.) That means the world needs a ton of wedding officiants like you who are ready and willing to pour their hearts and souls into this – into confidently guiding couples through the process of handcrafting personal and engaging ceremonies that people actually wanna be at.

Ceremonies that wow couples and thrill their guests – I want that for you. I want you to succeed with officiating killer weddings. I want you to crush it and love it. And to even discover the potential for wedding officiating as a part-time or full-time profession if that’s a next step for you.

Hence: How to Officiate a Wedding. A website chock-full of pointers, pro-tips, tricks, advice, guides that means never having to franken-copy-and-paste a ceremony together from 496,792 different sources again.