You make a LOT of decisions as a couple when you’re planning your wedding. One of those decisions is WHO gets the honor of officiating your ceremony.

If you’re reading this and thinking:“We already know. We’re asking a friend or family member to do it.”… Well, I’m BEYOND happy that you’ve stumbled upon this post. Multiply that happiness by roughly 124.7 if your wedding is also taking place in my beautiful state of Pennsylvania.

Having a friend or family member officiate your wedding can be an INCREDIBLE and touching experience.

But, as a wedding planner, I have seen the good, the bad, and the oh-my-goodness-what-just-happened. Trust me when I say that even the most well-intentioned people who have been honored to say “yes” to performing a ceremony for their loved ones, have completely BOMBED.

It takes time, experience, and some specific talents to craft and perform a beautiful wedding ceremony. If someone hasn’t done something like this before (especially in Pennsylvania), it can be a stressful experience and disappointing outcome. 

If you’re planning to have a friend or family member officiate your wedding, let me introduce you to wedding celebrant, Alisa Tongg and her Wedding Ceremony Master Class.

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What does the Wedding Ceremony Master Class involve?

Wedding Ceremony Master Class Logo

The Wedding Ceremony Master Class is comprised of three parts, including:

Making It Legal

Learn how to figure out the law and the legal pathway to officiate a wedding. Online ordination is the legal tool for the lay officiant in the majority of states, but there are a handful of states where a friend who has been ordained online actually puts their friends’ marriage in legal jeopardy. (Pennsylvania is one of these states)

Writing a Ceremony

Starting with what questions to ask the couple, the Wedding Ceremony Master Class will take Friend Officiants through Celebrant Alisa Tongg’s tried-and-true process of creating a heartfelt, simple, meaningful and appropriate ceremony. It will end up about 20 minutes in length — which is the perfect amount of time.

Getting Performance Ready

From what to wear to when to collect the marriage license, the final part of class will prepare the Friend Officiant to deliver a memorable ceremony, for all the right reasons.

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Students of the class can enroll and complete the class at their leisure; however, it’s recommended that they start the class at least a month or two in advance of the wedding they plan to officiate.

Portrait of woman standing with binder

Photo of Alisa Tongg by M2 Photography

A bit more about Alisa Tongg

Alisa Tongg is an award-winning certified Life-Cycle Celebrant and ordained minister. She has been creating and performing personal ceremonies for nearly a decade, with hundreds of five-star reviewed weddings in Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey.

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. 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.

She was also recently listed as one of “9 Wonderful Philly-Area Officiants for Your Wedding Day” by Philadelphia Magazine.

Wedding Ceremony Master Class for the Friend Officiant by Alisa Tongg

The Wedding Ceremony Master Class is a class I wholeheartedly recommend if you’re asking a friend or family member to officiate your wedding. 

To learn more, visit

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, you will not pay a penny more, but I’ll receive a small commission. I would recommend this course regardless of commission.