The Atlantic

Why More Couples Are Getting Married by a Friend

By the power vested in me by our friendship, I now pronounce you married.
Source: Todd Pearson / Getty

In November, Alex Lynn, 26, will marry her fiancé, Alex Tignor, 27. The officiant for their wedding will be none other than their close friend, who is also named Alex. “To have someone so important to us be the person who pronounces us husband and wife will make our ceremony all the more special and meaningful,” Lynn says. This three-Alex wedding will be one of a growing number of marriage ceremonies officiated by a friend of the couple. Many couples are forgoing religious norms and traditional vows for wedding ceremonies they feel are more individualized, more intimate, and maybe even more fun.

[Read: The wedding-industry bonanza, on full display]

The exact proportion of couples being married by a friend varies depending on the data you look at, but the numbers are clearly growing. The wedding site The Knot has been conducting a survey on wedding trends for . The site’s editor told that friend officiants weren’t even to make the 2008 survey. The question was added in used a friend officiant, and by 2015, . A different study by the Wedding that 25.7 of polled couples were wed by a friend or family member in 2017, a jump from 16.4 percent in 2010. According to Ellen Lamont, a sociologist at Appalachian State University who researches gender, dating, and family, there are multiple reasons why the best-friend-turned-officiant trend is growing, and why it might continue to.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic4 min readSociety
The Books Briefing: Books From Our Fathers
This Sunday, families in the United States will celebrate fatherhood—a role that, like motherhood, carries the weight of personal and cultural legacies both poignant and fraught. In Laila Lalami’s novel The Other Americans, a young woman wrestles wit
The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
Hong Kong’s Protesters Earn a Victory. They Will Need More.
Officials in Hong Kong said they would suspend controversial proposed legislation. There will be other efforts to erode the city’s freedoms.
The Atlantic6 min read
Tip Your Hotel Maid
My grandmother worked in housekeeping for 10 years—and it’s a job where you could use a gratuity.