1. Ask the bride's father, "Who presents this woman to be married to this man?" instead of "Who gives this woman to be married to this man?" It's more elegant, in my opinion.
2. When I make the presentation at the end of the ceremony I say, "It is my great honor to pronounce that God has made you husband and wife" instead of "I now pronounce you husband and wife." This is God's business, his creation, his wonderful idea.
3. By the way, forget the part at the end where the officiant says, "And now by the laws vested in me by the state of Illinois." Ordination just ain't what it used to be, folks. Look at me straight in the eyes for a second … "I now ordain you to marry someone this afternoon." There you go — fully vested. Have fun. You don't like that? Me neither, but it is what it is.
4. Finally, when the bride and groom ask you what you charge, well, don't undersell yourself. Pastors up in the Chicago suburbs are getting $600 a wedding. [Last week even the County Clerk's office in Greenwich Village, Conn., was charging same-sex couple $75 for a 2-minute ceremony with the justice of the peace.]