Choosing an Officiant
by Alan Katz, Great Officiants
One of the most important parts of your wedding is the ceremony. That is why you are having the party right? Choosing the right person to perform the ceremony is essential to have an amazing ceremony. Choosing badly can result in disaster. Here are some tips and questions to ask.
First & Best Tip -
DON’T CHOOSE A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER TO BE YOUR OFFICIANT! While it may seem nice to do this in most cases it doesn’t turn out well. A non-professional does not know all the nuances that happen during the ceremony.
Where to stand, microphone techniques, interacting with the other vendors and how to sign the marriage license. These are essential things to consider. Always choose a professional! Don’t hire someone you can’t fire!
Can the officiant customize the ceremony?
Every ceremony should reflect each couples’ personal values and beliefs not the officiant’s.
Does the officiant have sample wording/ ceremonies/readings to show you?
Make sure they have a large selection of ceremony samples and ideas and not just the same old boring verbiage.
Do you require counseling?
Counseling should ONLY be done by a licensed professional, not an officiant. If you really feel you need counseling, see a licensed therapist. Some clergy are trained to do this but the majority of professional officiants are not. If you want results, stick to a professional.
Is the officiant known and respected in the wedding industry.
Reviews and awards are key. Being honored by The Knot, Wedding Wire and other industry resources show their dedication and professionalism. Make sure they are active in wed- ding-related professional organizations.
5. Does the officiant have back up? If it is just them and they get sick, what then? Choose a company that has a professional team around them as backup.
6. Will the officiant marry you if you are of different faiths or if you have been divorced?
A professional officiant should honor all couples regardless of their faith, marital history or sexual preference.
7. Can we choose special readings or music?
It is your wedding. It can have whatever you want in it.
8. Will the officiant give a sermon?
A wedding is no place for a sermon, it is a place to celebrate love. It is NOT a place for the officiant to preach religious or personal views.
9. Will the officiant issue the marriage license?
Some of the top professional officiants have the ability to issue a marriage license. This is a big help and will save you time.
10. Will your officiant participate in the rehearsal?
Having the officiant at the rehearsal can be helpful if it is a complex ceremony.
11. Would the officiant like to come to the wed- ding reception?
Most professional officiants are usually too busy to do this and unless you have developed a special bond then they don’t usually come.
12. Is flash photography allowed and will the officiant wear a mic for the video?
Pictures and video are all you have left after the wedding. A professional will do what’s necessary to ensure they get the perfect shots!
Last TIP - Have fun with your ceremony!
Enjoy! It’s your special day. Don’t make your ceremony the same old bla bla bla. Make it fun and exciting. Let your guests enjoy the ceremony and not endure it.
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