When And How To Select Your Officiant
Selecting the officiant is one of the most important decisions for your ceremony. But many times, this detail gets lost in the excitement of wedding planning. You want your ceremony to be memorable and meaningful, so it’s important to find the right person for you! Here are some tips on when and how to select your wedding officiant.
Schedule in Advance
Many officiants book far in advance. We have several wedding officiants with diverse backgrounds and years of experience, and we recommend booking at least 9 months in advance. This gives you an opportunity to interview officiants and the time to get to know the officiant you choose. If travel and time are factors, then consider interviewing the officiant via Skype or FaceTime. Finding the right person will help make your wedding day more comfortable.
The officiant is as central to your day as the photographer or the caterer. Most professional officiants have performed hundreds of ceremonies and can guide you calmly through what can otherwise feel like a hectic process. If you choose a friend or family member to perform the ceremony, be sure to schedule several practice sessions so you can avoid a day-of disaster! Officiants who have ordained themselves online have taken a shortcut through the path that ministers have spent years training for. This is not to say they cannot do a good job — some individuals have a natural ability to be sensitive, personable public speakers — but care has to be taken when selecting them (or even trained ministers). Performing a ceremony successfully requires more than just standing up front and saying a few words. It involves being able to read the audience and change tones and delivery accordingly. It is being able to know beforehand what is going to flow and when to include tasteful, light-hearted material. The officiant is there to set the tone for the celebrations to follow. Finally, the officiant should realize that it is not about him/her or his/her soapbox, but it is about the couple and should include personable, solemn and enjoyable material that will cause your guests to say, “That was the best ceremony we have attended.”
Do Your Research
Be sure to ask a lot of questions, we have a list of some of the questions you could ask. If you are unsure of exactly how you’d like the process to go, your Officiant should have the knowledge and planning tools to guide you through preparation of the entire ceremony. Research your Officiant online or get a referral from friends so you can be sure that your Officiant is someone you can trust to make your day amazing.
Find The Connection
Find an officiant with whom you can connect. Someone who listens, is flexible and can answer your questions. Can you write your own vows or add other special touches to the ceremony? Are you looking for a little humor in the ceremony? Can you use contemporary readings, or are religious or scripture readings required? Will they work with you to develop a ceremony that honors the religious traditions and beliefs of both families? Will your officiant have a selected backup in case of emergency, or would you need to find an alternate yourselves?
It is your day. You should have a say in the details that are important to you. Ideally, you should look for someone who best reflects your ideals and beliefs. An Officiant with the experience, with whom you can connect, who can work with you to create a ceremony that allows your love to shine through for all to see.