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Choosing an Officiate that is Right For You

Choosing an Officiate that is Right For You
November 5, 2016

Now Booking for 2017

Choosing the right officiate can sometimes get overlooked during the wedding planning process but it is an important detail not to forget. The officiant you choose will not only have a huge influence on the tone of the ceremony, but act as a communicator of your style and belief system. Your officiate is not just a vendor, and selecting an officiate is not the same as selecting flowers or DJ. While it may and should include a business agreement, it is also a very sacred agreement. Your officiate is the facilitator of the most important aspect of your wedding; the ceremony; and you will share an intimate moment in time together. I see the relationship between the couple and the officiate as more of a partnership and believe both should treat the process and relationship respectfully. 

Find someone you are Comfortable With

Seek someone who makes you feel so at ease on so many levels that you can relax on your wedding day, knowing that you will be taken care of. You want the person who facilitates and guides this important milestone in your life to be someone you both feel confident about; someone who makes no judgments about your union and whose only concern is providing you with a ceremonial experience that exceeds your expectations and is all you want it to be. It would be wonderful to work with a wedding officiate who is caring and willing to get to know you. 

Understanding your Style

Envision for a moment how you want your ceremony to feel like. Serious? Humorous? Romantic? Your wedding officiate will set the tone for the ceremony, so it is very important for you to understand and convey the style you are looking for to them. Wedding officiates do more than help you exchange your vows with one another. They are there to elaborate on the love you share with each other, and the lasting commitment you are about to make. Lastly, they are there to share a sense of direction to the adventure the two of you are about to set out on.

Review their Work

Nothing speaks louder than a person’s work. You can see a piece of their soul in each ceremony they have performed. Most wedding officiates should have a wide range of samples and styles to choose from. Take time to look through them and see what would be the best fit for your style. This would be a great time to write down any questions regarding adding in music, quotes or any other personal touches such as providing your own written vows to symbolize your love. Read their reviews online and don’t form your opinion based on the number available to read, but the quality. 

Timing

 Be sure to contact potential wedding officiates up to a year in advance to review their work and interview them in person. Once you find a wedding officiate that you like, book them! Booking early will not only put your mind at ease, but some may or may not require pre-marital counseling sessions before they will marry you.

Set up a Time and Place to Meet

Call and set up a one-on-one meeting with your potential wedding officiant so you can listen to their voice, how they speak, and get a sense of their personality. You want a wedding officiant that will make a connection and resonate with you. They are there to add valued meaning to your ceremony on the wedding, so be sure that you are comfortable with whom they are as a person and as a performer.

Be Clear about What is in the Ceremony

I believe the couple should have input into the language, readings, and rituals in the ceremony, and should have final approval of the wedding script. Make sure your officiant sticks to the script that you approved and there will be no surprises or unwanted preaching. 

 Ask for the kind of Ceremony Language you want

Even if you are choosing to have a traditional ceremony, you still have options for adjustments to any language you don't want. One of my brides couldn't stand the thought of being pronounced "man and wife" and ask to make sure I said "husband and wife. Another asked me to replace "till death do us part" because it sounds too negative and depressing. Even in a traditional setting, look for an open-minded officiant and approve the final ceremony script before the big day. 

Put things in Writing

 Weddings are stressful. Couples are new at asking the right questions and conversations may not be remembered in full. This is why it is extremely important to have a clear agreement with the officiant, so you know exactly what to expect. By the same token, officiants should provide clear information on what they will and will not provide. Your officiant should mail or email you a contract recalling all the points discussed in the first meeting so that it is on paper for all to see. 


Christina Mathews - 336-705-3239
Christina@abeautifuldaybychristina.com