If you are looking for a wedding officiant to serve at your wedding ceremony, ask yourself these ten important questions to assist you in your wedding planning search:
- Will you hold a religious or secular ceremony?
If your ceremony is more spiritually centered, you might want to go with ordained clergy person of your same faith or denomination. If you have no religious or spiritual preferences, you can always contact officials such as justices of the peace, or others who are legally able to marry you in your state.
- Have you budgeted for a wedding officiant?
Depending on whom you choose to perform the wedding ceremony, fees may apply. Just like with other wedding vendors, you should ask what the fees include and if you’re required to pay a deposit.
- Is experience an important factor in selecting a wedding officiant?
Will it matter to you if your officiant has only performed a handful of services, or do you desire someone a bit more seasoned?
- What are your expectations of the wedding officiant?
What will your require of your selected officiant? If using a clergy person, will you want them to wear traditional vestments? Are there certain scriptures you would prefer read during the wedding ceremony You should discuss any expectations you have of your officiant prior to the wedding rehearsal.
- Will you follow a traditional order of service according to your faith or create your own ceremony service?
Some members of clergy strictly follow traditional orders of service specific to their faith. Perhaps you want to write your own vows or perhaps you want both your mother and father to escort you down the aisle. These are things you and your groom should discuss with your officiant to gauge his or her comfort level with your wedding wishes.
- Will your wedding venue play a role in an officiant’s availability?
If your wedding reception and ceremony will take place at the same location (one where alcohol will be served) ask your officiant if he is comfortable performing your wedding ceremony in an environment of that kind.
- Will you be required to attend premarital counseling?
With some faiths, couples are required to participate in premarital counseling. This may be something you will have to consider if your heart is set on an officiant who follows this tradition.
- What happens if the officiant cancels at the last minute?
Will your officiant have a selected backup or would you need to find an alternate yourselves? Ask the vendor about his or her cancellation/rescheduling policy to protect you in case of an unforeseen emergency.
- Will the officiant perform your ceremony if you are not married in his/her church?
Is it mandatory that you’re married at their home church? If so, are there any exceptions to this rule?
- Will your wedding day affect the availability of certain officiants?
Some couples may choose to have their wedding ceremony on an off day (a day other than the ever-popular Saturday). If your wedding day is one that the officiant holds worship services on, or is on the day of a religious observance, you’ll want to sort out any scheduling issues that may arise.
These questions are designed to set the standard for what you want in a wedding officiant. Especially since he or she will important part in your wedding ceremony. Ideally, you should look for someone who best reflects your ideals and beliefs, and can also beautifully articulate your feelings while allowing your love to shine through for all to see.