Good morning, darlings!
With wedding season coming to a close and engagement season gearing up, many of our couples are beginning to get their vendors in line for their weddings next year. One vendor that every single wedding has in common is someone to actually do the deed and legally marry the love-birds. Some couples choose to have a friend serve as their officiant, while others hire a professional. For those of you planning to bring in a ringer, it is important to find an officiant that is the right fit for your ceremony needs. Today, we are talking you through the process of finding and booking the minister, rabbi, non-denominational officiant, or marriage guru for you.
Photo Credit: Andrew Abajian
It’s About The Important Things
Different couples have different needs and instincts as to what they want when it comes to who will be the one to marry them. Would you prefer a male or female? Do they need to have a specific religious affiliation? Do you want someone with a traditional, old-school vibe or someone young and hip? You may want to consider the services that your officiant may offer. Some officiant companies include premarital counseling. Others aid with obtaining your marriage license (so you don’t have to waste a couple hours during the workweek at the courthouse). Some officiants have a very set way that they conduct their ceremonies, while others will let you organize it however you want, as long as you say “i-do.” It is important for you and your partner to sit down and discuss what both of you want in each of these sections before actually speaking to or research officiants.
Photo Credit: Birds of a Feather
Photo Credit: Jessica Hickerson Photography
What kind of ceremony do you want?
Once you have started to think through what you want in an officiant, it would be good to discuss what specific items you do or do not want included in your ceremony prior to talking to any potential officiants. This way you go into these conversations with a game plan and can describe what you are thinking for your ceremony. Different plans can range from recreating a version of a catholic mass in an open field to mixing together two very different religions, or from having a completely secular ceremony to including a ceremony with tons of readings, songs and traditions. Ultimately, the type of ceremony you have will determine what kind of officiant you choose.
Photo Credit: Lukas Van Dyke
Identify potential officiants
By now, you and your partner should have a clear idea of what you are looking for in an officiant that you can start doing some research. A good place to start would be to ask your wedding planner to refer you a list of officiants they may have in their network. If you are flying solo without professional vendor leads, then do some research on officiants in the area. Officiant services can range between $300 to $700, depending on the services and experience. This is something to keep in mind while budgeting for your wedding.
Photo Credit: Oh Hello Studios
Reach out to your top 2-3 favorites
After you have done your search and narrowed down your options, reach out to your potential officiants and schedule “get-to-know-you” phone calls. It is important for both partners to be present for these chats so you can get the general vibe of the person and determine if they are a good personality fit, as well as a fit for the ceremony you want as a whole. Be sure to ask how long their ceremonies tend to last as that may also be a deciding factor in your choice.
Photo Credit: Kim Fox Photography
Hire the one that’s right for you!
Once you have found the perfect officiant that you can vibe with, fits your criteria, is available on your date and the price is right, hire them asap before someone else books them!
Photo Credit: Docuvitae
By following these tips, you should be able to find the officiant that is right for you. It’s okay to be picky with who you want. After all, it is your big day!