(Excerpt from the wedding book, “Do It Yourself Wedding Ceremony: Choosing the Perfect Words and Officiating Your Unforgettable Day”)
It is important to choose an Officiant (also known as “Minister” or the “person who marries you”) who best matches your personalities and intention for your wedding day. The words spoken at your ceremony should reflect what the two of you believe and feel, as well as be as formal or informal as you desire. Here are some tips on what to consider when selecting an Officiant.
What is the Officiant’s experience?
The government does not issue licenses to ministers, so an Officiant’s experience with weddings is important. Does the Officiant have references you can contact?
What is the spiritual or religious perspective of the Officiant?
Many ministers subscribe to the doctrines of a particular faith. Can they work with you to create a ceremony that is true to your beliefs?
How accommodating is the Officiant?
If you want a non-traditional song played during the ceremony, will the Officiant allow it? Are you free to add your own vows or other special, romantic touches? Do you want a little humor in the ceremony?
Will the Officiant run the rehearsal?
An experienced Officiant at your wedding rehearsal can be very helpful. If the Officiant is unable or unwilling to attend the rehearsal, will other arrangements be made for someone to lead your wedding party through the steps?
What will the Officiant wear?
Some Officiants wear suits (a black suit is desirable as it blends in with any color scheme), some wear robes, and others wear a wide variety of garments from jeans and tennis shoes to butterfly wings (yes, someone actually showed up to perform a ceremony wearing butterfly wings)!
What ceremony choices does the Officiant offer?
Many officiants have only one ceremony they offer. Be sure you get to review their ceremony and ensure that it expresses what you want communicated at your wedding. Ask if they have any spontaneous words they will add. Some Officiants will have a few simple choices (with the option of adding some of your own ideas) so that you can create the ceremony that is the most meaningful to you. Others will design an elaborate, customized wedding just for you.
Is the Officiant focused on serving you?
Many people feel that they have to meet a minister’s (also known as “Officiant”) standards, and in some religious traditions this is entirely valid. But remember, the original meaning of the word “minister” is “servant.” Is the minister serving your needs on your big day? Are you comfortable in their presence, or do you feel like you have to withhold things to prevent his or her disapproval? Find an Officiant who is eager to serve you, and your wedding day will be a beautiful one for everyone.