This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.
Choosing a wedding officiant is not the easiest wedding planning task. It’s often something that couples don’t worry about until late in the planning process. And they usually have no idea where to start. Unlike your wedding flowers or wedding outfit, you probably haven’t spent too much time picturing your wedding officiant. But it’s time to start!
Most couples say they want to plan a wedding that perfectly reflects them. They work hard to pick the flowers, food, décor, and music that represents who they are as a couple at the reception. But why not let the ceremony also reflect who you are? By choosing the right wedding officiant, you can create a ceremony that is so you, your guests will swear your wedding officiant has known you forever.
Finding the perfect wedding officiant for you is incredibly important. This is the person who is going to share your love story. This is the person who is going to represent you on your big day. And this is the person who is going to feature heavily in your wedding video, so you should really love what they’re going to say and do!
Tips For Choosing The Right Wedding Officiant
Do Your Homework
When searching for the right wedding officiant, it’s important to do your homework. One of the best ways to find officiants is to tap your network. Reach out to recently married friends or join local wedding forums online to ask for recommendations. Once you’ve found a few officiants or officiant companies that look promising, check them out online. Make sure to read their reviews and see if you can get examples of their work.
Meet In Person
The best way to get to know your potential officiant is to meet them in person. If that’s not possible, try to get them on the phone or on a Skype video call. You don’t want to spend months only corresponding by email. It’s important that you can meet this person and get to know them. When you meet, you’ll have a chance to ask all of your questions and ensure they’re a good fit for you.
Make Sure They Get To Know You
As much as the first meeting with your wedding officiant is about you getting to know them, you also want to make sure that they are getting to know you. Your ideal wedding officiant should be very interested in getting to know you as a couple. They should be interested in hearing your love story, learning what you want to happen at your ceremony and figuring out what tone you’d like to set on the big day.
Check Your Options
Your perfect officiant should be able to offer you lots of options when it comes to planning your ceremony. You don’t want them to perform the exact same ceremony that they have at hundreds of other weddings. Every couple is unique and they deserve to have a unique ceremony that represents who they are. Your officiant should be open to making changes and giving you options for different types of vows, readings and ring exchanges.
Know What They Are Going To Say
There shouldn’t be any surprises when you’re standing at the end of aisle. You should know exactly what your officiant is going to say on the day of your wedding. And you should be comfortable with every word and phrase they’re planning to say. Your officiant should share their script with you so you know exactly what is going to happen.
If there is something you and your partner absolutely don’t want during your ceremony or something you can’t imagine getting married without, your officiant should know about it. Communicate these requests early to ensure your wedding officiant can accommodate them. You’ll want to bring up these requests at your first meeting with your officiant so they know exactly what you are looking for and not looking for.
Trust Your Gut
At the end of the day, you need to listen to yourself. Do you trust this person to be your officiant? Do you trust them to perform the kind of wedding ceremony that you’re looking for? Do you feel chemistry with your officiant? If anything feels off, this is not the officiant for you. You don’t want to have any apprehensions or regrets walking into your ceremony.
How You Know You Have The Right Officiant:
The perfect wedding officiant is going to spend time listening to your love story and getting to know you. They’re going to ask about your goals, the ups and downs of your relationship, how you met, how you popped the question, and what you envision for your wedding ceremony. They’re going to reach out to your friends and family to learn even more about you as a couple and incorporate personal anecdotes into the ceremony.
By taking the time to genuinely get to know a couple and their story, an officiant can deliver the perfect ceremony. For example, Young Hip & Married officiant Randy Hamm was marrying Robyn and Daniel at L’Abattoir in Vancouver in the summer of 2016. Randy began the ceremony by talking about who the couple were and how they met – details he learned through many conversations with the couple and their friends and family.
He then included a fun personalized detail about why the couple might have chosen him as their officiant. The bride’s family works in the meat industry and the couple had decorated their venue with farm animal toys and even chosen the venue as it used to be a slaughterhouse. So Randy joked that the couple hired him because his last name is Hamm. Everyone laughed and the atmosphere instantly became more comfortable and intimate. Robyn and Daniel felt as if Randy was an old friend marrying them.
At the end of the day, you should feel like your wedding officiant is a member of your team who really gets you. If you’re a funny, quirky couple, your officiant should be able to incorporate that into your ceremony. Your wedding officiant should be able to tell your love story and represent you as a couple so well that guests wonder if the officiant has known you two your entire lives. And when you choose this officiant, you should feel 100% confident not just that they will get the job done but that they will create an amazing ceremony that’s perfect just for you.
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BIO: Young Hip & Married exists for two reasons: to help couples get married and stay married
We’re on a mission to eradicate dull and boring wedding ceremonies from the face of the planet and to help couples create a sweet lifelong union that gets better with age. If every couple is different then why have we all been to the same boring ceremony so many times? Young Hip & Married will marry you YOUR way”creative and personalized ceremonies are our specialty.We don’t just want you to have an amazing personal ceremony, we also want your marriage to be fun and exciting and to last forever. Our relationship coaching is designed to equip couples with the necessary knowledge, resources, and skills to not just stay married, but also love the journey. Your marriage is one of the most important relationships you’ll ever have”let us help you start off strong and thrive for life.
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