by: Yolanda Shoshana
I have been officiating weddings for some time now and it continues to surprise me that people wait to the last minute to hire their wedding officiant. Having the right wedding officiant at your wedding is like having the right glass of wine with an expensive meal.
Before you know it wedding season will be here. Do not get caught scrambling for an officiant a few weeks before your big day. It can be overwhelming picking the right person for the day, especially when there are so many other things to plan. There are a few things that you can keep in mind that can ease your selection process.
Start looking for an officiant as soon as possible- The best wedding officiants get booked early for the wedding season. You know what your wedding date is so lock down a good officiate. Start your interviews with officiants early that way you get the best there is. The closer you get to your date an officiant might know that you are in a bind and charge you more money. You are paying enough for your wedding, save funds where you can.
Ask if they customize ceremonies- There are some officiants that use the same canned ceremony for every wedding. All they do is change the names. This is your big day, why should any old thing be said to unite you with the love of your life? Make sure you ask if they will customize ceremonies if that is your desire. Know whether or not your officiant will let you in on the creative process of creating a unique ceremony. This is your big day so you should have a say.
Look at their personality- If the officiant is dull on the phone or when you meet, that could be a sign that they will put your guests to sleep during the ceremony. We have all experienced a lovely wedding where everything was flawless up until it came time when the officiant took over the ceremony. You could see people yawning, looking at their watches, and praying that the ceremony ends quickly. A good wedding officiant is lively and keeps the energy up during the ceremony. You have made it this far, make sure that the ceremony ends up being the big event you dreamed of.
Don’t forget non-traditional officiants- I have been called a priest, minister, and a rabbi. I definitely do not fit into any of those categories. There are plenty of wedding officiants who are not clergy that can create and perform a beautiful ceremony for you. It is also a great way to go if you want a spiritual wedding that does not have a religious affiliation. Be sure to check the city clerk laws where you live, you may be able to have your best friend officiate your wedding.