Some people devote a lot of time and effort into preparing every detail of their wedding day, giving every important aspect thorough consideration - what style dress should I wear? who will cater the event? what type of flowers do we want? what should or first dance song be? The list goes on and on. But how many people really give much thought to who will officiate the wedding?
A wedding ceremony is a personal and intimate moment for couples to declare their love for one another in front of their closest friends and family. It is also a unique time for the officiant who is witnessing the bond between two people in love and helping to create the memorable occasion where they finally say "I Do." As important as it is for your officiant to get to know you as a couple and learn your story, it is important for you to learn theirs as well.
Here are some basic questions to ask when interviewing officiants. These questions will help you get to know more about them and their experience to see if they fit your personality and style.
1. What made you want to become a wedding officiant?
2. How many ceremonies have you performed?
3. Where and when were you ordained?
4. Do you require any pre-marital counseling?
5. What are your fees?
6. Will you help write our vows/can you personalize the ceremony to suit what we want?
7. Will you be at the ceremony rehearsal?
8. Do you have a backup plan in the event you are sick or unable to perform at the wedding?
9. Are you familiar with our venue?
10. Do you have any references?
11. Will you travel if necessary to the wedding and will you charge extra?
12. Will you attend the rehearsal dinner or reception?
13. How often will we need to meet with you prior to the wedding?
14. How long will the ceremony be?
15. Do you perform interfaith marriages?
If you want to get more personal, you can ask more specific questions about their lifestyle, spiritual beliefs and marriage in general such as:
1. What do you love about performing wedding ceremonies?
2. Have you ever turned anyone away? If yes, what was the reason?
3. Are you married? How long?
4. What do you look for in the couples you consider working with?
5. What is the biggest challenge you have faced as an officiant so far?
Most officiants will be happy to answer any of these questions and will be glad to know that you are taking this process seriously. The more you know about the officiant's style, mannerisms, tone and faith, the easier it will be to make your decision.
Image: Danielle Honea Phototography
Brenda Cali is a professionally trained Wedding Consultant and plans a variety of social and corporate events.