Congratulations, you’re Engaged! Now, what? Hiring a Wedding Officiant is often one of the first tasks you’ll check off your list, after choosing a wedding date. Why? You need an officiant to get married! Even twenty years ago, couples most often married in a religious ceremony with a priest, pastor, minster, etc. Today, your best friend’s sister could perform your wedding. If you’re planning a ceremony in a place of worship, your church will have all the necessary tools to help ensure your ceremony is legally binding. If you’re opting out of tradition, keep reading for some tips on hiring a Wedding Officiant….
Top 5 Questions to Ask:
I recommend you choose 2 officiants, but no more than 4, to interview before making your decision. The first person you meet with may not be the best person for the job, so it’s important to allow yourself the opportunity to find the best fit.
Are you available on my wedding date?
Confirming their availability should be question number one, and the same goes for every vendor and service you hire. You can ask this question during an initial email or phone call; if the answer is no, you can move ahead easily.
Are you legally able to perform the ceremony? (Different provinces have different rules.)
With their availability confirmed, make sure they can legally perform your ceremony. You don’t want to find out after the fact, that your wedding wasn’t quite as official as you thought. Research your municipal and provincial laws to confirm any regulations in regard to performing wedding ceremonies. Your wedding officiant should also be aware of the differing rule.
Is there a Back-Up Plan?
Sometimes, people get sick or something happens that creates a domino effect. Regardless of the reason, if your officiant can’t make it to your wedding, that shouldn’t be the reason the day doesn’t go smoothly. Officiant companies typically have a backup on stand-by. Freelance services may not have the means to provide one in their contract. From my own experience, freelance wedding officiants often provide better, more authentic services than companies that whip out officiants left right and centre to show up, read and smile. Talk to your interviewees and create a plan 🙂
Can you customize your ceremony?
When hiring a wedding officiant, it’s important to think about the actual service you’re asking them to fulfill. From my experience, we wanted a ceremony that reflected us well. Trends continuously mentioned unity ceremonies and we must have researched for months, looking at every single one to see if it would spark something in us. It didn’t, so we cut out losses. If you have a reading or song you’d like performed, or a tradition to tie into your ceremony, discuss it with your officiant. When customizing your ceremony, you’ll also look at the timing of it all. Consider the time of day, the setting your guests and you will be in, and whether you want a lengthy, traditional or shorter program.
How much will it cost?
It’s important to remember that weddings, like everything else, are an industry. Be ready to talk money and don’t be afraid to negotiate within your budget. The cost of hiring a wedding officiant can vary from person to person. That said, do some research and take note of what people are generally offering so you have something to compare it with. It also doesn’t hurt to see about including a complimentary counseling session or a rehearsal of the ceremony before your big day.
Research really is the best thing you can do for yourself! Believe it or not, people write reviews both negative and positive, and they can make the difference between hiring someone who is a professional and hiring someone who will show up late on your Wedding day. Trust your instincts. When all is said and done, review the vendors you go with and help the next group of couples make their decisions based on truth and reviews.
xx The Grateful Brunette
Staying organized when planning a wedding is oh-so important, check out these apps to keep you on track and productive through it all!