Questions to Ask Potential Wedding Officiants
For The Religious Officiant
For The Friend Or Family Officiant
decide if you want someone you know or don't know.
Whether you are moving forward with a religious ceremony or a non-traditional ceremony, one big question to ask yourself is whether you want your officiant to be someone you know or someone you don't know. If you've always been around religion and tradition, you may have an officiant in mind, one that you've heard speak, one that knows you and your fiancé. Or, you can choose an officiant you don't know and one that defines the religious ceremony of your dreams. Do keep in mind that some religious officiants require or recommend premarital counseling, so keep an open mind to the request if it comes up.
If you are having a secular ceremony, you can either search for a civil officiant or turn your ceremony over to a close friend or family to officiate - both come with pros and cons. A civil wedding officiant has one job and one job they've done hundreds of times, and that is to legalize the marriage and be responsible for witnessing and validating the consent between you two. But because they have done this a time or two, they know what to do, what to say, what not to say - it will be a smooth ride. But the downside of hiring an officiant is the fact that they don't know you or your partner on a personal level. So they might not be able to connect personally or express the love you two share like a friend or family member would be able to.
On the other hand, a friend or family member knows you and can make your ceremony feel intimate and personal. They can share personal stories about you as individuals, you as a couple, and can lead your ceremony and vows in a way to personalize your nuptials. Even though you may trust this person with your life, it is always a wise decision to read over what they prepare for your wedding. Go over what they have planned just in case there's anything you want them to add or remove; you may not want them to share too many personal stories (remember, grandma is probably going to be there). Also, having a loved one as your officiant is more cost-effective, and honestly, it's easier to be ordained than one might think. But having a friend or family member officiate your wedding may also come with a few challenges, including the fact that they've probably never officiated a wedding before. They most likely won't have the experience or confidence right off the bat, and it can come with some added pressure for all parties.
how to find a wedding officiant
Before you jump down a rabbit hole online, ask recently married friends or family members for referrals. They might know the perfect officiant, or hey, maybe they are the perfect officiant for you
Check out some places of worship - maybe your officiant is just a door away
Ask your vendors for their recommendations, such as your wedding planner or photographer - as they are getting to know you and your wedding vision, they might be able to point you in the right direction
Ask a friend or family member if they'll get ordained and officiant your wedding
Here are a few websites with local officiants and honest reviews to help narrow down your search.
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