You've got so much planned for your wedding day - casual or formal, big or intimate - AND one of the last details left to deal with is finding and selecting a person to marry you!
If you are being married outside of a specific religious tradition or if you don't have a minister, rabbi, priest or layperson to officiate your ceremony, you will need to find an Officiant or Minister in the "outside world."
As a Non-Denominational Wedding Officiant/Minister, I have worked with hundreds of couples of all faiths and traditions to create and delivery personalized wedding ceremonies. Over the years, I have learned many things working intimately with engaged couples and with "tribes" on the wedding day.
I offer you these 5 Top Tips to Consider and Remember As You Interview And Select Your Officiant/Minister:
1) Is Your Officiant/Minister Passionate About What They Do? Creating and officiating a wedding ceremony is serious business. It also requires that a person be passionate, excited and at the same time humble about doing this work. As you interview Officiants, consider the "passion" factor. Is the Officiant excited about the possibility of working with you? Do they offer ideas and suggestions for your wedding ceremony during your initial conversation? Can you see this person relating to you and your Sweetheart and can you get a sense of how they will "be' in front of a group?
The last thing you want is a boring "blah, blah, blah" wedding ceremony. The goal is to find an Officiant/Minister who exhibits kindness, generosity and leadership ability.
2) Does The Officiant's Personality Resonate With You? There is not right way to "do" a ceremony. And there is no "wrong" way to do a ceremony. It's all about what you want/desire as a couple. I invite you to consider that an Officiant's personality is key to a robust and memorable wedding ceremony. You need to like each other and if the Officiant selects you and you select the Officiant, this is even better because you are setting the stage for a mini-friendship which makes the process of working together that much more fun and enjoyable.
3) Style of Work - How Will Your Ceremony Be Created/Crafted? Every Officiant works differently. Discuss with your Officiant how they create and deliver a ceremony. Will your ceremony be custom written? Will you be asked to select from sample ceremonies? What is the level of personalization and customization involved?
4) References ~ The best Officiants put references on their websites with the first and last name of a couple. There are also wedding reviews sites that provide additional reviews and recommendations. Don't hire an Officiant without reading and/or checking out references. (I prefer to protect the privacy of my couples and therefore do not publish their last names on my website or on my blog. I am happy to furnish references if someone wants to contact one of my couples. There are also 30 something reviews of me on WeddingWire.com that couples can read.)
5) The Contract Factor ~ As you make your final decision, insure that you have a written agreement and/or contract with your Officiant. You want all terms and items of understanding to be outlined in your agreement including fee for services, attendance at rehearsal, time of wedding ceremony and services provided to you.
Annemarie Juhlian is a Wedding Officiant, Minister & Celebrant in Seattle, Washington. She creates personalized wedding ceremonies for couples of all faiths and traditions. Take a peak at Annemarie: http://www.wedbyannemarie.com or call 425. 922.1325