Sealed with a kiss!

Sealed with a kiss!
Adam and Conley's Wedding at The Pavilion Photo by Katherine Miles Jones

Monday, May 24, 2010

I use Google Alerts to notify when the terms "wedding minister" and "wedding officiant" appear on the internet. Tonight I ran across this blog and there was a great article about choosing your wedding officiant written by Yolanda Shoshana. So I am posting it here for my couples.

Shopping for a Wedding Officiant


bride

It is always interesting when a bride-to-be waits till the last minute to find an officiant. This may not be the best move, especially if you are getting married during the popular wedding months. The best officants get booked fast, and you just may end up with an officiant you have to settle on. You work hard to plan everything so that it is a perfect day, so why should your wedding officiant blow it? A wedding officiant sets the tone and pace of the wedding ceremony, so you will want the right one standing before you.

It is important that you and your partner decide what type of ceremony you want to have such as interfaith, spiritual, traditional, etc. before you select an officiant. Feel free to think outside of the box with what you want in a ceremony; you really can have exactly what you want. Having in mind the type of ceremony you want will help you narrow down your search for an officiant.

Find out what the state you live in requires in the qualification of an officiant. Each state has its own rules when it comes to who can officiate weddings. For example, in New York State anyone you choose can marry you, but in New York City it’s a whole other case. The person officiating the wedding has to be registered with the court. If you live in a state where it is required for the person to be registered, they should be able to supply you with a number from the court, so make sure you check the number to confirm they are legit. The last thing you need is to find out on your ten-year anniversary that “technically” you aren’t considered married. Check the officiant number.

{In NC, the officiant must be an ordained minister, priest, rabbi, chaplain or other person authorized by a recognized religious group to solemnize marriages. No registration with the county or state is required.}

You should question how much the officiant is willing to customize the wedding ceremony. There are officiants who will create one ceremony and use it for every couple that they marry. Talk about boring and impersonal. Then there are officiants like me who specialize in creating customized ceremonies. In a customized ceremony, you can add prose, poems, songs, have dancing bears, that basically allow your imagination to run wild. Also, find out if you want your friends and family to play an active role in your ceremony and see how the officiant feels about that. These are important questions to ask when you interview. The officiant should be incorporating your vision into the ceremony.

Personality is key when selecting an officiant. For the most part, when you interview the officiant, what you see is what you get. Choosing someone with personality will ensure that your ceremony is unique, plus there is nothing worse than an officiant so boring that everyone at the ceremony is falling asleep. Everyone has been to a boring wedding; you know you don’t want that to be you.

Last but not least, find an officiant who makes you feel comfortable. Don’t forget that the officiant works for you, not the other way around. It is your big day, one to remember forever.

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