Choosing your wedding officiant is one of the most important decisions of your wedding day. The wedding officiant sets the tone for the ceremony and the wedding day. They drive the entire process, so having a great connection with an officiant who matches your values can make all the difference! Here are some things to consider when hiring an officiant.
How long have they been performing wedding ceremonies?
Is this their first or ninety-first ceremony? A newer officiant is not always a negative thing—sometimes their freshness makes them more malleable in terms of how to run the ceremony. They may also require more direction and supervision to make sure you’re comfortable with the flow. Seasoned officiants can conduct ceremonies in their sleep, but that sometimes means a bit more rigidity in how they do things. As long as their style matches your preference, they can be a great option that doesn’t require a lot of checking in.
Will they travel to your ceremony location?
If you’re getting married out of the officiant’s town, are they willing to attend? Make sure you know where and when you’re getting hitched before interviewing officiants. Then, before you get your heart set on a particular person, make sure they can travel to your wedding destination.
Do they attend the ceremony rehearsal?
The rehearsal is the time to literally rehearse what will happen during your big day. The officiant will do a mock ceremony, telling you where to stand, what order things will happen in, what is expected, etc. Having your officiant attend your rehearsal can really help clear up any confusion and answer any lingering questions before the live production, so make sure to ask if this is something your candidate offers before you hire them.
Do they match your beliefs and values?
If you’re not very religious, it may not make sense to pick an officiant who will reads several bible verses at your ceremony. On the flip side, if you are wanting a religious component, picking an officiant with no religious affiliation will likely not yield the results you want. If you’re a same-sex couple, you’ll want an officiant who actively conducts same-sex marriage ceremonies. Ask lots of questions to ensure your chosen officiant aligns with your own values. If you’re feeling stuck, try asking others in your community for recommendations!
Do they have sample ceremony readings to show you?
Similar to the question above, it’s a good idea to ask for previous ceremonies to get a feel for the vibe of your officiant candidate. Do you like how they write? Do you like the messages they send?
Are they able to accommodate any of your special requests?
If you have something specific in mind, is your officiant willing to incorporate it? This could be something as simple as ceremony length, or a more unique request like guest presentations or a dance flash mob in the aisle. If you’re planning a surprise during your ceremony, your officiant is the one person you should definitely not keep in the dark. Clearly communicate your needs before you hire them, to avoid any snags during your big day.
Like most things, the key to success comes down to communication. Have at least a general idea of your desired ceremony before going in, and clearly outline your expectations. Ask for samples and ask lots of questions, then see how flexible they are in accommodating your requests. Don’t be afraid to interview several candidates, and don’t feel pressured to make a decision on the spot (unless it feels right!). You’ll know when you’ve met the right person.