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The Bride’s Survival Guide: Qualities To Look Out For In A Wedding Officiant

Your wedding officiant’s role in your wedding is normally short and sweet, lasting only during the time the ceremony is ongoing. But as you think about it, you will see that they are the most important person because, without them, you will not be married at all.

Whether you plan for your wedding to take place in a garden, a church, or in any of the many wedding venues in your city of choice, you will have to do research, both intuitive and practical,  and settle for the best officiant, and that is the only way you will get be able to choose the one that best fits your wedding ceremony.

  • They need to have an understanding that this is your wedding: It is your wedding so plan the way you want. The officiant has to know that and this will make you as a couple be comfortable with them.
  • Respect and honor your beliefs: When couples engage, they bring family cultures, traditions, and individual preferences to their wedding planning. The officiant you pick has to accommodate all that together with any sensitive requests that you might have. You have to look for someone who respects and honors where you stand as a couple in matters spiritual. Most couples are normally in between; they want God to be invited in the ceremony without many prayers being performed, while not wanting the ceremony to be held in a church setting.
  • Make you feel safe and calm: During the wedding day, everyone is anxious and excited and this can run high. The officiant should have an effect that is calming. And the better they understand you as a couple, the more support they will be able to offer.

They should even suggest inviting you as a couple to their home before the wedding for a cup of coffee or dinner to ensure that you understand each other well. When this is done, it ensures there is a relaxing ambiance, co-creating the best aura for your wedding.

  • On the same page: You want to be sure that the three of you -the officiant and you as the marrying couple- share the same vision regarding the wedding ceremony. You want to ensure that you are comfortable with the officiant. Remember the wedding is the first event on your wedding day and it definitely will set the tone for the entire day, which is normally spent in your marriage celebration.
  • Provides guidance: Though your wedding might have a certain flow, the officiant should be open and available to assure that they customize the ceremony to your likes, style, and personality. Get to know in advance the typical elements of a wedding ceremony so that you can customize and rearrange with new traditions, prayers, or poems. The officiant who can include all that in your wedding ceremony will make it unique and provide the much-needed guidance instead of just the bride’s parents giving her away.
  • Plan for punctuality: You officiant needs to be time conscious and very punctual. Ensure that you have them invited during your rehearsal dinner so that you go through the final touches for the following day’s events. This will make everyone feel involved, prepared, and less nervous during the wedding day.

On your wedding day, the officiant needs to plan to arrive early enough before the actual time – at least 30 minutes before the beginning of the ceremony. This is true especially if they are going to use any instruments as the microphone – they have to test it way in advance and make an adjustment if need be. A professional officiant will have a plan in place just in case due to unavoidable circumstances, they are unable to attend.

  • Have optional services: Most officiants have a set charge fee either as a donation or a service fee. But there are others which apart from that, offer other additional services including rehearsal coordination, and premarital coaching.

This will enable such an officiant to discuss topics such as conflict resolution skills, communication skills, and financial management. With the coaching, it will help you in the future to have some powerful skills that you will use to navigate through challenges in the future.

  • Should be legit: You have to ensure that the officiant you are using is recognized by the laws of your country. The last thing you want is to start worrying about your marriage validity. Ensure that the officiant is legit as per the laws of your state or country.
  • Filing the right papers: You need to get a professional officiant who knows the way to take care of the paperwork. The officiant is the one responsible for getting hold of your marriage certificate and license for you before the ceremony starts.

When they have it in their possession, it will be easier for them to bring it out during the signing of the license by two witnesses. They have their portion where they will need to sign and return it to the registrar of deeds in the stipulated time frame as per the laws of your country or state.


Photo by

Jonathan Borba

Jez Timms

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