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The Bride’s Survival Guide: Steps To Help In Finding The Best Officiant For Your Wedding

Finding a wedding officiant for your wedding day is something you might overlook until the last minute. Just the way you order your wedding dress, ensure that you get hold of the best officiant way before your wedding day.

On a long list of to-do things for your wedding planning, figuring out how you are going to find a wedding officiant and choose the right person to do the job are big ones. The officiant, apart from officiating your ceremony, will work with you for several months, leading to your wedding day to make sure that you are ready when the time to make your vows come.

Some officiants will even volunteer to take you through premarital counseling, which is an integral part of the wedding process. Most couples overlook the task of finding an officiant for their ceremony and only start looking for one at the last minute.

Getting an officiant is a decision that should start way early enough at least seven months before the wedding day. When you do so, it will help in planning for the kind of wedding and ceremony that you will have, and at the same time, improve the type of marriage that you envision.

To help in choosing an officiant wisely, the following are some of the ways experts think you should do it.

  • Ensure you have decided on the type of ceremony that you hope for: At the moment, several weddings are taking place in neutral or non-religious venues such as hotels and banquet halls. It is a fact which should not limit you from having an officiant who is religiously based.

If you decide that you want to have a religious ceremony, the first step should be to find and an officiant from the people who are already in your life. It could be a pastor or a rabbi where you go to worship or even someone whom you used to attend services with when you were still young.

In case you decide that you want to have a non-religious ceremony, there is a variety of officiant who tends not to be affiliated with any religion and can readily perform secular wedding ceremonies.

  • Research potential officiants: There are various ways you can use to get a wedding officiant. Unless you know the officiant personally, there will be a need to check the credentials of the officiant. You can seek references from couples whom the person officiated their weddings and ask them how they handled it.

You also need to ensure they are licensed to officiate from the state residents and the local community. There are stories about how officiant officiated a wedding. Then, later on, the couple realized that the marriage could not be validated as the person was not legally recognized in their state.  There is a need to ask if the officiant has any advanced training or possess academic degrees in their line of practice.  Though the latter is not necessary, it is an added advantage.  You need to read reviews of the officiant on their website.

  • Confirm that they are confident speakers: To be a right officiant, one needs to be a good orator. They need to have confidence, be able to speak in a precise and transparent manner, and understand how to create tension that is dramatic when necessary, as well as happiness, taking the audience on a journey with their voice and words.

Though your ceremony is about the two of you and the love that you share, the officiant will be the person who will determine how it comes out; they are the emcee of your journey. You don’t want to hire someone who will become overly dramatic because, with that, everything will be dragged down into parody. Try seeing them in action either in a video or at a service from another wedding, to find out the strength of their presentation skills.

  • Getting to understand your officiant in a personal way: When you are thinking about finding a wedding officiant, you have to remember that, the person, apart from playing an essential role in your wedding, the position will affect your life. Your entire life, you will have to remember this person, who stood by your side as you made your wedding vows and placed a ring on each other’s finger.

For this particular reason, it will be helpful to spend time getting to understand the person if you already don’t know them very well. It is even impossible for the officiant himself to imagine officiating a wedding for strangers. It could be partly because of the various questions that both the couple and the officiant would like to iron out before the wedding day.

It is also essential that both the couple and the officiant develop a relationship before the wedding day because making vows is such a special moment in their lives and, thus, should not be taken lightly.

  • Try figuring out any obligations in planning that are involved: In most instances, couples are required by the officiant to fulfill specific requirements as well as planning obligations. The first obligation is the financial part, but some officiants need to do some premarital counseling for the couple, one on one meetings or online sessions to find out if the couple is truly ready for marriage. For such a reason, the couple must determine early enough if they will be attending premarital meetings so that they fulfill the requirements of the officiant.

Considering that marriage is something that is supposed to last forever, the couple must undergo counseling by the officiant. It is something that will last more than the wedding day, and thus, it makes sense to devote enough time during the months before the wedding, to plan for the marriage as the wedding is being planned.

  • Ensure the officiant values do line up with yours: Especially with the religious ceremonies, levels and values might cause some issues in case they are not ironed well in advance.

Use the steps to help you in finding the best officiant for your wedding. For other information about the wedding officiant and other people that will be involved in your marriage, check out with the ultimate bride’s survival guide.


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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

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