It has been my experience that most brides and grooms will pick the date, book the venue, then hire the DJ or Band, Photographer, Videographer, caterer, Photo Booth, etc., and wait until the very last minute to hire the most important person for your ceremony – the wedding officiant. The wedding officant sets the tone for your entire celebration. The really great officiants have very busy schedules. Most of the good ones book months in advance. If you want someone who will perform a really great wedding ceremony, please don’t wait until the last minute.
HOT TIP: Choose your wedding date first. Second, seek out a wedding venue that fits your style and taste. Third, hire your wedding officiant!
Before you start looking for a wedding officiant, make sure you know what you want – after all, picking someone to marry you and your partner is something to consider carefully. What kind of ceremony do you want? What kind of vibe do you want for your big day? What would you like your officiant to say? Will they be willing change parts of the ceremony that you don’t like and add something that you do like?
What qualities do you want your officiant to have – would you like them to add a little light humor? Be serious? Do you want the vows to be romantic? Sentimental? Formal? Would you prefer to write some of your own words or vows to add to the ceremony? It’s better to begin thinking about all this before you call someone.
If you’re planning a traditional religious wedding, finding an officiant will be easy. That kind of officiant typically comes along with the place of worship. But if you’re not getting married in a church, temple, or synagogue, what then? Never fear, finding an officiant is possible. Do they charge extra to travel? Most do. It’s usually not too difficult to find an officiant who will come to your location of choice.
If you’ve got the date, have carefully planned your budget, and the wedding venue booked, your next step is to find a qualified wedding officiant.
Are you planning a traditional religious ceremony? If so, first contact your place of worship. Some wedding officiants can perform beautiful spiritual ceremonies. If you’re not getting married in a church, temple, or synagogue finding an officiant should be easier. If you’re looking for an officiant with a specific religious background, you may have to seek them out by narrowing your overall search. Same thing with finding an officiant if you’re looking to have a non-religious, non-spiritual or civil ceremony.
Do you know someone who has been married recently? Remember to ask your friends and family if they were impressed and satisfied with their officiant. If so, ask for their contact information. Check your wedding venue’s “preferred vendor’ list. Usually only the names of qualified wedding officiants who have worked at the venue are listed. Most will allow you to hire a wedding officiant who is not on their list, unless you purchase a package deal and do not get to choose who performs the ceremony.
Be sure to choose someone who will be a good match for you and your partner. Get to know the officiant you interview. Listen to their speaking voice, their style and personality, and watch videos of them performing a real wedding ceremony Check their references. Bring lots of questions. Click here to read some on the questions you may want to ask.
If you are having a destination wedding and it’s not possible to meet up with the officiant in person before the ceremony, be certain to get references, and definitely spend some time talking by phone about the details of your wedding with them. Be totally satisfied or call someone else!
Caution: Hiring Uncle George or a friend who has never performed a wedding ceremony before is taking a big risk. It’s nice that Uncle George has offered to do it for free, however, always remember you get what you pay for. Sometimes free is good. However, this is your wedding… pay a little more and hire the best. Make the cuts to your budget somewhere else, not the wedding officiant. As I said before, the wedding officant sets the tone for your entire wedding celebration. A poorly trained, inexperienced wedding officiant with a boring ceremony can leave the guests cold and uninspired. If you want a memorable wedding ceremony, choose wisely. Hire someone who has experience and knows the ins-and-outs of a wedding ceremony.
HOT TIP #2: Arrange a time to get together with Larry James – an award winning wedding officiant – for a no-cost, no pressure, no-obligation interview. Larry serves the Greater Phoenix area, Sedona, Flagstaff, Tucson, an occasional beach wedding in Rocky Point, Mexico, and anywhere else your budget allows. (Please excuse the shameless plug!) ;-)
Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.
NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.
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