Your wedding is approaching, and you have everything under control, except that perfect wedding celebrant to officiate your ceremony. So now you are looking to hiring a wedding officiant.
If you are getting married near home, that chances are you belong to a church and that you can get your minister or pastor officiate your wedding. If you are having a destination wedding, you will be looking to hire a local person to perform the ceremony. Given that this person will not only perform your wedding but will also write your ceremony and that this Officiant really does not know you, the situation might present some challenges. So do start looking early and do ask around for references before you make your final decision. We all have different characters, temperament and outlook towards life, hence we all have a different view as to what your ceremony should feel like, look like and convey. You will need a person who does not only understand your personality, but who is willing to work with it and create your remarkable experience! The following will offer some pointer as to what to look for, what to ask and how to work with the Officiant of your choice. Nonetheless, always go with your gut feelings, and do not necessarily look at the bottom line. Very often you get what you pay for, and your wedding is a onetime affair that has to be perfect.
Some things to ask when hiring a wedding officiant:
1. Celebrant’s Background
Do you like the Celebrant? Do you feel comfortable with the Celebrant? Do you like their speaking voice? Are you energized by their enthusiasm and commitment to your ceremony? Is the Celebrant open to your ideas and will they co-create the ceremony with you?
2. Religious/Spiritual Issues
Will the Celebrant represent couples who are from different religious, spiritual and/or cultural backgrounds (if this is a factor)? Is the Celebrant open to non-religious ceremonies if that is your desire? An open minded Celebrant is very significant.
3. Writing and Co-Creating the Ceremony
How will your ceremony be created and written? Are you confident in the skills of your chosen Celebrant to deliver your ceremony? Does the Celebrant have sample ceremonies/vows for your review? Is he/she willing to go outside of the box to create a ceremony which might not be typical?
Will your Celebrant be available for a rehearsal? (If you wish)
Is the Celebrant available before your ceremony for questions and advice? Can you communicate with the Celebrant easily and efficiently? Email a few quick questions before you hire the Celebrant, and see how quickly he/she responds to your query. How early will your Celebrant arrive at your ceremony and how long will they stay afterwards?
Will the Celebrant travel to your wedding ceremony site? Is there an additional fee for the travel?
What will the Celebrant charge for the ceremony and exactly what does this include? Most Celebrants will charge a flat fee and will be available to you for questions before the wedding. They will write and customize your ceremony and will officiate your wedding. They will also sign your certificates and mail it back to the appropriate state or county agency. They will also provide you with a written copy of your ceremony for your wedding.
As a summary, do not be shy to ask questions, and go with your gut feeling. If you do not feel comfortable with the Officiant, move on and find someone that you do like. It is your special day and it must be absolutely perfect!