5 Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Officiant
(Guest Blog by Reverend Heidi Merrigan)
1. Think about how important the wedding ceremony is to you. Is it the reason for your celebration, a spiritual commitment to one another, a time to share your love for each other with your family and friends? Or is it that legal thing you have to do before you get to the party? Each couple is different, and each officiant will provide something unique to the ceremony. Choose someone that can create a ceremony that fits your needs, whether they are small or large.
2. Is price the most important thing? Professional wedding officiants range from $99-$1500. The cost is due to experience, professionalism, specialties, and how creative you need them to be. But don’t forget, they are responsible for your wedding being legal! Of course, you can have a family member or friend do it for a free dinner and nothing more. We’ve all heard stories of “Uncle Bob” getting up in front of all your friends and family. Stories about how boring, bad, too short, too long, not appropriate, not professional the ceremony was. How about when Uncle Bob tried to out drink the groomsmen and won… before the wedding! Or he messed up the marriage license or didn’t send it in and surprise… you’re not legally married! Not to mention, the worst is when they drop out a week or two before the wedding because it is “just too much pressure.”
3. Read reviews and “stalk” professional wedding officiants! Google the wedding officiants that you like. You will find out so much about them from their reviews, their social media and their websites. If the reviews talk about someone you want up there with you on one of the most important days of your life, that’s the one.
4. Watch a video of them in action! Most professional wedding officiants have done many weddings and probably have at least one video to show you a bit about themselves (especially if they have videography friends *wink wink*). Even if it is not on their website, ask if they can send you one personally.
5. Set up a phone call, Skype or an in-person meeting. This lets you find out if they can create something unique that fits both of you. Do you feel like they will make the ceremony awesome or boring? Do you feel like you will have a friend up there with you on that day or someone that just doesn’t “get you”? Will they honor your mothers with a rose ceremony, do Star Wars quotes, put in a unity ceremony that lets you squish Play Doh together or have a cocktail unity? Do you feel safe with them? Do they want to make this easy and fun for you? Pay attention to how they make you feel and make the choice with your heart and not your wallet!
Have further questions about wedding officiants? We are in the business of helping couples make good vendor decisions whether they are our clients or not. Ask away!
Rev. Heidi Merrigan