Wedding Officiants, How to Choose the One that's Right for You.
Key Points for Choosing Your Wedding Officiant
If you don't have a home church and don't attend services regularly or, for that matter at all, then sorting through all the wedding officiant directories can feel a little overwhelming. Here are a few tips on the key points to take into consideration when searching for the wedding officiant that's right for you.
The Basics of Selecting a Wedding Officiant.
It will put your mind at ease to know, that...it is very rare indeed that you'll run across a wedding officiant that truly sucks. Even if you were blind folded and throwing darts at a wedding officiant list as a means of selection, you'd likely be just fine, no matter where the dart landed. The truth is, most officiants are very professional and strive intently to meet their clients ceremony desires and needs.
What greatly behooves the wedding couple to understand, is that...the officiant search is really much more about finding the right wedding officiant for who you are as a couple. That's all together a horse of a different color. That said, let's break it down into manageable steps toward finding the wedding officiant that's right for your wedding and who you are as a couple.
The search is on, here are the best practices on selecting a Wedding Officiant.
Let's begin by marginalizing and minimizing the most common overwhelm factors.
First do a quick online search...this will take you to several national directories. Directories are helpful in locating wedding officiants in your general area.
With a quick examination of the local wedding officiant "directory profiles" will give you a quick overall feel for the officiants in your area. Pick at least three that stand out to you.
Now here's the important part...begin "visiting their websites", don't just stop at the local directories profiles and try to select. Profiles are just snap shot presentations, not anywhere near the whole picture...delve deeper.
Too often couples rush through this process. Slow down and feel... It's important to take the time to visit the officiant's websites, get a feel for who they are and what they are about through their actual websites. The websites will speak volumes about the officiant and many provide helpful tips, ideas and links specific to your area, as well as trusted vendors they have worked with throughout the years....this is a bonus!
The Different Types of Wedding Officiants
Deciding on your wedding officiant is an important decision and will influence the presentation of your ceremony. So let's review... Clergy- traditional religious -God's Laws -seminary - nondenominational or of a particular faith. Most will offer optional premarital guidance / counseling - some may require it. Check with your selected Clergy.
Civil - judge or justice of the peace - state contract.- man's law.
Professional Speakers - Masters of Ceremony - Friend or Family - Online Ordination Important Note: Be sure to research your state's laws to see if they recognize someone who was ordained online to perform a wedding ceremony.
Take your time and engage, don't rush through the process.
After viewing the officiant's websites, pick three that most appeal to you. Now that you have made the preliminary selections, make appointments with your chosen wedding officiants to speak with each one. Most officiants offer a free phone consultation for inquiring couples. Now...here's important part!
Engage in a real conversation. Here are the facts. Typically, you will find the pricing to be pretty much in the same range. You will also find that most are well spoken. So using these factors aren't going to serve you well in your decision making process.
What you are looking for is the way you feel during the conversations. Talk with the three officiants you have selected, and don't be afraid to share details about yourselves and how you envision your wedding ceremony. If you aren't sure..."cause it's not like you get married everyday, is it?" ...then ask each officiant for their suggestions. Be sure to take note of not only their suggestions, but more importantly, how you both felt during the conversations.Who from the three candidates best turned into who you are as a couple and best understood your desires.
Here's what you'll be looking for during each visit. I suggest using the 1 to 5 point rating system to help you with the selection process...5 being the highest and most desirable.
Was the conversation flowing and easy, was he or she easy to talk with?
Was the officiant a good listener...did they seem to understand - anticipate your needs?
Did you feel personally comfortable, like you could open up and talk about anything with them about anything, you could connect (be in simpatico) with the officiant?
Did they display a sense of humor and willingness to be flexible concerning your needs and desires?
Did you come away from the conversation feeling good about the interaction you had?
Being able to truly connect and relate well with your wedding officiant will make all the difference in the success, overall flow and presentation of your wedding ceremony from start to finish.
The fee should always rate last as a factor in your wedding officiant decision and rating process. Realistically, the wedding officiant will always be the least expensive wedding of all of your vendor fees and the one you should never consider fudging on to save a few dollars.
An experienced and skilled Wedding Officiate can and will influence the mood and feeling of your entire wedding in ways you could not know or fully appreciate.
If you are focused solely on the fee amount, you won't be able to hear and see what they themselves will bring to your wedding ceremony experience.
Instead, focus primarily on the quality of the connection and they way you feel when you communicate with them. Get in touch with your inner guidance on this one and follow it!