If you don't have a home church, 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.
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 wedding officiant search is on!
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 brides rush through this process. It's important to take the time to visit the officiant's sites, 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!
After viewing the officiant's website, 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!
Don't make the mistake of rushing through this process. Engage in a real conversation, actually talk with the three officiants you have selected, and don't be afraid to share details about how you envision your wedding ceremony, and 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 felt during the conversation.
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.
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 Minister - 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 will not be able to hear and see what they 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!
See You At The Altar,
I'm sure you'll enjoy this wonderful and informative article by Rev. Rinedollar from Colorado.
by Rev. Karen Rinedollar
The following is a top ten list of helpful suggestions of things to know when choosing an officiant (the person performing the wedding ceremony). If you are not getting married in a church, finding the right officiant will be the responsibility of you and your fiancee.
Does the price include travel fees? Couples planning a nice intimate wedding in the mountains may be shocked when they hear the quote. Unless the officiant lives in the location where you want to be married, a significant amount of travel time may be incurred. So the short and sweet mountain wedding you are planning may require an officiant to be in the car for an extended period of time not including time for consultation, preparation and the actual ceremony. An officiant may require lodging if the location is remote and ceremony in the early morning or later in the day.
What is their cancellation policy? Remember, once you have booked with an officiant, they will be turning down other offers for ceremonies for that date and time. It is normal practice to forfeit your down payment if you cancel the ceremony. Some officiants may exchange for a different time and date if they are available -- but not usually at the last minute.
You will be doing yourself, your wedding and the Officiant an injustice by focusing on price as a starting point. Waiting until the last minute is not a good plan to chose an officiant. Like a fine restaurant, the best ones often book up early. If a couple has gotten engaged, even if the date or site are still in the undecided mode, it is not too early to start looking for the right officiant for you!
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