I thought I would share a few ideas with you about what to look for when you’re thinking about hiring a wedding officiant. I touch on three main elements: 1) the mood you want to create with the ceremony, 2) the story you want to share with the guests about you and your partner’s love and commitment to each other, and 3) how you want your personalities reflected in the ceremony.
Let’s start with the mood. Do you want something formal, traditional, spiritual, fun and engaging, sentimental, quirky even? Ask yourselves this question: Whose expectations do we want to consider? If there are parental preferences or significant others closely involved in wedding preparations, ask for their input. Make sure they understand it is input only, and that they understand that the most important preferences are yours as a couple and you are the final decision-makers. Be ready to describe to your potential officiants the mood you want to set, and ask if is suited to how they like to work, and if they can share examples with you. A serious Officiant at a Star Wars themed wedding just doesn’t go down well!
Now the story you want to tell. Will your wedding ceremony be an efficient transaction, a short drama, romantic love story, tender tale? Do you hope to entertain or move people, or just have them breathe a sigh of thanks that it is over quickly because the sun is hot and the beer is getting warm? Doing what you want is important, but also consider that people have chosen to give of their time to support you on your special day so you will want to provide them with a ceremony that will stir their emotions in some way, help them connect with you both and create a positive and joyful atmosphere. Knowing what you want and conveying it to your potential Officiant is very important. Ask them how they helped couples tell their unique stories and how they will help you tell yours on your day?
Finally, you want to consider the personality of the potential officiant and if it suits you as a couple and what you are looking for. The best way to test this is to talk with them either on the phone or in person. What is their voice like? Are they serious, silly or maybe sentimental? Do they speak in a traditional wedding type of language, or maybe come across as easy-going and flexible. Your intuition will be your guide and you’ll know within the first few minutes if this person is for you. If not, simply let them know on that first call or meeting that you will spend some time thinking about the best fit and then send a quick email saying thanks but we decided to hire someone else. Or, congratulations you’re perfect for us!
Knowing what you want, gets you what you want!