Post # 1
How long before the wedding did you book your officiant? Did you know him/her personally before hand? What kind of questions did you ask when you had an interview, if you did?
We need a justice of the peace, because we are having our wedding at our reception site, hopefully in their wedding garden (weather permitting). I have no idea about officiants. My Fiance is Greek and I am Catholic and neither of us are terribly religious, so we are looking for a non-religious ceremony. When we booked our caterer I happened to notice that she is a justice of the peace. When I asked her about it she said she doesn’t sell herself as one but she just lists it on her website as a “Partnership”. In addition to being our caterer, she is also my nephew’s special needs Little League team’s coach and is somewhat friendly with his mother (my sister). I think it would be so easy to just use her as the officiant but I don’t want to just do what is “easy” without looking into it first. Given that she doesn’t do a lot of ceremonies there are not really any reviews online.
Should I just ask for references if we are interested in her? How much research did you do on your officiant if you didn’t know them ahead of time?
Post # 3
If you don’t know much about the succession of wedding ceremonies to be able to instruct her on exactly what you want, then I would go with someone that has experience. I recently went to a wedding where the father of the bride was not excused until after they had made their promises to one another. It was awkward! i hadn’t met that side of my FI’s family so I thought her father was the groom the whole time…thinking that they opted for something less traditional because she’s not close with her father.
My FI’s mother’s oldest brother is a minister and will be doing our ceremony. We are formally asking him next Saturday at their annual family BBQ.
Post # 4
We booked ours a year in advanced. We are getting married in another State, so during our vacation there we made appointments with officiants. I would find them online and email them. The ones that I felt would work, I made appointments. I was able to weed a few based on emails.
We hired the first one we met. She was perfect for us and her moto is it’s our special day, not hers. The only thing she is bound by is what the law requires her to do, other than that she was flexible.
Post # 5
We are having my friend’s husband marry us so we did not book anyone. We wrote our own vows so that makes it easy for him too.
Post # 6
You can book an officiant as early as you want. You can research online (wedding wire) for reviews and what other couples are saying. The officiant’s job is to make sure your ceremony goes smooth and she is able to work with you on the vows, the ceremony script, and any other special ritual you would like to add.
Post # 7
I believe my Fiance emailed our officiant the night we got engaged (we had already set a date), but that was only 3.5 months before the wedding, so there you go.
Ours is a judge and my Fiance knows her through his family, but her name is also available through our county’s marriage license website (it lists all the judges who perform weddings out of chambers).
Post # 8
We are lucky in a sense because our officant is also our DJ. Its a package deal where we come from and therefore over the course of this year we will get to know her more and more. My Fiance knows her because he works with her and the DJ company Royal Sounds Unlimited in Kenosha, WI is run by her mother and she works through them part-time.
Post # 9
Hi, I would like to answer this question as an officiant. I would say the sooner the better. As for finding an officiant, find someone you can email or call that talks in a way that is comfortable for you. Your style is the most important thing to remember. You need to have your officiant feel like they are a new friend. They should be knowledgeable, but also caring. If you are a couple that very funny and full of energy then find someone with that personality. On the other side of the scale is you are a couple that is very reserved and serious. Then you should find a officiant that is the same type of personality. Ask any question you want but remember these –
- Are they available on your ceremony date?
- Do you do religious, interfaith, secular or both?
- If either person is divorce will you do the ceremony?
- What is your fee(s)- booking, ceremony, travel, rehearsal?
- Do you have a specific ceremony or ceremonies you always use?
- Do you allow customization to the ceremony?
- Will you write us a unique ceremony for just us?
- Do you allow us to write our own vows?
- How long are your ceremonies usually?
- Can we add a rose, wine, lasso, biblical reading into the ceremony?
- Will you travel to the venue of my choice?
- What do you wear – suit, dress, robe? Do you have pictures?
- Do you allow flash photography?
- Do you have your own PA system? Do you wear a mic?
Most important in my personal opinion – Do what is right for you and your fiance! It is your wedding, do not allows others to take over your ceremony. The idea here is you are only marrying this person once, make the ceremony – about you.
Post # 10
I forgot to mention this and this is important – Ask for their contract. Read it carefully and make sure you know if they will find a replacement officiant if they are unable to perform your ceremony. You do not want to be calling all around the area trying to find a replacement officiant on the day of your wedding. Accidents and unexpected things happen; make sure that this is written into the contract that your officiant will find his/her own replacement.