- 10 years ago
The wedding’s over (yay, I’m married!) and I want to share this so that no one will make our mistake. (Please indulge me as this post is also part vent.)
The mistake we made was in not vetting our officiant as we did with every other vendor. He was the father of my husband’s friend, and the friend kindly recommended him – he was the pastor of his church, had done many weddings, and would do the non-religious wedding we wanted. We met with him once before the wedding. He seemed very lovely and we went with him.
Well, when it finally came to performing the ceremony, our officiant was bad. His delivery was terrible – mispronouncing words, losing his place in the ceremony "script." At the rehearsal, it seemed like he was reading the ceremony for the first time, though he had the complete ceremony wording for at least a couple of weeks. Not much we could do at that point. He even seemed confused about how to fill out the marriage license, making us wonder how many weddings he’d actually done.
Having never seen him perform any kind of service, we should have asked to see video of him performing a wedding. Perhaps this is tacky if the officiant doesn’t do this as a business, but you wouldn’t hire a DJ or band without seeing them in action, right? For some reason, maybe because of the non-commercial nature of the service and the connection through his daughter, we didn’t hold him up to the same standard.
The moral of the story is that no matter how good the recommendation is, no matter who is performing the service, ask to see a sample of their work. If it’s a friend or family member officiating, I would suggest you practice with them well before the big day if possible. Make sure you know what you’re getting.