Post # 1
I am hoping you all can either calm me down, guide me, or perhaps even both. I am just about three months out from my wedding (June 1st) and am panicked about my officiant situation all of sudden, like the crazy bride I told myself I would not be at the start of this process! HA!
Just a tiny backstory to give context – my fiancé and I are both what I would call “lapsed” Catholics and decided not to have our ceremony in a Catholic church. Early on in planning, then, we knew we needed to book an officiant. The first two I reached out to, based on reviews on The Knot and Wedding Wire, were already booked for our date, so I got a little worried and really put the pressure on us to book. We ended up booking a very sweet officiant last summer.
Fast forward to now and I’m completely rethinking our booking. First of all, I have learned that the officiant we booked does not come to rehearsals, and will not be attending ours. I would have thought this was critical, but he says he hasn’t come to rehearsals in years and everything goes just fine on the day of. So my first question is for all the married bees out there – do you think it was critical that your officiant was at your rehearsal? I just can’t imagine the rehearsal being successful if the person leading the ceremony isn’t there!
The other reason I’m panicking is because I recently found out that one of my dear friends officiated a wedding last December. I had no idea she would be open to that, but when she told me, it sounded like she loved it. This is a person who was there with my fiancé and I through our whole relationship, and I have honestly been regretting not asking her to be a bridesmaid. I know she is planning on attending the wedding, and now I’m wondering if I’d rather just be out the deposit we made with the other officiant and ask her to perform the ceremony. She is beautifully eloquent, I love her dearly, and I am now (better late than never, maybe?!) struck with the idea that our ceremony will mean so much more if it’s performed by someone who knows us and loves us, rather than someone I found on the internet.
Is this just normal pre-wedding panic? What would you do? Any help or advice is appreciated. I’m hoping you all can get my head straight before I talk to the fiancé about all of this!
Post # 2
No insight about officiants, but my opinion is if you’re feeling uneasy about the one you booked and have the opportunity to have someone special to you replace them, it seems like a no brainer.
Post # 3
I think it is pretty common now for the officiant to to skip the rehearsal. Or even to skip the rehearsal all together.
My officiant said the same thing… he performs ceremonies there all the time and hasn’t had a rehearsal in years. Everything goes fine.
This does make me nervous BUT the venue has a coordinator who will be there and this guy is a preferred vendor so they know his routine and will talk is through it.
So I think you’re fine to keep it as is. But, if you’d rather it be your friend then go for it.
Post # 4
Many officiants don’t do rehearsals anymore. It’s pretty normal. As long as you’ve talked through what’s going to happen on the day, I think it’s fine. Maybe it’s where I am but rehearsals and rehearsal dinners aren’t really a thing here. We’ll be requesting a rehearsal with our officiant, which will literally be the three of us and should only take 15 mins or so. But if she can’t do it, it’s no big deal.
With your friend, I’d suggest actually seeing her officiate before making that decision. While it sounds like a good idea at the time, things can go horribly wrong and ruin friendships if it doesn’t go the way you envisaged.
Post # 5
For what it’s worth, most people I know (the soon-to-be-newlywed couple, not just the officiants) don’t even do rehearsals anymore unless there’s something particularly complicated about the ceremony or the ceremony space. We’ve all seen what a wedding looks like, we all know how to walk, and the logisitcs of who stands where can be worked out in about 15 seconds with a diagram. (I do think rehearsals can be useful if you have very young and shy children in the wedding party.)
Post # 6
bibliophilacticbee : were not doing a rehearsal. .never did at my first wedding either. I think it’s unnecessary. Unless you have a gigantic wedding party.
Post # 7
jcolleen : Our officiant was at our rehearsal and I would have felt very uneasy if he wasn’t. I say go with your gut. Our officiant was amazing and it is such a huge part of your day and memories. If you feel like the gal you know would be more meaningful and you would feel more comfortable with her, then do that!
Post # 8
We did not have a rehearsal at all, and everything turned out great. The officiant knows what to expect – s/he’s done it a lot.
Our officiant was a dear friend. It made the ceremony more personal and meaningful, for us, than to have an unknown officiant. I never considered having a stranger marry us.
Post # 9
No rehearsal for us because our wedding was super private, small and simple…. But for what it’s worth I’d say go with the friend. As long as you aren’t out a TON of money for the deposit on the other person. I’m all about small meanings and we LOVED having someone important to us officiate our wedding!
Post # 10
jcolleen : We changed officiants 2 months before the wedding. We had found him on wedding wire and prices were good. But it was almost impossible to get a response as we got closer to the wedding. He also contacted us saying he needed our choices of vows as our wedding was in 3 days (it was actually in 2 months). The fact he couldn’t keep the dates or couples straight made me decide to go with another officiant who was prompt, responsive and attended the rehearsal. We ended up losing our deposit but that’s okay. I left the first guy a one star review on wedding wire.
All this to say is, the officiant is an umimporta player in the ceremony. If you want to go with another person, do it.
Post # 11
- Wedding: June 2017 - City, State
I didn’t have a rehearsal and we had our friend who set us up officiate. It was absolutely perfect and I couldn’t imagine it any other way. He never officiated before and he did amazing even without the rehearsal
Post # 12
I was a first time officiant for a friend, and a different friend was a first time officiant for me. It was lovely! And fun, even without experience we didn’t do a rehearsal.
but do check with your friend to make sure she is ok with it!
Post # 13
Things are different here, I won’t meet our officiant until 10 mins before I walk down the aisle and to be honest I don’t care who they are. But, if you want someone else to do it then sure ask them if you really want.
Post # 14
We aren’t bothering to do a rehearsal with our officiant and it sounds like it will be fine. We will more be doing a rehearsal so we can practice the pace of walking, where to stand, etc. It will be fine!
On the other hand, if you really want your friend to officiate, then just forfeit the deposit with the officiant. No need to freak out about it 🙂 you’d likely want to get your friend a thank you gift, so depending how much you put down with the officiant, I can’t imagine you’d be out a lot of money. Just make a decision based on your gut feeling and go with it! That’s what I’ve been learning in this crazy process haha. Good luck.
Post # 15
Our officant wasn’t at our rehearsal. We did facetime her but the connection was bad so we really didn’t talk to her long. We ran through the processional and recessional with the wedding coordinator and that was fine. No issues with not rehearsing the whole thing.