Post # 1
I didn’t want to hijack the other rehearsal dinner thread…
Our civil officiant is someone we have met for about 15 minutes total, and have emailed back and forth with a few times (actually, his wife, as she does most of it except the actual officiating). We are paying him to attend both the rehearsal and the ceremony.
We weren’t planning to invite him and his wife to either the rehearsal dinner or the reception. Should we? Cost is definitely a part of it, but also it just seems like it would be so awkward if they actually came – they don’t know anyone and hardly know us. In a perfect world, they would know us better, but our wedding is not where we live and, frankly, I won’t be spending my time at the Rehearsal Dinner or reception getting to know them!
What do you think?
Post # 3
I think you should invite the officiant. It’s traditional to do so, and he may learn something nice about your family that he can incorporate into the ceremony (maybe a mention of your future father-in-laws toast that teared you up or something like that).
Post # 4
Yep, maybe you should get to know them, they will be marrying you. The reception dinner is a good opportunity, if not to get to know you, to get to know your family and friends.
And if they feel awkward about it, they will decline.
Post # 5
Are you having him at the rehearsal? If so, you should invite him to the Rehearsal Dinner.
If he really doesn’t have much connection to you, he will probably decline. Our officiant and his wife are coming to our RD; we didn’t know them at all before this, but have become friendly during our premarital counseling. My sister’s officiant was a sort of rent-a-pastor who came with the chapel, and they met with him once before the rehearsal. She invited him to the Rehearsal Dinner, but he didn’t attend.
You could look at it this way – even though you wouldn’t be talking a lot with the officiant at the Rehearsal Dinner, it will give him a chance to meet and talk with your family and friends, which will give him a little more insight into your personality as well.
Post # 6
Thanks ladies, I understand your points about giving the officiant an opportunity to get to know us through our families and friends, however:
The Fiance is very against someone talking on our behalf who doesn’t know us well, thus our brothers will be our MCs rather than the DJ. He finds it irritating that in Canada (the province of Alberta, at least), you have to pay someone to make things legal, rather than being able to have a friend or relative do it as in the US.
Having said all that, we have written the ceremony pretty much in its entirety, and any of the personal parts are delegated to our bridal party (through readings, songs, a ‘blessing’), and the officiant’s role is really just to get us through the things we are legally obligated to say. Basically, he is there because we have to have him there.
Does that change anyone’s perspective? (Not trying to beat a dead horse here, but as usual, I’m a little torn between what’s ‘proper’ and what makes sense to us.) Suzanno’s probably right though – it’s likely they would just decline anyway.
Post # 7
can you have a friend "marry" you at your ceremony and then go down to city hall (or the Canandian equivalent) to get legally married. that’s what we are doing (in the US). just so you know, even though a lot of ppl in the US have a friend or relative do it, most of the times, it’s not "official".
if that works, then you’ll avoid the whole Rehearsal Dinner question…. but if that doesn’t work, I think you extend the invitation, chances are, he’ll say no (especially if he is an officiant by profession and marries a lot of ppl).
Post # 8
We have met our priest for a total of 5 minutes – but we felt that it was better to err on the side of being too inclusionary rather than exclusionary and invited him both to the Rehearsal Dinner as well as the reception. He’s a no for both, but at least we offered.
Post # 9
I also agree that your officiant should at least be invited to both. As many have already stated, he and his wife will likely decline if they feel awkward about it.