Post # 1
We will be having an outdoor, semi-informal, non-religious wedding ceremony at a gazebo at a nearby park.
We have the choice between two officiants:
A) A coworker/friend. Pros: He lives in town. He’s young and hip, would be a good speaker and would give the ceremony a pretty casual feel. He would do it for free — although we’d invite him to the reception. Cons: He’s only offiated a wedding for one friend so far, although he plans to do 3 more this summer before mine. I’d have to pay for his license in our state as we live on a border and his license is in the other state…he says it’s only like $20 or something like that.
B) A professional contact that Fiance knows. Pros: He’s actually a pastor and he’s done a ton of weddings — both religious and non-religous, so we know he’d have plenty of input/ideas of his own and would be more of a take-charge person. He also has a radio segment so he’s obviously a very good speaker. He also told Fiance that he wouldn’t charge us anything — so we’d invite him to the reception also to give him a meal! Cons: He lives 2 hours away, so I’m not sure how the rehearsal would work out. We’d probably have to at least pay for his hotel room that Friday night if we want him to do the rehearsal that night (which we do). So technically it’ll cost us $110 for that room.
Post # 3
Flip a coin or roll the dice?
I’m not sure who I would suggest. Maybe with whoever you feel most comfortable with doing the wedding?
Post # 4
If he’s a close friend and it would mean something special to you and your Fiance to have him marry you, then go with him! If not, I’d say the out of town pastor. Sounds like you have two excellent options though.
Post # 5
@kate02121: He’s really more of just a work acquaintance…he’s friends of friends! And he’s only briefly met my fiance so it’s not like it would mean anything special to us to have him.
Post # 6
If its semi formal and quick, I’d go with the friend. That is exactly what we are doing, I’m just having a quick little garden cermoney and we decided to have FI’s aunt do the ceremony! 1. Its cheaper. 2. It’s more personal! How awesome is it, his aunt is marrying us, not just some random stranger. She’s only done 1 wedding also, last month for FI’s sister, but I think she did great! If you know the friend is a good speaker, and would not be too quiet or shy or boring in front of a crowd, I think that enough to do a quick informal cermony.
Post # 8
Since the friend isn’t really close, I think it would be weird to have him officiate. I would use the pastor even if it cost you a little more.
Post # 9
I had a similar situation where my FI’s coworker could do for free but he was young and not as serious as I hoped (he also had done only 1 wedding), then I met someone more mature with more background on weddings and chose this person. I think I would go with the pastor cause the ceremony would probably have more context, as the guy has done a ton of weddings. Someone who just did one wold make me nervous.
Post # 10
If you have confidence in your friend and you feel comforatble writing your own ceremony (we did ours with the help of the internet and the book The Wedding Ceremony Planner), I would say go with him. There are lots of girls on weddingbee who wrote their own ceremony, it helped a lot to read through their posts and it was really nice to write our own ceremony start to finish.
Post # 11
I was jumping in to post almost the same exact sentiment as mcnetn3. If you are comfortable writing your own ceremony, I would go with the friend. This way you won’t have to worry about his experiene, as he is basically reading a script, and it is personal becasue you wrote it. Although, if the pastor will let you contribute to the ceremony, or write it yourself, then really either choice would give that same result.
If you aren’t wanting to write your own ceremony, I would go with the pastor. Since the friend isn’t a close friend and there is no emotional tie there.
Post # 12
If you are not doing anything complicated then you don’t really have to have the officiate at your rehearsal. Everyone else needs to go through the steps of where they need to be, but he already knows as he just has one place to stand! 🙂
That said, go with whatever you are most comfortable with. It can be incredibly touching to have a friend perform your ceremony, while a professional will provide you with more structure.