Post # 1
Couple of things:
1) How do you “hire” a state or local official (mayor, etc.) to officiate your wedding? Do you just call up the office?
2) If anyone has had a local official marry them, was the ceremony personal at all? I don’t want our ceremony to be overly formal, but I don’t want it to be cold and boring either.
3) The reason I’m considering a government official is because the quotes I’m getting from officiants are WAY over our budget plus they want an extra $100+ for the rehearsal (or they say they flat out won’t do a rehearsal). Um . . . if the officiant isn’t at the rehearsal, what’s the point? (We are getting married at a small, local theater so it’s not like there’s going to be anyone else to direct the rehearsal). How am I supposed to handle this?
Post # 3
Its going to depend on where you live and the rules there. Start by going to the courthouse to the magistrates office and talk to the secretary/receptionist there. They will tell you if they can officiate outside of the courthouse, how much it would cost. As for the ceremony itself this usually varies by the person. They will have a standard ceremony, but I think most are willing to personalize it a little.
For the rehearsal- its nice if they can be there, but not a must have. The rehearsal is more for you, groom, attendents to know where to stand, when to enter etc. Honestly your officiant is going to have no idea about any of that even if he is there. Either you or a wedding coordinator should map out where everyone will be before the ceremony starts, what order they enter in, how they know when to enter (music, verbal cue etc) and where they stand during the ceremony. Oh and when/where they exit. For you and the groom if you have a printed copy of the ceremony, you can have someone read through it with you so you know what to expect. All your officiant would do at a rehearsal would stand where you told him to, and read through the ceremony. Have your Maid/Matron of Honor or parents stand in for the officiant for the rehearsal and you are good to go.
Post # 4
I don’t know about the local offical part, but second nikkialys that the officiant doesn’t need to be at the rehearsal. Their job starts when you and Fiance are standing in front of them, and they know what to do.
We found an officiant online. Rehearsal was free if we wanted it but we didn’t bother. It would have meant giving up a night with visiting family my Fiance hadn’t seen in a good 10 years or more. We (accurately) figured, all she had to do was stand and talk when we were both there. 🙂
Post # 5
I don’t know what the rules are where you’re getting married, but we’re having my Future Brother-In-Law ordained online and he’s marrying us. That’s a cheap option if you’re not in need of a religious officiant.
Post # 6
A family member of mine had a ceremony in their parent’s house. Only 6 people were present. The officiant was someone we found through the courthouse. And we all cried. He was WONDERFUL. You can always work with them to have a ceremony that is meaningful to you. Even if you don’t know the person beforehand, the ceremony can still be incredibly moving.
Post # 7
We hired a reccommended Justice of the Peace and she is the only vendor we have hired that we have complete and total confidence in. TBH I kinda want to be BFFs with her. She costs less than $300 and that includes a rehearsal.