(Closed) What's important in an officiant?!

posted 5 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
Member
1475 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

Experience would be my #1. Our officiant knew all the questions to ask us at our planning meeting, lead the rehearsal super-efficiently, and her ceremony was beautiful. You could tell it wasn’t her first rodeo.

Warmth is #2. I wanted to hug our officiant as soon as we met her! Those calming vibes came through in our ceremony and everyone seemed to really enjoy it. You don’t want someone doing your ceremony and seeming like they’re just getting it done and waiting for the paycheck.

Beyond that, it’s more personal and individual to the couple. We wanted someone who wasn’t going to push us to incorporate religion, and who would let us do a short, fun ceremony that represented us as a couple.

Post # 3
Member
3507 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

yurchshaf:  I got a family member to do. For us, it was important to have someone who knew us both, marry us. I felt weird about having someone who hasn’t seen our journey say this speech that is used for EVERYONE. Not everyone’s realtionship is the same and it was important to us to have someone who loved us talk about US and the special realtionship we have. Everyone is different so I think it depends on what is best for you and your Fiance.

Post # 4
Member
172 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - Enoch Turner School House

It depends on where you live, and different regulations, BUT we had a family member preform the ceremony, but still had to hire an officiant to do the legal parts. So he did the siging with us, and did a quick ‘legal’ceremony while we were signing, because there were certain things he had to say and ask to make it legal. It worked perfectly, no one noticed our extra bits during the signing, and we had a family member conduct a completely personalized ceremony. It all worked fantastically!! The only problem for my DH’s Uncle is he’s getting asked to do it again by some of their friends who heard about it!!

Post # 5
Hostess
9630 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL

For us it was important that the officiant respect our request to have absolutely nothing religious in our ceremony. I actually had a close friend officiate our wedding and she did an AMAZING job. No one even noticed the missing religious component, not even my grandparents! 

Post # 6
Member
864 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015 - Carmen\'s Lakeview

yurchshaf:  I think professionalism, personality and knowledge are all important in an officiant. If you meet with an officiant and they’re all over the place and aren’t able to explain exactly what is in the ceremony and what the marriage requirements are, then you shouldn’t hire them. Personality is also extremely important because you want them to fully understand your vision of your ceremony. (it can be romantic, serious, religious, comical, minimal, etc)

Post # 7
Member
2425 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

yurchshaf:  It depends on what kind of ceremony you are looking to have at your wedding. Do you want the ceremony to be unique. A simple one,religious, etc? I highly suggest looking at reviews online for other brides to see which one is better suited for you and your fiance. It doesn’t hurt to have meetings with a few just to get a feel of the officant before your wedding day either. 

Post # 8
Member
4508 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

We wanted someone who would let us have a lot of control over the ceremony content/language. We had a judge who let us write the whole ceremony. As a bonus, he was free because (at least in my county), judges aren’t allowed to accept payment for weddings. 

Post # 9
Member
46 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2015

It really depends on what is important to you! For us, we were looking for someone who could incorporate a fun personialty but still keep it semi-traditional and religious. We are having an outdoor ceremony so I wanted him to match our laid back personalities. One aspect I really liked though was that he wasn’t in it for himself. It wasn’t a business to him. Although he did have a fee, all fees went to the Christian Church where he was a preacher. He was officiant because he truly loved love and enjoyed being there to help people start their lives together!

 

I would beware though and definitely do your homework. Just about anyone can become an “officant”.

Post # 10
Member
555 posts
Busy bee

Professionalism and his/her personality. We met a few officiants and the first one didn’t even have an office, so we met in a Starbucks…sorry but that was a turn off. The one we chose was very professional, he was actually a retired stockbroker and we met him in his office. He asked a lot of questions about us and gave us a form to fill out (about where and how we met, what we love about each other etc). He also had a template with the whole rundown of the thing. So we were able to chose the readings and “blessings” that we wanted etc. He was really the best we could have chosen! And he was not religiously affiliated, which was important to us. 

To me personally it is also important that they are respectful and not “joksters”. I mean 1-2 little funny jokes are cute, and we had one too in our wedding, but some officiants are almost embarrassing. I have heard some cringeworthy jokes in ceremonies (marriages are like dogs…etc) and I would not want that for myself, but I know some people like it.

Post # 11
Member
316 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

We’re having our family member do it too. Our #1 priority is for it to not be boring. We want some humor, to have him talk about US rather than love as a blanket statement. Ours is actually a comedian for a living, so this will be interesting haha.

Post # 12
Member
346 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I also considered having a friend/family do it because I didn’t want to hire someone “random” but ultimately decided against it.

The biggest thing that I found in evaulating officiants was that unlike other wedding vendors, I didn’t want to go with someone who I felt like was trying to “sell” me something.  A few were like that and it just didn’t make me feel nice about it.  I think that feeling good about it when you *meet them in person* is important.  

Also, we wanted to write our entire ceremony and it not to include anything religious.  Ironically, one of the popular “for hire” people in the area refused to use a ceremony we had written and made me feel like he thought he was the king of the world so we nixed him, and the priest that worked at our site was totally down to read our ceremony and non mention God at all (He said, “I have God, you don’t have to.”).  I never thought I’d get married by a priest, but it really was a non-issue. We LOVED him and it worked out so well.  

So I really think that’s the most important thing, that you like them and have a rapport with them, no matter who it is.  🙂 

Post # 13
Member
4892 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Experience and reviews. We got married in a park, and needed an Officiant. I searched online and found the gal we used, who had rave reviews!

We met with her, and liked that we could bascially write our ceremony out to how we wanted it, and say what we wanted to say… and it could be our own. You could include religion or not in it, as well as anything else you could think of. She was pretty much there just to make it official.

Post # 14
Member
7905 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Darling Husband wanted a member of the clergy, and it was important for both of us for the officiant to respect both of our religious beliefs. She was very open and friendly too. She wasn’t in any officiant list; she’s actually a pastor for a church in our neighborhood. It has worked out great!

Post # 15
Member
1430 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

I’m a part time writer, so I wrote our ceremony script myself. With that said, themost important thing for me was that they were dependable and legit. As long as our officiant shows up to the site on time for the rehearsal and ceremony, gets our names right, and files our paperwork on time I will be happy.

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