The wedding officiant plays a huge role in the wedding ceremony. Regardless of whether your celebration is religious or secular, they make the ceremony happen. They will seamlessly guide you through the ceremony and will add their personality that will make the celebration uniquely your own. These important questions will help you work through the logistical, legal, and style elements to make sure you and your officiant are on the same page.
Are you legally able to perform a marriage in the state where we are having the wedding?
In order to avoid any legal fiasco, you are going to have to make sure your chosen officiant is actually able to perform a marriage in the state where you are hosting your wedding. Each state (and country) has different requirements when it comes to being ordained, so make sure your officiant knows up front where you’ll be getting married. If it isn’t in their typical location, they may need to register for that specific state in order to perform your marriage.
Are you able to create a personalized ceremony? What will you do to get to know us?
Couples who are looking for a personalized ceremony will want to make sure they are working with an officiant who can actually create a unique script. Many officiants will sit down with couples and ask them a few questions to get to know their history and personalities. Particularly if you are going with a more personalized ceremony, you’ll likely want to work with an officiant who will take this time to add details that will make the ceremony personal and unique.
Are you able to meet our specific religious needs?
If religion is a staple part of your ceremony, you’ll want to make sure your officiant is able to meet any unique needs or wants you may have. Couples who want a sermon at their ceremony will want to make sure the officiant plans on delivering one. They may also want to talk to the officiant about the theme and length of the sermon. Couples who are getting married in an interfaith wedding will also want to make sure their officiant is able to work with that type of ceremony. If you are throwing a religious ceremony at a non-religious venue, you’ll also want to make sure your officiant is okay with breaking away from tradition.
How many meetings will we have with you prior to the wedding?
This is particularly important for couples looking for a personalized ceremony. Check to see how often you’ll be meeting with the officiant beforehand to work through the ceremony details – and if these meetings cost an extra rate.
How long do your ceremonies typically last?
If you have certain time restrictions you are working with, you’ll want to make sure your officiant is able to stick to those rules. Most will be able to adjust to the timeframe you are working with, but you’ll want to make sure they are aware of what to expect before they start working on your ceremony.
Are you available to attend our rehearsal?
Some officiants will participate in the rehearsal, and may even lead the logistics of it. Others may only come to the actual day of the wedding, leaving the logistics of the rehearsal to the couple, wedding planner, and/or venue staff. Make sure you know what their standard practice is ahead of time.
Do you have any videos from past ceremonies?
The best way to get to know the style of an officiant is to see their work in action. They likely will have some footage from previous marriages they performed, so ask if you can see some of their work.
Will you assist with obtaining our marriage license?
Most officiants will help with obtaining a marriage license, as they will be well aware of the laws and processes that need to be followed. Check to see if they will assist you in this legal process.
Do you have a back-up in case of an emergency?
Illnesses and emergencies are always an unfortunate possibility. You’ll want to make sure you have a plan B just in case your officiant isn’t able to make it. Ask if they have a go-to backup, and get that officiant’s contact information so that you can connect with them.
What exactly does your contract include? What is your rate?
Before signing contracts with your chosen officiant, you’ll want them to walk you through the paperwork so that you are all on the same page when it comes to expectations prior to and on the day of the wedding. You’ll also want to make sure the rate they quote includes everything that you require, and that there are no hidden fees.
If you are in the process of planning your wedding, come to the next Georgia Bridal Show near you to connect with wedding vendors in Georgia and the Southeast. These impressive professionals of all talents will help bring your wedding vision to life!