Simpy put: don't forget to book your officiant!
As a professional officiant, I just had to turn down another bride who is planning a Sept. 15, 2012 wedding because I'm already booked for a rehearsal on that date. If she had called earlier, I may have been able to adjust the timing of the rehearsal, since many venues don't schedule the rehearsal until much closer to the date of the wedding as they work out their space requirements around other events.
In all these forums, we see great advice about getting your venue, photographer, caterer, and DJ booked as soon as you set your date, because the good ones have very full schedules. The same is true for officiants!
I can't tell you how many brides have called about my services this year just a few weeks or months before their wedding date. When their venue is a banquet hall, country club, or hotel, you know they had to book that much farther in advance than when they're calling me.
Ladies, please don't wait to contact an officiant -- you're setting yourself up for disappointment at best, and a mad scramble to find one at the last minute, at worst. Remember, most weddings also include a rehearsal, so we have to block out two days for every ceremony, where every other vendor only has to schedule one.
And when you think about it, the wedding can't take place without us, so we should be right up there near the top of the list of who to book first.
Marti Barton, Officiant
Joyful Promises, serving Chicago's SW Suburbs
July 30, 2012
Very true, I have had to turn away several couples this year because they have waited until 2 - 3 weeks before their chosen date. The only ones I can accommodate on such short notice is an elopement or one without rehearsal.
Officiant in Washington
July 27, 2012
Thank you for your words of wisdom. The officiant should be the first contact.
Gail, your best bet is to ask the church secretary what is customary, since this will vary from place to place geographically. What might be appropriate in a small town would probably not be the right amount in a larger city.
July 26, 2012
Question: I'm getting married in a Catholic Church with a full Mass.How much is customary to give the priest? Also how much would be fair for a choir singing the Mass,there are 12 members? Wedding is in 10 days. Thank You.Gail
Most officiant's are booked out up to 10 months in advance. It's important to ensure that your officiant has been confirm. It becomes stressful when everything is online but the one who makes it legal.
July 26, 2012
Ladies, I know budgets are tight, but by having a planner a lot of these problems will be avioded. This is because the planner will stay in contact with the vendors for you to make sure that all meetings are going to run according to the plan. So think of a planner like an accountant. You pay them money but they save you a lot of money and headache!!
Tip of the Day use a planner
Unique SIGnature Events
Well said. So many times I see the officiant and/or ceremony venue put off until the last minute, with the couple thinking it won't be a problem. One's officiant should be one of the first decisions made when planning one's wedding.