What to look for in a Wedding Officiant Messages in this topic - RSS

What to look for in a Wedding Officiant Messages in this topic - RSS

marti259795
marti259795
Posts: 1 July 16, 2010
I believe that the most important thing you should look for in a Wedding Officiant is someone who you could enjoy hanging out with even after the wedding is over. There is nothing worse than an Officiant who makes you feel intimidated and unable to freely express your ideas and desires to. You need someone who listens and who does not have a long list of rules and regulations about your ceremony and no pre-conceived ideas as to how it should go.

Another important question to ask an Officiant is how he conducts himself at a ceremony. Does he/she stray away from the planned ceremony and start inputing their own thoughts and consepts that might be contrary to your belief system and that of your family and guests as well. Your ceremony should be approved by the bride and groom before the wedding. You need to be reassured by your Officiant that they will not stray from the script. That doesn't mean reading word for word either. It just means sticking with the program.

One of the biggest mistakes that bride and grooms make is that they leave the booking of their Officiant to the very last minute sometimes. Usually a good Officiant will have several weddings in the same day, especially on a Saturday. By the time most couples decide to book an Officiant, their times at the Venue are already locked in so they have to shop for an Officiant who fits their time slot. That's one way to get a weak Officiant for your ceremony. Why not book the Officiant then find a venue that has that time free.

I hope these few words of advice will help you and serve you well in your decision making on probably the most important person at your ceremony besides the bride and groom.
Celia267624
Celia267624
Posts: 23 July 16, 2010
You make some good points,namely not to wait until the absolute last minute to book your officiant, because in most states, the head waiter cannot do that. And yes, you should know AHEAD of time, the entire script for the wedding; the readings, philosophy and the details of your love story, if that is to be included.

But there we diverge. I can't imagine anyone actually planning their wedding around their officiant's schedule, no matter how wonderful that officiant may be. And no, this shouldn't be a person you'd feel comfortable hanging out with. It should be someone who is open to your ideas, non judgemental, but completely professional in both their writing and their presentation. Look for clues in their website, in their conversations with you, and how quickly your questions and issues are addressed.

Have a glass of wine with your bridal party; pick the officiant who'll be the best fit for you.
BrevardMinister
BrevardMinister
Posts: 157 July 16, 2010
I agree with you for the most part and with Celia's objection. While I do enjoy feeling a connection with my couples and think it important, I would rather that connection be because they trust me as a professional and have confidence I respect their vision of their wedding -- not because they want to hang out with me after the wedding.

I address the concerns you have raised on my website.
http://brevardminister.com/your_officiant_matters.htm

I am quite often the last wedding vendor selected although I am the only one legally required for the wedding ceremony to result in a marriage. I find that odd since the officiant was the first person I arranged when I was married years ago (before I entered the ministry), but I can also understand getting wrapped up in the details of wedding planning.

Couples pick their wedding date for many reasons, often having nothing to do with the availability of any particular vender or any venue. I have had couples plan their wedding based upon my schedule, but that is definitely not the norm and I most certainly would not expect it. It is extremely flattering when it happens and an affirmation of my reputation as a dedicated professional, but if the couple's priority is the venue, the musicians or getting married on a sentimental date, that is their perogative.

Best Regards,
Rev. Ann Fuller
Melbourne, FL

Guest July 16, 2010
OMG! Notary in Jeans??

A friend of mine told me a horror story of what happened when they hired a notary they never met to their wedding. The notary showed up to their house in jeans, a well-worn cowboy hat, and looked like he just came off of his horse. I love horses and I ride too but as a wedding officiant/notary, I was appalled.

When I show up for a wedding I am in a business suit. Most couples do not meet me before the wedding which is why I have photos on my website. I am currently in the process of improving my website which will include more photos of the ceremony. Do not expect anything less than professional from your officiant.

I do admit, once I did show up for a wedding in jeans. The jeans were required at the bride’s request because it was a jean-themed wedding; Everybody wore jeans!!!

Wendy at www.oursimpleceremony.com Best wishes!
sbarn443751
sbarn443751
Posts: 190 July 18, 2010
When I spoke to my pastor that I found on-line everything seemed fine. We received an email stating that a family member was getting married on our wedding day. At the same time, we decided not to go with our venue because it would take up the entire wedding budget. I am not comfortable signing contracts with out a venue first. So the date, then the venue, then the pastor, then dj, videographer and photographer? That's my question.
BrevardMinister
BrevardMinister
Posts: 157 July 18, 2010
sbarnhart1974 wrote:
So the date, then the venue, then the pastor, then dj, videographer and photographer? That's my question.


I recommend setting the date and booking the venue first, but even that isn't a hard and fast rule. I have actually helped couples find a venue after they have booked me.

But after you decide on your date and have your venue, it's really not the order in which you book the rest of your wedding vendors that matters. It's the amount of advance notice that makes the difference. You are more likely to be able to book your first (or second) choice vendors in each category if you plan early.

It also depends upon the time of year, week and day that you are getting married. Someone getting married at 10AM on a Thursday in July or January where I live could probably book whomever they wanted with a four week notice. Getting married at 5PM on a Saturday in April or October? Book at least a year in advance.

* Special dates like 10/10/2010 or 11/11/2011 -- think 18-24 months out!

It's difficult to give one-size-fits all advice on a board like this because regional and local differences can and do impact wedding planning. When you talk to the venues, ask them what the peak times are and that will give you an idea of what sort of time line you need to set up for booking.

Your DJ, photographer, florist, and officiant can be booked in any order. You just don't want to wait until the last minute on any of them. And by all means use them for referrals. The real professionals will be relucant to refer anyone but the best.

Good luck and best wishes!
Rev. Ann Fuller
Melbourne, FL
Celia267624
Celia267624
Posts: 23 July 19, 2010
You really can't go wrong booking your vendors right after your venue. The really good ones will be booked a year out....
djnes378412
djnes378412
Posts: 13 August 2, 2010
Once you have set a date, you can contact your Wedding Officiant. You can set up a meeting to discuss your personalized wedding vows. I have had couples contact me one week before the wedding and if I am available there is no problem.

Best wishes on your upcoming wedding.

Weddings For You
DJ Rivera
NJ
lasti497299
lasti497299
Posts: 1 January 12, 2011
It seems that the obvious has been neglected in our conversations. What about the officiants credentials. If he or she is ordained, is the ordination from a ligitamite organization or church? As an officiant, I have a professional responsibility to be ethical in every aspect of what I do.
BrevardMinister
BrevardMinister
Posts: 157 January 13, 2011
lastingloveministries wrote:
It seems that the obvious has been neglected in our conversations. What about the officiants credentials. If he or she is ordained, is the ordination from a ligitamite organization or church? As an officiant, I have a professional responsibility to be ethical in every aspect of what I do.


I think it hasn't been addressed precisely because it is obvious. It's fair to assume in the context of a discussion about the professionalism of wedding officiants that we are talking about people who are indeed wedding officiants. I would hope by definition that a wedding officiant is someone with the authority to be one. Otherwise we'd be talking about qualifications rather than suitability.

You do raise a valid point. Anyone presenting himself or herself as a wedding officiant who does not have the legal authority granted by the state is exhibiting a truly appalling low in ethical behavior. When looking for a wedding officiant, the couple should definitely inquire as to how the wedding officiant has the authority to solemnize their marriage under the state's marriage statutes.

Best Regards,
Rev. Ann Fuller
Melbourne, FL
Tracy479388
Tracy479388
Posts: 2 January 17, 2011
I have read the comments of here and I have to agree that I would want an officiant that I would hang out with afterwards. Not to say were going to become good friends or anything but if I think I could hang out with them then our personality will be a match. And to the jeans and hat comment.... My wedding officiant better be in jeans and a hat with his or her boots on. We are really laid back and outgoing and thats exactly what I want my officiant to be. But once again that is just my opinion and my taste others would not like that. A couple of questions I do have though that maybe ya'll can answer:
1. How do you know if someone is legally able to perform a ceramony. Is there a place you can go to check this out. The main reason I'm asking is because we are looking into a private officiant rather than a corporate group of ministers.
2. What is the best way to search for an officiant? I am not wanting to use the minister at my church due to the fact that he does not fit our personality but I have looked at a million sites and no one has officiants listed in the Waco, Texas area.
3. And lastly what is the normal fee for an officiant. I know they all vary from person to person but what is a ballpark range? And if your paying for an officiant is it still costum to tip him/her at the end?
Thanks for any information ya'll can give.
BrevardMinister
BrevardMinister
Posts: 157 January 18, 2011
Hi Tracy,

Congratulations! Great questions.

Persons authorized to perform weddings in Texas include licensed or ordained Christian ministers, priests, Jewish rabbis, officers authorized by religious organizations, justices of the supreme court, judges of the court of criminal appeals, justices of the courts of appeals, judges of the district, county, and probate courts, judges of the county courts at law, judges of the courts of domestic relations, judges of the juvenile courts, retired justices or judges, justices of the peace, retired justices of the peace, and judges or magistrates of a federal court of Texas. Flat out ask anyone you interview how they satisfy the requirements in this statute. No officiant should ever be offended by that question.

If you aren't having luck on-line finding officiants in the Waco area you might want to call other wedding vendors like wedding planners, DJs, photographers and event coordinators to see if they have anyone they recommend. Network with friends and friends of friends and co-workers and acquaintances and ask if they have used or seen anyone you might like.

Customary fees vary widely. Not necessarily so much person by person, but region of the country. In my area I'd be really pushing it to ask $200 for a wedding, but colleagues in New York City can get over $500 a wedding....sometimes $750! I'm going to guess Waco is more like my area though. I think it's reasonable to charge anywhere from at least $150-250 for just a wedding and $200-350 for a wedding with a rehearsal. It also depends upon if there are any travel expenses involved. I charge more if I have to drive more than half an hour to a wedding.

Gratuities are neither required nor expected, but certainly appreciated. I would say that about 1/3 of my couples have given me a gratuity. And not always in terms of money. I've gotten restaurant gift certificates, candy, champagne, a music CD, picture frames, bookstore gift certificates, Starbucks gift certificates, etc. It's really the thought that counts. You can wait to see how the officiant does and if he or she blows you away, send something later. I can tell you it never fails. The couples I have to bend over backwards for and really go the extra mile to pull off a virtual miracle hardly ever add a gratuity. The ones whose weddings were a piece of cake and I could have done in my sleep are outrageously generous. Not sure why it's that way, but even my husband's noticed it. LOL!

I encourage people to go with their instincts. If someone clicks with you, hire them. If there is something you can't quite put your finger on that bothers you or they simply don't resonate with you, move on to someone else.

Hope these links help.
http://brevardminister.com/your_officiant_matters.htm
http://brevardminister.com/officiant_etiquette.htm

Good luck! Wish I knew someone charming and loads of fun (who owns boots and a hat) in Waco I could refer you to.

Best Regards,
Rev. Ann Fuller
Melbourne, FL
JoyfulPromisesOfficiants
JoyfulPromisesOfficiants
Posts: 82 January 18, 2011
TracyDurmon wrote:
A couple of questions I do have though that maybe ya'll can answer:
1. How do you know if someone is legally able to perform a ceramony. Is there a place you can go to check this out. The main reason I'm asking is because we are looking into a private officiant rather than a corporate group of ministers.
2. What is the best way to search for an officiant? I am not wanting to use the minister at my church due to the fact that he does not fit our personality but I have looked at a million sites and no one has officiants listed in the Waco, Texas area.
3. And lastly what is the normal fee for an officiant. I know they all vary from person to person but what is a ballpark range? And if your paying for an officiant is it still costum to tip him/her at the end?
Thanks for any information ya'll can give.


Hi, Tracy -- and congratulations!

In Illinios, where I am, there is no central registry for those who are authorized to perform wedding ceremonies. However, no professional officiant should be offended if you ask about their credentials.

When my husband and I were getting married, we didn't have any church affiliation, so I called the county courthouse and asked for a referral to any judges that perform wedding ceremonies. We were referred to a retired judge, booked him over the phone, and he showed up 20 minutes before the ceremony and left immediately thereafter. Cost us $100, twenty-one years ago. He was dry, mechanical, and we fondly refer to him as "Old Doom and Gloom", since all he talked about were the challenges and sacrifices of marriage! Bottom line, though, is when he was done, we were married, so we really didn't care about the rest.

As for fees, in my area outside of Chicago, fees range from about $250 to $750, depending on how close you are to the city. Mine run in the middle of that range. As for a gratuity, I never expect one but am always most appreciative when I receive one. If your officiant goes above and beyond to make sure your ceremony is everything you want it to be, it might be appropriate to show your appreciation with a gratuity afterwards. If s/he just does her job as requested, you can use your own judgment as to whether or not you give a gratuity afterwards.

Rev. Fuller suggested that you ask the wedding vendors you're working with for referrals to wedding officiants -- good advice. A wedding planner can make recommendations as well, and you can also ask your friends who are married for suggestions.

However you find your wedding officiant, please do book him/her as soon as you can. You don't want to have everything else in place and not have anybody to perform the wedding ceremony -- the most important part!

Best wishes,

Marti Barton, Officiant
http://www.joyfulpromises.com
Celia267624
Celia267624
Posts: 23 January 18, 2011
"We were referred to a retired judge, booked him over the phone, and he showed up 20 minutes before the ceremony and left immediately thereafter. Cost us $100, twenty-one years ago.He was dry, mechanical, and we fondly refer to him as "Old Doom and Gloom", since all he talked about were the challenges and sacrifices of marriage! Bottom line, though, is when he was done, we were married, so we really didn't care about the rest."

Fortunately, there are many more joyful alternatives now. There are many, many great officiants on Wedding Wire, and many more listed through Celebrant USA. In my area, NY/NJ, our fees run from 300-1000.00. BUT, without us, it's just a big pary ;-)



Celia Milton, officiant

http://www.njvowsnow.com

Guest January 18, 2011
Thank ya'll so much for all the info.... I have checked wedding wire and they had none listed inmy area I will try the other website as well. I will also call the county courthouse. Thanks again.
BrevardMinister
BrevardMinister
Posts: 157 January 18, 2011
I've been doing some digging while waiting for a phone call and you're right. It's not easy to find someone in Waco! I even tried the UU church in Waco and they appear to be lay lead with no minister on staff. I hope you find someone you like soon.

Regards,
Rev. Ann Fuller

Guest January 18, 2011
Awww thank you so much for looking. Yes it has been a chore to find one but I will not stop looking. Thanks for taking the time to help what a wonderful person you are.
JoyfulPromisesOfficiants
JoyfulPromisesOfficiants
Posts: 82 January 18, 2011
If you get truly stuck, another option is to ask a special family member or friend to get ordained online by the Universal Life Church and Monastery so that they can perform your ceremony. It's perfectly legal, and it can be a lovely way to include in your wedding someone who is special in your life. Visit: http://www.ulc.org/ordination/ for more information. The website also has links to the specific legal requirements of your state for performing marriage ceremonies.

Good luck!

Marti Barton, Officiant
www.joyfulpromises.com
Celia267624
Celia267624
Posts: 23 January 18, 2011
no. it';s not a lovely way to include someone in a wedding.Why anyone who is a professional would suggest this to a couple is beyond me. Would you have a family member take out a wisdom tooth? Would you have a family member cater for 100 guests in the heat of the summer with no prior training? By suggesting this you degrade our whole profession. Or maybe it's just my profession.

Celia Milton
http://www.celiamilton.com
JoyfulPromisesOfficiants
JoyfulPromisesOfficiants
Posts: 82 January 18, 2011
I'm sorry you feel that way. I would hardly equate what we do as officiants with the years of training that an oral surgeon requires to take out a wisdom tooth. Having said that, while I agree that it's always best to go with a professional and a professional's experience if one is available, please note that I did say, "If you're really stuck...."

Not every couple has the luxury of a perfect scenario where all the elements are available or affordable. Sometimes compromises need to be made and alternatives found. Does having a family member who loves flowers make the bride's bouquet degrade all professional florists? Does having a friend who bakes like a pro make the treats for the sweet table degrade all professional bakers? I don't think so. The couple just may need to be able to accept that their alternative choice may not quite have the polished result that comes with a professional's experience -- and they may be perfectly fine with that.

Our former president George W. Bush once said, "Intelligent people can disagree." I think I'll leave it at that.
Celia267624
Celia267624
Posts: 23 January 18, 2011
If you don't equate your own profession with years of training, then perhaps it's an outlook that I don't understand. And George Bush commenting on intelligence...well, I'll just leave that at that.
JoyfulPromisesOfficiants
JoyfulPromisesOfficiants
Posts: 82 January 18, 2011
I'm not so hung up on my profession that I can't acknowledge that there are alternatives that may be acceptable to the people who matter the most, the bride and groom, based on budget and availability. And I'm not so afraid of competition that I won't offer an alternative solution to someone who's having trouble finding a professional officiant in her area.

I also don't take myself so seriously that I consider my years of training as an officiant equal to that of an oral surgeon. Our training and experience are important, of course, but being an officiant doesn't come with life and death risks, either. We perform weddings, for Pete's sake, not surgery.

You clearly have a different opinion, and that's okay, too. These forums are for a lively exchange of ideas and opinions with room for agreeing to disagree. I think we've done that.
voglan
voglan
Posts: 6 January 19, 2011
Make certain that the Wedding Officiant is licensed to perform marriage ceremonies. If the couple is requesting to be married in Ontario, please ask to see their licence. The same rule applies to anyone getting married in the United States. Nothing is more annoying and embarassing then to have a ceremony performed by someone and this person whispers in the bride's ear that he/she does not have a licence!!!!!!!

Vera Oglan
JoyfulPromisesOfficiants
JoyfulPromisesOfficiants
Posts: 82 January 19, 2011
I would just like to piggyback on Vera's comment to clarify just a little. Not every state requires a "license" to perform wedding ceremonies. In Illinois, where I practice, one is only required to be an officer of the court (such as a judge), or be ordained by and in good standing with a recognized religious organization. The state does not issue licenses, nor does it maintain a registry of those authorized to perform marriages.

In some states, a notary can perform weddings (like FL and, I think, TX). They can't in Illinois.

So check out your state's (or province's) requirements, and then ask your potential officiant for his/her credentials.
domin604836
domin604836
Posts: 1 January 20, 2011
well my friend will be getting married on February 26 2011.she is in desperate need of someone to perform her wedding ceremony. we are in warren ohio and the wedding will take place at the sunrise inn hall at 4pm.......can not find anyone to marry her on this day because of it being a weekend or they do not come out of there city. PLEASE HELP..........IF ANYONE IS INTERESTED IN HELPING OR MAY KNOW SOMEONE IN OUR AREA OPEN FOR THAT DAY PLEASE EMAIL ME AT dominicsmommy10@yahoo.com...or email her at slynnstclair.yahoo.com
Celia267624
Celia267624
Posts: 23 January 20, 2011
you can go to WeddingWire.com, celebrantusa.org or weddingministers.com to find a wealth of great officiants.
JoyfulPromisesOfficiants
JoyfulPromisesOfficiants
Posts: 82 January 20, 2011
If one of those sites doesn't yield what your friend wants, she can also call her county courthouse and ask if there is a judge or retired judge who would be available.

Guest September 13, 2011
I can think of several scenarios where you might want someone who is special in your life to perform the ceremony, such as the person who introduced you to each other, a brother or sister or anyone else whom you hold dear.. it is up to you!

Guest October 14, 2011
I agree with your choices of finding a Wedding Officiant it should be a person that you can easily approach and hang out with even the wedding is over.In wedding officiate miami also there was so many officiate that you can choose with

Guest January 31, 2013
Well, there are many things to be considered as your best man for wedding ceremonies. While patrolling online I found the http://www.grandrapidsweddingofficiant.net/ site providing good information for hiring the wedding minister grand rapids mi with great service.
wthurow
wthurow
Posts: 34 January 31, 2013
You can have your dress, flowers, venue and invitations sent but without the Marriage Officiant, there is no Wedding.
I officiate marriages for couples who live in or are traveling to N. Central FL. My clients also are from out of state or worldwide, traveling to FL for a destination wedding or vacation. I love weddings and work to make it easy for my bridal couples. I understand we all have lives, jobs, and Brides have 100+ details to do or remember for their wedding! Over the years I've developed a simple process to work with them to create their ceremony efficiently on-line; so they waste no time with unnecessary meetings. Everything is ready for their Wedding day. http://www.oursimpleceremony.com/index.htm :-)
BrevardMinister
BrevardMinister
Posts: 157 South Portland, ME February 22, 2013
Updating my response with new links since I redesigned my website.

YOUR OFFICIANT MATTERS

HOW TO FIND AN OFFICIANT YOU ADORE


Regards,
Rev. Ann Fuller

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