Photo via HuffPost
Welcome one of our newest guest bloggers, Gabrielle, from Ourstart.com! Today, she’s talking all about how to choose the perfect wedding officiant. Enjoy!
The officiant may have the most understated and influential role of all the participants at a wedding. While other events taking place at the ceremony and reception are meaningful, tear-jerking, and enjoyable, without the officiant, your wedding is just another party. This individual brings official significance to an altogether beautiful day. By the power vested in him, he has the authority to actually pronounce you man and wife.
Therefore, you should not choose your wedding officiant lightly. You should follow your heart, but you should also consider several parameters before deciding who you will ask to fill this important role. The officiant that is right for you and your fiancé will have most, if not all, of the six characteristics outlined below.
Someone you’re comfortable with
While you could book a complete stranger to officiate the proceedings on your big day, why would you want to? If the officiant knows more about you and your man than just your names, he or she will be able to add unique details into the ceremony. Such an individual will be able to cater the affair to your interests, making an official event feel more personal.
Someone within your faith community
Weddings are extremely meaningful affairs from the mental, emotional, and spiritual level. Therefore, it is imperative that your wedding officiant shares, or at least connects with, your religious beliefs. Your wedding ceremony should reflect and reference those beliefs to add meaning to your sacred commitment.
Someone who listens to your preferences
Even if you and your officiant have a mutual foundation of faith, he or she should not make assumptions about how you would like your ceremony to be carried out, but should still be interested in your personal opinions and desires. While some traditions are mandatory in a wedding in order to maintain its legitimacy, other elements of your big day are more flexible. Maybe you want to recite your own vows instead of repeating them or wash each other’s’ feet instead of the more typical unity candles. If your officiant is unwilling to allow you to make your ceremony your own, it may be a big red flag.
Someone you respect
Not only should your wedding officiant be someone who respects you, he or she should be someone that you can respect. Interactions with this individual will take place long before the actual wedding day. Counseling, rehearsals, and other preparations will go much more smoothly if you get along well with your officiant and can honor his or her position of leadership.
Someone with wisdom
It is also not too much to ask that your wedding officiant also wields some wisdom that he or she is willing to share. Suggestions, warnings, and general counsel will be appreciated gifts for you and your fiancé while progressing through the pre-wedding process and the ceremony. Preferably, your officiant would be married so that any advice comes from actual experience rather than second-hand knowledge.
Someone who has legal authority
This trait may seem like a no-brainer, but you shouldn’t always assume that the individual you so respect is officially capable of uniting couples in holy matrimony. Each state has different laws and regulations regarding these officials. If your officiant is from out-of-state or if your wedding is taking place in a different state, you will need to ensure that he or she has the necessary authority to carry out the wedding. Don’t assume — always ask. Your chosen officiant may be willing to attain a license for your exact location, but they may need a reminder to do so.
A wedding officiant with these six characteristics is more than qualified for this very important job. Watch out for red flags in the people you are considering to ask to fill this role. Talk to your future spouse and together choose who will be the perfect wedding officiant for your big day!
Big thanks to Gabrielle for sharing! Do you have a great idea to share on the blog? Click here to see what we are looking for and how to contact us. If you can’t wait and want to send us a pitch, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!