Wedding Officiant Tips submitted by Rev. John McKibbon
Your ceremony is one of the most important elements of your entire day. Just as a beautiful ceremony can set the tone for a successful and meaningful day, so to can a poorly conducted and poorly organized one cast a shadow over your day. Unfortunately, the need to find someone to conduct the ceremony is often lost amongst the choosing of bridal gowns, flowers, cakes, invitations, music and other important planning items. SO choosing an Officiant is sometimes relegated to the bottom of the list, when there are so many other details to attend to. Since your ceremony will be the highlight of your day, creating memories that will stay with you for years to come then choose your Officiant wisely and early!
WHAT KIND OF PERSON ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? Before you initiate the contact, you should have a general idea of the kind of person you want to officiate at your ceremony. Some couples may want a polished ‘clerical’ or ‘official’ presence; others may want a more informal presence. Some couples may want someone who takes a more formal dignified approach in conducting their ceremony, others prefer someone with a more casual ‘lighthearted’ demeanor. I believe the Officiants personality, and ‘chemistry’ are two very important items to look for in your Officiant.
TRUST! A KEY INGREDIENT One of the most important elements in your relationship with your Officiant is trust; trust in their professional competency! Trust that your ceremony will be conducted according to mutual agreed plans and according to your wishes. Trust, that you can leave it in his or her hands knowing that your day will begin with a beautiful personalized ceremony that will reflect the love between the two of you.
OTHER QUALITIES TO CONSIDER What qualities are most important to you? Once you have a understanding of your ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ you will be better equipped to choose the right Officiant. Important qualities you may want to consider are versatility, experience, warmth and caring, professional and qualified. Speak to them over the telephone, view their web page, and read their material Ask for references. If you are still not sure then ask for a meeting. It may not be a good fit for them as well. Flexibility, adaptability, personality, experience, competency and trust are major considerations in the selection of your Officiant. A good ceremony will reflect your personalities and family traditions and will set the tone for your entire day!
THE LEAST EXPENSIVE ITEM OF THE DAY Your ceremony may be conducted in a half hour or so. However, the time most Officiants spend on preparing, meeting, coordinating, traveling and responding to e-mails and phone calls far exceeds what your family and guests see on your day! In most cases the Officiant fee is the least expensive item of all your wedding expenditures. Yet, your Officiant and your ceremony are the two key components in your entire day!
FEES Officiants fees vary according to your needs. If you are planning a small home or backyard wedding with no meetings then cost and availability becomes the essential factor. Fees vary from Officiant to Officiant. Remember as in most cases, ‘you get what you pay for’ or ‘buyer beware’. THE COST FOR AN AVERAGE WEDDING CEREMONY FOR THE ‘FRUGAL BRIDE’ IN THE YORK, DURHAM, AND PEEL REGIONS I suggest you budget anywhere from $225.00 to $350.00 for an Officiant. All the best to you as you plan your wonderful day!