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Questions to Ask Your Officiant

Just as with all your other wedding vendors, the Officiant you choose should match your personal style and the type of wedding ceremony that you'd like to have. For instance, you may not choose the same Officiant for an informal wedding in the park versus a formal religious ceremony in a church. Your Officiant may ask to meet with you several times before the wedding to discuss your feelings about love, marriage, commitment and sometimes religious beliefs.

Religious Issues

Will you marry us if we are of different faiths?
Will you marry us if one or both of us have been previously divorced?
Will you marry us if we are not current members of your church? If not, can we inquire about becoming a member?
Do you require pre-marital or religious counseling before getting married? If so, what does that entail? Could you allow another Officiant (possibly of a different religion or a relative) to take part in the ceremony?

Wedding Vows

Are we allowed to write our own wedding vows or must we use the traditional vows?

Readings

Are there any restrictions on the types of readings that can be used?
Can we use contemporary readings or are they required to be religious or scripture readings?

Ceremony Music

Are there any restrictions on the type of music that can be played?
Can we use contemporary songs?
Can we bring our own musicians or must they be affiliated with the church?
Are there any restrictions on wedding attire? Some churches may have rules about bare shoulders or skirt lengths.

Photography & Videography

Are there any restrictions on photography? Some churches may limit or may not allow ANY flash photography. Others may have restrictions on where the photographer may and may not stand.
Is it permissible to videotape the ceremony? Are there any restrictions for the videographer?

Decor

Are there any items or decorations that would be included? Such as candles, candelabras or pew decorations?
Can we use an aisle runner?
Is a candle light service permitted?
Are we allowed to take the floral arrangements to the reception?
Are we allowed to throw rice or birdseed outside the church? What about rose petals or bubbles?

Logistics

Is the wedding date we've chosen available? What time can we hold the ceremony?
How many guests will the church hold?
Is there another wedding scheduled on the same day?
Is there a room for the bride and her attendants to stay "out of sight" or "freshen up" before the ceremony begins?
Can we hold a receiving line outside the church? What happens if it rains?
What about the timing and logistics of obtaining the marriage license? Officiants are usually well versed in the rules for their state.

Fees

Ask about the Officiant's fee.
Is there a fee for the organist?
Ask if there are any other fees or "donations" that should be given to the church.

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