Questions to Ask Your Officiant
Make sure you are comfortable with the person who will officiate your wedding ceremony
By Julie Hampton
The wedding officiant plays a prominent role in the wedding ceremony. The officiant can be a religious figure, such as a rabbi or minister, or can simply be licensed by the state to perform wedding ceremonies. Ask the wedding officiant questions about his or her background and education. Because you will be working closely with the officiant on a very important day, choose someone you feel comfortable with.
The initial questions can be discussed over the phone. First and foremost, make sure your officiant is available on the date and time of your wedding. Talk with the officiant about costs to perform the service. Ask if the ceremony must be preformed at a specific location or church.
Officiant's Personal Views
Talk with the officiant about moral criteria that he or she takes into consideration. Some officiants will not marry a couple living together or who have had children out of wedlock. It is best to openly discuss all situations during an initial phone conversation. Some religious officiants may ask the couple to move into separate apartments until after the ceremony. Others might require the couple to undergo premarital counseling.
Background and Religion
Learn about the officiant's background and religious affiliation. Ask how many wedding ceremonies he or she has conducted. When discussing the officiants training and other details, listen to her voice. Does the voice sound enthusiastic and loud or is it soothing and soft spoken? Remember this sound will be the voice of your ceremony, so make sure the officiant's voice makes a good first impression.
Personalized Vows and Ceremony
Discuss with the officiant how open he or she is to changes. Learn if the officiant is comfortable performing a ceremony between two people of different faiths. Will there be readings from books besides the Bible? Can changes be made to the traditional ceremony, such as adding a unity candle ceremony or allowing the father of the bride to sing before the vows are spoken? Some officiants will not stray from traditional wedding ceremonies, while others are flexible and open to changes.
Wedding officiants are at weddings on many weekends throughout the year and may have recommendations on vendors. Ask the wedding officiant for referrals for music, catering services, and even locations for the ceremony or reception. You may be surprised how much wedding knowledge your officiant can share.
Ask what the wedding officiant will wear to the wedding ceremony. Some priests, ministers, and rabbis will wear religious robes or trappings while others don a simple suit and tie. Determine if the officiant's clothing will fit into the wedding ceremony. Feel free to ask to see a photo of the outfit.
Base your final decision on how comfortable you feel with the officiant. The officiant will be conducting one of the most important events in your life. Does he or she feel truly interested in your wedding day? Make sure you and your spouse-to-be feel at ease with the officiant you choose.
About the Author
Julie Hampton is a regular contributor to DexKnows.
Browse By Top DexKnows Cities
- St Paul
Although the reception is where the most fun is had, the ceremony is the most important part of the wedding day. Meet well in advance with the officiant candidates to go over what is required from both parties.... Read More
Official business sometimes needs an officiant. Decide whether you want a religious or secular ceremony, and then look for people who are licensed to perform marriages in your state. Or opt for an increasingly popular option: Tap a friend who can get a temporary license.
View your wedding checklist!
Counseling that the couple receives before the wedding and specific to potential marital issues. Required by some religions before the couple can marry in the church.View the Full Weddings Glossary