Ideas & Advice

Questions to Ask your Ceremony Officiant

Before the big day, ask your ceremony officiant these questions to determine whether s/he is open to your ideas.

You will meet with your officiant or potential officiants before your wedding to discuss the ceremony and any pre-ceremony requirements - and ultimately decide if the three of you want to work together.  It’s best to come prepared with some qualifiying questions.

Questions to Ask Your Ceremony Officiant:

Are there any pre-wedding requirements, such as counseling?

What is the ceremony fee?

Is the officiant open to any personal ideas for ceremony? For instance, is he or she open to non-secular wedding vows, weddings readings or wedding songs?

Will the officiant give a sermon or a speech?

Will you have input in the ceremony, and will you be allowed to review the sermon or speech beforehand?

Are there any ceremony site restrictions such as flash photography, videography, music, dress code, dÈcor, tossing items?

What items does the ceremony site/officiant provide, and what must you bring yourself? (pews, isle runners, microphone, etc.)

What will officiant wear?

What time will he/she be available for rehearsal?

Should you bring your marriage license to the ceremony, or will you sign it beforehand?

Other Things to Consider Before Hiring an Officiant

Demeanor – His or her personal demeanor should reflect the mood you envision for your reception. Some are light and jovial—often interjecting sermons/speeches with bits of humor. If you envision a more formal and solemn affair—you may object to this style.

If you don’t already have a relationship with this person—consider whether you like his/her style and whether you would enjoy working with this person. Remember—your officiant performs the most important service at the wedding. He or she is the one who will officially pronounce you man and wife, which is the sole reason for the big event in the first place (don’t lose sight of this!). You should feel comfortable inviting this person to share such an intimate moment in your life.

Your officiant can offer guidance along the way—spiritual and non-spiritual, such as resolving family conflicts etc. Don’t hesitate to speak with your officiant regarding these personal matters.

Consider inviting your officiant to your rehearsal dinner as well. It’s a nice gesture that will be appreciated.