Danielle M Baker
- Based in Greenville serving
- Sc / Nc / Ga, SC 29601
- (864) 303-8748
|Rated 5.0 in 18 Reviews|
"Hiring An Officiant for Your Wedding Ceremony"
As a wedding officiant, I'm generally the last vendor to be interviewed. I don't take it personally. Most couples spend a lot of time and energy scheduling and hiring people to make the reception an event that will be remembered for a long time, and it is the celebration that everyone looks forward to. But once every last reception detail has been completed, some brides and grooms will often say to each other, Yikes! We don't have anyone to marry us yet!
When you think about it, the person who speaks the words of your ceremony is one of the most important people in attendance. A lot of couples belong to a church or house of worship; there is already a relationship established with the clergy person and the parties know one another. But what about those folks who don't belong to a church? Or don't share the same religious background and neither wishes to convert? Or who don't want to be married in a church? Or who don't subscribe to a specific religion/belief system at all? Or who might belong to a religion that doesn't support couples who live together or have a child together or where one of the parties is divorced? It's this population that needs to find someone who will marry them.
Where do you start? I recommend talking to married friends for a referral, or a Google search like "Officiant", or on Wedplan, Allwedding.com, or Wedding Wire.com. You will get many hits, no doubt, and it will be up to you to find just the right person. Do not just hire the first person to respond!
Look closely at their website. You can hopefully learn about the officiant's personality, credentials, experience, and sometimes even fees. Call the officiant and ask for a face-to-face meeting (you can send an e-mail asking the same as well). There should be no fee for the initial consultation, and the officiant should ask you a lot of questions about the two of you, what you want for your ceremony, and then let you know up-front whether he/she can deliver. Ask for referrals. Discuss the fee for service, and what that includes. Most vendors ask for a deposit to secure the date; expect the same when hiring your officiant. Remember, also, that the decision to hire because he/she is the cheapest is not how to hire an officiant. You want someone who has experience, professionalism and reliability (referrals can tell you about these). But even more important than how much the service costs, you should feel a connection with this person. He/she should be happy to give you want YOU want, and not dictate how the ceremony will be conducted. You should feel comfortable in his/her presence, and believe that this person really has your best interests at heart. sometimes this takes a leap of faith no pun intended!
After I marry a couple, I always send them a follow-up e-mail, thanking them for choosing me to officiate, and for honest feedback. They say that I made them feel at-ease, they appreciated my sense of humor, they were confident in my abilities, I was easily (and cheerfully) accessible, my referrals gave glowing recommendations, and that I made no judgments about them when others did. You should use these to help you find the right officiant for YOUR ceremony. Good luck in your search!