Seattle/Tacoma Wedding Officiant and Minister - unstuffy, creative, respectful, inclusive, personalized and fun/affordable; all faiths and traditions. Complimentary meeting
www.wedbyannemarie.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | (425) 922-1325
Wedding officiants (also known as ministers, pastors, priests, reverends, and celebrants) are responsible for overseeing your wedding rehearsal, conducting the ceremony, and submitting the legal documentation formalizing the marriage to the state. Choosing the right officiant involves knowing your options, the type of ceremony you have envisioned, and the personal connection you feel.
There are three main types of officiants:
- A professional officiant specializes in weddings, and typically conducts multiple services each weekend. The best way to choose a professional officiant is to meet with them and get a feel for their personality and style. Likewise, the initial meeting is a chance for you to give the wedding officiant insight into your personality and any special requests that you have for the ceremony.
- A personal pastor or priest may conduct your ceremony, particularly if you are an active part of the congregation or parish.Some churches do require that you use the resident officiant, so if you are planning a church ceremony ask about restrictions early in the planning process.
- A family member or friend who has a legal licensecan perform the ceremony. Yes, this option is inexpensive and personal, but comes with some fairly strong caveats. First, only consider a friend or family member if you are an extremely low-stress, go-with-the-flow kind of couple with extremely low-stress, go-with-the-flow families. When a non-professional conducts the ceremony, you simply never know what will happen! Second, unless they have substantial experience performing wedding ceremonies, many of the officiant duties (such as coordinating the rehearsal, organizing the ceremony timeline, and even getting the proper legal paperwork) will often fall back on you. Third, if for some reason the ceremony does not go as planned, it could jeopardize your relationship with your friend or family member. Our recommendation is if you are in doubt, hire a professional.
Here are questions we recommend asking when selecting an officiant:
- Are they available for your wedding date and location?
- Are there any requirements, such as pre-marital counseling or church membership?
- How many years has he/she been performing wedding ceremonies, and how many a year does he/she conduct?
- What is the fee associated with the wedding, and does it include the rehearsal?
- How will they include your ‘personal touches’ such as special readings, music, vows, or traditions into the ceremony?
- If a sermon or message will be delivered as part of the ceremony, can you have input on the length and topic?
- How can they personalize the service to reflect your unique relationship?
- Will they handle the filing of the marriage license, and is there any additional charge?
Follow these guidelines, and you are sure to have a ceremony that is a beautiful, well-orchestrated reflection of your unique relationship!