We’re approaching the end of wedding season and the beginning of engagement season. Couples who are newly engaged usually start early booking the venue, and rightly so. The venue is the stage on which the wedding will take place. And the good venues get booked way in advance. What some couples may not be aware of is that this same thing happens with offciants. The good ones also get booked in advance, and sometimes waaay in advance.
There may be little holes in their schedules that can be filled in for last minute bookings. And if you have a wedding that’s not in the middle of the afternoon, an officiant may be able to do your wedding as well as another on the same day. But if you want to book the officiant of your choice for a Saturday wedding at 3 or 4 PM, you’re best off booking the officiant right after you book the venue.
Here’s another reason why it’s wise to book the officiant early, right after the venue. Good officiants are people with a very particular complex of skills and character traits. And it’s that complex blend that you will give you the goosebumps, happy tears all around ceremony that you want. So, it makes sense to secure the officiant whose reviews demonstrate that skill set early in your planning process.
Back to the play production analogy, you and your fiance are the producers and the stars of your wedding. You’re also the casting directors. When you cast the officiant, you’re hiring the third main (though supporting) character for your production. The officiant is a **supporting** character and needs to understand this. It’s YOUR play and it’s about you. So the officiant should be a seasoned performer with plenty of public speaking and wedding experience… but also someone who will honor and celebrate your love and your values, and give you plenty of input rather than prioritizing their own religious or personal agenda. So, part of choosing an officiant is making a choice based on your sense of the person’s character.
In addition, you and your fiancé as producers of the event, are hiring the playwright. This is the person who’s going to write your ceremony as well as be a supporting performer in it. So, you want to hire an officiant who is a skillful writer. But again, who will not be about pushing a religious dogma or personal agenda. Someone who will take the time to get to know you in an interview and write the ceremony that celebrates and reflects YOU as a couple.
To sum it up, a good officiant is someone who brings to your “production” empathy, emotional intelligence, writing and performance experience, caring, diligence, attention to detail, good work ethic, integrity, professionalism, and service mentality. Someone who’s committed to create the ceremony YOU desire and is willing to put in the time and work to make that happen.
The ceremony is the heart of your wedding. If you want the ceremony of your dreams, please book your officiant early. And of course, I’d love to be your officiant. I’ll be delighted to talk with you about creating your wedding ceremony. You can reach me at (540) 577-8854