Start planning a wedding and it doesn’t take long to realize that quite a bit of magic lies in the details. Not necessarily the “which shade of ivory looks best” kind of details, but the ones that frame moments you know you’re going to remember forever. The groom’s tears of pride when he catches his first look at the bride. The rustle of her carefully chosen gown as she walks down the aisle. The artfully arranged bouquet in her hands. The venue. The music. The food. These are the first things a bride thinks of when she sits down to plan her wedding – and yet, one of the most important details often gets much less attention.
But she’s a happy bride who remembers, the person who officiates the wedding is the person literally leading the newlyweds through the very most important moments of the entire celebration. This is the person who will be smiling in the background of the first-married-kiss photos. The person speaking for 95% of the ceremony. This person is the conductor of the show – and there are a few things you should keep in mind when researching and meeting with potential officiants for your big day.
Does the officiant’s voice appeal to you?
At first blush this might seem like a somewhat superficial question, but much like you choose a wedding band based primarily on how they sound rather than just reputation or look, the sound of your officiant’s voice is something you want to take into account. Regional tone, pitch, cadence – these are voice qualities that are going to stand out while he or she is officiating the ceremony. It may seem like a small detail – but you want to be focused on what your officiant is saying, not finding yourself distracted by how they’re saying it.
Do they come across genuinely excited for your big day?
This is a biggie. It should go without saying. The person officiating a wedding should be excited about the new marriage they’re helping to bring into the world. But attend a couple of weddings where the officiant leads the bride and groom through their vows as though he’s reciting his weekend grocery list, and you’ll know just what we’re talking about here. A great officiant’s excitement for the bride and groom not only comes through in their presentation – but they posses a quality that brings the wedding guests in on that excitement as well. It helps to have an expectation for the kind of energy you’d like your officiant to have on the wedding day and go about making your choice from there.
Are you able to be an active participant in how the ceremony is structured?
There are certainly many marriage services that follow certain patterns and pre-determined structures according to various religions and traditions. And that’s a beautiful thing! But there is almost always a way for the bride and groom to bring their own unique flair to the marriage ceremony – and why wouldn’t you want to? Whether that’s writing your own vows, additional readings or song performances – the list goes on – you want to be sure that whoever officiates your wedding is going to be supportive of and cater to the vision the bride and groom have in mind.
Does he/she make you feel at ease?
The excitement and nerves of standing in front of family and friends and vowing forever to your soul mate can be nerve-wracking enough. Make sure the person guiding you through those unforgettable moments is someone who only serves to make you feel as centered and special as the both of you deserve.
Brides, what questions did you ask yourself before choosing the officiant? Officiants, what are questions you wish brides knew to ask? Sound off in the comment section below!
Featured image by Julie Nicole Photography.