Just Here For The Party
Listen…(or read rather) I know you’ve been looking for a wedding officiant because you’ve made it to this blog. And I know for sure your mind has been boggled from seeing pricing for wedding officiants ranging from free 99 to something you definitely did not expect nor budget for. So, I’m writing this to give you a little perspective and to hopefully help you to narrow your choices.
Choosing your officiant via the all mighty innanet couldn’t be more confusing. Especially if you haven’t marinated on the only part of your special day that converts your big party to a real wedding. Let’s be honest for a moment, when you thought about your wedding ceremony, you thought about walking down the aisle, crying a little, saying I-do, then exiting the building to get to the party…in that order. You haven’t thought about the timeline, the structure of the ceremony, rituals/traditions/enhancements, etc. and why would you? This is probably your first wedding. All those details should be left to the pros.
Pro’s? or a friend? Or maybe a relative that’s known you since diapers? (insert cringe here)
Yes, a pro! Professional Wedding Officiants do exist. We haven’t been on the map for long, but we do exist. Before us pros came into the picture, marriages were solemnized by members of clergy (pastors, priest, etc.), judges, or laypersons. Nowadays many couples do not have a church home, don’t want a religious ceremony, and would rather not step in front of a judge...for any reason. Times have changed and practically anyone with the right license can pronounce you married so let’s put some things into perspective before you book.
You wouldn't go to a mechanic just because the name on their building says mechanic, right? You’d probably ask around for a referral, preferably one with experience, and a good reputation. And of course, you want the pricing to be fair. But you know as well as I do what happens if you go cheap. Your car needs to LAST and not just run for the moment. It also needs to be serviced thoroughly and correctly or you will be back in a week or sooner.
This is the exact the mindset you should have when choosing your wedding officiant. I could go into thorough detail about the differences between hiring a pro or choosing the other options, but I am not a fan of bashing in order to make other people (or myself) look good. I believe that the work of those individuals and reviews speak for themselves. There are tons of people that have officiated ceremonies for close friends or family and it turned out great. But again, I am here to help you narrow down your choices and keep your attention span for the next 30 seconds.
Here’s my advice and shameless plug: When hiring the professional wedding officiant, you should hire the one that will not only create a ceremony that no one falls asleep on but will also help you with the details of your ceremony. And it’s a plus if they can also help you with the details of your marriage. Your marriage needs to LAST and not just be legal in my opinion, but I digress.
Ok, I’m not digressing hear my small rant: Everyone will tell you to skimp on what you can in order to have a fantastic party and usually this first negotiable is the wedding officiant. UGGHHH! Let me share some truth: You have options. If you choose to skimp, choose to elope to the courthouse and make it legal. No one wants to sit through a boring 30+ minute ceremony watching people they don’t know walk down the aisle, then hear the same thing they’ve heard a million times during wedding ceremonies; love is patient love is kind love is blah blah blah, when you know good and dern well that love and marriage can be trial, tribulation, and sometimes down right unbearable. Tell the truth and shame the devil mmkay?! END RANT.
I would just tell you all to hire me because I’m the best in the land (Cleveland yasssss) but as you can tell from my post, I am not for everyone and I am ok with that.
There are pro’s that will spend time with you helping to create the ceremony you never knew could exist… if they can make your guest cry and laugh at the same time, that’s straight magic right there. Hire the one that either has experience or education (or both) in all things wedding ceremony such as bi-cultural traditions, rituals, etc. They know how to handle emergent situations like forgotten rings, MOB not showing up, or handling an inebriated best man. Book the pro that you can really connect with, relate to, believes in YOUR love, and really knows how to make your ceremony about the love you share. From consultation to ceremony planning (and maybe even coaching), your Officiant should be your wing man and number one cheerleader. Like a lady wolf, one foot behind you yet right beside you, helping to cover every aspect of your wedding ceremony from all angles.
Bottom line, a Professional Wedding Officiant will either dampen or enhance the best day of your life. Choose wisely. Hire the Pro and not the one just here for the party.