All too often couples put off finding their wedding Officiant until the end of the planning process. It is important to take into consideration the importance of this role in your wedding day. Your Pastor, Minister or Officiant is the person who will stand before you to unite the two of you together in matrimony. It is this person who helps with your vows, signs your marriage license to make your marriage legal, and can help to include children in a blended family ceremony. Although a Justice of the Peace can provide you with a simple ceremony, they are more than likely less personal than working with an individual who will take the time to meet with you and get to know who you are to customize your ceremony prior to your wedding. That being said, your wedding Officiant can be, and SHOULD be an integral part of planning from the early stages.
When you choose an Officiant for your Estes Park Wedding, you’re choosing someone to perform your dream ceremony on your dream day. Some questions you may want to ask include:
A) Are they personable? Do you feel comfortable with their personality, can he/she make you feel at ease? Do they sound rehearsed or scripted? Is he/she willing to improvise… and add a sense of humor and ease your nerves during your ceremony? Will they evoke emotions in you and your guests such as laughter, reflection of their own relationships, or even tears of joy?
B) Will they talk with you and provide what you want in a ceremony? Other than adding your names into their standard script, will they customize your ceremony to reflect who you are as a couple?
C) Do they take the time to get to know you? Are THEY asking questions? How you met? How you became engaged? About your families? They should want to know more about you and your wedding than just the location and time.
D) Do they encourage an open line of communication? Do you feel comfortable enough that you can call him/her during the course of your planning to ask questions, even if they are not directly related to your ceremony?
E) Is this their FULL TIME business? Are they easily accessible and do they respond to requests and your questions in a timely manner?
F) Are they an independent company or a ‘conglomerate’ of wedding Officiants? When you book your wedding day, will the person you met and bonded with ACTUALLY be the person to perform the ceremony, or will your wedding be ‘reassigned’ to a different pastor? Will they put this in writing for your peace of mind? In the case of an emergency, do they have a back up Officiant who is FAMILIAR to you prepared to step in at a moment’s notice?
Pre-Marital Counseling Is NOT Required
A note from Lorie Cooper, Master Wedding and Event Planner for 35 years…
Here are some often overlooked, important facts to consider when comparing prices and shopping for the services of your wedding officiate.
Ultimately, this person provides you the service that your entire day comes down to – seeing to it that you become man and wife. While so many times left until the last minute or not considered strongly enough, this is ‘where the rubber meets the road’ on your wedding day – so it deserves planning, serious thought of what you want in a ceremony and consideration of the person you will be working with not only on your special day, but the weeks leading up to your wedding for planning the perfect ceremony that will announce you to the world as a married couple!
Lets face it… You’ll try on what seems like 100 different dresses, interview many photographers, DJs, taste dozens of cakes and food samples and take the time to carefully select so many other vendors. It is equally important that you take the time to carefully choose an officiate as well. He or she must be not just a warm body with the same scripted ceremony used for 100 years, but a person that you can connect with emotionally, spiritually, personally… simply to trust and to feel comfortable with to be creative enough to take your ceremony to a whole new level – created JUST for the two of you, designed around each of you, and reflective of your relationship.
There is no greater compliment than being stopped by YOUR guests and told – “I’ve been to dozens of weddings, and I have NEVER heard a ceremony as unique as yours – it was a perfect reflection of the couple!”
Or, to be told by so many guests – “I know the ceremony was intended for the couple today, but your words touched the hearts of every couple in the audience and reminded us ALL of what true love means – THANK YOU for re-energizing our own vows vicariously through this couple today!”
So take a little extra time to find the PERFECT officiate for your wedding day. Can he bring you and your guests to tears of joy? Can he incorporate a sense of humor with a little stress-breaking giggle? Can he make each of your guests feel like they are an essential part of your ceremony? While cost is always a factor – consider the the end result. Reflecting back on your vows every passing year with fond memories of a beautiful ceremony and the reminder of the commitment you share is worth it’s weight in gold!
Best wishes on your journey together!