Hiring the right wedding officiant!
One of the most important vendors you will hire is your wedding officiant, whom without you can't get married!
Let's start by understanding, what is a wedding officiant?
A wedding officiant is the individual who will guide your ceremony. The officiant must be licensed and/or legally ordained to perform weddings in your state. They must understand the jurisdictions of the State as they pertain to the marriage license. Not only must they be qualified but they should be someone you and your partner are comfortable with to engage your guest and make the ceremony uniquely yours.
The most vital detail on your wedding day, is the execution of your marriage license or marriage certificate, without it, you're not officially married! Your wedding officiant has an essential role to play here. Your officiant will complete and sign the marriage license or marriage certificate (depending on your state), along with your witness(es) and send (or deliver) it back to the county clerk's office for certification.
Standard “cookie-cutter” ceremonies are a thing of the past. Most professional officiants will allow the couple to have input into what their wedding will be like. Together they will craft the ceremony, which may include personal vows, readings, poems, their “love story” and more. Couples are becoming more interested in putting their “stamp” on their ceremonies. Afterall, it’s a “once in a lifetime” big day. Officiants also consider the lifestyles, cultural backgrounds and interests of the couple they are serving.
Officiants have an affinity for love and celebrate those who love. Their entire business is making sure that the synergy during the ceremony is conducive to the couples’ expectations and desires. The officiant has a huge responsibility as they are the “opening act”, so to speak, of your momentous wedding day; and new life together!
How to find your "Opening Act"?
So just how do you go about finding and hiring the right wedding officiant? Understand that this person will not only officiate your wedding ceremony, but they are also the only one who can “make it official”. This person will work with you in the months leading up to your marriage. Some officiants offer couples premarital counseling, which can be an important part of the path to a successful marriage.
For some couples, finding the right officiant to marry them, is a daunting task because many times, the officiant is the last on the list to be “booked”. Most sought after officiants are booked months in advance so it’s a decision that should be made early on. Much like securing your venue and purchasing your wedding dress, booking your wedding officiant should be a top priority. Booking in advance helps you to properly plan out the type of ceremony and kind of marriage you both wish to have.
A zoom, phone or in-person consult is always a great start. Sometimes social media, reviews, and websites speak for themselves, and that connection can be enough to help you decide who to hire as your officiant.
Dive Deep, ask the officiant questions:
Are you licensed and/or ordained to officiate in the state you will marry?
Where can I find your credentials?
How many weddings have you performed?
Will you help us obtain the marriage license? Files the marriage certificate?
Do you perform both traditional & modern ceremonies?
Do you preform same-sex ceremonies?
Can you personalize the ceremony?
What is your ceremony style?
Will you participate in the rehearsal?
Do you offer premarital counseling?
Do you have a backup if you are sick or late?
Lastly, after consult, ask yourself if you felt a connection? If so, act on it! The sooner the better.
It is important to think it through and decide for yourself what is important to you as a couple. That is the one way you can make an informed decision and have the wedding ceremony of your dreams.
So yes, your dream wedding starts + ends with the right wedding officiant.
For Nevada, you can check the officiants credentials on the Nevada Secretary of States website - Marriage Officiants Search
Photos courtesy of Elijah Saldana