Interviewing Officiants

Well, I am very relieved to finally be able to say that we have an officiant for our wedding! A few weeks ago, Kyle and I had just walked away from our first meeting with our first officiant - after having been rejected by the one person we asked to do this (we have since decided that it was a good thing he turned us down!) - and were extremely disappointed by our prospects.

Since then, we met (well, Skyped) with one person we found on Yelp, and met with another one who was recommended by a friend. We learned a few things along the way and now feel really confident and excited about our decision. PHEW! What a huge relief.

a dear friend officiated Kendrick and David's beach wedding; photo by Our Labor of Love, Green Wedding Shoes

So for anyone else who isn't lucky enough to have a good friend or family member who will officiate your wedding ceremony, or who doesn't belong to a religious institution, here are some things we learned from our interviews.

Have some questions in mind. Other than the obvious ones, of course (are you available on our date? what do you charge?), ask them about why they perform wedding ceremonies. Ask them what their religious or spiritual background is. Ask them if they're comfortable performing a religious or non-religious ceremony. Then, and perhaps most importantly, pay attention to how you react to their answers. I noticed that some answers lined up perfectly with my own thoughts, and then sometimes I felt like I would be asking them to do something they were uncomfortable with.

handmade paper flowers serve as the perfect backdrop; photo by (once like a spark) photography, Green Wedding Shoes

Find out what their typical ceremony program is, and how flexible they are with it. Previously, I mentioned how Kyle felt that one of the people we were going to interview was a little too hippy dippy. Turns out, it just sounded that way. In reality her suggestion for including your guests in parts of the ceremony was really nice! Don't be afraid to mention the concerns you have about their proposed program. After all, the officiant can make or break your one and only wedding ceremony!

this ceremony included beautiful Hawaiian traditions; photo by Sea Light Studios, The Home Ground

Lastly, pay attention to your gut reaction. If your gut says "YES!" then really listen to it. And of course if your gut says "you should have started running 5 minutes ago" then you should probably pay even more attention to that and immediately move on. I noticed how great I felt after our Skype call with our officiant. She seemed professional, personable, and most importantly, I felt she was officiating weddings for the right reasons. As soon as she explained that she started doing this because a few friends had asked her to officiate their weddings, and she noticed a serious lack of non-denominational officiants who truly honored and recognized the significance of this day for the couple, I felt relieved to have found someone who understood what I was looking for (Isn't that exactly what I was complaining about in my last blog??).

We are thrilled to have found our match, and we are both now really looking forward to what we know will be a romantic, kick-ass, personal ceremony. Now time for some champagne.

Who did you have marry you and your partner? How did it go? How did you choose the person for this very important role?