Officiants {asking someone you know}

You may remember my post about finding an officiant, here. Well I am so relieved and happy to say that we now have ours! And better yet, he is my uncle (well, he's my dad's cousin to be exact, but same diff). If you are interested in having a family member or friend be your officiant, below, you will find what worked for me!

1. Talk to your fiance about who you both would want.


From the beginning of thinking about finding our officiant, my fiance and I really liked the idea of having someone we know. We wanted someone whose marriage, family, and values we admired. It was important to us that the person was outgoing, comfortable speaking in front of a group, and had a great sense of humor. It was also a good chance to start imagining the ceremony we envision having. Things like readings, music, incorporating a special ceremony, etc.

2. Look into the legalities.

Sources: top, above left, above right

I found this site with rules by state. Once you select the state, there is some helpful info and a list of clerk's offices in that state. We found it to be a great quick reference. We also called the office in the county where our wedding will take place and asked them some questions. For example, can our officiant be someone who was ordained online (Universal Life Church, anyone?)? And, can we waive the 3-day waiting period between getting the license and using it since we are coming from out of town? I highly recommend giving your clerks office a call.

 3. Pop the question.

Sources: top, above left, above right

The hardest part for me was asking, because I didn't want my uncle to feel pressured into saying yes. When I approached it, I made it clear that while we would love for him to be our officiant, we completely understood if he didn't want to do it for any reason. Thankfully he said yes!

Are you thinking of asking a friend or family member to officiate your wedding?

You May Kiss the Bride {Finding an Officiant}

There is one thing I have been completely putting off in wedding planning...finding our officiant. It is the only thing on those helpful wedding checklists that I have let go by and not done anything about - not even a google search. I'm one of those people where if I don't know how to do something, I sort of just focus on the things I like to do until I'm getting down to the wire on timing :)  So right now I am staring at the 10-month check list and realizing we are already down to 9 months. But, hey!, some people plan an entire wedding in 9 months, so I'm sure we'll figure it out! The officiant is such an important part of the day. The whole reason we are planning a wedding is to get married after all! The person will set the tone and should be a reflection of my fiancé and I.

So without further ado, my search begins.


Sources: left, right





If you have any advice for me about finding an officiant while being in another state, please do tell! Skype-friendly officiant, anyone?

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?