There are a lot of wedding officiants out there, with a range of skills and prices. As you do your search for the perfect officiant, keep in mind that this is the person you will be standing before as you make your sacred vows to each other. This is the person who will lead you through some of the most personal moments of your life. This is the person who will pronounce you husband and wife.
When you are looking at potential candidates, a good place to start is with a skills check. Just like with other wedding vendors you are considering, take a close look at the officiant’s website, photos and reviews. Is the website current? That can be a reflection of the officiant’s attention to their business. Does it reflect your style? The style of a website can tell you a lot about who that person is. Do the photos on the site have you desiring the same experience? Almost all reviews of officiants are positive, so dig down and read the details. Look for feeling and a sense of how the couple, as well as family and guests, felt about the ceremony. How do you feel when you read them?
It always helps to find an officiant who has a lot of experience, but never sell a person who is new to the scene short. After all, everyone has to start somewhere. I remember the first time I performed a memorial service. After listening to their desires and needs and laying out a plan, the family asked me how many memorial services had I done before. I nervously answered, “This will be my first.” I was relieved that they were okay with that, and they were also quite supportive. They could tell from our conversation that I was sincere, committed and capable. If you are looking at someone who is pretty fresh to being an officiant, observe their capability. How competent do they come across to you? A person new to being an officiant may be more likely to put in a lot of effort to make sure your ceremony is perfect. They may go the extra mile. That said, I would suggest that you find out about their experience with speaking in front of people, conducting sacred ceremonies or anything translatable to the wedding ceremony experience. It’s good to be gracious, but not naïve.
All that said, in the same way that you ‘selected’ each other, I think it mostly comes down to chemistry. How do you feel when you are with them? Do they make you feel comfortable? Do they seem organized? When you met with them in person or talked on the phone, did you share moments of laughter together? Did they lay out all that you can expect with their process? Most important, do they get you? And do they get your story? All of this will give you the sense of what it will actually be like standing before them at the altar.
For me, I never do a hard sell with couples, because I only want to perform weddings for couples with whom I really connect. I know I can only be my best self when I am enjoying the experience. I will not be the best fit for everyone, nor do I want to try to be. My desire is for every couple to find the officiant who will work best for them. So for you, I bless your journey and know that you will find the right and perfect person to officiate your ceremony on your very special day.