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Choosing The Right Officiant

There are so many things to consider when choosing an officiant and creating a memorable ceremony.   Because the ceremony should be the most important part of your wedding day, it is important to find an officiant who is the perfect fit for you and your wedding.  The words expressed during your ceremony are an expression of the love you share as you unite in marriage with your best friend.  Vows and promises are the foundation for many years of wedded bliss!.

There are many hidden ‘in’s and out’s’ about performing a ceremony which is why it is important to use an experienced officiant. I learn something new at every wedding and incorporate that into my future services. The officiant is like an orchestra director, knowing how all the parts fit together to make a whole. You want to use someone that has experience which will help them avoid mishaps that can happen during a ceremony, and believe me, many mishaps may occur if a person doesn’t know what they are doing! Timing, amplification, coordination with the photographer and DJ, and so many other little things that make a ceremony perfect! It takes an experienced officiant to handle and troubleshoot. Friends or relatives may offer to perform your ceremony, which is very thoughtful, but you probably will not want them to experiment on your wedding day…causing hard feelings or damper your relationship if things go astray. Instead, you may want to consider using your friends or family to do a reading or say a prayer… let someone experienced lead and direct the ceremony! 

“Directing the rehearsal” Time and time again, venue coordinators talk about officiants that do not know how to direct a rehearsal and it becomes a disaster; or officiants that do show up for the rehearsal at all! 

It is the officiant’s job to direct the rehearsal, as a good rehearsal sets the stage for the next day and helps the ceremony run smoothly, creating a memorable occasion.

Custom made ceremonies” I do not take a ‘cookie cutter’ approach to leading ceremonies. A heartfelt ceremony keeps in mind the couple’s individual beliefs and feelings and may also use the couple’s words as they describe their view of marriage, their love for one another and what is special about their relationship. I strive to include the couple’s personal love story in my service, making it a very intimate experience. A custom ceremony should reflect a couple’s thoughts and feelings; not an outline that an officiant brings to the table and writes in the couple’s names. This happens a lot.“That certain flair” 

You want to make sure your officiant is friendly and can make everyone feel comfortable. There have been stories where the officiant doesn’t have the ‘people skills’, and just came in, did their thing and left. At the weddings I perform, I get to know the family and bridal party. I also do my best to make sure the couple is able to stay focused and relaxed during the ceremony. I honor the sacred space that we created, telling couples not to worry about what comes next. Just stay present and focused on the feelings in the moment. By keeping a slow, steady pace during the ceremony, you can experience the joyful, loving feelings that are present. 

“Good references”If you are still deciding on an officiant, please consider Ceremonies by Joan. Each wedding I officiate is important and I work hard to make sure each couple has a unique, personal and memorable ceremony.

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