your perfect ceremony begins with a great officiant

During wedding season I tend to have some pretty crazy dreams…everything from missing brides & grooms to exploding wedding cakes, bands who show up in cut-off tshirts…you name the wedding nightmare and I have had a crazy dream about it! The other night I dreamed that I was not only planning a wedding, I was also officiating it. Even worse than officiating (which I don’t do)…I didn’t realize I was supposed to be officiating! I stood up front and had no idea what to say. I fumbled my way through vows and when it came time for a scripture reading, I had to pull out my iphone to look up the verses.  At one point there was a 5 minute lull while I sorted through papers and attempted to figure out the order of the ceremony. All around it was a complete nightmare for someone like myself, who has absolutely no desire to do public speaking!

Rev. Bonnie Corondan

Obviously this is a scenario that will never happen to me, as I don’t officiate weddings and have no desire to do so in the future. We work with some really amazing officiants and I respect how much preparation time, composure, experience and training goes into becoming a top-notch officiant. But it does remind me of the importance of a great officiant, and I can’t stress enough that it is COMPLETELY worth the $300-400 you’ll pay for an experienced officiant. Trust me, it’s not just about hiring someone who is ordained—anyone can do it online these days in an effort to make a few extra bucks.  It’s important to hire someone who will get to know you; is an excellent writer, so they can craft your personalized ceremony; and most importantly, is an excellent speaker.  An experienced officiant will also be able to give you some great suggestions on ways to incorporate your personal story, style and beliefs into your ceremony.

While your ceremony may only be 30 minutes long, you can trust me that it will be a 30 minutes everyone will remember if you have an officiant that struggles through the ceremony, incorrectly pronounces your names (or forgets your names—eek!) or fidgets, stammers and fumbles their way through your ceremony.  So do your research—meet with potential officiants in person, ask for references, and get to know them—you’ll be glad you did!

Photo by Ben Pancoast Photography

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This post was written by jessica

2 Comments

  • Many, MANY good Officiants charge more than the $300-400 you quoted. On the east coast the going fee is more in the $500-800 range.

    Thank you for highlighting the need for hiring the right trained professionals for their important day.

    Rev. Judith

  • $300-400 is a starting range for a good officiant, and is a good estimate for brides planning in our area— though I’m sure it fluctuates a lot on either the East/West coast!

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