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Why Hire a Professional Officiant?

Updated: Apr 9

You said, "Yes!" and you are flush with the excitement and gushing with your new status as an engaged couple! Well, I must say: Congratulations! There is no better feeling than finding someone with whom you want to spend the rest of your life.

And now, it's time to start planning, and you have made so much progress: now you are down to choosing the person who will lead your ceremony, who will beautifully share your loving sentiments, promises and joy, and pronounce you married: your ceremony officiant, or minister, who will give the overall tone and feeling of "Your Special Day." These are huge responsibilities here: so please let me bend your ear and share with you why hiring a professional officiant should be nothing less than your number one priority.

When I first started officiating weddings and vow renewals, I believed that a person really needed me. Then came the endless protestations, excuses, and reasoning: couples just had to include family, friends and loved ones in every part of their ceremony and reception. And sometimes it seems that the choice of your wedding officiant should also be extended to a family member. Doesn't that sound lovely? Why, yes, that is until you factor in some of the other skills necessary here. Such as:

  1. Public speaking skills: does this person have that comfort level, that confidence and that professional ability to give the proper feeling and tone to your ceremony?

  2. Officiant leadership skills: does this person know the parts of the ceremony, when to do what is necessary for the proper flow of the ceremony?

  3. People skills: does this person have the grace to lead and encourage others, and also to "go with the flow" and spontaneously "riff" when the situation calls for it?

  4. Legal Know-How: does this person know what is required to make your union legal from start to finish, including advising you and your witnesses, if required in your state, to sign the marriage license in accordance with the governing authorities' legal requirements?

The good news is: an experienced and professional officiant can answer "Yes!" to each one of these questions, and more!

Still want to include family in your ceremony, that is: as more than just the wedding party? You can! Ask one or more dear family or friends to stand up and do a special reading that resonates with the two of you, and bask in the glow of their gratefulness for being included. You will be so thankful to them as well! Here's another tip: keep it brief, and print it out on a piece of sturdy card stock, about 5 X 8 in size, and in a 15 or 16 point font that is easy to read. Then tuck it into a lovely prayer or poem book for them to hold, and carry, with a ribbon or flower for a place holder. Just perfect!

Want to learn more from other professional officiants? See the link here for more on IAPWO's site.

And congratulations, once again on your engagement!

*Photo Courtesy of Taylor Renee Photography.

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