For some couples, finding an officiant who is a good fit for their wedding can be challenging. An officiant is a good match for couples who aren’t looking to be married in any one religious institution or are looking to blend cultures. Some couples would have gone with a religious figure but are hosting their ceremony outside and their chosen Rabbi or Minister or Priest cannot perform outside of their place of worship. Many couples want a more modern non-denominational approach while their families may want more tradition. Sometimes brides and grooms disagree about what is important. When I first speak with or meet with a couple, one of the first questions I ask is the tone that they are striving to capture during their wedding, and of course specifically their ceremony. If I can get a sense of their entire vision, I can see if the type of ceremony I provide is a good fit for what they are looking for.
An officiant is someone who is unattached to any one religious institution. Your officiant may have his or her own religion and was ordained by a religious institution or non-religious entity, but in terms of the service, every officiant I know is comfortable performing ceremonies with elements of all type of cultures and traditions, or none at all. Many couples who come to me are looking for a non-religious, non-spiritual ceremony that reflects their beliefs and the story of how they met. Most often, my couples are just looking for something memorable, unique, personal and somewhat spiritual without being overly religious.
Here are some questions to ask yourselves before looking for an officiant, and then some questions to ask of your officiant:
To ask yourself:
Do we want any religion represented? Do we want the word “God” in the ceremony?
Do we want spiritual guidance?
How well do we want our officiant to get to know us: one meeting? A few?
Do we have a gender preference?
Are there family issues/traditions to take into account when planning our ceremony? How do we feel about that?
To ask the officiants you contact:
What is the style of your ceremonies?
What would guests say about your ceremonies after attending?
What sets you apart from other officiants?
Are you NYC registered?
What would our meeting schedule be?
Will I see a draft of what will be read?
How many same-sex ceremonies have you performed (if this is important to you)?
Will you help us write vows?
Good luck and enjoy this journey!xo, Carissa