Your wedding ceremony is the most sacred part of your big day — a time that many couples will remember as heartfelt, intimate, and exciting. So when picking someone to marry you, it's kind of a big deal. Whether you pick someone you have known forever or find someone that fits you and your partner as a couple, it's an important decision that will set the tone of the rest of the day — and the rest of your lives. If you're unsure of what to look for or what questions to ask, have no fear — here are the six things you must ask your officiant before booking them for your ceremony.
1. Will you be able to create a personalized ceremony?
Some officiants will take the time to create and write a personalized ceremony for you and your partner — and some will use a generic template. If you want a ceremony that fits more of your personality, be sure to ask if this is something the officiant can do for you before the wedding.
2. Do you have a video we can watch of you at a past ceremony?
You might have found a skilled and revered officiant with positive reviews and testimonials on their website, but before hiring them, ask for videos from past weddings where they have acted as officiant. This will be the only true way to see their style, presentation, and poise when officiating (guests' tears are a bonus!).
3. How do you handle a noisy guest?
In the unfortunate situation that you'll have one or two rowdy guests who are either whispering during the ceremony or loudly Snapchatting every moment, it's important to know how he or she will handle it. Depending on the answer, this will let you know the level of professionalism when settling the situation.
4. How long do your ceremonies usually last?
If you're looking to have a quick ceremony, discuss your time limits and expectations beforehand. Some officiants are totally amenable to creating a ceremony in accordance with the couples' wishes — and others have a standard amount of time and programming to which they like to adhere.
5. How many pre-wedding sessions do we have with you?
If you'd like a very personalized wedding ceremony, you may want to meet with the officiant several times before the wedding so that he or she can get to know you as a couple. Sometimes officiants charge more for those pre-wedding meetings, so it's best to know in advance.
6. Will you help us obtain our marriage license?
Chat with your officiant beforehand to see if he or she will be able to mail in your signed marriage license after your wedding day or if you have to handle it yourselves. Some officiants will prepare the documentation for you — which is a definite luxury while you're enjoying some R&R on your honeymoon.
Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.