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How do you know you found the right officiant for your wedding by Reverend Arlene Ponack

Posted on October 7, 2015 at 11:55 AM

Having the right officiant for your wedding day is a very important decision as this is the person who is not only marrying you but is setting the tone for your entire day! There are many officiants to choose from but do you want someone who just reads “cookie-cutter” vows and helps you exchange the rings, or do you want someone who will help you create a personalized, custom ceremony that will tell the story of your love? A question that also pops up in my mind is; “Do you want someone who is professional and knows how to speak in front of an audience?” I think this is important because if your ceremony is exactly the way you want it to be, will your family and friends be able to hear and understand the words that are spoken? An officiant should not only be able to project their voice, but will speak clearly so everyone can hear and understand the story being conveyed in your wedding ceremony. Wording is also important in your wedding ceremony especially if you are striving for a beautiful ceremony that you always dreamed of! I think it is important to find a wedding officiant that will be able to come up with just the right words to express feelings of love and joy, as this is the way to tell the story of your love. You also need to find a wedding officiant who will be receptive to your preferences and personal style. Your wedding officiant should be open and willing to incorporate your ideas into your ceremony. It is your wedding and the ceremony should be no different than any other aspect of your wedding. Do you plan to give a DJ full vein on what songs to play? Are you going to let your your baker decide the flavor of your cake or what your cake should look like? Are you going to let your caterer decide what food is going to be served at your wedding? Why should the words spoken at your ceremony be any different? The wording should be exactly how you want and there should be no surprises during your ceremony! To help you decide if an officiant is the right choice for your wedding, I have three important tips to keep in mind: 1. Is your wedding officiant flexible, accommodating, and open minded? This is especially important if you want a non-traditional wedding. Traditional weddings are not for everyone. What if you want to have a steam punk wedding, infuse some rock and roll into the ceremony, or want to throw in something geeky or goth, or have a special theme in mind for your wedding ceremony. Do you want a more traditional wedding but prefer to write your own vows, some couples have told me there are wedding officiants that do not allow the couples to write any part of the ceremony including their own vows. Vows can be very personal and every couple should be able to write their own if that is what they choose. Do you want a special reading that is read or even sung by family members and friends. Do you want to include children into the ceremony? Do you want the children to stand at the alter, will they sit still and be quiet during the ceremony? Depending on their ages, probably not, so you want a wedding officiant that can “go with the flow” and adjust any part of the ceremony that may not go exactly as planned. Do you want to include your pets into the ceremony? What is you choose to have a “dog bearer” for the rings, does your wedding officiant have a good sense of humor as pets will not always be as quiet as you anticipated. Or perhaps you are still having a traditional wedding wedding but you want to infuse your religious beliefs or combine two religions, is your wedding officiant experienced in combining different religions? Are you a same sex couple, is your wedding officiant LBGT friendly? What if you want to incorporate your heritage and wear traditional attire such as a kilt, a sari, or a kimono. Some couples prefer to wear nontraditional attire such as a black wedding dress, jeans and a t-shirt, or a costume for a themed wedding. Will your officiant wear a costume or dress according if that is what you desire? A good wedding officiant does many weddings that may be unique, different, and is used to performing ceremonies when the “unexpected” happens. The ideal wedding officiant will listen to your personal preferences and style and will tailor the ceremony accordingly. It is YOUR wedding and YOU want a wedding officiant that will make your ceremony beautiful and memorable! 2. Is your wedding officiant experienced and professional? Remember that old saying “you get what you paid for”? It is important to have an experienced and professional wedding officiant. Some couples try to cut corners but a bad choice in a wedding officiant could turn months of planning into a wedding disaster that you will regret forever. What will your wedding officiant be wearing? Will the wedding officiant show up dressed professional? You are probably paying a lot of money for a good photography and/or a videographer. Do you want your wedding officiant's attire to ruin your wedding pictures or video? How comfortable is your wedding officiant in speaking in front of an audience? Will your wedding officiant just be reading from a script? Anyone can read a script does your wedding officiant's voice have inflection and tone or is it mundane and boring? A true professional wedding officiant can bring the words to life! The personality of your wedding officiant can also have an impact on your ceremony. Someone with an upbeat, friendly nature can perform your wedding ceremony with style and grace. An experience, warm and friendly wedding officiant can put you at ease. Weddings are stressful but a warm, friendly, and caring wedding officiant can put you at ease even with just a smile. Reliability is also an extremely important factor when choosing your wedding officiant. A professional wedding officiant will show up early and be prepared. A good wedding officiant is flexible and can adapt to any changes made the day of your wedding. Most weddings do not go exactly as planned and sometimes they may start late. How does your wedding wedding officiant react to surprises and changes that may happen last minute. I have been asked by many photographers how I feel about flash photography or if they get behind me or right next to me to get “that shot”. I think it is important to hire a wedding officiant that does not mind a photographer doing his or her job. It is the couples' wedding and the couple is paying the photographer to get “that shot”. A professional wedding officiant should be there for you for any questions or concerns from the moment they are first contacted by you and every moment right up to the ceremony. Will your wedding officiant answer your questions and concerns in a quick and efficient manner? What if a few weeks before the ceremony, you decide to change part of the ceremony, will your wedding officiant be accommodating? 3. Free Consultation – Does your wedding officiant offer a free consultation? A consultation can be done in person or on the phone. You need to ask questions to decide if this is the right wedding officiant for you. While speaking to the wedding officiant, listen to the quality of his or her voice. Is their voice filled with inflection and tone or is it flat and mundane? Does this person speak clearly and professionally? If you are meeting him or her in person, is this person dressed professionally? Does he or she sound interested in your ceremony and does he or she care about your ceremony? How enthusiastic does he or she seem to be about your wedding ceremony? Is he or she listening and understanding what you want for your wedding officiant? How would you know the answer to any of these questions if you do not meet your wedding officiant or talk to your wedding officiant on the telephone? These are just a few tips from Reverend Arlene Ponack on hiring the right wedding officiant for your wedding. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post as much as I enjoyed writing it. I hope you enjoy further blog posts and ask me questions anytime by phone, email, text, or in person. Please comment on this blog post and let me know what you think. Thank you, Arlene

Categories: personalized wedding ceremonies, orlando wedding officiant, always and forever florida weddings

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