Now that you have taken those initial steps and said “I Do” over the weekend, it is time to advance to one of the most important aspects of wedding planning: building your wedding pro dream team! Having a top-tier team of wedding professionals will bring your vision to life with precision, and in glorious ways you would have never imagined.
We are closing out our 5-part series on “You’re Engaged”, and we hope the information we have shared in the previous blogs related to the venue, floral designers, photography, your wedding planner, and wedding planning costs will be beneficial to help you start planning your special day.
My advice is to start with the following 5 essential wedding pros as your starting lineup – Wedding Planner, Venue, Photographer, Floral Designer, and Officiant; each bringing their own specialized skills, specifically tasked to ensure your day runs smoothly. Refer to my previous blogs for details about each of these wedding pros.
So, let us close out the series and discuss the person that makes the “I Do” legal, your OFFICIANT!
#5 YOUR WEDDING OFFICIANT
Without an officiant on your list, your wedding is a non-starter. To find an officiant that feels fitting, you must first determine if your ceremony will be religious or secular. This will inform whether your officiant is a man/woman of the clergy (Priest, Rabbi, Minister), a close friend ordained by the Courts, a Judge, or Licensed Alternative Officiant (an individual that is not of the clergy).
Whomever you choose, be sure they are in complete alignment with your special day and can perform traditions related to your culture or faith. Your officiant should not feel hired and scripted, but familiar, a stakeholder in your happiness and a steward of your special moment.
Traditionally, Officiants are secured 9 months prior to the actual wedding date and are known to perform more than one wedding per day, depending on the geographical location.
What to look for in an Officiant:
- Experience: How many years have they been in the business?
- Reputation: Read customer reviews and checked references. A great resource for reviews are WeddingWire, The Knot, and Google.
- Licensed: Are they licensed to perform a wedding in your State/County?
- Availability: Will they attend the rehearsal, and, if so, is there an additional cost?
- Provisions: Will they provide a written outline of the ceremony for you to review?
- Process: Post Ceremony, do they assume the responsibility of sending your marriage certificate to the courts?
- Accommodations: Are they familiar with the customs/traditions you want to infuse into your ceremony?
- Make it Personable: Will your Officiant be willing to make your special day personable to reflect the love and personality of the two of you rather than just reading from script.
- Preparation: How many times will they meet with you prior to wedding day to make sure all the essential elements are in place to include know how to pronounce everyone’s names.
Above all else, when choosing your wedding pro dream team, make sound, informed decisions. With the above list, ensure they are all licensed professionals, have liability insurance, are willing to be interviewed face-to-face, and have stellar reviews or referrals.
My recommended resources to locate your wedding professional team include:
- The National Society of Black Wedding and Event Professionals
- Washingtonian Weddings
- The Knot
- Munaluchi Bride
- Carats and Cake
- United with Love
- … just to name a few.
And, as always, the best part is you do not have to go about the process of hiring a dream team of wedding professionals alone. Perfect Planning Events is willing to serve as the star player on your team! It would be my honor to walk alongside you during your planning process; guiding you every step of the way along the journey that leads to the aisle.