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  • ireneswain12

Choosing the Right Wedding Officiant for Your Tucson Wedding


Your Wedding Ceremony Should Honor Your Beliefs, Cultural Traditions and Who You Are as a Couple and as Individuals.


It used to be that when a couple was getting married they assumed that their Minister, Pastor or a Judge would officiate their wedding in whatever manner the professional was accustomed to do. The meaning and words were a "done deal", so to speak, following in the tradition of both or one of the partners. And today, this is still a perfectly wonderful way to have your wedding ceremony if you are a member of a church, temple, mosque, any personal affiliation. However, many couples desire to choose the one who will be standing with them, speaking "their" truths and values, as they take this next most important step in their relationship, the commitment of Marriage.


If this is you or you are thinking it might be, I would like to offer a few ideas to follow as you "attract" the perfect wedding Minister/Officiant for you. I will not talk fees here, because depending on where you are getting married and the size of your wedding, they vary. Also, I feel the fee should be only one criteria as you choose. Not "the" criteria, unless of course you are on a strict budget.


First, trust that when the right officiant for you is found, you will just know it. There will be a connection, something that you like about them: their professionalism, their style, their way that they honor your choices and ideas, their helpfulness and attention to detail in wanting to create a beautiful ceremony just for you. The best example I can give is this. I gave birth to my 3 sons at home. Each time I selected a midwife in much of the same way. I was wanting to attract the right person that I would feel comfortable to be with and could trust their expertise in a very specific, intimate, vulnerable and personal time in my life. If a couple, after meeting me and spending some quality time with me in person or on the phone, chooses someone else, I never take it personally. I know they have found who is right for them, and that is what is important to me.


I suggest you begin looking for the right person at least 6 months or even more before your wedding. Give yourself time to view websites, ask for referrals and set up meetings. And, don't wait too long as most really good wedding officiants in your area may get booked especially during the busy wedding days and months. And you just might know right away the moment you view an officiant's website. Kind of like the first dress you try on being the right one!


When you have your in person or phone meeting, have your questions and what is important for you ready to share. Also, know it is fine if you have none; as this is all new for you. The perspective officiant should go over the questions you don't even know you should be asking. Here again, each officiant has their unique style.


However, when the meeting has ended you should know the following:


How they will be creating with you a very personal, intimate wedding ceremony that you will so appreciate and always remember. Your guests will too!


What their idea of a beautiful wedding ceremony is and isn't.

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How they "hear" and will be incorporating your ideas and beliefs on partnership, marriage, religious/spiritual/other beliefs and any cultural traditions. They should be able to offer suggestions on how to bring all of these variables into a beautiful, meaningful, loving wedding ceremony. Is there something else you want your ceremony to honor, such as two families coming together, your children, community etc.


You want to feel totally comfortable that they will create with you as a team, not just their ideas alone; although they should offer some good ones. Even though you may still feel a bit unsure of how all this will work, you should feel totally confident in their ability and professionalism. Remember, they are serving you and your wedding not the other way around. You should be able to "glean" if they love what they do and if your wedding will be "fresh" for them even if they have been officiating weddings for many years. The love, joy and vibration your wedding officiant brings to your ceremony is so important, and you will not know the truth of this until after.


You want to know what are they offering for you to together create your unique personal ceremony. In other words, there needs to be something tangible to use for choices, to begin creating. How will you move forward, time they will give, as you create. In other words are they total "in" until you are totally satisfied with your final version of your ceremony. How are they with last minute changes.


Assuming you feel comfortable with how they will be creating with you a personalized wedding ceremony, you also want to know how all will "come down" on your wedding day. When will they arrive. Do they take responsibility to connect with the other important ceremony vendors. On the "day of" it all becomes a team effort, and your wedding officiant should be open to the awareness of this. You should not be needing to ask these questions. A good professional officiant should be letting you know as part of how they serve you and your wedding. You might want to know what they will be wearing. I have had a few brides ask me to blend in with their colors, which I usually do with a choice of scarf.


As far as having confidence in an officiant's demeanor, you must "catch" this when you speak with them. And many who refer them to you will mention this. In my opinion you want a person who has a nice blend of centeredness, calmness, joy, love, enthusiasm and a great delivery style. Again, you will see this when you speak with them or through referrals.


Ask what their policy is and how they would handle things if they should be ill and not able to be at your ceremony last minute. I am amazed no one asks me this. I do always let them know though.


To sum up: You are not looking for a lifetime friend in your wedding officiant, however, you do want to feel totally comfortable in front of them looking at them and they at you, listening to their voice, hearing their words and sentiments (that you have helped choose). Their presence should calm and bring joy to yours. All this at one of the most intimate and possibly vulnerable moments. In other words, you don't want your wedding officiant to remind you of that Aunt, Uncle or teacher who even though very nice just "rubs" you the wrong way or causes a "cringe" within instead of openness within you. Funny but true! This is just a personality thing, however, be aware of it.


A final note here. If you decide that you want a family member or friend to go on line and get an officiant certificate to officiate for you, this can be great too. However use your imagination to see the 3 of you standing together and they speaking the most important words and sentiments. If it still feels right then great. I was called last minute to officiate for a couple who had just had an argument with their family member who was going to be their officiant.


And if you want and are happiest with a short sweet totally scripted wedding ceremony and who officiates is not of importance to you, well I say, honor this.


"Your wedding ceremony is yours and yous alone!" Listen communicate with each other, and as I always convey to couples, "I am happy to offer all my accumulated experience of creating a beautiful, meaningful and loving wedding ceremony, however, you get final edit!"


The best wedding officiants know that they serve you and your wedding and are honored to do so.


Have fun choosing the best wedding officiant for you and your wedding ceremony!


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