Wednesday, September 29, 2010

DreamGroup’s Wedding Wednesday: Tip of the Week

Choosing your Officiant...

Your ceremony is one of the most important elements of your entire day. Unfortunately, the need to find someone to conduct the ceremony is often lost amongst the choosing of gowns, flowers, cakes, invitations, music and other important items. Since your ceremony will be the highlight of your day you should be sure to choose your Officiant wisely and early!

Select the right person for the job:

The type of ceremony you choose will affect your options for the Officiant. For example, if you belong to a church, you may have a smaller list of options: a Minister, Priest, Rabbi or other Clergyperson may be the required or assumed choice. However, if you opt for a secular, or civil ceremony, set aside time during wedding planning to decide on the person you want to perform your marriage ceremony.

In the Province of BC there are two categories of people licensed to perform weddings:

1. Religious Representatives - of which there are two types:

  • a pastor/priest/minister/rabbi associated with the specific house of worship where the wedding ceremony will be held
  • an ordained reverend or minister not associated with any specific house of worship

2. Marriage Commissioner (replacing the justice of the peace) through the Government of BC.

Couples opting for a ceremony outside of their own personal place of worship normally have a range of ceremony types to choose from, including: religious (if you share the same faith), interfaith (two faiths coming together), religious non-denominational or spiritual all of which would require a Religious Representative to carry out the ceremony. Couples opting for civil/secular ceremonies (with no religious content at all) would require a Marriage Commissioner.

Either route you take, be sure to discuss the content of the ceremony that the officiant plans to provide, as well as whether or not you'll be allowed to contribute at all (i.e. write your own vows). These items should count for a major part of your decision, as the content of your ceremony represents your permanent union with your partner.

What kind of person are you looking for?

Before you initiate the contact, you should have a general idea of the kind of person you want to officiate at your ceremony. Some couples may want a polished 'clerical' or 'official' presence; others may want a more informal presence. Some couples may want someone who takes a more formal dignified approach in conducting their ceremony; others prefer someone with a more casual 'light-hearted' demeanour. The Officiant’s personality and 'chemistry' with the couple are two very important items to look for in your Officiant.

Trust...A key ingredient:

One of the most important elements in your relationship with your Officiant is trust; trust in their professional competency! Trust that your ceremony will be conducted according to mutual agreed plans and according to your wishes. Trust, that you can leave it in his or her hands knowing that your day will begin with a lovely meaningful ceremony that will reflect the love between the two of you.

Other qualities to consider:

Once you have an understanding of your 'likes' and 'dislikes' you will be better equipped to choose the right Officiant. Important qualities you may want to consider are versatility, experience, warmth and caring, professionalism and qualifications. Speak to them over the telephone or in person, view their web page, and read their material. Also don’t be afraid to ask for references. A good ceremony will reflect your personalities and family traditions and will set the tone for your entire day!

Here are a few DreamGroup's favourite officiants:



1 comment:

darian kovacs said...

Great article! Really love that you helped people find a good officiant in the Vancouver area. I'd love to see and hear a blog post about pre-marital coaching or counselling and your thoughts.