Now, you are ready to begin interviewing your Ohio Wedding Officiants. When you email or leave a message, please, leave the date, time, and location or venue of your wedding. It is a very good idea to include your fiancé and your names. Talk slower than normal, as some answering machines and voice mailboxes are ancient.
Be prepared with the questions and answers that you and your fiancé went over, along with other ideas, concerns and if you have pictures to help convey the overall vision, that is good, too. This is the time to ask questions, a LOT of questions!
Assumptions are not a good trait. You want the wedding officiant and your vision to compliment each other. Ask questions, and again I can not stress enough, a lot of questions.
1. Is it legal to be married where the ceremony is taking place? You should have the knowledge as to whether your officiant is registered in the State of Ohio. If you do not have this information, ask to see their certificates and diplomas. Take the name off the certificate and look it up on the Secretary of States website.
Outdoor weddings are beautiful; make sure it is legal to for your wedding to be held a wedding in that specific location. Make sure you have the permits needed for use of a city, county, state or national park.
2. Is your venue in the allotted distance of you wedding officiants travel preference? Not all wedding officiants will travel without adding on a travel fee. Be precise giving the address and directions to your wedding officiant, ask if they will travel to the destination or will you need to find another wedding officiant? Ask if they will travel for rehearsal, also. Questions such as: Have you done an outdoor wedding before? Have you been to our chosen venue? Will you travel to our venue without additional travel fees? These questions are important to ask.
3. Does the wedding officiant come with recommendations, experience, or training? Recommendations are important; they allow you to know what others thought of the wedding officiant. Remember, they probably will not give you any referrals that are dissatisfied. Do your research through the web, word of mouth, social networking. The quality of your ceremony is the vital result. Again training, experience, and referrals offer you the information you seek.
How to find the Right Ohio Wedding Officiant for you! Part 3
4. Do you want the officiant to give you the opportunity to read the ceremony, so you can make changes if you choose? This is imperative for me to receive, returned to me at least a week before the wedding ceremony. I want my couple to know what I am going to say.
To discover that your wedding officiant will not make changes you deem necessary, may leave you in a rush to choose a new officiant and is not what you want to happen. For example, if a wedding officiant inserts a few surprises for you, such as a wife should stay home and cook while a man supports her and the family, can really devastate your ceremony and possibly insult Aunt LouAnna who supports her family while Uncle Tony stays home to raise their four boys.
It is important that everyone know the lines and are comfortable with the scene as it will play in front of the live audience during the actual wedding ceremony.
5. Do you want a ceremony written especially for you, or is a cookie cutter service ok for you? Is it essential to you to have a service unique and one of a kind? Religious officiants are often restricted with ceremony content. Other wedding officiants have a standard ceremony they stick to with little changes.
I offer my couples my favorite wedding service and suggest they add or take away from it, if they do not want me to write a custom service for them. My choice is to leave the words, “…until death do us part” out of the service all together. I have never cared for those words; why bring up death at a joyous celebration of new beginnings, so I leave them out.
For those who want a quick, ‘I do’ before their reception, a standard ceremony is all you need. What ever you decide, you need to hire the wedding officiant that will work with you, blend your traditions, and tie the legal knot for you.
6. Ask the wedding officiant to outline from your first meeting to the final ceremony, his or her process. You need to know how your wedding officiate will handle the timeline for creating your service. This is vital if you have programs printed. You will need to know if you will need to delve into any part of the research or if the wedding officiant will do all the work required and make a draft for your approval. You will also want final say on the polished service.
How to find the Right Ohio Wedding Officiant for you! Part 3
7. Do you want the wedding officiant to be at the rehearsal? Do we have to be at the rehearsal? No. With that being said, you need to realize if the wedding officiant has never done a specific part of your wedding, they, too, will need a rehearsal. The more complex your wedding ceremony, or for a larger wedding party, it is suggested you ask for and receive a rehearsal. If your ceremony is simple, or short and sweet, no rehearsal is required. Remember this is your day, you have prepared for this as if it is an opening on Broadway. Don’t short change yourself by cutting corners and not have a rehearsal. Everyone should know their lines, where they should stand, and how to walk down the isle. Nerves will make your speed things up when they should be taken slow, practice will put you more at ease. Discuss this at the first meeting, as your officiant will need to schedule the rehearsal, too. The rehearsal can be done the week prior to the actual ceremony.
8. Should you by pass a wedding officiant because they have never done a _________ before? If you want a flash mob processional or the harlem shake for your recessional, just because your wedding officiant has never done one does not mean you should find another minister. Only if they are not open to idea should they be swapped out for a more whimsical minister. Make sure your wedding officiant is comfortable with everything you want to incorporate into the ceremony. They may need to discuss with other officiants they network with for assistance in the choreography, but your whimsical wedding officiant will be more than happy to do the research and the chance to do a ceremony with a different flavor.
Other first time events might be a handfasting, jumping the broom, or a costumed theme wedding. (My medieval gypsy costume is ready for its next adventure as well as my Steampunk.) Again, discuss this at the first meeting. Time will be needed to research and know how to make it flow smoothly.
9. Should you have a contract with your wedding officiant or minister? Yes! You should have a folder with all your contracts from all of your vendors. This does include a contract with your wedding officiant or minister. You want to be sure if anything comes up and your wedding officiant can not hold your ceremony, that 1) a replacement minister will take his/her place or 2) your money is refunded so you can find a last minute minister to fill the void. This contract also protects the minister, just in case something comes up and you have to cancel the wedding. Emergencies happen, and with a military couple deployment happens.
10. Does the wedding officiant have a contract? Can I read it first? Yes and Yes. Once you are comfortable with the minister and have asked what his/her fee is, ask for a contract.
11. Why does the wedding officiant cost so much? Everything is relative. Reflect on what you are paying for: the investment of time and energy the wedding officiant will put into your ceremony and weigh it alongside the fee. Remember, it takes 45 hours approximately with the custom service, vows, etc to be written, travel time, rehearsal, meetings, possible research on the venue or the venue location, and last but definitely not least this is the part of your wedding day that makes you married. Also take into consideration whether the wedding officiant is supplying a PA system for the ceremony. Each added benefit needs to be weighed and measured.
I am sure I forgot something, for there is a lot to go over from several points of view. Ask questions. Make sure you get what you want for your ceremonial service. Read the contract(s). Enjoy, and Breathe!
Want To Use This Article In Your Ezine or Website? You have my permission, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Rev. Cindy Lee is a web designer, an inter-faith minister and shamanic practitioner. She is a minister registered in the state of Ohio, and conducts weddings and commitment ceremonies. You can visit Rev. Cindy Lee, access her free article archive, and grab some free stuff at http://OhioWeddingOfficiants.com and http://revcindylee.com . Rev. Cindy Lee lives on a farm in south western Ohio with her family, two cats, one wild hound beagle and one guard dog westie, while offering spiritual development classes and being an Ohio Wedding Officiant.