One of the common things I hear from couples I work with is that they had intended to ask a friend or a relative to perform their wedding ceremony, but then decided they need a professional officiant. Don't get me wrong, if you want to have your brother or your cousin perform your marriage that is a viable option. However, let me ask you this, would you ask your brother or your cousin to photograph your wedding or do the flowers?
Here are a few reasons why I think you should hire a professional wedding officiant for your wedding ceremony:
1. A professional wedding officiant can add a level of experience to your celebration, being able to deliver the service with poise and grace. Performing a wedding ceremony is more than just reading words off a page, a professional will have the needed experience to get through any distraction and to remain calm. A recent wedding ceremony was held on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It was a beautiful spot until the wind kicked up. A professional will not get flustered in such cases and will know how to handle any situation that arises before, and during your ceremony.
2. Along with the benefit of experience, the professional wedding officiant brings a level of knowledge to help you create a service that is personal and memorable and offers guidance that an amateur cannot provide. Perhaps you wish to have a Unity Candle Ceremony, and your Ceremony is being held outside. A professional will know this is not a good idea due to the wind and the optics of the candle being blown out is not a nice one. A Professional Wedding Officiant can offer alternatives and add any elements you like in your ceremony.
3. Reliability is one of the most significant benefits a professional will bring to your wedding ceremony and your wedding planning. I have been contacted by numerous couples who have asked their cousin to perform their wedding or have hired a low priced officiant from Craigslist, only to have them back out at the last moment. Not using a professional can add a level of stress that you do not need during the planning process. A professional understands the commitment they are making to you, and if they are a real professional, they will use an Agreement for Services.
4. The day of your wedding requires an extraordinary amount of teamwork between the planner, DJ or band, photographer, and your officiant. A professional officiant is used to working as part of your wedding team to ensure that everything happens according to the plan. A professional understands that they are part of the team and not a solo act and will be willing to take direction to make your day special.
5. Working with a professional officiant will give you more control over the content of your ceremony. Part of my service is to tailor your ceremony to fit you, so it is personal and memorable. Sure, there are certain legal aspects of every ritual, but the majority of the content will be written with you in mind and with your total editorial control over the ceremony. It is your ceremony, not mine, and I value your input during the creative process. I want you to be able to remember the words you spoke not only the day after your wedding but on your 25th Anniversary.
6. Imagine after your big day you discover that the person you hired to perform your marriage was not legally able to perform your wedding. Believe it or not, this does happen. A professional wedding officiant is certified by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, or any other state, to perform your wedding and has the knowledge of the complicated marriage laws and filing procedures.
Whether you hire another professional wedding officiant or me, you will be happy that you made that choice. Working with a professional will make your planning much less stressful and your special day memorable.