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Arizona
Wedding
Ceremonies

Arizona Wedding Ceremonies

What To Consider When Choosing Your Officiant

The search for the perfect person to officiate at your wedding ceremony can be a daunting task. To help you make the right choice, I offer these considerations.

The first thought that comes to some couples in selecting an officiant is whether to have a friend or relative perform the service. Some couples think that a friend or relative will make their ceremony more "personal" because they know the couple. The comments I have heard from wedding planners, venue coordinators, photographers, musicians, DJs, and other wedding professionals is that the ceremony often ends up being awkward, extremely short, or sounding more like a best man's speech rather than an actual ceremony. Worse, the ceremony comes off as a cliche' that has no personality. Experience in public speaking and having smooth segues from one stage of the ceremony to the other are vitally important in making your ceremony a seamless event. Simple things such as asking the guests to rise or be seated, inviting the groom to kiss the bride, or presenting the newly wedded couple at the end can often be overlooked by a non-professional.

Should you decide to hire a professional officiant, how do you go about finding the right person? There are many resources available to you. You can ask people you know who were recently married and whom did they use? Secondly, check with your venue or coordinator for suggestions; and thirdly, do a search on the prominent wedding websites such as WeddingWire and read reviews.

NOTE: When you inquire about an officiant's availability please provide not only the date of your wedding but the time and location as well.

Once you have located an officiant you are interested in and have scheduled an appointment, I strongly suggest that you ask the following two questions during that meeting in addition to the specifics of the ceremony:

  1. What time will the officiant arrive and what time does the officiant need to leave? You want to know if the officiant has a prior commitment or one immediately after the ceremony? If the officiant does have another commitment you definitely want to know what those time constraints are.
  2. What will the officiant do to personalize your ceremony? This may seem obvious but not every officiant puts in the time and effort to do this. The great majority of couples want a ceremony that is about them and not a cookie-cutter one-size-fits-all program.
Finally there is the matter of personalities and professionalism. Will the officiant you choose represent you in the way you wish to be represented? Do you feel comfortable that your officiant will deliver a positive ceremony devoid of cheesy and inappropriate narratives? Yes, believe it or not, they do occur.

Your wedding ceremony is one of the most important events in your life, and I hope these thoughts and suggestions prove useful in helping to choose your officiant.

~Mike Kennedy
Phone: 602-469-2677