Wedding Officiants

‘Wedding Officiant’ can be referred to as a ‘Civil Officer’ performing acts of civil union or marriage. His main responsibility consists of receiving and witnessing the intended spouses’ consent and ensuring legal formalities, and therefore the marriage validity. Officiants are known by different names in different countries. In Australia, the marriage officiant is called ‘Celebrant’. In a nutshell, officiants act as mediators between the church authorities and the would-be husband and wife.

The ‘marriage ceremony’ is performed by someone having an official standing. Selection of an officiant is very important, as he/she would be the one providing the celebration tone with lasting wisdom words. If the bride & groom do not have any closeness with the clergy, they can select any one from the list provided (by the clergy).

Pre-planning

If the bride and groom intend having a religious wedding, they should include the clergy in their planning. This item should be one of the top priorities after engagement. The respective clergy would be informing the couple about the requirements to be fulfilled prior to the wedding. Some of these requirements include participation in a ‘couples’ workshop’ with peers, being present at the ‘couples’ retreat’, and being present at a number of marriage seminars. It is advisable to set the workshop dates, so that the setting of wedding date would be easier. Other requirements like baptismal papers, church membership, and previous marriage necessities would also be informed by the clergy. At times, a ‘Relationship Questionnaire’ also has to be answered. This is to be done with the purpose of discussing intimate situations on issues like in-laws, children, income loss, depression, freedom, expectations, power, buying home, and work.

If the groom and bride do not have closeness with the clergy, they may not have the idea of the things which would be said during the wedding ceremony. It is advisable to ask for reading of words planned for ceremony. Some officiants prefer more of a verbal talk. It’s very easy to gather information from such people, so that the groom and bride do not face any problems on the ‘wedding day’.

Questions

Many grooms and brides have some exceptional requests for their wedding. Majority of clergy accept these needs. If the clergy belongs to the orthodox genre, he may prefer to go with tradition, but still, chance can be taken. Some people also prefer writing their own vows, and take suggestions from the clergy regarding appropriate adjustments. One thing should not be forgotten about-‘the fee’. The groom and bride should feel free to ask the clergy about how and when the payment is to be made. If Officiant is selected from the list, it is advisable to ask for 3 referrals which can be contacted by the groom and bride, so that his authenticity can be thoroughly checked. Along with that, the questions like number of years of the officiant into this field, and the way they can get protected if he doesn’t ‘turn up’ on the ‘day of wedding’ should be asked.

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