7 Actions That Might Annoy Your Officiant
1. Time: Demanding that your Officiant meets with you on a weekend. This might surprise you, but if you are getting a great Officiant, they are likely in high demand on weekends, and they are likely people pleasers who feel bad about not being accommodating to your needs, so this request puts a lot of extra stress on their schedule. Obviously some periods are slower than other, but often Officiants have another job, kids, lives and being considerate that they have schedules to juggle will be a good start to a healthy relationship with your Officiant.
2. Money: Bargain a lower service fee from them and then become a high maintenance couple with a number of requests and special needs. Sometimes things do come up and a good Officiant will want to be extra helpful when this happens, so don’t ever be afraid to ask for help, but consider giving your Officiant a good tip for their time and support. Requesting an 'elopement' package with a quick paper signing at a low price, but then inviting all your family and friends is off-putting.
3. Pay them: Proactively pay them their final fee immediately after the ceremony or even before the ceremony. A good Officiant likely doesn’t like the money-exchange aspect of their service, but they still deserve being recognized for the value of what they do with being paid. Having to request the final payment is off-putting. According to Martha Stewart, this is the best man's job.
4. Third Parties: Often couples believe that having a friend conduct the ceremony is less expensive, but it is actually more work for the Offiicant. When couples want a friend to conduct the wedding, the Officiant must ensure the ceremony is conducted properly. Also, wedding planners who become a fourth schedule to accommodate when working out meeting dates can be extra work. These are situations that a patient Officiant desires a token tip.
4. Meaningless Meetings: Again, a good Officiant is very busy but also very happy to accommodate, so taking advantage of their goodwill can be very off-putting. Unless there is something to specifically discuss, requesting your Officiant put time aside to meet for no reason is a waste of their time and yours, even if your mother has suggested you “should”! Also, both you and your prospective spouse should make the time to meet the Officiant together and have one consultation meeting. Having several meetings independently uses a great deal of an Officiants time.
5. Major Last Minute Changes: A good Officiant is happy to be flexible with any last minute changes you might make in the ceremony, but again, if they are concerned about making the experience positive for you, last minutes changes leaves room for misunderstanding and confusion because there isn't often time to really discuss and ask questions. A solid walk-through meeting should have all matters of procession and steps resolved before the day of and if there are items that up in the air, such as where the signing table will be, someone should be put in charge of updating the Officiant with that information when they arrive. If the Officiant arrives early and receives information from the DJ, wedding planner, parents, etc of anything that is outside the agreed upon process, it can be worrying to the Officiant that they are not doing the actions that are going to make YOU two happy and not making the couple happy is the worst feeling for a happy-hearted Officiant.
6. Starting Late - Lateness happens, but sometimes you know this is going to be the case, so give this information to your Officiant ahead of time. If your ceremony starts at 5pm and you told your guests to be there for 5pm, you're not starting until at least 5:15pm.