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7 Things No One Asks Their Officiant – but should!

1. Photography: Couples should ask if the Officiant is going to have limitations on their photographer. Many Officiants are particular about the use of photography and where photographers are allowed to stand. (My only restriction is that they don't set up and block the view for everyone, such as your parents!)

2. Reviews: Where can I read reviews on you that couples have independently posted? There is no point asking an Officiant to provide their own references. An independent wedding directory will give the best perspective of the good, bad, and the ugly. Ask, What was the worst review you’ve received and why did you receive it? This might give them the opportunity to address any poor reviews they have received online that have filled your mind with doubt about them.

3. Timing: How much time do they leave before and after weddings. If your family gets caught in traffic, an Officiant who is running the service as a business will leave to go to the next wedding and may become very agitated. Although you should be mindful of the ceremony start time, 5-10 minutes should not be too much to ask for a delay.

4. Wedding Requests: How does your wedding Officiant get most of their wedding requests? Ideally a good 10-20% should come from word of mouth and people who have referred the Officiant to others and the rest from reading a website with great reviews or a website with videos that clearly portray the Officiant.

5. Clothes: What will they be wearing? You should be able to determine this from photos, but its worth a discussion since they are in your ceremony photos. Also, some colours may be offensive to your culture (disclose this ahead of time!).

6. Backup Officiant: Do you have a backup number we can call if you can't make it? This is a worst case scenario situation, but you want to have someone to conduct the wedding if anything were to happen. With this in mind, its good to have a copy of the ceremony in your bag and a friend on hand who is willing to step in. Paperwork can always be signed later that week, so don't let it ruin things!

7. Are you legally licensed to perform weddings? Actually, don't ask this and just be proactive and check it out yourself on the Gov website. There are, sadly, many cases where the Officiant is not licensed or believe they are because they are not aware of the provincial laws (example: getting ordained via the world wide web - does not licence you in Ontario!)

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