6 Questions about the role of an Officiant at the wedding
1. Do they stay for the Reception? Not usually. It’s very kind to offer, but do not be too aggressive in encouraging them to stay. Often they have other weddings to go to or personal plans (especially on weekends).
2. Do you have to tip them? No, but maybe. The Officiant should complete their 100% of their duties after you’ve paid your fee. However, when couples provide the Officiant with cards, wedding favors, bottles of wine, or cash tips with the final payments, it is deeply appreciated because it shows gratitude. A good Officiant is a people-pleaser, and receiving a token of any kind feels amazing and leaves them with glowing memories of your ceremony. Those good vibes get paid forward!
3. Do they select you in the same way you select them? Yes. A good Officiant who is in demand has the luxury of telling couples they are no longer available to do their service if they do not feel they are a good fit for them. Of course, do not assume an Officiant has told you they are booked because they don’t like you! A thoughtful Officiant will consider whether or not they fit with the type of service you are seeking.
4. Can they offer you counselling support? Maybe. Weddings are wonderful but also very challenging. Your Officiant has likely seen it all and can act as a good pillar to lean on to work through issues as a third party who will not pick sides before and after the ceremony.
5. What are they going to wear? If the image of the Officiant in the photos is going to be important to you, it’s fair to ask them to meet that need. Again, a good Officiant will want you to be happy and encourage you to communicate your needs honestly.
6. What will you do when you arrive? Do they go above and beyond their role of public speaking and filling out paperwork? An Officiant who cares about your entire wedding experience will arrive early to give you a sense of peace, and use their time to checking out the entire site and processional process.
Even little things matter, such as making sure the signing table doesn't have the table leg where you are going to sit so you don't bang your shins. A good Officiant will find it important to make everything leading up to the ceremony is as simple and smooth as possible so the focus of the moment and the ceremony is pure joy, love and beauty.
These little things are the difference of a good Officiant and a great one!