You want your wedding to be perfect. But how do you ensure that the most important moment of your life will be everything you’ve dreamed of? By choosing the right team of wedding professionals. And that includes having the right officiant.
Your marriage ceremony is the centerpiece of your wedding day. It should be prepared and conducted with all the grace, thoughtfulness, individuality, spirituality, and care it deserves. The right wedding officiant for you is the one who will help you create a ceremony that captures the essence of your loving relationship that will publicly inaugurate your new life as husband and wife.
THE 5 KEY OFFICIANT FACTORS
“Is this the right person to marry us?” Here’s how to know for sure. Find out everything you can about the 5 officiant factors. Once you know these things, you’ll have no trouble deciding who is the right person to conduct the most important ceremony of your life.
1. CHEMISTRY – Do you feel a connection with your officiant? Are you convinced that he cares about the most important moment of your life? Does he listen to you? Is he available?
2. SERVICES – Does the officiant provide you with a range of service options (free consultation, customized ceremonies, rehearsal, relationship assessment, and coaching)? Or, does he simply plan to show up on the wedding day with a one-size-fits-all ceremony you’ve never seen?
3. CONTENT – Does the officiant involve you in the creation of the ceremony, or does he just tell you how it will go? Does he communicate the purpose, beauty, joy and promise of marriage in what he says and does?
4. PROFESSIONALISM – What are the officiant’s credentials? Is he certified, licensed, or ordained by a recognized association or religious institution? Is he a trained expert or a part-time hobbyist? Where did he get his training?
5. REPUTATION – What do former clients and other wedding professionals say about your officiant? Do current reviews, awards, or recognitions attest to the quality of the services he provides?
A WORD ABOUT FEES
Fees for wedding officiants vary widely. In the US fees range from as little as $35 to as much as $1,500. How do you decide what is right for you? Even if you have created a budget for your wedding — and received advice from many trusted sources on what to spend for your officiant — you won’t know the real costs until you consult with one. Only by meeting and talking to an officiant will you be able to really determine the value of what he will provide for you.
Nearly every couple I meet tells me “Nothing is more important than the experience of our ceremony.” Here’s the true story of a recent bride’s approach to the ceremony, and her change of heart, in her own words.
I’m embarrassed to admit that the ceremony itself was not among my priorities when my husband and I started planning our September wedding. We sought out DeArruda Weddings only weeks before our big day and had the wonderful fortune of working with Michael. He asked exactly the right questions to get to know us and, ultimately, help us decide how we wanted to structure our ceremony to make it our own. He helped us write personal statements that we will cherish forever and, in the end, he officiated a ceremony that was by far the most magical part of the evening. So many of our guests assumed we’d known Michael for years the way he so accurately described our relationship. He’s a true professional and a true master of ceremonies. Highly recommend DeArruda Weddings! Jennifer M. September 2018
So here are some things to consider about the fee for your officiant. Your parents and grandparents were probably married long before there was such a thing as today’s “wedding industry.” Then, the local pastor, priest or rabbi customarily received a small honorarium from the couple in appreciation for services rendered to conduct the wedding. But just like fresh bottled milk is no longer delivered to anyone’s door in the morning, the practice of giving a token donation to your officiant has disappeared as well.
Today, professional wedding officiants specialize in providing customized ceremonies to couples in every conceivable location, most frequently outside of a house of worship. Even if the ceremony has traditional spiritual elements, the officiant, like other wedding vendors – DJs, planners, caterers, florists, musicians and photographers – is frequently a full time professional. He studies, attends conferences to hone his craft, invests in advertising and marketing so you know who he is, offers relationship coaching both before and after the wedding, and may travel many miles to conduct your rehearsal and wedding day ceremony.
At DeArruda Weddings, we will spend considerable time meeting and getting to know you in order to craft just the right ceremony to fit who you are. By the time of your ceremony you will have enjoyed a special relationship with someone in whose trust you’ve placed the most important ceremony of your life.
We absolutely love what we do helping to prepare couples for marriage. And we do it expertly. So, you can understand why the honorarium of bygone years is not a feasible rate of compensation for services provided to give you the quality of experience you want. Your ceremony is the most important part of your wedding day because it is the formal, legal and often spiritual proceeding that results in you being married. No matter what the fee is for your officiant it will be the least expensive item on your wedding vendor list. Our fees for weddings begin at $499; small beach weddings with just bride, groom and a handful of people attending start at $350. Depending on the location, time of year and range of services you select, your cost can range up to $1500.
When it comes to knowing whether you and your fiancé feel a connection with us, nothing can take the place of a personal meeting. That’s why we offer you a free, no-obligation consultation. This will give you the opportunity to get to know us, and it gives us the chance to get to know you and answer every question you have. And, you’ll receive two formal proposals for the services you request from us based on what you tell us. No two couples and no two weddings are ever the same, so we’ll recommend packages based on who you are. Because 75% of the weddings we perform are for couples planning a destination ceremony from outside of Florida, we do consultations by video conference, and in-person, We are delighted to do whatever works for you in your special circumstance.
Schedule your FREE consultation today. Call (727) 642-2090
We can’t wait to meet you and hear your love story!