A wedding officiant is an important decision you don’t hear many people talk about. The officiant’s main job is to lead the ceremony but there are a few other tasks before and after as well. Keep reading to find out exactly what your officiant should do to have a smooth and memorable wedding ceremony.
Before the ceremony
We recommend meeting with your officiant to inquire about any ordaining requirements, discuss general flow, and share any preferences you may have for your ceremony. If your officiant is conducting a religious ceremony, there may required steps you need to complete before wedding day. In South Asian wedding ceremonies, it is common for the officiant to ask the couple to bring items like fruit and petals, to use during the ceremony.
When discussing your preferences, you may want to think about:
- Will you be doing personal vows?
- How would you like to be announced at the end?
- Are there any steps of the ceremony you’d like to modify?
- What would you like the officiant to wear?
Conducting the ceremony
Your officiant will need a mic of some kind so don’t forget to arrange for a microphone.
During the ceremony, the officiant will welcome guests to the ceremony and provide cues of when to sing, stand, etc. The wedding officiant is also responsible for announcing as you transition from one step of the ceremony to the next. If you’re having a rehearsal, have your officiant practice these cues so you know if your ceremony will fit in the timeline.
After the ceremony
When the ceremony concludes, you and your wedding officiant will go somewhere to sign the marriage license with your witnesses. Once everyone has signed, typically a few photos will be taken. Depending on what type of wedding officiant you choose, decide whether you will be responsible for turning the marriage license into the city clerk. Most states have a certain number of days by which the license needs to be turned in.
If you have other questions about how to make your ceremony flow smoothly, click here to have one of our planners help you create a ceremony flow.