October 15, 2020

Ring exchange for Hillary and Mike at Mercury Hall. Photo credit: Wondery Photography

Amy Mader, wedding coordinator extraordinaire with Platinum Weddings and Events, and I have been colleagues for almost twenty-five years. This is pretty amazing to think about since we are just shy of thirty years old (ha!) But seriously, Amy is my Yankee friend. She taught me all about whoopie pies, the midwest accent, and Cheeseheads. I taught her the invaluable word “y’all.” I am pretty sure I would not still be in this industry if I hadn’t had Amy as my friend and colleague all these many years.

Now that I’ve gone all sentimental and mushy, let’s get back to business. Amy has a weekly newsletter full of industry links, tidbits, and insights. I am a faithful reader, and was so excited when she asked me to talk about five things couples should know when hiring an officiant. So, for the next five weeks, we are going to share our five tips on hiring an officiant in a short, but important series of blogs. We hope you will embrace these words of wisdom as you consider hiring a wedding officiant.

First of all, please hire a professional officiant. Y’all! Wedding (a verb!) is the core of what you are doing. The party is nice, the food is delicious, the flowers are beautiful, the photos will preserve this moment for perpetuity. But you do all of that as a punctuation around the big event: your wedding.

So, would you really ask your uncle or friend to create, mark, speak into the gravity of getting married? Did you ask your neighbor, the gardener, to be the florist? Or your friend with the new iPhone to snap the pictures? I am guessing not.

Presumably this is a big deal. Hire a professional. We get that might be us . . . or not. It might be one of our colleagues. But please choose someone who can and will personalize your ceremony, cares about getting to know you, speak into your relationship, and understands the nuances and rhythms of a wedding ceremony.

When you interview them, ask about their training. Ask why and how they do what they do. Ask how they define marriage and their role in creating one. Ask about how they manage logistics of rehearsals and ceremonies. Expect thoughtful and knowledgable responses.

Next week: Tip two . . . hire someone who understands this isn’t about them.