Questions to Ask Your Officiant

I don’t want to put any more on your plate but I do believe that luck favors the prepared. Don’t get lucky with a good officiant, prepare and make sure you have a great officiant. Here are some overlooked but important questions to ask whoever marries you.

“Will you tell guests ‘you may now be seated?’”

I wish you didn’t have to ask this. Unless you’re having a quick park wedding with no seats, your guests should be seated at your wedding. I, alone have witnessed not 1 not 2 not even 3 but over 4 wedding officiants completely forget to tell the guests that they may now be seated. This resulted in people trying to peer over the next row’s heads, wedding videographers having to scurry with tripods in hand because their point of view was now blocked, grandmas and pregnant women finally giving up, sitting down and not being able to see a thing. Yes, this happened, and it’s happened at weddings I’ve seen and shot at least 4 times so you can imagine it happens more often than that.

I did see a trend with friends who became officiants online tend to completely forget this step. Now I speak with them prior to the wedding and ask if that helpful little line is written in their script. However, I did have an officiant who has officiated weddings for at least 4 decades also forget to tell guests to sit. So this is a very important question, make sure it’s in their binder and make sure you see it for yourself.

“Will the ceremony be personal?”

Unfortunately, I’ve attended some weddings where the ceremony was bare bones. I’ve heard of wedding horrors where the officiant mixes up the names of their couple. So the more personal you can make it, the better. Your ceremony should reflect the two of you. The best weddings I’ve seen are when the officiant makes an effort to get to know the couple, what they love about each other, their families. This will also keep your friends interested in the ceremony.

“Will you tell us to kiss?”

Also wish you didn’t have to ask this. A lot of religious ceremonies will avoid the “you may now kiss” altogether. The guests leave feeling empty inside and I’m sure so does the couple. Now if they say “no, I’m not allowed to say this” create a cue to take it into your own hands. Maybe kiss right before you walk back down to aisle, but whatever you do, don’t leave your guests hanging, they came for a kiss!

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“Will you stay in one place?”

This is awkward, but. . some officiants move around and don’t stay where you would expect them to stay. Any information you have about the whereabouts of your officiant during your ceremony should be communicated to not only your photographer but also your videographer. Will they stay in one place? Will we always have good view of the guests of honor (you)? We have to know and you have to ask.

“Will you use a mic and will you pass us the mic?”

This is important because you want to make sure your guests will hear what’s actually happening. I’ve also seen officiants have a mic by their side and not use it. Guests couldn't hear a thing. If your officiant doesn’t pass you the mic when you’re saying your vows be mindful of your volume, try to project.

Can you think of anything that gets overlooked but is important to ask your officiant? Comment below.