I know, you’re eloping because you don’t want to be stuck with any of the trappings of a traditional wedding. Why spend money on something your best friend, mom, grandpa, or brother could do for free? The thing is, an experienced, professional officiant can make a world of difference in your elopement experience.
This is the most important reason for hiring an officiant. On your elopement day, emotions will be running wild. You and your partner will be experiencing wild, unrelenting joy, and you do not want that to come grinding to a halt during your ceremony.
This day is all about your love and your journey that brought you to your wedding day. All of those emotions deserve to be fully embraced. In the chaos of the day, you may miss out on that without a guide to remind you of what brought you there and to remind you of the amazing moments you’ve had together leading up to the day. (Check out this blog for even more ways to add events to your day to make sure you get to fully cherish your experience.)
There are several ways a good officiant will do this:
• An officiant should make your ceremony about you. I don’t perform a cookie cutter ceremony. Sure, there’s parts of it that always have to be there (By the power vested in me… I now pronounce you to be married…). But everything else should be about you, about the experiences you and your partner have had together. The stories you share with your officiant should be included in your wedding ceremony in a way that makes you smile, laugh, cry, and reminisce about the good times as you prepare to start your new adventure together. When you’re picking your officiant, make sure to ask how they will approach your ceremony script. Many officiants use a generic script and while some people simply want that, you want to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want.
• An officiant should make sure your ceremony is what you want. Unsure about including your vows in your ceremony? Don’t want any religious language? Want your elopement ceremony to be shorter than ten minutes, or longer than thirty? Those decisions should be yours, and yours alone. Your officiant should not tell you how to have a good elopement ceremony, they should offer you advice based on their previous experiences. But, ultimately, it’s your wedding day, and if you aren’t happy with something being in your ceremony, your officiant shouldn’t be either
• An officiant should make your wedding day easier. A good officiant can address any questions, comments, concerns, or fears about the elopement ceremony. If they don’t know the answer to something, they should help you find it. An officiant’s job is to take on any stress associated with the ceremony and give you a ceremony that will enhance your experience on your elopement day.
Considering how easy it is to get ordained online, it can be tempting to skip the professional and instead have a family or friend perform your ceremony. Sure, the officiant looks like a good spot to save money. But the thing about hiring a professional wedding officiant for your wedding day, is that you’re hiring someone who has done this before.
An experienced officiant has practice speaking in front of crowds, and during important situations. An experienced officiant has written plenty of wedding ceremony scripts before, and so they’ll know how to make yours special. Having performed several wedding ceremonies, the experienced officiant will have an idea of the rhythm of a good wedding ceremony, what kinds of jokes are appreciated, what kinds of stories make couples feel warm and fuzzy inside. And, an experienced officiant will have seen a lot of weddings, and they’ll know about the little things that can go wrong during a ceremony, and how to avoid them.
Some of my clients have been confused or stressed about the ring exchange, so now it’s a regular part of pre-ceremony chat to explain how that works. When I work with my clients I never do anything on the fly; if you hire me as your elopement officiant, your ceremony script will be completed about a month before your wedding, and I will practice it and time it several times before your wedding day, so that during your ceremony, you get the best performance I can possibly give. It’s not that asking a friend or family member to perform your ceremony won’t ensure you have a funny, charming, heartwarming wedding ceremony. But, if you hire the right wedding officiant to serve you on your elopement day, you are guaranteed to have an incredible ceremony.
If you’re looking for other ways to include your loved ones in your elopement experience, check out this blog that is packed with ideas (and will probably cause you less stress)!
Your elopement day should be a fun experience. By hiring an elopement officiant, you are dedicating a portion of your elopement day to a ceremony that focuses on you, that reminds you of the good times you’ve had with your partner, and helps you set your sights on a long, happy marriage. The right officiant will work with you and your other venders to ensure you have a smooth and joyful experience on your elopement day.
By hiring out officiating instead of having a family member or friend perform the ceremony, you entirely remove the stress from your plate. You won’t have to worry about going over ceremony details or making sure they get properly ordained. You’ll have an experienced vendor to guide you through the process so you can focus on all the other planning items.
When I work with couples, I make it my mission to be as nonintrusive to your wedding experience as possible. My clients hire me to perform a service, to help them enjoy their wedding ceremony, and I take that responsibility very seriously.
But, it’s not my wedding day. I make sure to get out of the way of important photos (ideally, you’ll never see your officiant in the background of your first kiss photo). A good officiant will, by default, work with your other vendors to make sure you have one less thing to think about. And, a good officiant can be more than just an officiant. I once walked halfway back up a hike to retrieve a wallet forgotten by my clients, so that they could continue their happy day together. A good officiant is one who understands that making you and your partner happy on your elopement day is their most important job.
The wedding officiant is a staple of the traditional wedding. BUT! That doesn’t mean they don’t belong in an elopement. Bringing along an officiant means hiring a professional to guide you through your questions, to perform a ceremony custom-written for you, and to share your relationship story in a way that makes you and your partner so thrilled for your future together.
The right wedding officiant doesn’t just belong on your elopement day, they make it so, so much better.
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