Ministers & Officiants... for the LGBTQ Community
It's more than a wedding ... it's about Marriage Equality!
It's more than a wedding ... it's about Marriage Equality!
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR MINISTER/OFFICIANT/CELEBRANT
By: Rev. Lorelei Starbuck
Starbuck Sarnella Ent Inc. - PO Box 342351- Austin Texas 78734 - Phone: 512-906-0163 - E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Choosing the Right Person!
By: Rev. Lorelei Starbuck
Ceremony Types & Matching Officiant Types.
To create your perfect wedding you have to select the right officiant. You need the individual who guides this momentous day in your life to be somebody you both feel great with and sure about. Somebody who makes no judgments someone who’s just concerned with giving you an amazing and magical experience.
Choosing the right officiant is an absolute necessity. You must bond with her or him knowing that this individual will establish the mood and feel of your ceremony, making it yours! Remember, your ceremony is the cake and the reception is the icing. If the cake falls flat, the icing will just slide off! So choose the right baker!
When searching for the right person to lead your ceremony, look for a person who will meet with you and discuss your hopes and dreams for the perfect ceremony. Someone who has the experience and demeanor to handle any last minute changes or unpleasant issues that might arise the day of the ceremony.
This person should know you and what is important to you! So, look until your heart says “Yes to the Officiant” you will know!
What kind of officiant do you want? Check out the different types of ceremonies here and then you can determine the type of officiant best for you!
1. What is your title and credentials?There are many titles out there these days and it is important to decied what is inportant to you!
Here are the big 3
Minister; which includes Preists, Rabbis, Mediciane Men Punit etc are an ordained professional and their credentials come from a seminary, church or ecclesiastical college. Most have years of training and have performed all the duties of a trusted spiritual leader. Along with this title comes the respect they are due for the education the experience the posses.
Officiant; is usually someone who has completed a course of study from an online company or college in the art of performing a wedding. There are schools that train wedding officiants with very good curriculums to back up the title.
Celebrant; is a person who has again taken a course on line and who creat other life transition ceremonies. Some are licensed Phycitrists or counselors.
Now remember there are certain legalities from state to state as to who can legally marry you. So check on line here before you hire someone!
2. Can you give us the ceremony we want?
Find out if the officiant will marry you if you write your own vows and design your own ceremony, and if he or she can help―suggesting readings, music, and so on. Make sure the officiant will perform an interfaith wedding (if needed) or will allow photography or videography. Basically, ask about all the particulars that apply to your case. Get a feel for the officiant's manner, tone of voice, and spiritual nature. Also, find out what the ceremony will entail, as well as its estimated length (a piece of information your caterer may ask for).
3. What's your experience?
You will want to know how many weddings this person has performed, especially weddings like yours. Ask for referrals from satisfied customers (five is a fair request, even if you don't contact them all).
4. Are you flexible?
Find out if the officiant is willing to travel to your venue. Also make sure that the officiant has a contingency plan in case he or she cannot make it.
5. How often will we meet?
Do you want an officiant who will consult with you or simply show up to perform the ceremony? Most marrieds-to-be want the officiant to run the rehearsal. Is he or she available by phone or e-mail if you have questions? Some members of the clergy require couples to have counseling before they will marry them. If that's the case, make sure you are given a clear schedule that isn't overwhelming.
6. How much do you charge?
Know what, exactly, you will be paying for. Talk about deposits and types of payment, as well as cancellation and refund policies. Inquire about fees for traveling out of town, which include transportation costs, hotels and meals, and costs of (commuting) time. The wedding officiant is the person who typically must fill out the wedding certificate and send it in, so it is good to confirm that your officiant will do this as well.
7.Will you be joining us at the reception?
Be sure to plan for an extra meal if the officiant agrees to attend.
8. Do you attend rehearsals and do you charge extra for that?
This answer will vary. It really isn’t necessary for the officiant to be present at your ceremony. This is more for the bridal party to know where to stand etc. Most officiant have dome hundreds if not thousands of weddings so they don’t need direction.
The following six ceremony definitions are not common technical or dictionary definitions. They are "working" or "practical" definitions.
RELIGIOUS CEREMONY---of a particular denomination (e.g., Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, Baptist, etc.) or combination of denominations; characterized by formal or defining religious elements/rituals/traditions from one or more denominations.
Officiant Type---an officiant who utilizes particular religious elements, rituals and traditions the couple would like. Needn't be from a particular denomination unless the couple wants him/her to be from a particular denomination OR the element, ritual or tradition involved can only be appropriately done by clergy ordained in that denomination.
NON-DENOMINATIONAL CEREMONY---defined in terms of what it "isn't". A non-denominational is a ceremony that is not of a particular denomination.
Officiant Type---any genuinely flexible and open-minded wedding officiant regardless of title, affiliation, interest or background.. E.g., a rabbi or a priest can do a non-denominational ceremony. The key: They are truly interested in couples having what they want for their ceremony.
INTERFAITH CEREMONY---aka multi-faith and interdenominational. A combination or blend of religions ranging from only some religion to being entirely religious.
Officiant Type---depends on the degree of religion: entirely religious usually requires the officiant to be of the particular religion represented (e.g., Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, etc.). Less than that can be professionally officiated by an officiant "capable of" or otherwise experienced in presenting that side. E.g., a minister can appropriately say a Catholic prayer or officiate a Jewish breaking of the glass ceremony. Key: wedding officiant is genuinely flexible, open-minded and comfortable regardless of title, affiliation, background, personal interest or practice.
SPIRITUAL CEREMONY---"spiritual" means different things to different people. Most often, in a ceremony context, it is either the religious, sacred or divine feeling or essence underneath a religious element, ritual or tradition or as Wordnet Dictionary defines spiritual: "concerned with or affecting the spirit or soul; a spiritual approach to life; "spiritual fulfillment"; "spiritual values".
Officiant Type---a wedding officiant who is genuinely flexible, open-minded and comfortable with the couple's idea of "spiritual" regardless of title, affiliation, background, personal interest or practice.
NON-RELIGIOUS/CIVIL---No religion in the ceremony whatsoever, including no prayer (although a couple may have an invocation or poem that would be as meaningful to them as a prayer would be to a religious person). AKA as court house, notary, JP or Justice of the Peace ceremony. Contrary to some thought, a non-religious or civil ceremony can have absolutely as much meaningfulness, warmth and heart as any ceremony with meaningfulness, warmth and heart. Non-religious or civil means no religion, but not "no love".
Officiant Type---a wedding officiant who is genuinely flexible, open-minded and comfortable with no religion in the ceremony. Key: what the couple wants is #1.
MULTI-CULTURAL CEREMONY---similar to interfaith except involving combining or blending of a couple's cultures and heritage; may or may not have any religious elements--can be civil or non–religious, or very religious.
Officiant Type---Officiant is genuinely flexible, open-minded and comfortable regardless of title, affiliation, personal interest, culture or heritage.