Tips in Finding a Wedding Officiant
The first thing to decide before beginning to look for a wedding officiant in Columbus, OH is whether the ceremony will be religious or civil. A religious ceremony, performed by an ordained officiant such as a priest, rabbi, or minister, is recognized not only by the state, but also by the affiliated religion. A civil ceremony is performed by an officiant who has been certified in accordance with state laws — a county clerk, justice of the peace, mayor, or celebrant affiliated with a nonreligious organization. A wedding planner will often have a list of officiants she has worked with and can pass those names along. The couple should take note of friends’ services they’ve enjoyed and ask them for references as well.
Be sure to book an officiant as early as possible, contacting him or her up to a year in advance and scheduling meetings for six months and 10 days before the wedding. Booking early will put your mind at ease; also, many religions require or strongly suggest that a couple attend premarital counseling sessions, which can start well before the wedding.
While there is no obligation to invite the officiant to the rehearsal dinner or reception, many couples choose to do so, especially if they have a close relationship with him or her. If the officiant is included, be sure to send a formal invitation and invite his or her spouse as well; traditionally, they are seated in a position of honor at the parents’ table at both occasions.
For a Religious Ceremony
Any clergyperson who officiates will want the couple’s interests to be deep-seated and to extend beyond the architecture of the church. If the couple practices the same religion and are members of a church or synagogue, then the choice of officiant is probably clear. Someone who is not a member of a church or synagogue can find a clergyperson by calling local churches and a religion’s national headquarters for referrals.
What to Ask Your Officiant
During the first meeting with a religious officiant, start by asking questions about his or her approach to the service and what the ceremony will entail — whether there will be a speech or a sermon, and whether the couple can offer input on the subject. Should the couple choose to add some personal touches to the ceremony, such as writing their own vows, they can ask the officiant for suggestions and advice.
Civil Officiant Budget
The cost of having a judge, a county clerk, or another government official perform the ceremony depends on the locality. The fee may vary if the officiant goes to the site, or if the ceremony takes place at a city hall. As for a religious service, it is customary for the best man to hand over payment after the ceremony. This is the part that you need to know the civil wedding officiant in Columbus, OH budget for your big day.
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