‘Wedding Officiant’ can be referred to as a ‘Civil Officer’ performing acts of
civil union or marriage. His main responsibility consists of receiving and
witnessing the intended spouses’ consent and ensuring legal formalities, and
therefore the marriage validity. Officiants are known by different names in
different countries. In Australia, the marriage officiant is called ‘Celebrant’.
In a nutshell, officiants act as mediators between the church authorities and
the would-be husband and wife.
The ‘marriage ceremony’ is performed by someone having an official standing.
Selection of an officiant is very important, as he/she would be the one
providing the celebration tone with lasting wisdom words. If the bride & groom
do not have any closeness with the clergy, they can select any one from the list
provided (by the clergy).
If the bride and groom intend having a religious wedding, they should include
the clergy in their planning. This item should be one of the top priorities
after engagement. The respective clergy would be informing the couple about the
requirements to be fulfilled prior to the wedding. Some of these requirements
include participation in a ‘couples’ workshop’ with peers, being present at the
‘couples’ retreat’, and being present at a number of marriage seminars. It is
advisable to set the workshop dates, so that the setting of wedding date would
be easier. Other requirements like baptismal papers, church membership, and
previous marriage necessities would also be informed by the clergy. At times, a
‘Relationship Questionnaire’ also has to be answered. This is to be done with
the purpose of discussing intimate situations on issues like in-laws, children,
income loss, depression, freedom, expectations, power, buying home, and work.
If the groom and bride do not have closeness with the clergy, they may not have
the idea of the things which would be said during the wedding ceremony. It is
advisable to ask for reading of words planned for ceremony. Some officiants
prefer more of a verbal talk. It’s very easy to gather information from such
people, so that the groom and bride do not face any problems on the ‘wedding
Many grooms and brides have some exceptional requests for their wedding.
Majority of clergy accept these needs. If the clergy belongs to the orthodox
genre, he may prefer to go with tradition, but still, chance can be taken. Some
people also prefer writing their own vows, and take suggestions from the clergy
regarding appropriate adjustments. One thing should not be forgotten about-‘the
fee’. The groom and bride should feel free to ask the clergy about how and when
the payment is to be made. If Officiant is selected from the list, it is
advisable to ask for 3 referrals which can be contacted by the groom and bride,
so that his authenticity can be thoroughly checked. Along with that, the
questions like number of years of the officiant into this field, and the way
they can get protected if he doesn’t ‘turn up’ on the ‘day of wedding’ should be
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