Suggestions when “shopping” for a Wedding Officiant
Who does most of the talking at your ceremony? Your wedding officiant! So you want to ensure a comfortable ‘fit’ with the person officiating your wedding.
We suggest that you interview the person who is going to preside over your ceremony.
Warmth, humour and a personal easy-going approach can bring a smile to any nervous bride’s (and groom’s face)!
- Ask if your officiant is licenced to solemnize wedding ceremonies in the Province of Ontario? (if not, your wedding will not recognized as legal by the government.)Hint: every licenced officiant has a registration number assigned by the government.
- We suggest that you be very wary of any wedding officiant (or company) that shies away from an initial “no fee no obligation” meeting with any potential officiant. (It is good idea to “job interview” any person whom you are considering to direct your wedding ceremony.)
- Is your officiant “controlling”? For example, some officiants dictate a no photography policy for your wedding ceremony even if it takes place outside of a religious institution? Ask your officiant about his/her photography policy before booking and always remember, it is YOUR ceremony, not your officiant’s)! After all, who is paying the photographer?)
- Is your wedding officiant/company willing to provide a “contract” if you wish, or at least a receipt for your deposit clearly specifying the contracted date and time of your ceremony?
- What kind of ceremony choices does your wedding officiant offer? One only? Or just a choice between a religious one or a non-religious one?
- Does your wedding officiant work from a “fixed text ceremony?” (that means that his/her ceremony text is the same, word for word for every couple) .
- Is your wedding officiant willing to let you to personalize your wedding ceremony and offer you choices- such as different texts, suggestions about wedding traditions? Is he/she willing to give you help with writing your own vows? Does your officiant give you information about wedding paper work?
- Is your officiant knowledgeable about and open to the many kinds of “creative”/alternative wedding ceremony ideas now available
- What exactly is included in your fee? Will you be getting an opportunity to meet with your officiant and to go over your wedding ceremony before it takes place? Or does the service your officiant provides consist of “walk-in and read from the book”?
- Is your officiant open to directing a rehearsal if you need one? (Usually there is an extra fee for a rehearsal)
Making sense of the paperwork
The Wedding Licence
We have given an example link – The City of Burlington, Marriage Licence Information . All city/town halls have virtually the same guidelines for wedding licences and provide useful information and links. Check your city hall’s website or call them before you go there.
On the day of the wedding, you (and your witnesses) write/sign (not print) your names as they appear on the MARRIAGE LICENCE form. The person who marries you is required by law to mail your licence for registration to the Registrar General of the Province of Ontario.
The record of marriage
The certificate of marriage
The Certificate of Marriage is a LEGAL DOCUMENT. You can also apply on line at www.serviceontario.ca to order your certificate or call 1- 800-461-2156 (The Registrar General of Ontario for more information.)