We realize that there are a lot of decisions associated with your wedding day. And one of the decisions that seems to fall through the cracks quite often is who to hire to be the officiant. We urge you to not let this be the case with your wedding plans. Your officiant is much more important than most people give them credit for. In many ways, in fact, they set the tone for your wedding day. They will be the person who leads you through the most important words you will ever speak. Don't you want that to be as special as it possibly can be? Of course you do. We recommend that you take this decision and place it in the highly important category. There are a lot of potential officiants in the New Jersey area for you to consider. But before you start to interview any of the candidates you might be interested in, there are some issues that you need to decide upon in terms of your own preferences. This guide was designed to walk you through the path that will lead you to the officiant who will be a perfect match for you and your fiance.
Have you considered whether you want a religious or secular ceremony? This is an important place to start. Having a secular wedding give you a number of potential possibilities in terms of an officiant. For one, you can always get a Justice of the Peace. You can get some potential names from the county clerk's office. If you decide to go this route, it is a very good idea to meet with anyone you are interested in face-to-face to discuss how they conduct a wedding ceremony. It is also a great idea to meet to make sure that you like their personality. The secular realm also opens up the possibility of getting married at city hall. This means the mayor might be your officiant or another official. This is a perfect option if you are looking for a very quick wedding. If neither of these options appeal to you, a growing trend is having a friend or relative lead you in your vows. They can be designated by the state to perform a marriage ceremony for one day. With this, you can pretty much call the shots as to what is involved in the ceremony. On the other hand, if you decide to have a religious ceremony, you will usually have a pastor or priest as your officiant. If you attend a house of worship, you could check there. If you do not, you could check with your denomination if you have one. If you are not associated with a denomination, you can start looking online for religious officiants.
When you find one you like, make sure that you meet with the church pastor or priest and ask some pertinent questions. Talk about the ceremony and whether they are wedded to certain elements having to be included. For instance, can you write your own vows? Are they allowed to marry two people that are not members of their church? What if you and your fiance are of different faiths? Does that present a problem for the officiant? There are some clergy who will not perform a ceremony unless it occurs in a church building. Ask about this. What if one of you is divorced? Will you have to go through any premarital counseling if they are to be your officiant? What is involved in that? Are there a certain number of sessions that you will have to participate in? How much do they charge? What is their experience level? It is a very good idea to make sure that this is not the first wedding they have presided over. Are they willing to be at your rehearsal? This is a very good idea because it helps to make sure that everyone is on the same page. These questions should provide you with enough quality information that you can make an informed decision on who your officiant is going to be.