A Quiz – to Find the Right Officiant for You

Your wedding is important to you. It is a special day. You want it to be perfect.

Do you know what “perfect” is to you? Does “perfect” involve your ceremony – the part where you say your vows and commit to a life together? If so, you will want to put thought and time into selecting the officiant or celebrant who will make that part happen.

Do you want that part, i.e. the ceremony, to be beautiful, meaningful, funny, intimate and personal, or just short and minimal so you can get on with the party? If you want more than a minimal legalization ceremony, a celebrant with skill, love for this work, and experience will make all the difference!

So choosing the right celebrant (or ordained officiant if you’re marrying in a religious institution) is essential if you want your ceremony to be everything you’ve dreamed of.

There are budget officiants offering simple, low cost ceremonies There are high-end celebrants offering 5-star services, and there are others in between. Celebrants’ services vary and their fees reflect their experience, training and different quality services they offer.

This quiz will help you work out what’s important to you when deciding on who you want to officiate your ceremony.

Rate the importance of each of the following statements to you as a couple, on a scale of 1 to 5:

1 Disagree     3 Don’t care     5 Fully agree
1. ___ I have no idea where to start with my ceremony creation so a step-by-step planning kit would be great.
2. ___ I want a celebrant who won’t get prissy about going barefoot on the beach.
3. ___ I do not want to sign the wedding register with a tacky plastic pen!
4. ___ It is important that I have rapport with my celebrant.
5. ___ I really don’t want crass, stupid or off-the-cuff jokes during my ceremony!
6. ___ At crunch time, I’d like my celebrant to be able to second-guess my needs if I’m unavailable.
7. ___ I really don’t want the same wedding my friends had – I want something unique and tailored to my style!
8. ___ It is important that someone rallies the groom and his attendants in preparation for my arrival.
9. ___ I like that my celebrant practices pronouncing our names and gets them right!
10. ___ It’s important to me that my celebrant makes our guests feel welcome.
11. ___ My ceremony is the most important part of the day – the vows we make are sacred and for life, so our ceremony should reflect the occasion.

Add up your scores to find out what style of celebrant would be great for you…

Score 33-55
Your ceremony is important to you. You recognize that the vows you make on your big day are once-in-a-lifetime promised to the person you love most, and that such vows deserve the full attention and respect of all involved – your guests, your celebrant and you, the couple. The celebrant that suits you is one that recognizes the privilege of their sacred task, and honours your special wishes during the creation and delivery of your ceremony. Book your celebrant early, as the truly professional celebrants tend to get very busy during wedding season!

Score 22-32
If the ceremony is not the be-all-and-end-all focus of your day, your ideal celebrant is one who can facilitate your vow exchange smoothly so you can move on to the party. There is no need to meet them ahead of time or to do a rehearsal, as you really only want them to preside over the legal part. It’s okay if they’re casual, or if they use a standard ceremony template – a vow is a vow after all. You don’t want a shoddy job, but you do want someone who knows enough to ensure your marriage is legal. Go for a celebrant whose fees are middle-of-the-range, and who doesn’t promise “one ceremony per day” – exclusivity generally has a higher price tag attached.

Score 11-21
You might be saying, “Just marry us already!” For various reasons, some couples are in a hurry to wed, and are not interested in the “bells and whistles” that can surround a ceremony. In which case the registry office might be your best bet, or a budget celebrant who can guide you through your vows, process your legal paperwork and wave goodbye as you skip off to the party. Some celebrants offer budget services, which may require a mid-week service, a ceremony at the celebrant’s office (to save them travel), or a one-size-fits-all, bare-bones ceremony.
Use these considerations to interview your prospective wedding officiant and you should find one that is perfect for you!

Thanks to Celebrant Anita Revel, award-winning celebrant in Western Australia, for permission to use her quiz.