American Association of Wedding Officiants

Professional Wedding Officiants

Posts Tagged ‘minister’

The DIY Trend

Posted by AAWO on April 12, 2009

copy-of-ajg_12561Who doesn’t want to save money on their wedding? Unless your name is Trump, Rockefeller or Hilton, you probably do. But is cutting corners the wisest way to go? In this economy DIY is the only way many couples can afford to even get close to their dream wedding. Let’s face it, weddings are expensive!

I think that it’s a personal choice per couple. If going this route, each couple needs to decide which things are the most important to them and spend the larger parts of their budget there. Anything that they are going to try on their own should only be attempted if it won’t “crush them” if it doesn’t go as planned, or if they have a KNOWLEDGEABLE family or friend member willing to help.

Ask to see examples of their work to be certain they are going to do things your way. If you don’t like how they do it, you aren’t locked in. Deciding to go with a professional will save you heartache, because it can’t be redone. However, if Aunt Paula is awesome at cake making and wants to help, by all means, take advantage of that opportunity!

I hear horror stories about couples that tried to save money by having a friend ordained online to marry them. This is fine if your friend is a great public speaker and writer, with some knowledge of how to put a ceremony together. However, I have bailed out a couple that had the person back out a month before the wedding with nothing done; and heard about the cousin that had a “couple of nerve calmers” before the ceremony and had to leave during the service for a minute to use the facilities!

If you want something done right you have to do it yourself. This belief leads people to hold on to too much. Unfortunately, people who cling to this belief often become an organizational bottleneck. Everything has to be done by, or through, them. It is hard for some brides to emotionally detatch themselves from every aspect of their wedding, so they decide to take care of it all. Those are the ones that end up extremely stressed out, things don’t turn out the way they wanted, and ultimately they didn’t enjoy their wedding day.

I think every aspect of the wedding can be a DIY, but not every aspect for every wedding.

Submitted by Rev. Carleen Burns


Posted in Ceremony, Weddings | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Relating to Your Wedding Officiant

Posted by AAWO on April 5, 2009

When To Choose A Wedding Officiant

The trend these days seems to be delaying selection of the officiant until very late in the wedding planning process. Puzzling as the union cannot be solemnified unless an officiant is present. This indicates to me the celebrant should actually be one of the very first people you hire. I recommend you do so with great care and consideration. I urge couples to first retain their officiant, next reserve the venue and proceed from there.

How to Relate to Your Wedding Officiant

Perhaps since so many weddings are performed secularly these days, people often do not know how to interview, hire and relate to their wedding officiant. Simply put, he or she should be treated the same way you would a member of the professional clergy.

Getting Married in beautiful Mystic, CT

Getting Married in beautiful Mystic, CT

Invitation Etiquette

I was brought up with the old adage “manners can be fun” and with that in mind, ask you to consider inviting your officiant to both the rehearsal dinner and the reception. Your celebrant may not always be able to accept, but the offer is a nice courtesy and if desired he or she can offer a short blessing or invocation at the beginning of the meal or festivities. Traditional etiquette dictated a formal invitation be sent to the officiant, including an invitation to dinners and receptions, but verbal requests are acceptable. Invitations indicate courtesy and eliminate awkward situations and schedule conflicts.

Please do not simply expect an officiant to stay after the ceremony without expressing your expectations prior to your wedding day. Officiants are most comfortable with a formal invitation. Besides helping keep track of scheduling and making expectations crystal clear, your officiant will appreciate the keepsake. Many times the officiant will either politely decline or stay for a short time for a “cocktail hour” and decline the full meal at a formal reception.

I myself appreciate the rehearsal dinner for the opportunity to “bond” with the families. I generally simply stay for the cocktail hour at receptions and then…I’m on my way. Though it is nice to have the option to stay longer.

Reception Etiquette

If you do want your officiant to be part of the reception and the officiant has accepted the invitation, try to seat the officiant with like minded people. Throughout the wedding planning process hopefully you will have formed a relationship with your officiant and have an idea what kind of person he or she is.

I am a happy- go- lucky, young, gregarious person and am most comfortable socializing with the same. If your officiant is quiet and retiring, it is probably not a good thing to place him or her at a table with ten of your loudest partying friends! 🙂


If you feel your officiant has done an exceptional job, by all means express yourself with a gratuity. Officiants probably charge the least of all the wedding vendors and most pour their hearts and souls into the ceremony. We do not just do it as a job; it is a calling and an experience. If the ceremony is particularly pleasing, gratuities are a concrete way to let officiants know you appreciate what they did and honor their contribution to making the day especially meaningful.

Officiants Are At Your Service

Please know and remember that I am there for you 100%. I have absolutely no qualms about being asked a million questions about anything. I can always help where the vendors come in.

Ask away…I will always help out in any way I can. There is nothing, in my book, that fazes me when it comes to questions. Ask away!!! It’s my job to make your day great! 🙂

Submitted by Marie Tyler Wiley
A CT Justice of the Peace & Minister

Posted in officiant, Weddings | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »


Posted by aawo on April 2, 2009


The American Association of Wedding Officiants is a professional group of wedding ministers, officiants, celebrants, and Justices of the Peace that ecourages education and professionalism among its members. With over 500 members throughout the USA the AAWO helps couples locate a profession wedding officiant to help with their wedding ceremony. Get more information about locating a wedding officiant  at this web page:

Posted in Ceremony, Elope, Weddings | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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