By, Jennifer Lowe of Joined Together by Jennifer Being a wedding officiant is something I just stumbled into and now I can’t ever imagine myself doing anything else! What I enjoy about the work I do, is that there are never any two weddings alike. Seeing the couples come before me and allow me to be that person who walks them through their first steps into their future is amazing.
I became ordained back on November 9th 2009. I wanted to show my mother that I was happy about her relationship and future by marrying her and her fiancé. This lead to family and friends, that needed someone to make their day special, asking if I was available. I never thought that being an officiant was something I could do as a profession, I mean who would want me to stand up there and tell them what to do! Haha!
I can tell you the exact date that it was decided “I’m going to make a go of this” Aug 8th 2015. I had been asked by a friend of mine from high school to preside over her “Steampunk” themed wedding on Aug 7th 2015. I had gone shopping for just the right thing to wear (A beautiful black and white corset with tails and flowing white ethereal gown that cost more than I was paid).
I learned all about the “Hand-fasting” Ceremony aspect of their ceremony and the meaning behind the Claddagh rings they exchanged. The evening was spectacular! They had far and away exceeded any wedding I had ever been to, including my own. I was hooked! I woke the morning of the 8th, realized I had no other ceremonies on the horizon and a career was born!
I have been so blessed since then! I go to “work” and I can’t stop smiling, from the moment I have a request for my service thru the time I say “I now pronounce you man and wife”.
There are a few things I have found that I would like to share with couples to help them in searching for and hiring an officiant.
1. Make sure you and your fiancé are on the same page as to the type of ceremony you want to have. If you both understand the vision and mood of what you want it is easier to visualize the officiant before you. She/He is the one person right in the middle, of you both, in pictures.
2. Set up a meeting with all officiants you are looking at possibly hiring. Use this time to ask all the questions you have and make sure that this person understands what you want and is willing to provide that for you both. Some officiants may not be willing, (or legally able to provide*), the type of ceremony you are interested in. And REMEMBER THIS: The feeling you get from this person, upon meeting them, is the same feeling you should have at the ceremony. Make sure it is a positive and happy one. For me, this isn't just a "job" I do. I truly love being involved in making a couple’s day special I want my couples to say that I was someone they felt "just fit" in with day and made it memorable. This is the way all officiants should feel when working couples. Hold out till you find it with the right officiant.
3. Legalities: Make sure that the person marrying you is legally able to in your state.
4. Read Reviews and check out all information you can find on your potential officiant! You want to make sure that this person left all couples extremely happy! Your potential officiant should be someone that others speak highly about and has provided them with wonderful memories.
5. Check out their work. I would allow any of my couples to come to a ceremony I am presiding over and your potential officiant should be willing to do the same. Also, ask for videos or ceremony outlines that they have written for other couples. You should make sure that this is someone whose personality and style suits your needs.
6. Ask your venue contact, Event Planners, Photographers, Floral designers and any other vendor for referrals. All of these people have been to many, many weddings and know quite a few contacts. They have also seen good and bad ceremonies and can help you find the good, and avoid the bad.
I will close this now with a note to the couples that I have worked with. Thank you! Thank you for allowing me to be there with you through such special moments. The couple marrying in a “Super Top Secret Ceremony” on a snowy lake before the husband joins the military. The couple that shared their special first kiss spot with me. The couple who were joined together on New Year’s Eve while on horseback. These are just to name a few of the ceremonies I have shared and I hope to continue to grow my list of special times, places and people willing to share the beginning of their live together with me.
State of Utah- Marriage Information - Application Process
https://www.utcourts.gov/howto/marriage/ Marriage information for State
http://www.utah.gov/government/citycounty.html City and county links for Clerks offices