There are so many choices of wedding officiants in Indianapolis. You may have a lot of questions which is natural, especially if you have never been married before. 8 months before your wedding is when to book a wedding officiant. Right now we will cover everything from what a wedding officiant does to what questions to ask a wedding officiant before you book them.
What does the wedding officiant do
A wedding officiant simply whiteness the consent of marriage and they validate the marriage licence. Therefore in Indiana you can not have a wedding without an officiant.
What is the difference between a celebrant and an officiant
They both have the same job but the term Celebrant is typically used with clergy or other religious officiants.
Who can officiate a wedding
In Indiana anyone who has been ordained to do as such! You may want a friend or family member to be the officiate the wedding to make it more personal. There is no government insured officiant license needed to officiate a wedding in the state of Indiana.
Christian weddings are typically officiated by pastor
Jewish weddings are typically officiated by rabbi
They can be provided by the church
The officiant for non religious couples or wedding outside of a church could be married by a justice of the peace, judge, mayor, or anyone acting under law to certify the county issued marriage license.
What does the wedding officiant say
Typically before the wedding they will meet with you to gather some details about your relationship to speak to during the ceremony. Like how you two meet. Are you both Colts fans, did you meet in college or did you go to rivals Butler and Perdue? They will also find out how long you want the ceremony to last. If you want any readings of religious texts, or if you will be having a secular ceremony without any religious elements.
There is no hard script for what the officiant says but they will more than likely introduce you and your relationship, give advice or wise words about marriage, have you confirm you would like to marry the person in front of you and then end the ceremony with a kiss. Once done they will have you sign your license making the whole thing official and you are legally married.
Now that you know what a wedding officiant does, you will need to find and sit down or chat with them on the phone before choosing them for your wedding. This is where you can ask questions to determine if they are the best fit for the type of wedding you are having. Because of the personalized nature of weddings, some questions may not apply to your ceremony. Just skip over them.
PS Download this list of questions at the bottom of the page to print out and bring with you to your meeting!
1: Tell me about your services?
This is an opener. This gives them a chance to tell you a bit about themselves, how long they have been officiating weddings, and hopefully answer some of the questions below.
2: Are you supportive of secular / interfaith / same sex marriages?
If any of these apply to you, this is an important question for obvious reasons. If they are not supportive of your marriage you will not need to ask any further questions.
3: Do you have any restrictions for the type of ceremony we would like to have?
Some officiants only perform specific types of ceremonies. If you two have talked about what you like your ceremony to look like this is an important question to ensure your officiant can make that idea come to life and not box you into something else.
4: Do you allow others to speak / participate / have a reading during the ceremony?
You may have a friend who wants to do a reading or sing a specific song to make the ceremony special. Ask how they can help others participate in your wedding ceremony
5: Can we write down our own vows or have a ceremony themed to fit our wedding?
You may want a star wars themed wedding with an officiant dressed in galactic attire, or you may want something toned down a bit. If you have a strong theme for your wedding ask if the officiant will participate to make the event more special.
6: What will you say during the ceremony, can we read it before hand?
The officiant should be able to tell you what they try to cover during the ceremony. You may want to read what the officiant will say as well to avoid surprises.
7: Will we have any meetings in person before the wedding?
The officiant will need to ask you both questions to properly plan your ceremony to your wishes. Find out if this needs to be done in person of if it can be done over FaceTime.
8: Do you require premarital counseling?
A lot of Celebrants will require you to do some premarital counseling to ensure you are a good fit and ready for married life before they will consider officiating your wedding.
9: Are there any additional fees we should be aware of?
Mileage and the Rehearsal would be the most common extras but be sure to ask so you are clear on what you will be paying.
As always ask to see a sample contract and the cancelation policy
The contract should cover payment, their scope of work, as well as their cancelation policy. Weddings can be called off or pushed back for several reasons including natural disasters and family deaths. Be sure if the unthinkable happens you are covered.
I hope this article shed some light as to what a wedding officiant does and what they will do for your wedding here in Indiana.
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