Wedding Article: "Central Florida Wedding, Minister Criteria"
Selecting the right and appropriate minister to officiate your wedding ceremony can be a daunting task. If you aren't overly spiritual and excessively traditional, here are some secrets to properly select and choose the ideal person to officiate your most memorable day.
My experience officiating weddings overseas and throughout Central Florida has proven the following criteria to be most important when selecting a wedding minister.
- Meet them face to face and hear them speak.
You want a great communicator to be addressing the audience of family and friends. Average and good communicators are many. Great communicators are a rarity. Hence the fear of public speaking for people typically. Great communicators can connect and communicate. Connecting means they know how to disarm, loosen you up, make you feel special, and give extra attention to what is important to you. Some examples of properly connecting are: saying a kind personal remark, a light hearted joke to make you laugh, or an insightful quote with which you can relate to impart invaluable wisdom.
- Observe their power of presence, or lack thereof.
The ideal wedding minister should be confident, secure, and poised. If they are nervous, unorganized, and frazzled that is not a good sign. A warm presence is often accompanied by a smile, an assuring look, and a tenderness of heart. Those officiants who have the power of presence don't need to be chatty and pretentious. They are secure in themselves and seek to serve you.
- Visit their website to see what other weddings they have officiated. A picture is worth a thousand words. Often the minister's personality is visible within the website. Are they dull and boring, lively and vibrant, or methodical and monotone? Do they smile or appear stoic?
- Determine the degree of interaction you want with your minister.
Some people prefer a heartfelt and personalized ceremony. If the minister is all about business and not interested in you personally beware. A true minister has an inner heart's desire and motivation to be a blessing to you. Do you desire a minister who is warm and affectionately expressive? Many sadly are not. Do your homework and seek someone that you feel good about. Feelings are intangible, but they rarely lie. Go with your instincts and find someone who's personality matches your preferred style.
- How flexible is your wedding minister?
In our day and age many are pulling away from traditional wedding ceremonies. Many want a more contemporary and heartfelt ceremony. Others want to be creative and break the mold. A few are daring and prefer the adventurous. Often outdoor ceremonies are highly sought after in which the couple can enjoy the beauty of the creation as they make their vows in the presence of the Creator.
Therefore it is very important that you find a minister who is flexible and adaptable to your personal ceremonial needs. Unfortunately many Pastors only marry you if you attend their church, faithfully tithe, and your ceremony takes place in their edifice. Remember God is not about the building. He lives within our hearts, which means we can be happily married anywhere out heart desires. That being said, find a minister who is happy to accommodate your unique wedding ceremony. Never forget it is your wedding, which means you should be able to have a say in the way you perform the ceremony.
- What attire does the wedding officiant wear?
It seems funny to tell your minister what you prefer he or she wears. However a great officiant will happily comply to your culture and customs. When I officiated a ceremony for a Japanese bride and American groom, I considerately asked if there were any colors that would be offensive which I should avoid. These little details are important and should not be overlooked. If your minister is bound by the book and a particular look, your ceremony might become quite rigid and frigid.
Of course if you have a particular request for a ministerial robe or unusual attire, you should also be willing to buy and supply whatever it is you want. Nevertheless upon doing so, the officiant should happily comply and try to dress accordingly.
- Does the minister provide relational coaching and/or premarital counseling?
Many states require a premarital course before marriage. Others offer a discount on the price of the marriage license for taking a premarital course. A competent minister should also make relational coaching available to you, which typically comes at an additional charge.
Your minister should be in it for the long-term with you and be committed to your marital success. If you ever feel otherwise, look elsewhere for an officiant.
Matrimony is a magnificent celebration of the coming together of two lives. Two are better than one because they can multiply their joys and divide their sorrows. The complexities of life are more easily met and overcome when you have a lifelong companion by your side.
I salute you for committing to a covenantal love that lasts a lifetime.
I wish you love, joy, peace, and happiness.