Published: Friday, Feb. 18th, 2022
Maybe you’re trying to decide if a certain friend is really the right person to officiate your wedding…
Or maybe you’re interviewing professional wedding officiants, but can’t tell whether certain business practices are normal – or red flags.
If this is your first time planning a wedding, it can be hard to know what to look for (and what to look out for). That's why we've put together this list of bad fit 'warning signs,' to help you decide if a wedding officiant is right for for your wedding needs.
At AMM, our mission is to ordain and educate passionate, committed wedding officiants, and most wedding officiants are absolute STARS at what they do! Still, we’re all human -- which means we all have our own personalities, professional strengths, working styles, and communication preferences. This means that some officiants won't be the best candidate for the role, and that their path to service lies elsewhere. That's ok!
If a wedding officiant's style or working habits don't work for you, don't sweat it. Just thank them for their time and interview a few more folks to find the right match.
To help you find that right fit, here are 5 signs that someone might be the wrong fit.
Wedding officiants shouldn’t play hard to get. A busy officiant might take a day or two to respond during the height of wedding season (so be patient), but reliable officiants prioritize timely communication with their couples.
Short story: You shouldn’t have to wonder if your officiant left the country without telling you.
Pro tip: Avoid this situation altogether – During your first meeting with a wedding officiant, ask about their business hours and the best way to reach them (phone, text, or email?). Then schedule meetings in advance so neither of you are left in limbo.
If someone frequently shows up late to planned meetings or video calls, it’s safe to assume that they’ll be late to your wedding too. Unless you don’t care when the party gets started, this is a red flag!
Note: We’re not talking about the occasional late arrival due to traffic jams or unexpected emergencies. Shit happens! But frequent lateness should be heeded as a warning.
If your officiant shows up empty handed to a ceremony-planning meeting, doesn’t ask you any questions about your likes or dislikes, and doesn’t take any notes, consider it a red flag.
Even if they take a casual approach, reliable officiants will want to know details about you and your dream ceremony, check their calendar for scheduling conflicts, and jot the most important parts of your conversation down to reference again later.
New officiant? Read Wedding Prep for Ministers
Pushy doesn’t always equal right. If an officiant isn’t open to any input from you and leaves you feeling unheard, disrespected, or stuck with a ceremony you don’t really want, it’s time to find someone new.
That said, experienced officiants usually know what works best during a wedding – and what doesn’t work at all. If an otherwise open-minded officiant thinks something’s a bad idea, they might be right! Ask them to recommend a variation that might work better.
This is completely subjective of course. What works for one couple might not work for another. But – if you don’t like the way a wedding officiant speaks or presents themselves, and you think it will take away from your enjoyment of your ceremony, it’s best to find someone new.
This isn’t a red flag exactly, because other couples might love their style. But we recommend you find someone you vibe with, who will deliver a ceremony in a way you’ll remember fondly for years to come.
Now that we’ve listed a few things to look out for, here’s something you might encounter that’s not an immediate red flag: Lack of previous wedding experience.
A lack of previous experience is NOT a red flag, nor is it a sign that a certain friend, family member, or brand new wedding officiant won’t do a great job performing your wedding.
Everyone starts somewhere!
Our Wedding Wall and Instagram feed are filled with photos, original scripts, and day-of stories that prove that first time wedding officiants can do an absolutely incredible job performing a wedding.
And we have free training tools to help make it happen! You can find them here.
Become a Wedding Officiant with Our Free Online Ordination!