CHOOSING AN OFFICIANT
After deciding on the location of your destination wedding, there are other small details that add to the complexity of having your special day abroad. One of these seemingly minor details (yet a major part of the wedding) is choosing an officiant. Perhaps you’ll be married by a religious official, but what if you don’t identify with a specific religion? You’re tasked with finding someone who not only vibes with you and your partner, is comfortable with public speaking, and who can be understood by your guests. Whether you have guests who speak multiple languages or who all speak the same language, it’s important to consider the qualities that are most important to you before selecting your officiant.
In the U.S. it’s become more and more common to find officiants “for hire.” They’re often highly charismatic individuals whose sole job is getting to know you as a couple and writing your wedding ceremony. For many couples this is a popular option. However, this is less common in Italy and other countries around the world where the wedding industry is less commercialized. For a destination wedding, options become limited when you need an officiant who can speak multiple languages well but who also fits your religious and or cultural needs.
In order to avoid a last minute scramble to find a officiant that fits your needs, consider what you’re looking for early on in the planning process. Do you want a religious ceremony officiated by your pastor whose known you since birth? If so, would your pastor be willing to travel and do travel costs fit into your budget? Let’s say you’re not interested in the religious route and would like a close friend to fill the role. Is he or she ordained? If not, make sure they go about it through a reputable site or source so that the marriage is valid. Can they perform a wedding where you’re getting married or does their ordination only go so far as your home state or country? Your officiant’s credentials also must match marriage license laws in order for it to be recognized in your country of origin. Another option is to head down to the courthouse and get legally married prior to your wedding. Many couples go this route, opting for a ‘symbolic’ ceremony after getting married in their home country in order to avoid any bureaucratic red tape in the country where they’ll celebrate.
At the end of the day, choose someone who can speak the languages needed, capture the tone of your wedding and is comfortable taking center stage. Talk to him or her about how they plan to create a memorable and personal ceremony. If you have any questions along the way, you know Savvy is always here to help your destination wedding go off without a hitch!