What’s the Difference Between Officiants?
If you’re answering the question, “What’s the difference between officiants?” it starts with the range of beliefs and values that varies from officiant to officiant. Each of us do what we do for our own reasons.
There’s those who were asked to lead a friend or family member’s wedding and said, however reluctantly or excitedly, “Yes!” (If that’s up your alley, see my program for new officiants).
How Some of Us Came to the Profession
Some of us came into marrying people because of church affiliation and it was part of our job. Others are looking to create additional income because the field of marrying people is wide open to anyone thanks to the Universal Life Church’s court action for religious freedom. Other officiants have a love of being part of a couple’s special day, and still other’s are true hams who love being in front of people.
To be clear, I can be ham, but I set out to use humor appropriately. I always ask my couple if it’s okay if I loosen things up / use humor. I’ve done a few weddings where it was clear from the beginning that the bits of wit I threw in were falling flat, so I stopped being funny and stuck with the plan (even with the couple’s permission to be funny.)
I can’t negate that I am an Officiant to make a living for myself which can be cause for some disapproval. This is due to the stigma that still accompanies some beliefs that being an Officiant is a religious profession and you should do it for free. Or super cheap.
Officiating for me is done in love in exchange for creating and wonderful and meaningful experience for my couple as they promise to love each other for as long as they both shall live. If I had a congregation who generously supported me lower fees might be an option.
But I don’t have a congregation so I get to offer my brand of officiating and the right people come to me.
In any profession there’s always going to be people who want to and probably need to, make a quick buck. Just like there’s always going to be couples who don’t want to do anything other than exchange vows. Others not only want to create an event, but they see the value of being part of a CEREMONIAL event which is more than a simple exchange of traditional wedding vows.
Defining A Wedding Ceremony’s Purpose
Here’s what I think a wedding ceremony is all about:
- Engages an invisible power that moves through a couple’s commitment
- Taps into the desires that brings two people together in the first place
- Leads them to their willingness to promise a forever bond to one another.
- Sets the stage for two people to publicly profess their love for one another
- Orders the step-by-step course of action that results in validating a legal contract between two consenting adults
Officiant Role Defined According to Rev Crystal Yarlott
This is how I define my role as an Officiant:
An Officiant can think on her or his feet and improvise, go with the flow and know when to stick with the plan and when not to. An Officiant’s responsibility it to keep the ceremony moving towards that momentous kiss and pronouncement that seals their commitment and continually hold sacred space for the importance of the couple’s love, all while staying in the background.
I love what I do as an Officiant. There’s been so many magic moments in the ceremonial experiences I get to participate in with my couples that I’m continually grateful for the opportunity AND the authority to participate in two people committing to one another.
Honored by My Couple’s Trust
When I’m hired, I am honored by their trust in me to convey what’s meaningful to them, to have fun and set the romantic, celebratory tone for the day.
Loving what you do because you are focused on people’s love for each other is fabulous.
What could be better than that in life?
Here’s to your happiness,