Category Archives: officiant

I Tip My Hat to You

Wedding budgets are always difficult. It may feel like you spend more every time you even look at something but part of you says it’s your one day to indulge. There will always be unexpected costs, some of which can be minimized or completely avoided. Others, such as gratuities for your vendors should at least be considered.

Officiant: Time and energy is spent making your rehearsal and ceremony perfectly fitted to you. This is done on top of regular job duties and already busy schedules out of joy from uniting couples in marriage. A cash gift should be given by an attendant at the rehearsal. If he/she is connected to your location (and your budget permits), a donation to the venue space is an added way to show your gratitude.

Wedding Planner: Because what is provided is done as a profession, tips are optional and don’t have to be monetary. In fact, they are usually not expected. If you feel inclined, send your gift after your honeymoon (10 – 20% is appropriate). A free option is to send some photos for your planner to enhance his or her portfolio.

Hair and Makeup: Stylists should be treated as you would in a salon if not better. Often, rates are higher for wedding days and wedding parties, but the gratuity should not be affected by that. The styles are more complicated, everything must be perfect and often, hairdressers and make up artists travel to your location. Show your thanks at the end of the service and allow photographs, if requested, for portfolios or look-books.

Reception and Entertainment: Bands or DJs and catering, transportation companies etc. typically add a surcharge to their base rates so additional tips are optional. If you give extra, follow the same guidelines you would on a regular day. However, put an attendant in charge of handling payment(s), all of which should occur at the end of your big day.

Whether gratuities are expected, optional (but typical) or out of the norm, they are always welcome. Everyone likes to know they have done a good job. However, especially at weddings, vendors understand the huge costs you have already incurred. Handwritten, individualized thank you notes are a very cost-effective and special way to show your gratitude if your budget doesn’t allow for monetary tokens of appreciation.

Making a Blueprint

You chose your partner, said yes when you were proposed to and decided to devote your life to your fiancé for a reason. There is an emotional investment and most of your free time is spent together but your knowledge is primarily based on life experiences, likes and dislikes etc. Getting caught up in love, the future, compatibility and how special you feel makes you forget the inevitable differences which certainly will arise.

Relationship stages differ but even more so after you exchange vows. Pre-marital counseling (usually conducted by your officiant) improves marriage success rates as it involves learning tools to handle uncomfortable situations. Another advantage is that the sessions are completely private and the words will not leave the walls in between which they are spoken.

Making a plan of action:  It is important to be on the same page as far as the future is concerned. Once things become real, locking down the number of children you want, how and with whom you will spend holidays, who will play what role in the home among many other things will change once you realize that you’ve now made fun, flirty and exciting a lifelong commitment.

Outside source:  An officiant is typically older, wiser, been married for many years and has wisdom that you may not yet. He/she can provide advice based on the issues they have already treaded through. You will learn ways of communicating that maybe haven’t crossed your mind or not been needed so far. Perhaps topics have been approached but often one responds in ways they feel will please their partner instead of what they actually want. Conversation tools will certainly benefit in minimizing future difficulties.

You need to keep an open mind as chances are you will hear things that you may not want to. The goal is not to win but to be completely honest and be willing to change things that maybe your fiancé has seemingly been fine with but actually always been irked by. It is also a time to show gratitude for being able to put everything out on the table and address the matters that could easily manifest themselves and lead to deterioration as time passes.

Will You Marry Me?

Many couples don’t have a church they regularly attend but feel it is important to hold their ceremony in one. If you are not using or don’t have a pastor you know, get to know the one who will marry you. It is not uncommon for pastors to require at least a few sessions of premarital counseling so as to provide some insight into a variety of things that may not have ever crossed your mind in terms of your relationship and the life changes that come along with being married. Often, family and friends provide support, encouragement and give advice but have a somewhat biased perspective due to their affinity for the two of you. Someone outside of your life and circle can be very helpful and most often, the fees for the counseling are included in the amount charged to perform the ceremony.

One thing your friends and family usually feel much more at ease commenting on is the length of your relationship prior to your engagement or marriage. Sometimes, because your parents got married after two years or your best friend was engaged after six months, the expectations for you are the same. It is imperative to remember that every relationship is different from any other and what is right for you is just that, regardless of what someone else felt was appropriate for them. Marriages can be successful after having only known one another for a few weeks just as much so as after dating for ten years. It is very easy to question yourself and the decisions you and your fiancé make based on what those close to you say. You probably also feel much more inclined to take their advice, whether right or wrong, and dismiss what it is you feel in your heart, especially coming from those who have already made the commitment to their partner.

Pastors are people who have experience with all sorts of couples and have heard all sorts of difficulties and trepidations. They go into every ceremony with both the knowledge that it is different from any other and the assurance of having contributed to making you as prepared for your future and as successful as it can be. Advice and ideas should be welcomed from any source but pastoral counseling comes from a place that is unbiased and born out of wisdom. Therefore, if you know your minister or not, be open to taking time to speak to him/her honestly and openly prior to committing yourselves to one another. After all, it would be uncomfortable having someone you have never met and doesn’t know you joining you and your husband on one of the most important days of your life.