A Wedding Blog for Stylish Brides in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario
Thank you to Keith and Lynne Langille of Exceptional Ceremonies for sharing this insightful overview in choosing your wedding officiant. Having attended many weddings I can say that a wedding officiant can be a key to creating a personal ceremony that will engage your guests and create a richer experience for your day.
While having a registered officiant, a marriage license, and two witnesses are the only elements you legally require to complete your wedding, choosing an exceptional officiant is one you may want to start looking for earlier than you might think to create a ceremony that is both personal, engaging and enjoyable for your welcomed guests. Booking an officiant can be left far too late into the planning process and then, couples are surprised to learn that many are unavailable and choices are more limited.
As with most other key wedding vendors, the most highly regarded and experienced officiants are booked early – often eight to fifteen months before the ceremony date. It is recommended that you book your officiant at the same time you book your venue or confirm your wedding date. This is even more important if you want a bilingual or French ceremony as there are relatively few fully bilingual officiants in the Ottawa area and they book up even faster.
To find your officiant, we recommend reading reviews from other couples who have used them; ask friends, your wedding planner, venue coordinators, or photographers who they would recommend – most have seen many local officiants in action.
If you and your guests want to have a great wedding ceremony that leaves all of you with wonderful positive memories, then your choice of officiant is definitely the last place where you should be trying to economize. Once you’ve talked to a few, you will quickly appreciate the differences in the levels of service and value that they provide. You’ll also get a sense of their level of passion and whether you have a connection with them that gives you peace of mind. For a truly personal touch, a good officiant will invest time in their relationship with you to make the most of your big day. In the Ottawa region, the prevailing fee range for an officiant to conduct an average ceremony with 75-150 guests and a wedding party of six to eight is about $400 to $550 without a rehearsal or $550 to $700 when the officiant is asked to lead a rehearsal.
Here are some of the most important questions to ask: