Choosing the Right Officiant for Your Wedding!

When planning your Maine wedding, it’s easy to get caught up in selecting a wedding vendors like a Maine wedding venue, a florist, a DJ, a photographer, and so forth — but don’t forget the most important person of all: the person who will actually marry you and your partner! Today’s guest post is by Connie Mills of All-in-One Weddings, which is one of the preferred vendors of the Agora Grand Event Center. Connie is an absolutely wonderful person who gets to know you and your partner before your wedding. Her team is hard-working, responsive, and professional.

What services do you offer couples?

We have a professional team of 10 Wedding Officiants (Ordained Ministers, JP’s, and Maine Notary Publics) who travel to all venues of Maine. We provide our couples with many ceremony options to choose from ~ vows, readings, and personal selections which match their style, personality, venue and theme.

In addition to officiant services, we also offer an a la carte menu of wedding services and all-inclusive packages. These may include the couples’ wedding cake, flowers, musicians, photography, videography, limo, DJ, horse & carriage, luxury honeymoon accommodations, and day-of wedding coordination. Lastly, we offer venue recommendations to assist the couple in choosing the perfect location for their very special day in Maine.

What tips would you offer a couple when they’re looking for a wedding officiant?

Most of our couples tell us that they hired us because of the personal connection they felt with us from the very beginning. We love to hear each individual story of how our couples met, became friends, fell in love, and what brought them to this very special moment in their lives.

In choosing an officiant you will want to find someone you have that type of connection with, interview them to be sure they are a good fit, make sure they offer many suggestions and will allow you to include any special elements in your ceremony which are important to you, such as: Can your dogs be the ring bearers? Can your Great Aunt Agnes share a reading? Can you break out in dance down the aisle after the wedding? Or anything that will reflect your love for one another, your personality and your style. Lastly, be sure there is a back-up plan just in case your officiant becomes ill or has a family emergency on the big day and can’t make your wedding at the last minute. With 10 officiants on our team, we are always ready to step in at a moment’s notice if needed.

What are some current trends in wedding ceremonies?

Many Couples are opting out of the traditional wedding ceremony songs such as Pachelbel’s Canon in D and walking down the aisle to such modern-day love songs as Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran and Marry Me by Train.

It’s always a more personal ceremony when our couples incorporate their loved ones into it. We encourage them to invite friends and family to share readings during their nuptials. Couples are also opting out of the traditional Unity Candle lighting and going with a sand blending ceremony, rose ceremony, or wine & love letter ceremony. (Contact us for details on these unique ideas to bring special meaning to your day).

Should couples write their own vows?

It’s a 50/50 chance right now that couples will opt for the traditional vows (for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, ’til death do us part . . . ) but we always love it when couples write their own vows which come straight from the heart. Some of the most unique vows we have heard include promising to support the other’s professional sports team and promising to love the other one’s cat in spite of not particularly liking felines.

Can you tell us about one of your favorite weddings, and what made it your favorite?

Involving kids and dogs into your ceremony can be risky, but fun. One of my all-time favorite weddings involved the couple riding in separately on horseback (it was a barn wedding) and then “riding off into the sunset together” on one horse after the ceremony. Another memorable ceremony was one in which the couple promptly disrobed after their first kiss to reveal that they were wearing wet suits under their bridal attire. You guessed it . . . they literally took the plunge! Another favorite involved the groom taking guitar lessons before the wedding (unbeknownst to the bride) and breaking out in an Italian love song (her native tongue) to sing to the bride during the ceremony.

What should a bride expect to pay for various officiating services?

You can hire a wedding officiant in Maine and spend anywhere from $100 – $1,000 on your ceremony. This will depend on the officiant’s expertise, knowledge of the laws, how polished and professional they are, and how personal you want the ceremony to be ~ the officiant may write the ceremony from scratch after getting to know both of you or they may simply perform a short, sweet, traditional ceremony in which you have little input. There are many different wedding officiants in the State of Maine and we all offer different services for every budget.

What tips would you offer a bride so that she enjoys the wedding of her dreams?

After meeting with your professional wedding vendors and sharing your hopes and dreams for your special day, let them take over (it’s what they are trained to do) so you can relax, have fun, and enjoy the day. Make sure you have a day-of coordinator on site to deal with any unforeseen problems or delays that may come up ~ the last thing you want to do worry about flowers not arriving on time or the DJ not playing the right music while you are getting ready to walk down the aisle.

Any other thoughts?

Have fun with it, this is the most magical day of your life! Hire a professional photographer and videographer to capture all of the moments you might miss so you can relive them at any time, then play these back on every wedding anniversary. After all, the day really will go by fast and in the words of Aerosmith, you don’t want to miss a thing!

For other questions about officiating, please reach out to Connie at All in One Weddings.  We also have blog posts on how to choose other vendors, including photographers, caterers, and florists, as well as whether to choose a buffet or plated meal for your reception.  Maine is also an ideal location for gay and LGBTQ weddings, so make sure you choose the officiant that’s right for you.  If you’d like more information about the Agora Grand Event Center, or wedding venues in Maine, please feel free to contact us!