Questions to Ask Justice of the Peace

officiant, wedding officiant

Whatever type of wedding you are planning with your future spouse, the ceremony itself will likely play a significant role.  Often the focus is on planning aspects such as the theme, location and guest list, but the person who officiates the ceremony is just as important.

Ask these questions to help you find the right wedding officiant or justice of the peace for you:

1. Do you use scripts or allow personalization?

Are you looking for something special to you?  Why not it’s your wedding day!  While many wedding officiants will work off similar scripts, others will allow more freedom and customziation of vowels and content, it’s about you after all.

It is also worth considering religious aspects you want to incorporate and how these can be worked into the script.

2. How many weddings have you officiated?

Wedding celebrants are in most cases solely responsible for a significant part of your ceremony.  They lead the ceremony and the couple to be married follows their process. You want to know that you can trust them should things go a little off-plan. Don’t be afraid to ask how many weddings they have officiated and if they can also provide any references for these.  Look online to see if they have any photos to give you an idea of how many ceremonies they have attended.

3.  What do you wear?

It’s easy to overlook this but you don’t want the officiant looking out of place at you wedding, particularly if you have a specific color scheme.

4. What time will you arrive?

You don’t need the worry of not knowing when your justice of the peace is going to show up, make sure to get this one ironed out.

5. Do you have a sample ceremony we can view?

If you aren’t 100% sure from meeting or talking to the officiant, ask if you can see a video of a past ceremony to get a better feel of what the officiant will bring to your wedding.

6.  How long do your ceremonies last?

Most standard ceremonies are a typical length of time though some last longer or shorter than others.  It’s important to consider exactly how long the ceremony should take so you can plan the rest of your day.

7. How many pre-wedding sessions will we have?

The more personalized you want the ceremony the more time you will want to spend discussing your plans with the officiant.  Will they attend a rehearsal with you and are there additional fees for each meeting?

Face to face meetings are almost always best, but if this is not possible ask if you can have phone discussions to make sure nothing is left to chance.  Gain the confidence that your day will be truly special and personal to you. 

Many officiants require a certain number of meetings, this is something to consider when choosing a wedding officiant or justice of the peace.

Article written by Bryan Anderson, a registered justice of the peace in Milford, Connecticut USA.

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