Using a professional officiant really makes the creation of your wedding ceremony go smoothly. Writing a ceremony is tough, and it’s so nice to have guidance. An experienced officiant has the expertise to come up with a ceremony that represents the couple and the type of ceremony they would like to have. They have the formal approach of a “traditional” ceremony but are able to let the couple’s personalities come through, making the guests feel more connected.
In today’s interview session we have a renowned wedding officiant, Carolyn Burke with us.
What common mistakes do you see couples making?
Not being organized when working with all of the wedding vendors and not asking questions until the last minute.
Wedding vendors are here to help you through the process, but we cannot read your mind.
Find a system that works for you and use a calendar to set up and remember appointments, payment deadlines, and goals for the event.
What’s the best tip you have for a couple planning a wedding?
Don’t spend money on too many little details. Guests may not remember these details and it takes time to set them up.
Listen to yourself and do not take too much advice from others. It is your day!
Also, find THREE THINGS that are a priority for you. It may be the venue, the food, the dress, the ceremony.
Let’s say flowers are not a priority – budget that as a less than average cost.
I find most of my couples do not have an OFFICIANT as a priority, and that is fine with me.
It is why my fees/packages are different – but the quality and value are still there.
What don’t couples know about your business that they need to know?
Even though I perform weddings that are short and sweet, that does not mean we cannot add special readings and symbolism to make the ceremony more meaningful.
My ceremonies may not be personable, but they are definitely meaningful.
What questions should couples be asking that they don’t know to ask?
If your wedding includes a processional, recessional, and seating placement; there are no right or wrong ways to do them.
I am able to give advice on these specifics, but it is only advice and might be based on traditions and wedding etiquette.
You can be unique and call your bridesmaids and groomsmen ATTENDANTS because the groom can have women on his side and a bride can have men on her side.
Applying for a marriage license during the pandemic has changes in how and when to apply for it. Be sure to get that solved a few weeks before the event date.
What is your best piece of advice for couples planning a wedding?
Most couples who hire me as their Wedding Officiant can see from my website and reviews that SIMPLE is what they want in a ceremony. Their priority can be the dancing, the photographs, or just making it legal. I try to show that the ceremony is the heart of the day, but the event is about THEM and celebrating with friends and family is where they wish to concentrate their planning.
What’s the most unusual wedding you ever did?
Most of my weddings are unusual as I specialize in elopements and intimate events.
The venues are the most unusual and includes places like: Top of the Gateway Arch, a Pirate Ship on the Mississippi River, a Harley Davidson dealership, and theme weddings like Star Wars, Halloween, Christmas, and even Harry Potter.
What was the most memorable wedding you ever worked, and why?
My first Same-Sex marriage when it became legal in 2015. The couple had been together for over 20 years and although they were in a committed relationship; making it LEGAL in the eyes of God and the United States of America brought tears of joy to everyone in the room.
A Choice You Won’t Regret
Deciding to hire a professional officiant is a choice that will make your wedding planning easier and less stressful, and ensure that you have a high-quality wedding ceremony.
Carolyn Burke has been a Wedding Officiant in the St Louis MO and Metro East IL since 2005.
She will give you the easiest and most affordable wedding ceremony designed for couples who want a simple and romantic wedding or vow renewal.
You may reach out to her through her website for your big day.