18 Jan 2013
Your Officiant wore what?!
Not too long ago, I had just finished officiating a wedding when a couple walked up to me to compliment me on my execution of the ceremony. As we were talking, they told me that I “looked nice.” I, of course, responded with “Thank you!” Then they proceeded to tell me about their own wedding. Surprisingly, their officiant came dressed as if she were attending a vintage 40’s or 50’s themed event; she even wore a hat and gloves. Really! I asked them if they had a themed wedding, and they replied, “No, we thought she looked really weird! “ Uh- oh!
As officiants we may wear many things. Each of us wears what we feel comfortable in; some wear ministerial robes or a stole, or both, while others feel more comfortable in a dress or a suit.
There are several factors to consider: is the wedding casual or black-tie formal, is it on the beach or in the back yard, will it be religious or secular, will it be down-home American or multi-cultural, the same faith or different beliefs? All of these things drive what people wear.
But here is the difference between a professional and a non-professional: a professional officiant will ask his or her couple during the client interview what is appropriate to wear on their special day: a black suit or a brown suit, no suit, or maybe a more casual look – an Earth Mother look with a flowing dress and flowers in your hair, or a tailored look with a pale silk blouse and a smart jacket and trousers.
I want the people who see me to see a professional and then I want them to concentrate on the couple. I personally wear a black suit because I want to “look” official.
Once I wore overalls! The bride and groom wore denim and asked me to do so as well, so I happily complied. You know it is your special day, so why should I be the one to look out of place! Not only does it make me look odd, but it takes away from the couple, especially the bride. After all, it is their special day!
So, whatever your theme, make sure you ask your officiant what they plan to wear if they don’t discuss it with you first. There is nothing more uncomfortable than having the most necessary member of your bridal party look out of place. Never assume they are going to dress the part. Always make sure you tell the person officiating your wedding what they should wear, and if you are not sure, think about what you want your photos to look like. That should answer all of your issues related to dress. After all, the officiant is there for you!