In the world of elopements, choosing to hire an officiant can make a significant impact. While involving friends and family might seem personal, it often results in ceremonies lacking the finesse of a seasoned officiant. Having seen my fair share of well-intentioned but lackluster ceremonies, I understand the relief of not having it be your own. Whether you opt for self-solemnizing, signing paperwork with a photographer, or hiring an officiant, the latter choice can turn your moment into something truly special. Find an officiant who goes beyond reciting facts, crafting a ceremony that authentically reflects your unique relationship. It's an investment in making your elopement not just legal but profoundly meaningful.
DITCHING TRADITIONS WITH ELOPEMENTS
Eloping is a popular choice for those steering clear of traditional wedding elements. However, ditching everything wedding-related might not be the key to the perfect elopement. I highly recommend keeping an officiant in the mix—cue my husband, Therin! He often officiates for my clients, adding a touch of sentimentality and customization to each ceremony, tailored to the couple's unique story. Whether you're religious, atheist, or somewhere in between, he's got it covered. With a thoughtful questionnaire and a post-draft video chat, he ensures your ceremony aligns with your vision. As an extra special touch, we print the ceremony on seed paper for a lasting keepsake.
Being my husband, he goes above and beyond—attending the whole day, assisting with anything you need, capturing behind-the-scenes moments, and even grabbing my spare camera for spontaneous snapshots. You can peek at this Oregon Coast elopement that Therin officiated to get a little look into the experience!
PROS AND CONS OF USING FAMILY OR FRIENDS AS YOUR OFFICIANT
Enlisting a family member or friend as your elopement officiant can help infuse a personal touch into your day. On the positive side, having someone close to you at the wheel can create an intimate and familiar atmosphere, potentially making the ceremony more meaningful. Their involvement may also come with financial benefits, saving you the cost of hiring a professional officiant. However, the downside lies in the potential for hiccups. Inexperienced officiants, even with the best intentions, might struggle to navigate the intricacies of crafting a seamless and engaging ceremony. The risk of a lackluster script or awkward delivery could overshadow the sentiment you're aiming for. Additionally, relying on a friend or family member may unintentionally place stress on your relationship, as they juggle the roles of both guest and officiant.
Balancing the pros and cons is crucial when deciding who will play a pivotal role in officiating your elopement. If you are curious about what it's like to elope with family and friends, I have an entire blog post right here, about the pros and cons of doing so!
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO HIRE AN OFFICIANT?
The cost of hiring an officiant varies, and when my husband Therin officiates elopements, our standard charge is $500 for regular inquiries. Additional charges may apply for rush or last-minute inquiries. Prices across the industry can range widely, with beginners charging a couple of hundred dollars, mid-range officiants falling between $500 and $1,000, and more specialized services reaching $1,000 and beyond. Consider your budget, the level of customization you want, and the officiant's experience when making your decision. Some officiants may include extra services or travel fees. It's crucial to clarify the full scope of the costs before you hire an officiant to ensure your ceremony is both memorable and within your budget.
TRADITIONAL VOWS VS. PERSONAL VOWS
Deciding between traditional and personal vows shapes the spirit of your wedding ceremony. Traditional vows offer a sense of connection to a broader tradition, while personal vows allow for a unique, intimate touch. Officiants play a crucial role in both scenarios, guiding couples through traditional vows or helping structure and refine personal ones. Striking the right balance, officiants contribute to a ceremony that authentically reflects the couple's values. For tips on writing personal vows, check out this blog, where I share insights on how to write your vows and even audio from my own wedding ceremony.
REAL STORIES & TESTIMONIALS
"Destiny is an amazing photographer! So easy to work with and so kind. The little vow books she sent after we booked with her were perfect and sweet. She walks you through the entire elopement process, so you don’t have to worry about anything. We also hired her husband as our officiant, and he was equally awesome. He wrote a beautiful ceremony tailored specifically for us."
"We also had trouble finding an affordable officiant and Destiny mentioned that her husband was ordained (an amazing duo they are). We had a meet with Therin and expressed everything we would like our ceremony to be and he killed it. Our ceremony was so perfectly us and something that our family also enjoyed. Everyone complimented how everything felt lovely, and so right, and so magical. And I attribute a lot of that to these two amazing people."
"We not only THANK YOU, we THANK Therin, too, for being there to officiate our ceremony! His warmth, his presence and how he curated our ceremony was incredibly thoughtful, calming and so unique to us and our wedding day. You two are a POWER COUPLE and cannot thank you two enough for ALLLLLL that you have done to make our wedding day SO customized and that spoke TO US. THANK YOU for your love, support and being very proud of us for what we did. We are very proud of ourselves, too!!!!! Our wedding day really WAS something out of a storybook and we LOVED IT!!!! We wouldn't have had it any other way!"
The decision to hire an officiant for your elopement can impact the overall experience, adding a layer of professionalism and personalization. Whether opting for a family member, friend, or a seasoned officiant, it's crucial to weigh the pros and cons and consider the unique dynamics of your relationship. A skilled officiant can guide you through the ceremony, ensuring it reflects your love story authentically. For more insights and elopement ceremony ideas, click here. I share additional tips and inspiration to help you craft a ceremony that perfectly captures you and your partners personalities.
PNW OFFICIANTS THAT I RECOMMEND
"Destiny definitely stood out amongst other photographers because we absolutely loved how involved she was from the very beginning. She really wants to get to know you- which makes for really intimate photos! She asks tons of questions, which is awesome because you feel like you know her before even meeting her! And once you finally do, she is so so sweet!!! Destiny is so great at communicating and being really involved in every detail! She captured every emotion and detail perfectly, whenever I look at our wedding pictures, it brings back every feeling on our special day. TEARS!"
MY CLIENTS SAY IT BEST