Communicating with the Couple
- The wedding officiant must communicate effectively with the bride and groom. For instance, if the couple email the officiant about logistical matters, such as potential date(s) for the wedding, she should return the email within 24 to 48 hours. The officiant should also return phone calls from the bride and groom as soon as possible, so that the couple can better plan for their ceremony.
Deposits and Payments
- The wedding officiant should communicate clearly with the couple concerning the rate that will be charged for his services. If the couple makes a deposit or two before the ceremony, it is proper etiquette for the officiant to acknowledge receipt of the deposits, especially if the money was collected by a church secretary or office assistant. If the wedding officiant prefers to have all the money paid up front before the ceremony, or wouldn't mind receiving full payment after the wedding, he should let the couple know this as soon as possible. The couple is not required to tip the person who performs the ceremony, but the gesture is appreciated, and 10 to 20 percent is standard.
- It is very important for the officiant to arrive at the rehearsal and ceremony on time. If possible, the officiant should be 15 to 30 minutes early for both events, in order to address any concerns that the bride and groom may have, and to be notified of last-minute changes if necessary.
Emergencies and Replacements
- If the wedding officiant is not able to preside over the wedding because of unforeseen circumstances, it is up to him or her to find a replacement that the bride and groom will be satisfied with as soon as possible. Once the original officiant has agreed to perform the wedding, it is not the couple's responsibility to find a replacement.
- The wedding officiant is legally required to go over the marriage license before the actual ceremony, and should ask the bride and groom for the license if they have not already presented it. If the officiant has agreed to file the marriage license after the ceremony, this should be done no more than 10 days after the wedding.