The wedding pastor is an essential member of the wedding ceremony, presiding over the ritual of marriage and giving his blessing under the Name of the Lord. Even though he is usually the last component of the ceremony to be settled, there are still matters to attend to with regards to his role.
Here are the steps in hiring a wedding pastor:
- Ask for a pastor who is familiar with the couple. A family pastor can give a sense of intimacy and familiarity to the proceedings, and can share stories about the groom or bride to give perspective to this milestone of life. He will almost always be reliable due to the close ties he’s established with your family. Ask relatives if they know a pastor who can help in the wedding.
- Get recommendations from friends. Your circle of friends may have attended a wedding with a great pastor who gave a lively, meaningful service. Track down the pastor and give him a call.
- Ask the church you are using for the wedding. If you’re picking a church for the wedding venue, they can usually recommend one of their own pastors to perform the wedding ceremony. You can also ask the wedding tradesmen you hire if they can recommend a pastor. Lastly, try looking for a pastor online, based on location and budget.
- Make an appointment to meet him. Go over your wedding plans and confirm the time, venue and passages you want to use. Find out if he has any objections with your wedding ideas: some conservative pastors may object if you plan an outdoor wedding and will only perform the ceremony in the church. View over videos of his past wedding work and see if you connect with him on a personal level, so you will be comfortable with his presence on the day of the wedding. Check if he is available on the date of your wedding, exchange contact information, get the correct spelling of his name for the invitations and then pay his reservation fee. You may have to reserve his services months in advance to fit in his schedule.
- Remind the pastor a week before the wedding. Give his and contact information to your wedding planner so he can be fitted in with the rest of the program. Inform the church you’re using of the pastor you’re hiring. If you find out he can’t make it to the event, find a backup officiant to take his place. Accommodate his request for transport if you can.
- Include the pastor in your thank-you cards. Take care to mention any special efforts he made to make the wedding memorable. Recommend him to other engaged couples to return the favor.
A wedding pastor is of several important people in a wedding ceremony, but don’t rely on him to take charge at any point of the event. If something goes awry, have your wedding coordinator take care of it, and make sure to inform the pastor of any changes that affects his role.