07 Jan How to choose a wedding officiant in Italy – 10 questions you should ask
What’s kicks off your wedding in Italy? THE WEDDING CEREMONY! A brief appearance that sets the mood for the whole event: choosing the right wedding officiant in Italy to lead your ceremony is essential. Since you will most likely be relying on a local Italian for the job, the following tips may help you in the selection process.
THE GOLDEN RULE: Set up a Skype call before you commit. Planning an Italy destination wedding has become much easier since you can meet any local Italian vendor online with Skype – and it’s free for everyone so there’s no excuse not to use it!
Speaking with your celebrant directly allows you to:
- Evaluate how well s/he speaks your language. Your celebrant should be able to speak English clearly and smoothly, without a heavy accent precluding words be understood by guests and by you.
- Hear how their voice sounds and projects. If your group is small you may not need a P.A. system as long as the celebrant’s voice can be heard (usually up to 20-30 guests)
- Ask questions spontaneously. Just like in a job interview, you may prepare some questions to ask but others may pop up along the way, so just ask them!
8 Questions you should ask your Italian wedding celebrant:
- Fees, payment timings (deposit, final balance) and methods of payment as well as who pays the extra fees involved (PayPal vs bank vs cash);
- What their fees include in terms of travel expenses, resources (ceremony samples, props), personalized wedding certificate, rehearsal attendance and most of all, TAXES! Remember that many businesses in Italy add 22% IVA at check out;
- How many hours are included before and after the ceremony. Not only may the bride be behind schedule, but if guests are travelling from other locations the ceremony may be held up until they arrive;
- How long they’ve been performing weddings and/or how many weddings they have celebrated;
- What the timing is for completing the ceremony script, music selection, and assigning readings to guests;
- Whether you include personal vows;
- Whether they are available to perform special rituals such as handfasting or unity candle;
- Whether they are comfortable with any religious elements or additions;
- What their typical attire is (color of suit and tie, style of dress or pantsuit);
- Whether they will work with your wedding planner.
In the event you haven’t hired a planner, your celebrant may give you guidance on set up, logistics, and tips for your processional/recessional formation.