Choosing someone to marry you and your future spouse is a very important decision. This person will run the ceremony- the most important part of your wedding. We've heard it a million times before - "let's skip the ceremony and head straight to the reception to have some fun." Most likely this is in response to the fact that most ceremonies can be somewhat unexciting. In order to avoid this, be sure to choose your minister wisely.
Your minister should mirror the beliefs and values of you and your fiancé. If you have different beliefs, consider a non-denominational officiant to perform the ceremony, or hire an officiant ordained to carry out a legal ceremony in your state.
If you and your fiancé have a specific church in mind that you would like to be married in, be sure to check their rules and regulations as to which ministers or officiants are allowed to perform ceremonies there. You may be surprised at the strict rules that are enforced. Some require that their own pastor perform the ceremony, and no one else. Some may allow another minister of the same religion into their venue, and some are very open to whoever you would like to bring in, but a hefty fee may accompany this freedom. If the church only allows a specific minister there, be certain to get to know this person before setting your date, signing a contract or renting out the church. Share your wishes on how the ceremony will take place (remember, no idea is trivial or foolish if it is important to you) and make sure the minister suits your style to avoid any problems down the road. Remember, once you've chosen your date and locked in the church, some of these rules are unavoidable down the road and can bring on unneeded stress, so be sure to cover your bases.
Your ceremony should be smooth and worry-free. Your minister should be able to make you feel comfortable through the entire process. We recommend that you begin to work with your minister as early as you find a church that you like. This way you will be able to meet with them a number of times in order to create the ceremony of your dreams with their help and professional guidance. Next, make sure that he or she is available to come to your ceremony rehearsal (and lead it, unless you are working with a wedding coordinator) in order to show you exactly what will happen during each step of the service. Be sure to let him know your preferences, so that you will not have to worry about it during the actual event. More often than not, the anxiety that you feel on your wedding day may leave you needing some guidance by your minister as to what the next step of the ceremony is. Having a minister with experience will lead to a worry-free event that you'll remember forever.