One of the most common things I hear is, "We only need about 10 minutes of your time"
While a wedding ceremony may last 10-20 minutes, the time your officiant spends on your event, definitely is much more than you might think.
For an elopement, which would typically entail the least amount of time, will on average require an hour of your officiant's time. Consider the emails, phone calls and/or texts between you and your officiant, the time spent writing the ceremony he or she will be using, travel to your ceremony location, the actual ceremony and completing and returning the necessary paperwork.
Do I have your attention now?
To ensure a well-planned ceremony and rehearsal, plenty of time is needed at your consultation, so we don't skimp there!
From there, I spend at least two hours and sometimes up to 5 hours writing the ceremony that you've been dreaming of. Any less than that, I don't get the response I'm looking for...tears of joy when you read it. Then there's the revisions and adding the tiny details, the actions of the ceremony, so you and I both know what to do, and so we'll have that information readily available to practice at the rehearsal without me having to flip through tons of paperwork or files...I love having everything in one spot.
For your rehearsal, there is again travel time to and from your venue, which is an hour to three hours, unless your ceremony is in southern Johnson County, but most of the weddings that I do are over on the Missouri side, or Leavenworth or Miami County. Then an hour for the rehearsal, as long as everyone present is cooperating and on time (that's a big one!). And sometimes a little extra time is required to discuss final details with the couple before I leave.
On the day of the wedding, I'm onsite 45 minutes to an hour before our scheduled start time to make sure everyone is present, the marriage license is onsite, to do the sound check, speak with the DJ, photographer and coordinator about any details they need to be aware of, check in with you for any final changes that I need to be aware of, make sure ushers are seating guests and directing them when to stop, lining up the bridal party, cuing the DJ to begin the processional music. And finally it's time for the ceremony! 20 minutes for the ceremony from processional to recessional. Then I gather you, your witnesses and the photographer into one location to complete and sign the marriage license and do all the legal stuff (such a technical word!) that I need to do before mailing of the license, wait for an opportune second to take a couple photos of you in between the photographer's photos and well wishes, and then I'm able to leave. On average, I'm onsite for 2 hours, sometimes longer, and another hour to three hours total driving time.
As you can see, there is a lot more to my "10 minutes" than meets the eye, and I'm most certainly happy to contribute that time to each and every wedding.
This is not just the case with your officiant, nearly every single one of your vendors will be dedicating more time than you know to your event alone. The great wedding professionals will commit a lot of time to make your wedding the best it can possibly be, as it should be!
As always, I wish you a blessed marriage!
I'm Rebecca, owner and clergy for True Hearts Weddings. I love performing weddings, I love my 4 children, and I love life.