When you get married in Italy, your wedding ceremony tells your story to all those who have travelled so far to be with you. The words in your ceremony script set the mood for the party that follows, and the officiant speaking those words makes all the difference. A brief appearance that will kick off the rest of your event, choosing the right Italian wedding officiant to lead your ceremony is essential. The following tips will help you pick the right officiant for your wedding in Italy.

THE GOLDEN RULE

Set up a Skype call before you commit. Planning a destination wedding in Italy 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!

What to look for

  • 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, but maybe just enough so they are the authentic Italian touch.
  • Hear how their voice sounds and projects. If your group is small, about 20-30 guests, you may not need a P.A. system as long as the celebrant’s voice can be heard.
  • Ask questions spontaneously, just like in a job interview. Here are some we thought of.

10 Questions you should ask your Italian wedding celebrant

  1. How many weddings has s/he celebrated? You may like to ask them to tell you about one that stands out;
  2. Does s/he perform special rituals like handfasting or lighting a unity candle?
  3. Is s/he comfortable with adding religious elements or readings? While a symbolic celebrant is not a member of the clergy, they are typically open to some spiritual wording.
  4. Can you include personal vows and does s/he help you write them?
  5. What material does s/he make available to help you create your ceremony?
  6. How long does the ceremony typically last?
  7. What does s/he typically wear for the ceremony? (color of robe, suit and tie, style of dress or pantsuit);
  8. What are his/her fees, payment timeline (deposit, final balance) and methods of payment as well as who pays the extra fees involved (PayPal vs bank vs cash). Some officiants outline this in a letter of agreement or contract.
  9. What do 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;
  10. 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 and you want to know if there is a charge for this.

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.