Q: My fiancé and I have set up a meeting with the officiant at our church. What topics should we bring up?
A: It’s a good idea to be prepared for this meeting—there are a number of things to consider. First, confirm your ceremony date and ask if there will be another wedding taking place at your church the same day. (Ideally, you neither want to rush through your ceremony to make room for someone else nor leave your guests waiting for another ceremony to finish up before they can enter the premises.) Ask your officiant about any premarriage requirements you’ll have to fulfill - most faiths require engaged couples to attend religious-based classes or seminars. (If you are not members of the same church, find out beforehand if you should supply any documentation, such as baptism and confirmation certificates.) Your officiant may ask you to fill out an Application to Marry or sign a Letter of Intention to Marry. And, he will probably ask you and your fiancé a number of questions about your relationship, faith and commitment to one another to ensure that both of you are treating your upcoming marriage with the seriousness it warrants.
There are other details to talk about as well. If you’re having a soloist, find out where he/she should stand. Ask if there are any restrictions on decorations. Find out if the church provides an aisle runner, extra candles and candelabra, and what the rental fee is for them. If you’re marrying in the summer, make sure the church is air-conditioned; if your wedding takes place during a cooler month, adequate heating should be a given. Inquire as to whether guests can toss birdseed, blow bubbles, release balloons, etc., after the ceremony. Make sure there are plenty of parking spaces for your guests, and don’t forget to reserve a time for your rehearsal.