‘I Do!’ What You Must Know Before Selecting An Officiant For Your Wedding Ceremony…

  • Written by Annemarie Juhlian, Wedding Officiant
Ah, you have the big task of finding, interviewing and selecting a wedding officiant for your wedding ceremony!

In the Puget Sound area, there are wedding officiants of all denominations and backgrounds and all with different personalities and styles.

As you ponder the process of hiring an officiant for your Northwest wedding ceremony, I invite you to consider the following tips as you make your best choice/selection.

Find an officiant who inspires and excites you.

The Seattle area hosts thousands of weddings each year and there are hundreds of officiants of all faiths and traditions.

Knowing you have a choice, be selective about who creates and delivers your wedding ceremony. Do your research, make a short list of candidates, conduct your interviews and then say “yes” to the person who resonates most deeply with you. For an officiant, the old adage, “you get what you pay for” really applies!

Do not engage an officiant without a contract.

As you select and book your officiant, make sure you have a contract and all of your terms and considerations are in writing. Why?

Each year, it’s not unusual for me to get calls from freaked-out couples who just learned that their officiant “cancelled” on them days or weeks before their wedding day.

In my experience, I’ve found this most often applies to a wedding where considerable travel time is involved and on very popular summer dates. In other words, while an officiant may have you on his/her schedule, they may opt to cancel on you because they receive a more attractive and central invitation which involves no travel.


  • Written by Jennifer Taylor, Taylor’d Events

Congratulations. This is an exciting time for you and your fiancé. Time to start, but where should you start?  Before you go out and interview vendors think about the following:

Wedding Style

What is your wedding style? Will your ceremony take place in a place of worship or will it be at the reception site or at city hall? Will it be very formal or informal? What desired qualities do you want in your wedding? What time of year will your wedding be? Will it be in the morning or evening? How many attendants and guests are you thinking of? What type of reception will you have? Will it be Champagne brunch, a tea or a sit-down dinner? These are all questions you need to ask yourself and your groom.


Now down to the brass tacks, here. You cannot do anything until you sit down together, and your families to discuss the following:

1) Who is paying for what

2) If parents are helping, ask to commit to an exact amount

3) Use your budget guideline to help give you an idea of how much a wedding costs (example food and beverage should be 50 percent of your budget)

4)    Set your top three priority categories

5)    Estimate how much you will need to save by the time the final bills are due

6)    Think about setting up automatic payroll deductions into a money-market account

7)    If possible sign up for a low-interest credit card that earns points or miles and use that card for all wedding purchase and use the points or miles for the honeymoon!

Once you have tackled these two topics then go forth and start interviewing locations.

Avoid These Costly Wedding Planning Mistakes Before You Say ‘I Do’ Survival tips for do-it-yourself brides and grooms from a wedding planning pro

  • Written by Jennifer Taylor, Taylor’d Events
It isn’t easy planning a wedding, especially when you’ve never ordered a cake for 250 people or booked a cover band. Many couples, like Crystal and Jeff Fry, do not have a lot of extra time to call vendors and shop around for the best deals. Desperate for help managing all of the logistics and costs – and hoping to save a little energy for their honeymoon – Crystal and Jeff decided to hire a wedding planner.

What used to be a luxury service only celebrities and elite couples could afford is now becoming the norm for the more than 2 million couples expected to tie the knot in 2009. The Frys’ wedding was at Bear Creek Country Club in Woodinville on July 18, 2009, and Crystal says she wouldn’t have been ready to walk down the aisle without the help of her consultant, Jennifer Taylor.

“Since I’ve never been married before, I just assumed I needed to buy everything for my wedding like centerpiece vases for the reception, but Jennifer showed me that I can actually rent some of these things for far less money,” said 32-year-old Crystal Fry.  “Her tips and advice like this saved me quite a bit of money!”

Avoid costly mistakes: here are some survival tips for do-it-yourself brides and grooms.

According to, the average cost for a wedding is around $20,000. Taylor sees a growing number of couples who try to keep costs down by planning their own weddings. But if you haven’t planned a wedding before, you can make costly mistakes. To help do-it-yourself (DIY) couples plan an affordable and memorable wedding, Taylor designed a number of special bridal services.

Here are three of the biggest mistakes Taylor sees couple’s make and her tips for DIY wedding planning:

1. Not being organized: “This is where I see people wasting the most money and time,” said Taylor. “Paying attention to the details up front is the secret to having your wedding go smoothly. Your planning will pay off in peace of mind – and pocketbook.”

2. Don’t minimize memories: “One of the biggest mistakes I see couples making is cutting back on the things that matter most, like photographs. I always tell my clients to think about what their priorities are; you don’t want to scrimp on making memories.  If you want a great photographer, but they are out of your budget, hire them for the hours you can afford.”

3. Not asking before the big day. “Even though people have access to the Internet these days, I still find that everyone from the groom, to the Maid of Honor, to the mother of the ring bearer has questions. This can result in painful and costly mistakes.Don’t be afraid to ask a professional. I provide many different offerings for all kinds of budgets. A couple of great options would be two hours of planning for $125 or ‘The Wedding Information Desk.’  Think of me as your wedding help desk. For $200 anyone in the wedding party can email me questions that they have about their upcoming wedding.”

15 points of what a wedding planner does for the bride on her wedding day

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Submitted by Jennifer Taylor, Taylor’d Events

1.    Peace of mind – 911 kit, knowing that you have worked through everything before the wedding

2.    If hair and makeup is coming to her, call to confirm they are on time

3.    Check in with the bridal party to make sure everyone is OK and that they have food and beverages

4.    Make sure all vendors are arriving on time and call if they are late

5.    Check in with the groom and groomsmen. Make sure the tuxes are correct, if not then go to the tux shop and pick up the correct pieces

6.    Set up favors, menu cards, etc…

7.    Set up place cards

8.    Set up anything needed for the ceremony (programs, unity candle, etc.)

9.    Line everyone up for the processional

10.    Help move any ceremony floral to the reception

11.    Be the go-between the facility and caterer

12.    If anything goes wrong, work the team of vendors to fix it and keep the bride thinking everything is going just fine

13.    Pack up presents and keepsakes in the designated car

14.    If needed, take anything that needs to be returned (cake items, linens, etc.)

15.    Peace of mind – knowing that everything you brought for the wedding is packed back up and with a family member


  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff
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