Picking your perfect officiant is a very personal thing: you want someone who will be organised, helpful and supportive. Today’s Local Insider is Reverend Michel Boulanger. Reverend Michel Boulanger has many years experience officiating weddings. Michel shared with us some of his expertise and offered some tips on how to pick the best officiant for your wedding day.
Read his interview below, if you’d like more info on Michel Boulanger.
And don’t miss Michel Boulanger’s wedding work in the gallery!
How long have you been officiating weddings?
Close to 10 years now, I am the director and founder of Le Ministere a Bras Ouverts, which means open arms. In the spirit of inclusiveness, I create original non-denominational meaningful celebrations in French and English.
How far in advance should someone hire an officiant?
If the wedding day is in the high season, it’s better to plan one year ahead to be sure to have the best officiant. If you wait to the last minute, you might end up with an amateur. Unless you want to elope…
What’s one question every couple should ask their officiant?
There are quite a few. I couldn’t narrow it down. Here is my rundown:
How many weddings did he celebrate before, has he been reviewed?
• Can we modify his ceremony, how flexible is he?(avoid one trick ponies!)
• Does he have a valid License to perform wedding?
• What is his fee? Do he require a deposit to secure the date? Does the fee include the rehearsal? Are there any hidden charges?
• Will the ceremony be a religious, non-denominational or secular ceremony?
• Is he familiar with others traditions and faiths ?
• Will he provide a little light-hearted humor if that is what you want?
• If you have children, does he have some creative ideas of ways to include them in the ceremony?
(ex :sand, rings)
• Will he marry you if you are of different faiths?
Describe the most unique wedding you ever had to officiate for?
In Montreal Fine Art Museum in a room designed by the famous architect Moshe Safdie, under an interior chuppah, I’ve married a man of jewish faith with a christian bride from Philippines ; we have included the seven blessings in hebrew, the kiddush, the glass breaking from jewish tradition and the veiling, the cord , the unity candle and the coin showering(arras) from filipino wedding ceremony.
We have invited their children to participate in the family unity sand ceremony. We ended with rice throwing as a sign of fertility and prosperity. The whole ambience was supported by a superb classical female string quartet.
Everything was magical!
How much time do you take before the wedding to get to know the couple?
The first meeting may last 1 hour or more, then we stay in touch through e mail and phone calls till we agree on the final draft of the ceremony.
Is there any advice you could give to a couple that is thinking of writing their own vows?
Be spontaneous, open your heart, it will move your guests. Don’t be shy of your emotions, be candid but don’t overdo. Mixing memories and reflections on your couple with a twist of humor is a winning formula. Write your personal promises on a card to make sure that you don’t forget a line.
What’s your favourite part about being an officiant?
It is the privilege to consecrate true love.
It is feeling the High energy in the room with the silent walk of the bride and the first moment the couple set eyes on one another on the altar. It is travelling in the highest spheres of love to give strength to the wedding ritual. It is also to bring the friends and family to realize that they are the roots of the couple and that by their joy, their unconditionnal love and their light, they become a part of the happiness and of the success of the husband and the wife-to-be.
Uniting hands and heart, friends and families, lives : that’s is my vocation!
Wedding blogger obsessed with dogs, the colour purple and anything polka dots!