The role of the Marriage Officer, also known as a Wedding Officer has changed dramatically in the last 5-10 years.
500 Years ago a village of a few hundred people existed with one church. The local minister, pastor or priest christened you, married you and buried you. He knew the family and all its history. Even 20 years ago just about everyone knew a minister and though attendance at church might have been a little lacking he was still there to marry you when the time came.
However a very modern world has changed all of that. As with every other aspect of the wedding industry the issue is choice. You have so much choice today in venue, theme, flowers, photographers and on and on. So why not the ceremony?
One of the greatest features of a fully democratic society is the realization of diversity and many South Africans are experiencing that first hand. Greeks are marrying Romanians, Jews are marrying Catholics, Zulus are marrying Xhosas, Indians are marrying English.
All of this raises the question of the wedding ceremony. And therein lies the role of the modern marriage officer. What exactly are the responsibilities of a marriage officer and what can you expect for your wedding day?
He (or she) is performing a very intimate function but in most cases today he is not intimately familiar you, your background, your likes and dislikes. He has to be there to facilitate a very important time for you without being patronizing or disinterested. He must offer advice where it is sought, direction where it is needed without losing sight of the fact that he is there to make the ceremony the best possible expression of the day for you. It basically means that you are calling the shots.
He has to be willing and interested in learning the cultures and practices of others and have a desire to see those traditions included in the ceremony. It is a privilege to meet so many different people and play such an important part in their lives.
Often people getting married don’t realize that they have choice in the ceremony but, like with every other aspect of the wedding, you should choose the option that suits your wedding style and believes.