TC in Apopka, FL: I see you in a lot of different outfits on your website. How do you decide what to wear to a wedding?
Rev. Fuller: I prefer the couple decide whether they would like me to wear secular clothing or ministerial vestments. For secular attire, I usually wear a simple dress or a suit. For vestments, I have robes in a variety of colors or a grey cassock. The cassock is quite heavy, so I only use that for winter weddings or indoor ceremonies with a fully functioning A/C.
It depends upon what the couple wants for the look and feel of their ceremony. Once they make that decision, I choose something appropriate to the formality of the occasion and the weather. I tend to wear something black or grey so I do not clash with the wedding party. It's about blending in and not drawing attention to myself.
AR in Springfield, IL: I saw an article you wrote at WedPlan.net and was wondering what exactly you meant by "independent officiant."
Rev. Fuller: Many people associate marriage ceremonies with either a religious wedding or a trip to the courthouse, so clergy and clerks of the court routinely come to mind as officiants. These individuals can be limited regarding whom they are permitted to marry. For example, members of the clergy in many denominations may only preside at weddings within their own faith tradition.
Independent officiants can serve a broader range of people because they are not responsible to a denominational or judicial authority. They must possess the legal authority to solemnize marriage within their state, but are generally free to work with anyone they so choose. Clergy whose denominations do not restrict their ability to officiate weddings and actively provide these services to non-members (like me) would be considered independent officiants when in that role.
Most areas of the U.S. have plenty of independent officiants. This is great news for couples who are not being married in a house of worship, but prefer the traditional social wedding rather than a trip to the courthouse. On the other hand, because many independent officiants are not held accountable by an organizational structure, couples should take care when choosing their officiant. Interview several and get references!
Rev. Ann Fuller
The commentary on this blog is my own opinion developed over years of officiating a wide range of wedding sizes and styles. I am always happy to answer any questions you may have.