Get ready for our next edition of Officiant Q & A! This week we’re sitting down with Vancouver Officiant Jane – who is also known around here as Head Coach, Renaissance Woman and GIF Queen. Find out why Jane believes getting to know your officiant is so important and her most memorable ceremony moments!
When meeting with a couple, what’s the first question you like to ask them?
I don’t ask the same question every time but depending on the situation I might ask if they live around here, how they met, how long they have been engaged – something easy to answer!
What is the best compliment a couple or wedding guest has ever given you?
I don’t know if this is “the best” but my favourite is, “That was exactly what we were hoping for!”
What is the best part about officiating weddings?
The best part is being able to help couples navigate through such an important moment in their lives and to be the person whom they now trust standing up front with them. It’s sounds like a cliché but it really is an honour.
What’s the most challenging part?
The most challenging is the fact that I can’t just show up to work – I think about the wedding I’m doing at 4pm on a Saturday for most of the day. I feel the weight of it. Although I’m not really nervous anymore, it’s still something that takes a ton of emotional energy and although I love it, it can be challenging to carry that all day, even if you are only “up front” for 25 mins.
What one thing should all couples know before their wedding ceremony?
They should know what their officiant is going to say so that they can feel confident and as comfortable as possible and have fun!
To be nervous, have all your friends and family there, and to walk down the aisle to someone you don’t know or don’t trust is not where I would want to be on my wedding day.
Share your wildest or most memorable wedding moment!
I once had a groom who was so nervous he kind of froze during the ceremony. He could talk, but in order to control his nervousness, he froze up emotionally and barely smiled at all. At the end, the bride threw her arms around me and thanked me for, “Getting them through this because they didn’t know how hard it was going to be for [the groom].” I think they knew he would be nervous, but not that nervous!
I’ve really only almost cried twice – which I know is crazy, but you kind of get used to not crying when everyone else is crying. Once was when a bride was literally on her surgeon-approved day pass from the hospital cancer ward to do a very quick elopement and brunch with her new husband and two friends. That was very raw, emotional and beautiful.
And the other time, was just one of those moments where I took a look at a bride and when I saw the sheer joy and excitement in her eyes as she was staring at the man standing in front of her – I was just taken back. It was so genuine, almost like a kid on Christmas morning. I just about teared up during her vows! The funny thing was the groom planned the whole wedding!
If you were getting married again, what would you want in your wedding ceremony?
I don’t think I would change much about my ceremony but I would hire a different photographer and Adam and Kev for the portrait photobooth!
Why do you think couples should invest in their wedding ceremony?
If a couple wants their story told, they should spend the time needed sharing it with their officiant. It’s true more money doesn’t always mean a better product, but knowing what their officiant is going to say is worth a lot. To be nervous, have all your friends and family there, and to walk down the aisle to someone you don’t know or don’t trust that much is not where I would want to be on my wedding day. Investing in someone that has got to know you, who you feel will responsibly and creatively tell your story the way you want it told, is so important.
Investing in someone that has got to know you, who you feel will responsibly and creatively tell your story the way you want it told, is so important.
What is something people would never guess about you?
I don’t like chocolate (sorry, don’t judge!), I’ve done weddings in four provinces, and two states (including a Las Vegas wedding chapel!), and my dream vacation was a swim tour through the Greek islands and I did it (yes, I swam from one island to the next)!
Who is your dream couple that you’d like to officiate for?
I can’t think of any famous couple but I do think it would be fun to do a top secret wedding somewhere.
What is your favourite wedding movie?
I can barely name a single wedding movie….sorry, next question!
What do you wish for your couples?
My wish for all couples is that they would ask for help when they need it, and know that most couples will need it at some point. Coaching, therapy, chats with other couples, mentors – we all need different things and it’s okay to ask for the help we need!
Big thanks to Jane for taking part in our Officiant Q&A series. Find out more about Jane, and book her as the officiant for your wedding, by visiting her page here and reading her last interview here.
feature image by Erica Miller Photography
questions by Riana Ang-Canning