Today's Bride

De-stress with an Officiant

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Preparing for your big day can be difficult, but we are here to help — and we’ve called an Officiant expert! So what details could you be overlooking?

What Are You Looking For?

Do you need help figuring out exactly what you need for your big day? Tracy Rhinehart has helpful tips for every soon-to-be bride! As a registered Officiant for over a year and a yoga instructor for 9 years, she is well-versed in the stress that planning a wedding can create.

Every bride has many decisions to make when it comes to their wedding. Two often overlooked ones are who they choose as the Officiant and how to avoid stress. We sat down with Tracy Rhinehart to get some tips for saving your sanity and your day!

What Are The Officiant’s Duties?

Vows

Officiant | B Frohman Imaging & Design | As seen on TodaysBride.com
B Frohman Imaging & Design

Your Officiant should be able to help you out with a few things to make sure your wedding goes smoothly. First, they can help you when the time comes to say your vows to your partner. If you’re writing them yourself, they can guide you in the formatting or give tips on how to make it more personal. If you would rather say the traditional vows, they can help you practice as well! An Officiant can also offer music advice for the ceremony to best suit you and your fiancé.

Schedule

Not only can professional Officiants help you write your vows and choose your readings, music, and unity ceremonies, but they can also help you schedule the entire ceremony. Tracy gets to know the couple and their expectations for their ceremony and then puts together a tentative schedule. She’ll offer suggestions for different ways you could do certain aspects, different arrangements and wordings, and other options.

How Do You Find The Right Officiant?

Legality

Choosing the right Officiant can be stressful, but be sure to choose whatever best suits you! Becoming an ordained minister is fairly easy today, so there are options for officiating your wedding. “In terms of practically, people might prefer that a friend or family member marry them; they might have some emotional connection to that, and that person might do a really great job for you,” says Tracy. “If you use someone that has actually done weddings before and is in the industry, then you get the advantage of someone who is bringing a full menu to you of options and that has a past experience history that lets you know what choices you have, and how you might customize it for yourself.”

Officiant | Tracy Rhinehart | As seen on todaysbride.com

Practice and Experience

When choosing who will marry you, you can also decide on whether or not you need a rehearsal. When asked how necessary a ceremony rehearsal is, Tracy said ” I think that depends a lot on the bride and grooms comfort level. It would depend on the size of the wedding and the type of ceremony they’re having.” Some Officiants may not need one, especially if your wedding is smaller and more intimate. Someone who was just licensed, however, may need to have that rehearsal dinner to make sure their portion runs exactly the way you want it to. No matter who it is, the Officiant should always let you know what they will say beforehand so there are no surprises on your day!


“The ceremony is the heart of the whole experience. It’s something that you really want to have peace in your heart with. So planning something that really reflects who you are and why you care about each other is a priority.”

Tracy Rhinehart


Stressful Times Call For Unstressful Measures

It’s very easy to become overwhelmed with the planning process and find yourself combating stress. This is completely normal and very common, so don’t think you’re alone. There are some great ways to keep your stress in check so you can take on your next task.

Self-Care

Self-care is a huge part of keeping yourself happy and healthy. It’s more than just scheduling a massage, as self-care should be practiced every single day. Getting enough sleep is a big portion of taking care of yourself. “It can be as simple as cutting off the social media and the electronics a half hour earlier than usual so that your body can relax enough to sleep,” Tracy suggests. Your diet can also make a difference on your stress level. “What we eat can make a big impact, so if you eat out of emotion, anxiety, stress, to know that that’s a tendency for you and to plan a walk instead of a snack,” she says.

Mindfulness

Officiant | As seen on TodaysBride.com

Tracy defines mindfulness as “the ability to be in the moment. To be clear of the past and to not anticipate the future so that you can see what’s really going on and make a choice, speak a word, take an action that makes the best sense.” So how do you practice mindfulness? Giving yourself time to breathe is also important to remember. Tracy, a yoga instructor and co-found of Elevate Akron, suggests taking at least 10 minutes to meditate in the morning and get your mind set before taking the day on.

Balance

While balancing so many responsibilities, it’s important for Tracy to “put a moment at the beginning of the day where I can feel myself in my skin, feel my breath in and out, and remember who I am before I go out into the world.” Yoga can also relieve stress by relaxing your body and mind. And one more thing — don’t forget to get some fresh air!


Making decisions for your wedding day and even for your everyday life can be difficult, but the best thing to remember is choosing what works best for you. Your wedding day is all about you, so choose the options that make you happy! Be sure to keep battling the stresses so you can enjoy it, too.  

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