Comparing Shaman and Quickie Officiant Styles

Shaman or Quickie Officiant

Are you a Shaman or a Quickie Officiant?

Do you know what style of Officiant you want to be?

While there are shades of grey in between the two types of Officiants, in order to be found by the kind of clients / couples you want, you need a good picture in your head of who you’re serving.

I have a primary type, and occasionally I bend and get involved with ones who aren’t my ideal client. I’m a Shaman Officiant but I’ll do last minute Quickie ceremonies if the couple lets me add more meat.

Here’s the two types of Officiants as I see them:

The Quickie Officiant

An extension of a Justice of the Peace. The Quickie Officiant does shorter weddings for a minimum fee. His or her ceremonies are primarily out of a book they purchased from the online ordination service. The Quickie Officiant is primarily concerned with the number of weddings he or she can do in a day without as much regard to the content and movement of the wedding ceremony. They delight in drive-through weddings, last minute bookings, and love crazy theme weddings.

The Shaman Officiant

This Officiant is a creative personality. S/He has researched options and has compiled resources to help him or her put together the most stunning, inspiring ceremony possible. They may love theme weddings like Zombie or Star Wars, but they’re as happy to be part of a contemporary ceremony as they are a traditional ceremony.

So where do you fall in this spectrum?

One isn’t better than the other. What matters is how you see yourself. Because the people who need what you have to offer are looking for you. Are there common traits that go with being either a Quickie or a Shaman style Officiant? Let’s see…

A Few Pros and Cons of Being A Quickie Style Officiant

There a couples who only want a quickie wedding. Being reminded of the joys and responsibilities of marriage don’t matter to them. So your role as the Officiant is not as involved.

You have to depend on volume and probably more marketing because your fees are lower and you have to do more ceremonies to make enough money to live on.

Your couples may love each other dearly and be together forever. They want a simple, “I Do” and done wedding ceremony so they can be on with the joys and transformations of being married. They’re a no fuss, no muss couple.

OR — the couple has no depth. They don’t really care if their marriage succeeds or fails. At least consciously.

You can usually arrive at your wedding when it begins because you probably won’t have many set ups for special ceremonies. If you’re late it’s more than likely not a big deal.

The vows you offer your couple or that they usually bring to the table are traditional.

Your ceremony, exchange of rings and vows and pronouncement is usually over in 5 minutes at the least, 10 minutes at the most.

Pros and Cons of Being A Shaman Officiant type

Your couples tend to be more involved in creating their ceremony. They know the wedding ceremony ritual is an important statement and a community event.

You have a role to play because you realize you’re stepping into a role typically prescribed to men and who have a religious organization or tradition behind them. You are your own unique acceptance or twist on this role.

As a Shaman Officiant you investigate and care more deeply about your relationship with the couple, and may in fact, be a friend or family member.

Have to arrive early to a ceremony site to make sure more elements are set up correctly so they come off without a hitch or few hitches shall I say, during the live ceremony.

You take your time preparing a couple’s ceremony. That’s the good news. The bad news is it takes much more time to prepare a ceremony.

Your wedding ritual typically lasts from 15 to 30 minutes.

Your fee is much higher than the Quickie Officiant’s due to the greater prep time and delivery.

You truly want your couples to be sent off into their happily-ever-after by a really great ceremony.

You depend on referrals, more content marketing and networks, and good reviews to earn your living as a Shaman Officiant.

Tools  to Succeed as either a Shaman or Quickie Style Officiant

So, what kind of Officiant are you? What tools do you need to take on your job to the best of your ability?

Remember to check out the Ready, Willing and Able Officiant Prep Program to see how it can meet your style, and your needs.

Being an Officiant is a wonderful profession. Enjoy it no matter what your style is. And know I believe in you!

I look forward to seeing you the first one to walk down the aisle!

Rev Crystal Y

For information on our new officiant prep online courses, fill out our simple Contact Us form. We’d love to hear from you!

The Problems with Being Humble

Henry Ford was not humble but About

Whether you come from a religious background or not, you’ve been confronted with the concept of being humble. It’s highly likely, if you asserted yourself in the company of very religious people, you’ve been accused of being self-promoting, and you should humble yourself. In other words, back off, calm down and get a grip on how lowly you really are.

Grab that Dictionary

Dictionary.com defines humble  this way: “Having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience. Low in rank, importance, status, quality.

For the non-religious, just to get you up to speed, Jesus supposedly said, in Matthew 23:12, “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” The traditional interpretation of this passage has been that somehow, if you stand up for yourself or acknowledge what you might be good at, you’re going to get some bad karma, you’ll be “abased”.

If you belittle yourself, at some point you’ll be exalted in rank or character. Your ship is more likely to come in if you don’t think much of yourself. Or go for your dreams.

How’s that workin’ for us?

This understanding of scripture has been used to get people to conform to a weak sense of self and purpose, to acquiesce to other’s wishes. Others, who by the way, are being anything but humble by telling another person THEY should be humble.

Warm Up Your Engine and Drive!

We all have gifts and talents, especially if we have others around us who encourages us to use them. (Like I do in my Ready, Willing and Able Officiant Prep course :-)) It’s in our nature to use our gifts as much as it’s natural to rev the engine of that new Mustang convertible we’re going to test drive.  We’re going to explore and expand these talents, take ’em for ride and see how they do in life.

Or to quote something else Jesus is supposed to have said, (and I paraphrase a bit), “Let your engine warm up and drive, don’t hide it in the garage.” Matthew 5:16.

Too many people, especially if there’s a profession or goal related to religion or spirituality (such as being an Officiant), we may get this unconscious hit that to believe we’re good at something, and promote it, there’s something wrong with us. That in fact, bad stuff is gonna happen.

Back to the Self-Esteem Issue

People may walk around with this terrible sense of self-esteem thinking that believing in their gifts, their talents, AND charging appropriately for them is somehow going to get them in hot water. (Case in point-Officiants who charge so little for their services. Maybe that’s because officiating is still connected to religious beliefs we should be doing everything for free because God’s gonna take care of us. Well God will take care of us by inspiring us what to fee to charge. But that’s a whole other article to write!) Because NOT thinking much of yourself is what’s really going to keep at bay that ship you want to come in.

Making a List and Folding it Twice

Here’s a way this misunderstanding of humble shows its ugly face. It’s so much easier for most of us to name the things that are wrong with us than it is to list the things that are great about our self. Go ahead, right now make a 2-column list on an folded 8×11 sheet of paper. Take 5 minutes. Write down things that are good about yourself and things you need to fix about yourself. Go ahead, do it. Now which list is longer?

I rest my case.

I’ve been proficient at naming what’s wrong with me and how I’ve screwed up. I wish it weren’t true but ask my friends. I’m very practiced at being critical of myself.  I know I’m not alone in this proficiency. HOWEVER I AM getting better at believing in myself.  I’m living proof of the results of being one’s own worst enemy. Stagnation. Reluctance. Suffering from the disease of people pleasing.

Heck — I may have stood up in front of anywhere from 50 -500 people  and delivered a great talk. And what trap could I fall into? I’d focus on the few people who didn’t seem to pay attention, or who didn’t accept my premise. Who was I to think I had anything to offer?

Better back down and get back to being a nobody with nothing to say. Someone or some miracle will happen to save me someday!

“By this premise, I should be riding high on the hog because I’ve certainly “humbled” myself often enough.”

Reality Check

Reality check: What I / we / us focus on grows. The more I coulda woulda shoulda myself, the greater momentum is generated to prove over and over what’s wrong with me. “What you fear comes upon you,” it says somewhere in the Bible. What we repeat over and over, focus on and live inside of grows in magnitude, whether it’s self-appreciation or depreciation.

We gotta stop that crap of making ourself small when we really are naturally big. Created in the image and likeness of goodness it’s been said in some alternative spiritual circles. Believe in yourself. In your abilities. In promoting and offering the world your unique talents and skills. You know, let your engine rev!

Try This Humble On For Size

I’d like to suggest a new meaning for the word humble. Try this on for size.

To be humble is to be open. So rather than having these preconceived ideas about ourself, if we go back to basics, we become open to our self and the possibilities for goodness without prejudice. If we’re open from the standpoint of beginning again we are more likely to see from a new perspective.

We become elevated because we have no where to go but up!

Rewrite of an Old Teaching

Here’s the rewrite of that scripture: “And whosoever thinks they’ve got it all figured out is going to miss out. But if you’re open, you’ll see from a new perspective that can show you a whole other world of wonder.”

Much better definition, don’t you think?

So seek to be open, with a sense of wonder and curiosity about life. See yourself in a new light, not a negative light. Give yourself a break.

As an Officiant, if you want to really serve your couples — if you want to stand out in the crowd of so many online ordained officiants who may have little or no respect for the responsibility of ordination, you have to know what’s good and unique about you and your talents. You have to be the new humble — know and promote what’s good and unique about yourself and how that will make your couple’s wedding day all the better. Because the good that you are is now at THEIR service.

Check out the wonders that are within you and let those beautiful facets of your character shine. Make that column of good qualities 10 times longer than the negatives. Go on. Do it. And get yourself into the habit of exalting those qualities, rather than those parts of yourself that are “still under construction.”

And I’ll see you being the first one walking down the aisle.

Namaste.

Rev Crystal Y

For information on our new officiant prep online courses, fill out our simple Contact Us form. We’d love to hear from you!

How Not to Get Wedding Referrals

Wedding Referrals from the Homestead Resort

A Fabulous Place

In the area I live, there’s a multi-wedding site venue called The Homestead Resort. It’s a fabulous place to visit whether it’s for a wedding, or is just a weekend romp. For an Officiant, it’s the kind of place you want to get wedding referrals from.

It happens to be 35 miles from where I live.

There’s a two-lane highway there, with two three-lane passing zones in the hills.

Oh. I should mention there’s a big city, Traverse City, to be exact in between where I live and The Homestead. TC has a huge number of festivals and activities going on all summer and fall.

With lots of people from out-of-town visiting. It can take a while to get through town when it’s packed with tourists. And floats. And cars, trucks and bikes.

When I first started officiating, I didn’t know how unpredictable getting to The Homestead on a weekend could be.

A Good Reputation

I was smart enough to know building a good reputation as reliable with the folks who coordinated weddings there was a good idea. They could refer potential wedding couples to me. My first two weddings there went well and everyone involved seemed happy.

One particular sunny Saturday, I started out 50 minutes before the wedding was supposed to start, knowing I was cutting it close. But I was SURE I would make it on time. Pedal to the medal, right?

And you know what’s coming, right? I ran into two — count them — two festivals, more traffic than I could imagine and I missed my turn. I was speeding like a bat outta hell which I don’t like to do.

I was only 5 minutes late. That didn’t seem like too big of a deal to me. Some of my brides and grooms waited 1/2 an hour for their tardy best friend to arrive at their wedding.

I apologized profusely, the wedding went beautifully and I thought I’d redeemed myself.

But the next year I didn’t get any wedding referrals.

I visited the venue before the next season started so I could ask the venue coordinator, what happened? She told me not being on time wasn’t tolerated — no matter what.

Repercussions of Not Being On Time

Why? A late minister means a late start which can mean upset brides and grooms, cold food, melted ice for cocktails and other events having to be started late.

But I loved The Homestead and wanted to get back in their good graces. We agreed that if I arrived consistently to the venue one hour ahead of time, she’d put me back on their referral list.

Which I did. I got back in their good graces. It all worked out. I do more weddings there now than ever.

The point is, you have to get to your wedding on time. You cannot guess what the road conditions are, festivals proceeding with efficiency, traffic being normal (including funerals, and reunion caravans). Being late is stressful on you — isn’t it????

Plan Ahead

So YOU have to make sure you plan ahead, way ahead.

You HAVE to prepare for the worst and keep your cool. More depends on you than you may be aware of. Thanks to technology, we have GPS’s within in easy reach now. Even they aren’t perfect.

I talked about this in the pdf you downloaded a while ago called Seven Easy Fixes to Prevent the Most Common Mistakes New Officiants Make.

A good reputation is worth lots of love, appreciation and thousand’s of dollars. 

You deserve to have everything go well for you as an Officiant.

You deserve to have everything go well for you as an Officiant. My couples give me great joy and I adore the privilege of being the one to lead them in their wedding vows and inspire their guests in my Wedding Address.

Get to the church / beach / venue on time

Call the local Chamber of Commerce. Double check your GPS. Call the venue to see what they know could be a problem around their location. Contact the venue coordinator to see if he or she knows something.

And I’ll see you walking first down the aisle!

Take care,
Rev. Crystal

PS What I mean about walking first down the aisle is an Officiant often walks in first as a signal the ceremony is beginning.

Crystal Yarlott, Officiant

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