As a Wedding Officiant, what professional standards are you expected to comply with? Is there a certain level of ethics you must meet in your day-to-day work?
For these questions, we look to the Code of Ethics and Professionalism established by the Celebrant Association International.
According to the association, the code was created “to uphold the highest level of service and professionalism … while promoting freedom of choice in ceremonies and promoting the values of the Celebrant movement.”
In addition to setting and maintaining a professional standard of service to the public for its members, the Code of Ethics includes the following benchmarks:
- To serve each client with respect, sensitivity, and professionalism, and to provide all services in a timely manner.
- To offer every client a personalized ceremony that includes their story as revealed to the Celebrant through interview and questionnaires.
- To ensure that clients have complete choice of and final say over their ceremonies, and that the Celebrant’s personal beliefs are immaterial to this process.
- To encourage clients in choosing and/or approving a ceremony that is satisfying to them.
- To respectfully provide a ceremony that is as accurate as possible in all respects, including the pronunciation of the names of people, places, and things.
- To meet the client for a no-obligation interview to discuss services prior to engagement.
- To provide unlimited consultation to clients while creating their ceremony.
- To conduct a rehearsal where necessary to the ceremony.
- To perform the ceremony in a professional, prepared, and appropriate manner.
- To gift the client/honoree a keepsake copy of their ceremony.
- To provide a service that recognizes the unique personalities of the client, being sensitive to their needs, wishes, values, philosophical and spiritual beliefs, and cultural backgrounds.
- Not to discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, or sexual orientation.
- To comply and keep current with all laws regarding the performance of marriage in every country, state, province, or municipality in which the Celebrant practices, including obtaining the necessary legal authority to solemnize marriages and appropriately filing client marriage documentation as required by law.
The Celebrant Foundation & Institute, which developed this Code of Ethics, also provides advanced life celebrant training for a wide variety of ceremonies and events, including weddings, funerals, baby blessings, coming-of-age, corporate gatherings, and divorce.
For more information on the Celebrant Institute’s courses, please visit their website.
PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of the Celebrant Foundation & Institute.