An Interview with David Cutler, Temecula Wedding Officiant
| 4.5 Minute Read |
The ceremony is often the very first event your guests experience at your wedding so there is a lot of pressure on your officiant. Hiring a seasoned professional ensures your ceremony will be done in an efficient and flawless manner. David Cutler is one of my absolute favorite wedding officiants to work with and always does an amazing job at personalizing each ceremony while executing it in the most natural way as if it truly was a friend standing up there with you (minus the nervousness, missed cues and inappropriate jokes of course)!
What does a wedding officiant do?
In simple terms, I make it legal! Lol but seriously, there’s so much more than that. As a professional wedding officiant, I specialize in custom, personalized ceremonies that not only tell each couple’s story but also highlight some of the great things about their relationship. But how do you do this with a couple that you just met and barely know? Of course, since I likely don’t already have a long-term history with each couple, I’ve got some catching up to do! So I plan a 90-minute details meeting with every couple where we spend time talking about THEM. How they met, why they fell in love, and what life has been like together up to this point. I take notes of course, and then use those notes to personalize their ceremony.
Meeting with each couple and learning about them in person allows me to build a relationship with them so that on the wedding day they are standing up there with someone who they can call a friend and not just an officiant that they have had a few phone calls and/or emails with.
One of the easier things to recognize when I meet with couples for the first time is that they don’t really know what to expect, or what questions to ask. And why should they? They don’t get married every weekend, and likely they have never planned a wedding before. So the first thing that I do is walk them through my process, step by step, so that they can feel comfortable making a decision.
How did you become a wedding officiant?
18 years ago my roommate and I thought it would be fun to become online ministers together. We were in college and it was more of a joke than anything else. As well, we worked together at the same restaurant and while bragging at work about our new titles, one of my other co-workers asked if we could perform weddings. Without thinking I answered, “Of course we can!” And then she said the 7 words that would eventually change my life: “Would you marry my fiance and I?” 4 months later I was standing at the wedding altar with a ceremony in my hands, completely nervous, yet calm at the same time. Long story short, it went well, and from that point on friends, co-workers, and even family members began asking me to perform ceremonies. A few years later I was able to quit my “day job” and now I have the best job in the world!
And then she said the 7 words that would eventually change my life: “Would you marry my fiance and I?¨
Why is the officiant important on a wedding day?
The ceremony is the first thing that wedding guests are going to experience on the wedding day. Essentially, I am the opening act! A ceremony can set the tone for the entire celebration. A great ceremony leaves guests feeling excited in anticipation for what more is to come throughout the celebration, while a bad ceremony can leave guests walking away with mixed emotions. This is why the ceremony planning process, which happens on the 3-6 months prior to the wedding, is so crucial. Over the years I have made every mistake in the book. But because of that, it has helped me to identify some of the most important and overlooked questions that need to be asked in advance to ensure that couples are truly getting a perfect ceremony, that matches their expectation and vision for one of the most important and significant days in their lives.
Do you have any favorite venues you love to work at?
I am incredibly blessed to live and work in Temecula, with many amazing venues that know how to do weddings so well. From the panoramic views of Mount Palomar Winery to the romantic and breathtaking Stone House at Temecula Creek Inn, or the fire features on the water at Lake Oak Meadows, there really is something for everyone. I love them all!
When should Couples book their wedding officiant?
This question varies depending on each couple’s preferences, but the officiants who are well-known and highly rated typically are booking dates at least 1 year in advance. You can probably still find a great officiant in the 6-month mark, but I would not wait much longer than that. Your officiant will need several months of planning with you and your fiance to help create a ceremony that truly captures your relationship.
How much does a wedding officiant cost?
According to The Knot, fees for experienced officiants range from $500 to $800. Some officiants will charge an all-inclusive fee, while others may provide services a-la-carte such as custom ceremony scripts, premarital counseling and/or a rehearsal. Always discuss pricing upfront before signing a contract so that there aren’t any surprised down the road. Most officiants will also ask for a percentage of the fee up-front as a retainer.
Considering a professional wedding officiant? You can connect with David Cutler on his website, Your Perfect Ceremony.
Photography: The Studio by Leah Marie
Venue: Callaway Winery
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