How to Pick a Great Wedding Officiant
While browsing through wedding officiants may not be the most talked about or glamorous decision to make during the wedding planning process, it’s crucial to the ceremony. Let’s be honest, there’s no ceremony without an officiant. Unless you’re absolutely certain about your officiant, finding the best person to perform the ceremony can be difficult, especially if you’re getting married in an unfamiliar area where you may not have a strong connection with a religious leader or judge. If you’re having trouble finding someone, don’t worry! We’re here to help.
First and foremost, check the laws! Find out if the state (or country) you’re getting married in has any restrictions on who can and can’t marry you. Check out our marriage laws by state to see what your state requires. From there, your officiant search can begin. For non-religious couples, here are some tips for choosing a non-religious officiant!
Ask for Officiant Advice
When you’re finally ready to start your search, ask around. People are always willing to give wedding planning advice. You can even chat with other couples in our wedding forums. To find local officiants using WeddingWire, just select ‘officiant’ from the middle column in the drop down menu on the homepage and enter your wedding destination city and state OR zip code. You can read reviews from real couples who have used the officiant before.
When looking at wedding officiants, whether they are a religious figure or not, it is paramount to meet them in person before booking. It’s important that you and your fiancé(e) feel comfortable around them, and for them to get a sense of the two of you as a couple. It’s not uncommon for a wedding officiant to have several “counseling” sessions to get to know the couple better before the ceremony.
Questions to Ask Your Wedding Officiant
It’s during this face-to-face time we suggest asking any and all questions you have concerning their part in your wedding. Here are a couple of our suggestions: Are you available for our wedding day and location? What is the best way to contact you and how soon should I expect a response? What do you charge and how is that price broken down? Is there any kind of flexibility with the format of the ceremony? Can other people (family and friends) speak during the ceremony? Can you work within our theme? Will you be attending the rehearsal? How will you be dressed during the ceremony? Do you have a traditional template for each ceremony or can we add our own personality? You can also ask if they have any video from weddings they have officiated before. This would also be a good time to ask about their history and experience. Wedding officiants aren’t just there to preside over the ceremony, they can give advice on how and when to apply for your marriage license, suggest readings for the ceremony, and help answer any questions you might have about the process.
Whether you’re looking for someone to talk at length about the commitment you are making, or someone who will keep their speeches short and sweet, the ceremony is the whole reason everyone has come together. While planning the reception holds a great deal of excitement, finding the right wedding officiant will make the most important part of the wedding, your ceremony, all the more special.
Last but not least, don’t forget to have your officiant sign your marriage license at the end of the day!