How To Choose A Wedding Officiant

Trying to decide on your officiant for the wedding? There are many different types of officiants you can use for a wedding. Below are some helpful ideas to guide you in choosing the wedding officiant that’s right for you. 

The Different Types of Wedding Officiants

Wedding OfficiantReligious Official: Priests, ministers, rabbis, Muslim qadis, and Hindu priests all perform weddings

Ordained Minister: If you want a friend or family member to do the honors, he or she will have to get ordained.

Justice of the Peace or Notary: Appointed on the state level, these officials are authorized to perform civil marriages.

Civil Officiant: In some states, a person can petition for a one-time pass to perform a marriage. Most require the would-be celebrant to take an oath in a local court and pay a small fee.

Questions To Ask Your Potential Officiant:

Once you have decided what kind of officiant you would like to have, contact them and meet with them. When meeting with your potential officiant, it is important that they connect with you and will give you the ceremony you and your fiance are looking for. Keep in mind, while you are trying to decide if the officiant is a good fit for you, the officiant is trying to decide if they are a good fit for you as well.

Here are some questions to ask:

Custock Photography
  1. What is your fee?
  2. How long have you been performing weddings?
  3. Why do you like to do weddings?
  4. Are you willing to customize your ceremony or let us do so?
  5. Can you incorporate X (any special ceremony, unity candle, sand ceremony, etc)?

Questions Your Officiant May Ask:

The officiant may come back with questions of his or her own to get to know the two of you as a couple. Some of the questions are the following:

  1. How did you two meet?
  2. What made you fall in love with each other?
  3. How did you know that you were The One for each other?
  4. What are the values that are important to you in your marriage?
  5. Where do you see your life as a couple in ten years?
Sweetness and Light Photography

By sharing some of these details, the officiant can get a better understanding of the two of you as the couple, as well as personalize your ceremony with special details. Once you and your officiant feel like this would be a good fit, you can start to get into the details of the ceremony.

Keep in mind, a good officiant will not insist on specific requirements and will give you every consideration for your special day. It’s your wedding! Shop around and listen to your gut. If there is someone who is making you uncomfortable, remember you have other options. Lastly, it is great to go with someone you are comfortable with and have a great connection with. Feeling like you and your officiant are on the same page will put your mind at ease and give you one less thing to stress over!

Comments · 2

  1. Thank you for all the tips on how to find a wedding officiant. My friends are getting married soon, and they really want to have someone close to them be their wedding officiant. I’m glad that someone can be ordained to perform the wedding. We will have to see if in our state a person can petition to do their wedding.

    1. Hi Deb,

      My pleasure! What state do your friends live in?


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