5 Tips on Choosing Your Wedding Officiant

White chair covers with a pergola on a beach

Your ceremony is what will really transform your wedding into a spectacular day. Because of this, choosing the right officiant can be a really important part of the process. The majority of couples, especially those who don’t have a place where they regularly go to worship, usually plan for everything except the wedding officiant. And while personal referrals or online resources like Decidio, The Knot and Weddingwire can take you a long way in terms of helping you find one, there are many more things that you will want to consider. In this article, we are going to provide you with all of the tips that you will need to successfully choose a wedding officiant.

Finding the Right Officiant

After you have narrowed down your selection or are ready to make your decision, you should always try to meet with your officiant in person to make sure that you are comfortable being around them and vice versa. It will be to your benefit to discuss in advance what you’re looking for in regards to your wedding. Prepare these questions beforehand and see if their answers are what you’re searching for. For example, can they be there for your special day? Do you like their voice? What are they going to wear? Can they easily collaborate with other people? Are they professional, sensitive to your needs, and flexible with your schedule? The reason you want to be asking all of these questions is to weed out the officiants that don’t meet your standards.

Pre-Marital Education

Does the officiant that you are interviewing require you to participate in pre-marital counseling or education? If not, would you still be interested in participating? Even if this isn’t required, pre-marital counseling can really be beneficial for the future of you and your spouse. It will teach you about how to see each other’s strengths as well as weaknesses and how to appreciate the other person for what they are. It is the foundation for a happy marriage and is something that can be provided by a wedding officiant.

Ceremony and Vows

NYMarriages has a great example of personalized wedding vows. Click to view full text.

NYMarriages has a great example of personalized wedding vows. Click to view full text.

Your ceremony should be an expression of who you and your spouse are as a couple. Knowing this, you should choose an officiant that will want to work with you beforehand so that you can accomplish this. They will help you with contemporary readings or religious readings if that is something you’re interested in. They can even help you write your vows and add any special touches to ones you may have already written. Since the ceremony will be the most important aspect of the wedding, you’ll want an officiant that truly understands what you’re looking for as a couple.

Location

Where exactly would you like to be married? Some people like to get married on beaches while others prefer to get married in a church. While it doesn’t really matter where you decide to get married, you do need to make sure that your officiant is registered in the state or country where the ceremony is planning on taking place. This is something that many couples overlook and often results in last-minute backup plans that can require a lot of time and money.

Costs

Lastly, you’ll want to consider all of the costs that may be associated with hiring an officiant. The amount of money that you pay for one will ultimately depend on their services as well as how far they may have to travel. For example, do you want your wedding officiant to be present at the rehearsal? If so then consider this a fee. You should never assume anything about how much they’re going to charge for services until you have heard it directly from them first.  You can find the latest information on what wedding officiates are charging throughout the country (along with other wedding costs) HERE.

Conclusion

Your wedding officiant is going to play a huge role in your ceremony. Because of this, you’ll want to put the most energy into finding one that best suits your needs. Remember, choose someone who is going to be attentive to your desires. A wedding officiant should be an active listener and should encourage your ideas by providing a few of their own. If you follow these tips, your wedding ceremony will be one that you’ll never forget. Is there anything that was missed on the list above, or that couples should focus on when choosing the right officiant?  If you have something to add or would like to discuss, let us know!

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