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Choosing a Wedding Officiant

The newest trend in wedding ceremonies seems to be having a friend or family perform the ceremony.  Most of the them choose to become ordained on-line.  I have mixed feelings on this.  I have seen this go well, and have seen this go poorly. 

Not Everyone Can Officiate a Wedding

If a couple decides to go down the road of having a friend perform the ceremony, there are some important ground rules you will want to establish.

  • Tone of your Ceremony - serious or silly, make sure you are on the same page
  • Stick to a Script - ask to read what they plan to say before the big day, no surprises
  • Attire - suits (matching tie to the wedding colors) - for the ladies a dress, that complements the wedding colors
  • Make sure they attend the rehearsal, so they know what is expected
  • Research the paperwork - make sure all the licenses needed are completed
  • Treat them as part of the wedding party
Hiring a Professional

It may be your best option, and in my opinion the least stressful one.  Here are something to consider

Where do you find one?

  • Ask for referrals - family, friends, co-workers
  • The Knot - that is where I found mine!
  • Ceremony Site - they will typically have a list of preferred officiants

What to ask them?

  • What is your typical ceremony like?
  • Will you give (or not give) a sermon?
  • Will you allow us to personalize our ceremony?
  • How many times will we meet prior to the wedding?
  • Will you attend the rehearsal?
  • Do you have any references we can call?
Typically, when you are paying an officiant they will let you do pretty much whatever you want to do, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

How much is a Wedding Officiant?

Budget to spend around $200 dollars.  Once you've paid the fee, and I would pay them up front before the date, it is completely acceptable to tip the remaining money you budgeted.  But, just like with having a friend, make sure they understand your vision for your day.

Couple of more things...

  • Invite the officiant and their spouse/significant other to the wedding/reception
  • Make sure to get a picture with them when you are signing the license


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