Find a Wedding Officiant
While searching for the right wedding officiant may not be the most glamorous aspect of the wedding planning process, it's crucial to the ceremony. After all, there's no getting married without an officiant! In that sense, wedding officiants have the most important job of all of your wedding vendors. Unfortunately, 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 not sure how to look for someone to marry you, don't worry. We have all the resources you’ll need to find the right officiant for your special day.
Selecting Your Wedding Officiant
Start researching the marriage laws in the place you’re getting married in. Find out if the state (or country) has any restrictions on who can or can't marry you. (Check out our marriage laws by state information.) From there, your officiant search can begin. You might look into wedding ministers or wedding pastors as options; non-religious couples can check out tips for choosing a non-religious wedding officiant. Be sure to ask around for references. You can even chat with other couples in our online wedding forums.
Make sure you meet any potential marriage officiant in person before booking. You and your partner should feel comfortable around them, and they should get a sense of the two of you as a couple. It's not uncommon for a wedding officiant to request several counseling sessions to get to know the couple better.
Questions to Ask Your Wedding Officiant
During this face-to-face time, we suggest asking any and all questions you have concerning the marriage officiant’s part in your wedding. Some suggestions:
- Are you available for our wedding day and location?
- What is the best way to contact you?
- How much do you charge?
- Is there any 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?
You can even ask if they have any video from weddings they have officiated before. This is also a good time to ask about their history and experience.
Wedding officiants aren't just there to preside over the ceremony. They’ll also advise you on how and when to apply for your marriage license, suggest readings for the ceremony and 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 for someone who will keep their speeches short and sweet, witnessing your marriage commitment 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. Just don't forget to have your officiant sign your marriage license at the end of the day!
If you’re wondering, “How do I find a wedding officiant near me?”, WeddingWire can help. Simply select “wedding officiant” from the vendor section, enter your location information and read reviews from real couples who have used the officiant before. Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials!