The role of an officiant is a vital part of any wedding. This individual will not only officiate your wedding ceremony. But will also work with you in the months preceding your wedding to prepare you for the wedding bells to sound. Additionally, your officiant handles all the documentation so that your marriage is lawful.

Don’t know who to ask to lead your vows? Take these ideas from these eight incredible people who can officiate your wedding.

From the types of officiants to how to hire them, here’s a complete guide to help you find the right officiant.

In this article:

Who is a Wedding Officiant?

A wedding officiant is a person who conducts a marriage ceremony. But that’s a part of what they do. An officiant teams up with the couple in the months leading up to the wedding. They focus on crafting the ceremony with unique vows, readings, music choices, and more.

The Different Types of Wedding Officiants

The kind of ceremony you choose goes a long way to determine who your wedding officiant should be. Here’s a list of the various secular and religious wedding officiants.

Civil Officiants

You can hire a judge or justice of the peace if all you want to do is get married and make it official. Check with the city clerk’s office to learn more about your options.

Consider these factors:

Consider this choice if you’re getting married abroad or by a celebrant who isn’t permitted to do it in your area. Before your wedding reception, a judge of the peace will perform a short, private ceremony. This is to ensure that your wedding is legal in your state.

Religious Officiants

Choosing a religious leader like a priest or rabbi is an option. Especially if you tend toward a more conventional religious ceremony. This can be a new person at your present place of worship or someone you’ve known since you were a kid.

Consider these factors:

Be mindful of any limitations imposed by your particular house of worship. You may need to go through premarital counseling or follow specific rules. Which could have an effect on the conduct of your wedding.

Professional Officiants

This choice is the best for couples who prefer a secular or spiritual ceremony rather than a religious one. Professional officiants, also known as celebrants, are certified and seasoned individuals hired to officiate your marriage ceremony.

Consider these factors:

These wedding officiants can guide you while you compose and rehearse your vows. Also, they’ll give you the freedom to include whatever rituals or readings you choose in the ceremony.

Family Member Or Friends

The practice of having a close friend or member of your family officiate your wedding and becoming ordained to do so is becoming more popular. Having a loved one present on your wedding day adds to its specialness and significance.

Consider these factors:

If you go with this option, make sure to check your state’s laws and regulations. Find out if they let someone who obtained an online ordination officiate a wedding.

what is wedding officiant
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk

Tips for Finding a Wedding Officiant

Not sure where to start looking for the perfect wedding officiant for your ceremony? Here are a few practical tips for finding and choosing the ideal person:

  • Choose whether you want a religious or secular officiant.
  • Ask the other wedding planners.
  • Ask friends and close relatives who recently got married.
  • Reach out to your place of worship.
  • Ask city, town, or village halls whether they have judges or justices of the peace to officiate.
  • You could ask someone close to you to get ordained and officiate your wedding.

The Cost of a Wedding Officiant

Given the wide range of wedding officiant charges, it is hard to state an accurate figure. The price of a wedding officiant varies depending on many factors. This includes the ceremony’s length, the couple’s preferences, and the number of guests.

Religious leaders offer to officiate a ceremony without charge. However, they may tell you to give a gift to the church or a charitable organization instead. In general, friends and relatives don’t charge for their services either. But, the couple could choose to buy them a gift as a sign of appreciation.

Who Can Officiate a Wedding?

Only those who have gained state approval are eligible to conduct legal marriages. The officiant must follow all the rules for the wedding venue because they differ for each state. To learn everything you need to know beforehand, check online or contact your county clerk. Search for an organization that is well-known in all 50 states. And, be certain they receive their official ordination before the wedding day.

Is It Possible to Officiate Your Own Wedding?

The simple answer is yes. Couples who live in some parts of the United States are free to join themselves in front of witnesses. This only happens after they have submitted the required paperwork. For a legal and acknowledged marriage, an officiant is necessary for all other states. Only those who meet your state’s legal requirements may officiate your wedding.

How To Ask Someone To Be Your Wedding Officiant

It is a big deal to ask someone to officiate your wedding. After all, they’ll be in charge of your union. So, you should question them in a kind and courteous manner. Send them a card, a gift, or take them out to eat. Not possible to meet in person? Plan a FaceTime or phone call instead.

What Does Your Wedding Officiant Say At The Ceremony?

As a couple, you get to decide everything the wedding officiant should say about your wedding. After all, it is your wedding. We are familiar with traditional vows, but you can customize your ceremony. Be creative. Use any phrase that resonates with you as a couple or has memories from your time together.

Committing to knowing your officiant is essential if you want a personalized ceremony. To go above and beyond, arrange a meeting so your officiant can completely grasp the bond you two share.

Wedding Officiant Gifts You Should Consider

A gift for your wedding officiant is an excellent way to show gratitude. Usually, officiating a wedding requires a significant time commitment. The officiants craft the ceremony script and devote time to getting to know you and your partner. Along with leading the ceremony, they often attend the rehearsal dinner.

Give them a thoughtful present in appreciation for their time and work. It doesn’t have to be a significant gesture, something little to express gratitude. Our best idea? Get your officiant a unique souvenir from a local store around you to remember the day. Also, ensure to write a sincere thank you note too!