Meeting With Your Wedding Officiant

1 Sep

It might be your childhood Preacher or the church’s Priest. It may be a family friend who became ordained online, or someone who performed a friend’s ceremony. Couples have many different ways to find the person who is going to perform their wedding ceremony, but no matter who it is… the officiant sets the tone for your wedding so do your homework to make sure it’s a ceremony you’ll love.

When you meet with your officiant to start planning your wedding ceremony, the length is going to be a main concern. What is the perfect amount of time for a ceremony? Try to shoot for a 20 to 35 minute-long ceremony, which will allow you to complete your vows, readings, and a short sermon. According to a poll by, 70 percent of engaged couples planned on a 30-minute ceremony, 20 percent aimed for an hour, and 10 percent weren’t sure.

 Keep Reading for Topics You Must Discuss With Your Wedding Officiant:

1. The ceremony

Find out if the officiant will marry you if you write your own vows and design your own ceremony, and if he or she can help―suggesting readings, music, and so on. Make sure the officiant will perform an interfaith wedding (if needed) or will allow photography or videography. Ask about all the particulars that apply to your case. Get a feel for the officiant’s manner, tone of voice, and spiritual nature.

2. Experience

You will want to know how many weddings this person has performed, especially weddings like yours. Ask for referrals from satisfied customers.

3.  Flexibility

Find out if the officiant is willing to travel to your venue. Also make sure that the officiant has a contingency plan in case he or she cannot make it.

4. Credentials

Ensure that the officiant is licensed or registered to perform a wedding in your state by contacting the city clerk. You can also ask the officiant which seminary he or she was ordained through, then contact that seminary. You don’t want to discover that your marriage is not legal.

5. Meetings

Do you want an officiant who will consult with you or simply show up to perform the ceremony? Most couples want the officiant to run the rehearsal. Is he or she available by phone or e-mail if you have questions? Some members of the clergy require couples to have counseling before they will marry them. If that’s the case, make sure you are given a clear schedule that isn’t overwhelming.

6. Cost

Know exactly what you will be paying for. Talk about deposits and types of payment, as well as cancellation and refund policies. Are there fees for traveling out of town, which include transportation costs, hotels and meals, and costs of (commuting) time? The wedding officiant is the person who typically must fill out the wedding certificate and send it in, so it is good to confirm that your officiant will do this as well.

7. Reception

Be sure to plan for an extra meal if the officiant agrees to attend.


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