Finding just the right person to marry you is a crucial decision. The type of service and the way it is performed can make the ceremony that much more meaningful. If you regularly attend a house of worship or plan to marry in a house of worship, your first inquiry should be there. If you are marrying elsewhere, you have many options for finding just the right officiant to perform your service.
Finding an Officiant
If I am not marrying in a house of worship, how do I find an officiant? You can find an officiant who will marry you in the location of your choosing quite easily. Just as when you look to hire other vendors, consult friends, a wedding planner, the Internet, or a local bridal magazine/guide for leads on officiants.
If you attend a house of worship, you can ask that officiant if he will perform the ceremony elsewhere; he may or may not, depending on religious requirements.
Working with an Officiant
How much do I pay or tip my officiant? If you are marrying in a house of worship, there is typically a donation involved and other set fees for services, such as those of the venue coordinator, musicians, and other personnel related to the venue. If you are hiring an officiant, the fees will vary based on a number of factors, including location and type of service.
Questions to Ask the Officiant
How do I know if I am hiring the right officiant? Ask the officiant some important questions to determine if this person is right for your wedding.
Is premarital counseling required?
How do you charge for your services? Do you require a deposit to hold the date?
Do you have sample ceremonies we can work from?
How much personalization is allowed in the ceremony?
May we write our own vows?
What restrictions are there on photography or videography during the ceremony?
How long do your ceremonies typically last?
Are readings or solos allowed?
Will participation from another clergy be allowed?
What is your attire on the wedding day?
Are there any other rules we should know about?
Are you available for the rehearsal? If so, will you assist in conducting the rehearsal?
What is the cost for the use of the facility? Does this include the coordinator?
What is available to use in terms of aisle runners, altar/pew decorations, and musical talent?
What is the policy for bringing in our own musicians?
Will a receiving line be allowed at the facility?
Are there other events scheduled for that day? If so, how much time will we have for setting up and decorating?
If you are marrying at a house of worship, you will most likely be working with the site coordinator. This person, often a volunteer, has typically overseen numerous weddings and events at her particular location and knows it inside and out. She should be able to answer your questions and concerns and provide you with guidance.