Questions To Ask When Looking For A Wedding Officiant

by Rabbi Melinda Bernstein

Choosing an officiant is one of the most important steps in the wedding planning process, especially if you’re not affiliated with a religious organization. Here's a list of questions and suggestions to make it easier for you.

  • Do you have any restrictions on the type of ceremony or requirements to officiate my wedding? (Some ministers or officiants will only do a "traditional" wedding.)
  • Are you available for my wedding date and location of ceremony?
  • What is your fee? Are there any extra fees for mileage, extra ceremonies, attending the rehearsal, etc.?
  • How will you be dressed?
  • How long is the ceremony?
  • Do you attend the rehearsal?
  • Can I have readers besides the officiant?
  • Can we meet with you in person before the ceremony?
  • Do you offer any flexibility within the ceremony format to meet the individual needs of the couple?
  • Are you supportive of interfaith, secular and same-sex marriages (if applicable) and if so is there ceremony format gender neutral?
  • Are there opportunities for friends or family members to participate in the ceremony to add a personal touch?
  • Do you accept credit cards?
  • Do you offer any guidance on how to apply for marriage license including providing assistance and how to expedite the process of obtaining a certified copy of the marriage certificate?
  • Can you provide reviews or videos on their web presence so we can see your work.
  • Do you offer pre-marital counseling?
  • Can you handle a complicated family situation? (if applicable)
  • Can we write our own vows?
  • Can we be creative and have a theme wedding (if applicable)?
  • When I need to reach you, how do I contact you and if I don’t reach you right away then how soon can I expect you to respond?

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