Choosing an Officiant

Whether you're looking for a religious or non-denominational ceremony, choosing the right officiant is a crucial part of your wedding day- after all, they are the one that is actually marrying you. Here are a few things to keep in mind when making the big decisions. 

Do Your Research: Be sure to do your research first. Ask friends and family and look up reviews of the officiant online. Has anyone you know used this officiant before? What do other brides and grooms have to say about them? 

Meet Up: Meet them in person first before making your decision so you can tell if their personality and vision of your ceremony matches yours. Will they be straightforward and traditional or do they include stories about your relationship and engage your guests at the ceremony?
Sherrie and Howard's Wedding
Photo courtesy of Scott Lewis Images
Availability: Assure they are available not only on the day of your wedding but also for your rehearsal. Though you are not required, you may want to extend the invitation to them for your rehearsal dinner and maybe even your reception, especially if you know the officiant personally. 

Review Role: Review their role and if they will be helpful in choosing readings, songs, or other elements, or if they take a backseat role and let you choose. Either way make sure your plan and their plan for the ceremony is aligned. 

Cost: Though most officiants may charge anywhere from $100-$300, many churches or synagogues often also take donations to the church. Make sure you take these costs into consideration and know that it doesn't always come with the church or synagogue. 
Amy and Sean's Wedding
Photo courtesy of Leave It To Me Photography
Who Can Marry You: If you're looking for a traditional religious ceremony, you will probably choose a priest, minister, or rabbi- depending on your religion. But if you're leaning towards a non-denominational ceremony, you still have many options! Judges, Justices of the Peace, Mayors, and Governors, are all allowed to officiate weddings. Check out your states website to find out exactly who is allowed to marry you in your state. 

If you want to make it more personal, you also have the option of having a family member or friend get ordained and perform your ceremony. In just a few days, you can become ordained by the Universal Life Church. Not only do they accredit your ordainment, you can also order all of the essential elements you might need from their website, including an ordination certificate, marriage certificate, examples of ceremony passages, and more. 

One thing's for sure, if you choose Proud to Plan as your wedding coordinator, you'll be assured that there will always be an officiant onsite, as all of our planners are ordained. You never know when traffic or family emergencies might hit and you'll feel comfortable knowing that we are always ready!


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