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How To Be An Officiant For A Wedding

Ask The Couple What To Wear

Tips on How to Officiant a Wedding with Jon Hansen

Each wedding is different in terms of style and level of formality. If they say, “wear what you want, think about your attire in the context of your role as the wedding ceremony officiant, not as a wedding guest. Avoid wearing prints and opt for neutral colors. To minimize distractions, make sure your hair won’t blow into your eyes and avoid flashy jewelry or a smartwatch.

Register With The State If Required

Check the state and county statutes where the ceremony is taking place to see if you have to register as the officiant before the ceremony. In most states, you can perform marriage as soon as you are ordained. Still, some will require ministers to register with a government office before the ceremony, which means you may have to send away for specific documentation and credentials. Find a current directory of all the states and their minister registration policies here.

Treat Them Like Any Other Vendor

This means asking for recommendations, reviews and referrals. Have your friends and family been to weddings with an officiant they loved? When you meet with the officiants you are considering, dont be afraid to ask them for testimonials from previous people theyve married. Some may even have video you can watch of them performing a ceremony so you can make sure their style and tone is the right fit.

Others might suggest you attend a ceremony they are performing so you can make sure you like what you see. Bottom line here: Do your research. Would you book a caterer without tasting their food or asking about previous experience? The officiant is just as important.

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Youll Need To Present A Face A Brand To The Public

There are a few ways to do this. Excellent established graphic designers like my friend Joel at Brainstorm Studio or companies like Fiverr will be happy to offer you branding services.

What did I do?

I started noodling around on GraphicsSprings until I hit on a design I liked. I used Coolors for my colour palate. I paid something like $100 bucks for my logo and I go back to it whenever I want to make different variations of it and to save it in the format I need . Squarespace Logo Maker will do this even cheaper.

You dont need to spend $1000 or even $500 on this. You might not even need a logo. Just get a recognizable font and consistent colour scheme wherever your name/brand appears and youre all set.

Finding A Religious Officiant For Your Wedding

Hiring a Wedding Officiant

If you desire a religious wedding and have a house of worship, your choice is relatively straightforward. It is still best to meet with that person to discuss the questions below.

Otherwise, you’ll need to decide first what denomination best fits with your beliefs. Once you’ve done that, contact your local house of worship to ask if their religious rules allow them to marry people in secular settings. You might attend some worship services to get a sense of different officiants’ styles, then meet with them to make sure that they are available on your date, and amenable to the type of wedding you envision. Like any important job, don’t just give it to the first interviewee. Talk to a couple of different people and choose the one that you are the most comfortable with.

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Why Choose Your Own Officiant

Lots of couples are warming to the idea of a family member or friend officiating their wedding. This is especially true for secular couples or those looking for a more casual wedding ceremony.

Asking a close friend to officiate your wedding does offer several important benefits. Not only does it add an even more personal spin to the ceremony, but it’s also another way for couples to incorporate a loved one into your wedding who’s not in the wedding party. Couples on a budget will also appreciate the cost savings of using a friend to officiate.

Common Types Of Wedding Officiants

There are a few common types of wedding officiants. Some will require more training and education than others. The most common types include:

  • Civil Officiants This type of wedding officiant can ensure the marriage is legal for civil weddings. They are usually found at the county clerks office or run their own business. Retired judges and public notaries are commonly civil officiants.
  • Religious Officiants Ministers, priests, pastors, rabbis, or any other type of religious leader may be a religious officiant. They will likely perform religious wedding ceremonies and even counsel couples before they get married. This type of officiant may have some restrictions, depending on the religion they practice.
  • Professional Officiants A professional officiant is the most common type that runs their own business. They may help you with the wedding planning and cater the ceremony to your tastes. In addition, they may perform secular and spiritual weddings.

Of course, there are also family or friend officiants. These types of officiants are not out to make money. Instead, they are trying to perform a ceremony one time for someone they love.

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How To Write A Memorable Ceremony

Getting ordained is actually the easy part. Crafting an awesome ceremony, on the other hand, can be a bit daunting. Here are a few tips to help get you through the process.

In the end, a successful ceremony comes down to two things: research and practice. The more digging you can do for cute stories and moving anecdotes about the couple, the more personal the ceremony will feel. And the more you run through the ceremony in front of a mirror or a close, trusted friend the smoother its going to go on wedding day.

Join The Officiant Association

How to Become a Wedding Officiant

If youre serious about building a sustainable career as a professional wedding officiant, then joining the International Association of Professional Wedding Officiants may be the single smartest decision you can make. The IAPWO offers educational content, networking opportunities, and member discounts for many products and services your business needs, as well as producing an annual wedding officiant conference. We are proud to be an official partner of the IAPWO, and offers discounted advertising packages and upgraded directory placement to IAPWO members. For more information about IAPWO benefits or to become a member, visit IAPWO.ORG.

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What To Wear To Officiate A Wedding

Depending on the theme for the wedding you will be officiating, sometimes what you will wear to officiate would not be up to you. For this, it is a good idea to ask the couple what they might prefer you wear. If they are flexible about this, you can take your cue from the wedding. If there is no theme and no rules set in stone, then play it safe and wear formal black or something dark. In any case, here are some options for what to wear to officiate a wedding.

  • If youre picking safe, then wear something formal that wouldnt upstage the couple. Whether youre a male or female officiant, a subdued color like grey, deep blue, or even black official attire would do. Definitely not white, which might clash with the bride especially in all the pictures.
  • If the wedding has a theme and you decide to match it, then definitely consult with the couple. They should have some interesting ideas. Whether its a cosplay wedding, a bohemian-themed wedding, go with the flow and find what would suit the day.
  • Accessorize. If you are going with the theme, for a boho wedding you could choose to accessorize with ribbons, flowers, or comfy footwear. If you are dressing formal and in subdued colors, you could decide to wear sparkly shoes and some other little bright accessories perhaps a tie pin?

Six: Costume And Props

Assuming you have asked the couple if they have any preference on your attire , make sure you have your wedding day outfit nailed down. Equal in importance to the couple’s thoughts on your outfit, you need to feel comfortable and ready to run the show. The biggest thing to remember is that you WILL be in most of the ceremony photos, make sure your choice is appropriate and that it is fairly neutral as to not steal the show. All eyes should be on the couple, not on your clothing choice.

The next big question, how will you be holding and referencing your wedding script during the ceremony?


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How To Officiate A Wedding

Now that your friend is actually ordained to officiate your wedding, what do they actually have to do? You’ll want to take a look at your local laws again to brush up on the requirements. In most cases, your officiant simply needs to include the declaration of intent, or the “Do you take…” and “I do” vows portion of the ceremony.

Can My Friend Or Relative Get Ordained To Perform A Ceremony Of Any Religion

The Wedding Officiants

Though some online organizations are for specific religions, many are either nondenominational or interfaith. The American Fellowship Church, which has been ordaining people since 1975, ordains people of any religion, and those who go through the process are also able to perform nondenominational services.

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How Many Couples Can I Marry In A Year As A Wedding Officiant

Some wedding officiants marry hundreds of couples per year. Many will get married with just a quick 15-minute appointment. Not all marriages require a long ceremony, and many simply go through the necessary parts of the ceremony.

Weddings can happen anywhere and can include as little or as much as the couple wants. Some will be elopements, others more formal, and even some will be traditional. If youre a wedding officiant, you can marry as many couples a year as you have time to marry.

Handling The California Marriage License

As the wedding officiant, it is your responsibility to handle the marriage license on the wedding day. Though this is a serious responsibility, it is an easy task to fulfill.Our page outlines clear guidelines on how you should handle the marriage license as a wedding professional. These guidelines apply to weddings generally, not just in California. They follow four simple steps:


Who Can Marry You How To Find A Wedding Officiant

  • Email

Selecting your wedding officiant is an important decision as the choice will have a huge influence on the tone of the ceremony. You’ll want to make sure that you find someone who is willing to perform the kind of ceremony you are envisioning, or who has a style and belief system similar to your own. If you want to make it legal, you’ll need to make sure that they are legally able to marry you in your state.

The first thing you and your intended bride or groom must do is decide if you want a religious or secular ceremony. This highly personal decision will obviously impact who will marry you.

What Are The Different Types Of Wedding Officiants

How to become a successful Wedding Officiant

There are many different types of wedding officiants one is a religious officiant. This person can be a priest, a pastor, a rabbi, or an imam who is authorized to perform wedding ceremonies within or outside their religious institutions. Some symbolic customs and traditions are tied to religious services that make them solemn and intimate between the couple. If you choose this type of ceremony, book the church early. There may also be pre-marital classes and counseling before the wedding that you need to attend, which will help your religious officiant get to know you more before the big day.

Another type is a professional officiant, who is more flexible and can cater to both secular and spiritual wedding ceremonies. They can help personalize the wedding ceremony, depending on what the couple wants, whether its non-denominational or religious, or, perhaps, a balance of both. A professional officiant can guide a couple into ensuring that their wedding ceremony sounds and feels like it.

Couples who want to elope, or simply want to make their marriage legal, can opt for a civil officiant. This person is often a judge or justice of the peace who can perform the wedding ceremony at the office of the city or county clerk. Going this route is fast, easy, and hassle-free.

What else does a wedding officiant do? Heres a breakdown of the wedding officiant duties:

Wedding Ceremony Script Ideas For Officiants

Use this simple wedding ceremony script guide to make people believe in love all over again, and officiate the hell out of this wedding.

The couple selected you to be their wedding officiant because youre special to them, butperhaps more importantlythey asked you because they believe you have enough pizzazz to make their wedding a touching, memorable experience.

That might feel like a lot to handle, but you can do it. Whether youve been tapped to officiate a basic ceremony, or write a modern wedding ceremony script, just trust usand follow the guidelines below.

Meet With Potential Officiants

To help make sure this person is the right fit for your ceremony and shares a similar perspective on marriage, youll want to do more than just call and ask if these people are available. Set up a time to meet with them if you can or at the very least take the time for an in-depth phone conversation.

Is the officiant interested in getting to know you and your future spouse so that they can give more than canned remarks at the service? Do they have strict ideas of what should happen at the ceremony and if so, do those views align with yours? Are they open to personalization? How much?

How Much Does A Wedding Officiant Costb Schwartz Photography

It’s difficult to nail down an exact number, as wedding officiant rates differ so much. The cost of a wedding officiant will vary based on the location, the length of the ceremony and the level of personalization. A good starting point is to allot two percent of your overall wedding budget for your wedding officiant. Plan on using more if you’d like a personalized ceremony or if you have any special requests.

Understand that the services officiants offer are time-intensive and require a lot of energy, so it may cost more to bring on your chosen individual. However, investing your budget in an amazing wedding officiant is well worth it if you ask us.

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