Choosing the Right Officiant for Your Wedding - A How to Guide
Choosing your officiant is one of the biggest wedding decisions you will make. So it's essential that you take some time to research all of your options before deciding. The officiant is so much more than just another vendor. They get to facilitate one of the most intimate moments of your life. And that's no easy job. So make sure you and your partner have a genuine connection with the person you decide to ask.
You also need to be very honest and clear about what you are looking for. If you're having a traditional church wedding, you're going to want a very different feel from a laid back beach ceremony. And vice versa. Communicate with your officiant to create a ceremony that reflects the two of you as a couple. And follow our handy guide below to learn about the different types of officiant so you can choose the one that is right for your wedding.
If you're already associated with a particular religious group, choosing an officiant is very easy. A rabbi, priest, or religious minister is the perfect option if you and your partner want to be married in a house of worship. Keep in mind, however, that most mainstream religious celebrants may not be willing to deviate from the traditional ceremony wording. If that is an issue you'll have to do some digging to find a member of the clergy who is willing to tweak some lines for you.
On the opposite end of the spectrum you'll find the secular officiant. They are typically unaffiliated with any religious group and perform any secular, same-sex or interfaith ceremonies. You will also have more creative control over the content of your ceremony. Want to serenade your hubby instead of reading traditional vows? This is the officiant for you!
A celebrant is someone who performs either religious or secular ceremonies. They are an ordained member of the clergy, a professional secular officiant, or a legal official. For example, a judge would be considered a celebrant. So this is a great option for couples who opt for an intimate city hall wedding.
Similar to a hospital chaplain, interfaith ministers do not serve one particular religious group, but respect and honor them all. If you and your partner come from different faiths, this is the perfect option for you. They are very open to creative ceremonies and will do everything they can to include all of the important pieces from both of your faiths.
A civil wedding officiant is usually a city official (like a judge) who has the legal authority to witness and validate your marriage. If you want a short and sweet ceremony without a lot of fuss, this is the option for you. Hiring a civil officiant is similar to hiring your other vendors. They offer a standard base price for their services and keep things pretty basic.
Friend or Family Member
If none of the options above seem right for you, what about hiring someone you love? It's very easy to get ordained online. And is there anything sweeter than your best friend standing up at the altar with you? We love how personal this option is. Just remember to do your research. The rules for legal ordination vary from state to state.
And whatever you choose, don't forget to formally ask with a will you card from Marrygrams!