Finding an Officiant

How to Find a Wedding Officiant

You have quite a checklist of vendors to track down. But one that I think gets a little overlooked is your officiant. They can have more of an impact on your day than you might expect. For many, it may seem obvious their importance. For many others, it can be easy to not fully understand how special they can be.

wedding officiant officiating a ceremony

Average Cost of an Officiant

The first thing on many folk’s minds is cost. Thankfully your officiant will likely be one of the lesser costs you have.

Whether you are having a secular or religious wedding can greatly impact what that cost is. If you are a member of a congregation, religious leaders often perform free ceremonies. Instead, they often receive donations to the church or charity.

Additionally, friends and family do not typically charge for their services, although the couple can show gratitude by giving them a gift as a thank you.

The cost of a private officiant varies depending on factors such as how long the ceremony lasts, what the couple wants, and how many people are in attendance. Travel costs might also be incurred if the wedding is out of town. However, expect to pay anywhere from $200-800 or more.

Types of Officiants

From religious leaders, judges, friends, or a private officiant, there are many types. What type you should get depends on what kind of ceremony you want to have.

Religious weddings, for instance, will be officiated by a priest, rabbi, or other spiritual leaders. A church or synagogue may not even let you choose who marries you. And the judge on duty will lead the proceedings if you plan to get married inside a courthouse.

Those planning a civil or secular wedding, however, can choose from a much larger pool of officiants since anyone ordained and registered with the state can perform them. Some couples hire professional, experienced officiants.

While others have close friends or family lead the ceremony, who can make the service even more personal. If it makes sense for your wedding, imagine how impactful it can be to have someone close to you lead you in your vows. Having officiated at a friend’s wedding, I know just how meaningful it can be.

Choosing Your Officiant

wedding officiant officiating a ceremony while bride smiles

Do Your Research

Check out an officiant’s biography, background and reviews. But keep in mind that many incredible officiants I know don’t have actual websites. It’s not incredibly lucrative so the cost of a full-blown website might not make sense.
All that is to say, don’t be turned away if they only use social media.
And if a professional officiant doesn’t seem like the best fit for your wedding: Id suggest first-time officiants/friends, check out this guide here.

Interview Your Officiant

If you are selecting a professional to do your wedding you really should interview all candidates.

Great questions include:

What’s the average ceremony length?
Can you tell me what pre-wedding prep looks like with you?
Are you able to help with marriage licenses?
How do you dress when you officiate?
Could you tell me what your fees are?

Make Sure Your Officiant Has the Right Skills

An officiant has to be comfortable speaking in front of you and all your guests because they oversee the ceremony. If you’re picking a family member or friend to do the honor, this may be the most important factor to keep in mind; they may know you well and have wonderful stories to share, but they may not be able to convey them well. I was definitely the type to love the couple dearly but struggle with public speaking. So behind the camera I shall stay!

Last but not least, make sure your officiant is registered with the state before the big day. After the wedding, some will even help you mail in your marriage license. You know, the part that makes it legal!

Personal Recommendations

If you are in Southeast Michigan my first suggestion will always be Maria of Maria Makes it Official. She is incredible at allowing a fun, elegance ceremony to happen without detracting from the you or your bond. She is also impeccable for non-religious ceremonies. Let her absurd amount of great reviews fill in the rest.
Maria Makes it Official

For Northern Michigan Weddings my favorite is Pastor Glad. I respect her too much to make any puns about how happy I always am to work with her. Pastor Glad has over 20 years experience in helping couples get a truly magical, romantic and memorable ceremony.
Glad Tidings

If you are still stuck or have any more questions do not hesitate to reach out! Even if we are not going to work together, I love using my decade-plus of experience to help couples get the best day they can.

Ask me anything!

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