How to Find a Wedding Officiant

For a couple, their wedding day is one of the most important days and it is primarily led by a wedding officiant. However, to make their day really special, each couple will want something different from their wedding officiant.

Some of you might want to write your own vows or have a special script read at your wedding and all this must be conveyed to the officiant. Therefore, the wedding officiant should be someone who will be able to adapt to what the couple wants.

A wedding officiant also has to be legally recognized by the state one is getting married in and if there is a religious ceremony, then the wedding officiant must be recognized by that particular religious organization as well.

How to find a wedding officiant is the most common question that couples have and here, it is important to remember that not all wedding officiants are suitable for all kinds of ceremonies.

How to Find A Wedding Officiant That Fits You

wedding ceremony | How to Find a Wedding Officiant

Finding the perfect wedding officiant is not a very easy task. A wedding is an extremely personal occasion, and the officiant plays a big role in making it so. It might seem to be a difficult mission but once a couple is sure of what kind of a ceremony they want and exactly how they want their wedding to be officiated, it becomes much simpler.

Therefore, when wondering about how to find a wedding officiant, it is necessary to research and know the various kinds of wedding officiants and the different types of ceremonies they conduct, before deciding on what would be ideal for your wedding.

Types of Wedding Officiants

No two weddings are the same and every wedding is a reflection of the best moments and the personals choices of the couple. Since the wedding officiant is the person who leads the ceremony, it is his or her job to hold up what that particular wedding represents and therefore it is important to choose a wedding officiant who will cater to the needs of the couple and serve the wedding in the way that they prefer.

As mentioned before, there are many types of wedding officiants and each serves differently at weddings. All these types are explained below, to help you make the correct choice.


two couples standing in front of a church | How to Find a Wedding Officiant

Many weddings are religious in nature and often have several ceremonies involved. In such cases, the couple will obviously want a religious leader, like a priest or a rabbi to officiate their wedding.

While choosing your wedding officiant, you can choose a person you have known in your religious organization for a long time, or you can also choose someone new. But when you are doing your research on how to find a wedding officiant who will be able to lead your religious wedding ceremony, it is also important to keep in mind that certain organizations do have some restrictions or maybe some rituals that need to be done before the vows are exchanged.


couple walking on the sand | How to Find a Wedding Officiant

Sometimes, couples only wish to legalize their marriage and for this, you can find any judge or a justice of peace through your city’s local clerk’s office.

Now different states might have different requirements for a civil wedding officiant. Many couples often decide to get married in a foreign country or have a wedding officiant who is not recognized by the state that they are in, and if such a situation arises, then it is advisable that the couple get married by a justice of peace in a private ceremony, before having an open celebration where they can have their preferred officiant.

Also, if you do feel that having just a civil ceremony to make your marriage legal is a little impersonal, then do remember that there are many civil wedding officiants who bond with the couples and meet them beforehand to understand what kind of a service they want, and then create a really lovely moment on the day of the wedding.


couple holding hand during wedding ceremony | How to Find a Wedding Officiant

A celebrant is a person who officiates religious as well as secular marriages and even performs other rituals. There are many secular officiants who are professionals, and also legal members like judges or clergy members who have been ordained perform these ceremonies to legalize a marriage.

You can choose a celebrant if you are not able to find the right person for your religious ceremony or in case of a civil wedding, a celebrant might seem like a more personal choice to some couples.


married couple on their wedding day touching foreheads | How to Find a Wedding Officiant

There are many wedding officiants who hold certificates from organizations like the Celebrant USA Foundation and Institute, or the American Humanist Association and such officiants are perfect for the job if you decide to have a ceremony that will strike the balance between civil and secular. This will not only allow you to add a touch of personality but also help you decide on exactly how you want the ceremony to proceed.

If you choose to have a wedding that is not strictly religious and but also does not involve just a civil procedure, then it is advisable that you choose a professional who has a lot of experience in officiating weddings because deciding on having such a ceremony will mean that you are going to have to plan the whole affair by yourself and your wedding officiant might be able to guide you in this case.

Secular wedding officiants officiate same-sex and interfaith marriages without any trouble and are much more creative while performing the ceremonies.

Interfaith Ministers

couple standing in front of trees outside | How to Find a Wedding Officiant

Wedding officiants who are interfaith ministers not only perform weddings between two people from different religions but also officiate non-religious marriages and same-sex marriages.

These interfaith ministers do not work within certain religious organizations but are in the service of different communities and they inspire couples to create a wedding that is both spiritual and creative.

Friend or Family Member

four people standing together | How to Find a Wedding Officiant

A very simple way to make your wedding day extra special is by getting a family member or one of your close friends to officiate your marriage! These are the people who have known you for a very long time and since it is really easy to get ordained online, this might be the perfect answer to the question on how to find a wedding officiant.

 But, it is important to keep in mind that not all states recognize online ordination and there are other procedures and requirements involved. So if you decide to ask someone close to you to officiate your marriage, then make sure you have enough information about all the rules and regulations.

Tips on How to Find a Wedding Officiant

The points mentioned above will have given you a clear idea of who the different wedding officiants are and you might have already chosen the right kind of officiant. However, there are other details that need to be taken care of and these include the fact that not all wedding officiants (no matter which type you choose) are going to be ideal for your wedding ceremony.

Different wedding officiants will bring different things to the ceremony and you will have to let your officiant know exactly what you are looking for in the ceremony.

Now given below are some of the best tips that you can have when it comes to choosing the right wedding officiant.

Sit down and talk with your partner about what you are looking for in your wedding officiant.

couple sitting my water | How to Find a Wedding Officiant

The wedding involves both of you which means that it is extremely important that both of you know what you are looking for and are on the same page.

You and your partner might want different kinds of ceremonies; you might be looking for a funny ceremony filled with humorous anecdotes or your partner might want to avoid a long ceremony, and to find a solution to all of this you will have to look at all your options and discuss them at length.

Selecting a wedding officiant together will make the task much easier since you will both know exactly how you want the ceremony to proceed.

Use sites like WeddingWire and

girl sitting in front of laptop | How to Find a Wedding Officiant

When researching on how to find a wedding officiant and which wedding officiant is perfect for your ceremony, these websites offer valuable information and they also show you wedding officiants near your location which makes it easy to choose the right officiant.

Ask wedding officiants you are considering what type of speaking style they have.

Different people have different styles of speaking and some styles are more suitable for delivering particular kinds of speeches than others. If it is important for you to have a reading at your wedding or have a speech given by the wedding officiant, then this question is crucial.

Let your wedding officiant know what kind of speaking style you are looking for and ask them if they will be able to perform some verses or give a speech in the way that you prefer so that both parties know exactly what needs to be done.

Ensure that you and your wedding officiant’s values align.

wedding officiant talking to couple | How to Find a Wedding Officiant

Your wedding day is extremely special and it needs to happen without any troubles. It is therefore very important to know the values and ethics that your wedding officiant has and to figure out if they match yours.

If it happens that his or her beliefs are clashing with your beliefs, then you can move on and choose someone else to officiate your wedding, because there should never be any awkwardness during the ceremony.

Watch a clip of your wedding officiant speaking before committing (if you can).

This might not always be possible, but if your wedding officiant has a recording of himself then listen to it. This will help you decide if he or she will be able to deliver a speech (or read out a piece) in the way you want it.

Watching a clip will also allow you to determine if he or she will be confident enough while performing the ceremony.

Do not be afraid of having a small interview with your wedding officiant before committing.

Since finding the right officiant is a very important job, it is always a good idea to ask your wedding officiant several questions before you finalize anything. Asking questions and listening to the answers will clarify a lot of doubts and you will also get to know your wedding officiant better.

Ask for a sample of a ceremony that they have done in the past.

Many couples might hesitate before wanting to see a clip of a ceremony that their wedding officiant has done before, but there is no need to worry because this does not come across as rude.

It is, in fact, a very genuine and definitely inoffensive request because seeing a video recording simply gives a better idea about the person’s abilities which will allow the couple to be absolutely sure if they have found the right person to officiate their wedding.


A wedding officiant brings his or her own personality and grace to the wedding, no matter what kind of a ceremony is involved, and therefore finding the ideal officiant is of utmost importance.

All aforementioned points provide the information you need to know and they will help you with your research to find a wedding officiant who will provide the kind of service you are looking for.

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Leave a comment

April 03, 2020 13:59

This was extremely helpful as this has been giving me so much anxiety about finding the right person for our big day!

March 31, 2020 22:48

This is the next on our to do list. This was so helpful!

March 27, 2020 11:23

Very informative

Anastasia Anderson
March 06, 2020 10:36

My wedding officiant is someone I’ve know my whole life. And she actually renewed my parents vows years back. I feel so lucky to have this close relationship with someone who has a very important role in the wedding

March 04, 2020 22:27

I think that communication between the officiant and the pair getting married is key to a good match. It makes everyone so much more comfortable!

Alisha Dan
February 25, 2020 11:05

So I definitely thought it was a faux pas to ask to see a previous ceremony. Thank goodness I was wrong!

Alison Batchelor
February 08, 2020 15:42

This is EXACTLY what I was looking for! I was teeter tottering was far as what to do for an officiant and this helped relieve some stress. Thank you!

Kayla M
January 18, 2020 22:23

Lots of great info! Didn’t realize how many different types of officiants there are! Awesome read to help narrow down what we are looking for!

Hannah A
January 15, 2020 15:33

Super helpful! We hadn’t put this much thought into our officiant. Glad to have some information as we begin the search!

Ashlee Ellsworth
January 12, 2020 07:47

I didn’t know I needed to read this until I did! I didn’t realize there were so many options when looking for an officiant! I’ll be saving this to look back on while I plan my wedding!

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