14 Questions to Ask Potential Wedding Officiants
The members of your bridal party are not the only ones you will be asking to stand up with you the day of your wedding. There will also be the officiant and they have one the arguably more important roles. So it's important to select an officiant that will help you pull off the wedding that you imagined.
Stay tuned to the end, I'll have a link where you can get a PDF version of all of the questions to take with you to your officiant meetings!
Photo by: Lindsay Stephany Photography
To get you started I compiled a list of questions to ask you officiant that will help you determine the best selection for you!
1. Are you legally able to perform a marriage in this state/county?
This question is number one because it is the most important if you ask me. Most of the time, if you have seen the officiant's reviews, you can assume they are legally able to do the marriage but it is good to double-check.
2. How many ceremonies have you performed?
By asking this you get an idea of how comfortable the officiant is in this role. Having several weddings under their belt is better assurance that your officiant will be comfortable in front of everyone the day of the wedding.
3. Do you have a script you read from or do you personalize the wedding for each couple?
You and your fiancé might want to have something very traditional and structured. Alternatively, a ceremony that is more reflective of you two as a couple might be more your style. You should make sure your preference here lines up with what the officiant offers.
4. How much can we personalize our ceremony?
More and more often couples are personalizing their ceremonies to fit their unique identity as a couple. It is good to know how much customizing your officiant is comfortable with prior to booking them.
5. Can you help us if we choose to write our own vows?
Writing your own vows can be daunting! Officiants have heard many vow exchanges and can help you distill what you would like to say. If this is something you think you will want help with be sure to ask in the consultation if that is an offered service.
Photo by: L3 Studios Photography
6. How long is a typical ceremony?
This is good to keep in mind. You will definitely need to know when you start working on your timeline.
7. How many times will we meet prior to the wedding?
Churches often require several meetings with your officiant prior to the wedding. Non-religious ceremony officiants generally require fewer meetings. Either way, it is good to have an expectation of how much time you will need to devote.
8. What do you wear?
It might seem odd at first but this person will be standing right between you and your fiancé. They will likely be in several pictures. Especially for non-religious officiants, it can be good to have an idea of what they will wear.
9. Will you help us to obtain a marriage license?
Rules for marriage licenses are different in every state. When getting married outside of the state you live, it helps to have some guidance in this department.
10. Will you fill out and file our marriage license?
Clarify expectations up front as different officiants will handle this part differently.
11. Do you attend the rehearsal?
In my opinion, you should look for an officiant that will attend your rehearsal. It can make a big difference having gone through the whole flow of the wedding ahead of time. Everyone will know what to expect and it will calm your nerves a little.
12. Do you have a back-up?
If your officiant gets sick or for some unforeseen reason cannot attend. What will the back up plan be?
13. Do you offer/require premarital counseling?
This is very commonly required for officiants linked to a religious order. However, if you are having a non-religious ceremony and you still want to do something similar your officiant should be able to point you in the right direction.
14. What are your fees/required donations?
Non-religious officiants will generally have fees associated with their services. Others may have required donations. It is good to know what the financial investments of either option are.
These are all good questions to get you started when looking for a wedding ceremony officiant. Keep in mind though that you might want to ask questions that apply specifically to your wedding. If you have and questions feel free to email me!
No need to write all these questions down! Click this link and download this PDF of the questions.
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