Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Officiant?

I was wondering how some people picked their officiant? My FI and I aren't very religious, so we don't have a pastor or anything like that. I've been looking officiants up online for my area, but I really have no idea where to start with this. What are the main questions I should ask? Any insight would be great.

Thanks.

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Re: Officiant?

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    H and I had a very good friend officiate our ceremony.  He got ordained online so that he could perform the ceremony legally.

    As for how to pick an officiant I think it comes down to cost, experience, viewing their portfolio (if they have one), and the connection you feel with the person.  More often then not you can feel if you like the vendor or not when you first meet them.

    Also if you want a lot of input in the wording of the ceremony then look for an officiant that doesn't have a set repertoire and is willing to work with you.

  • Did you ask your friend to officiate or did they offer to do it?
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  • I was wondering how some people picked their officiant? My FI and I aren't very religious, so we don't have a pastor or anything like that. I've been looking officiants up online for my area, but I really have no idea where to start with this. What are the main questions I should ask? Any insight would be great.

    Thanks.

    I guess a good place to start would be what kind of ceremony are you looking for? If you want some kind of religious ceremony, that right there would narrow it down. You could then ask people in your area (or the area you're getting married in) for officiants in that religion.

    If you're planning to do a completely non-denominational service you can, like PP said, ask a friend or family member to do it. FI and I are planning on doing a non-denominational service but didn't feel like we had a friend or family member that we wanted to have do it, and we ended up coincidentally looking into the Ethical Culture Society, which is a nationwide organization for secular humanists. Once we found that, we found our local chapter, went to a couple meetings, and then reached out to the leader, who officiates weddings.

    I know that there also officiants at bridal shows (or, well, there were a few at the one bridal show I attended) and you can find them on sites like wedding wire.
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Did you ask your friend to officiate or did they offer to do it?
    We asked him.

  • We asked a friend of ours. 
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  • Same as PPs: we've asked a good friend who I've known for over a decade to do ours. However, we also had two very close friends offer, because both of them are already ordained online and knew we wouldn't want a religious ceremony. Both of those guys were close enough that we had already decided that they will be in our wedding party.
  • My brother is getting ordained so he can marry us. He's thought about getting ordained for a while, and is very excited that ours will be the first marriage he ordains.

    If my brother wasn't going to marry us, I'd probably search the area and find a local nondenominational officiant.





  • When my sister announced her engagement, I jokingly offered to get online ordained so I could officiate because I'm an attention whore.  Months passed, she asked if I was serious about getting ordained because she wanted me to officiate her wedding.  Four days later I called her up and told her it was official.  It cost $6.50 to get ordained and an additional $7.50 to get a certificate mailed to me.

    I'm trying to decide who I would like to have officiate my wedding, because I'm pretty much the big attention whore of the family and almost everyone else has a fear of public speaking.

    Good luck!
    SP29
  • cupcait927cupcait927 Western NY wine country member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    We went with a local JOP. My best friend used her for her wedding in 2011 and she was great. Personable, warm, friendly and not religious - everything we wanted. If you don't want something religious and a JOP is an option, you could look there. Also, Wedding Wire has a vendor section and you can find officiants that way - I looked in to a few before we settled on the JOP route. 
  • We asked his brother to do it, he got ordained online and is really excited about it. If you have someone you know would like to do the public speaking that might be an option?

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  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    My uncle, who is a pastor, will be performing the ceremony. If he couldn't we probably would've asked a good friend to do it.


  • I used Thumbtack to search for one. We ended up with an actual pastor, but she had no issues with our non-religious ceremony.
  • An acquaintance of ours had gotten ordained in 2011 to officiate my BFF's wedding. It turned out, the officiant's BIL (also my friend) was getting married in May 2014 and she was getting re-certified to officiate his wedding. We asked her to officiate our August 2014 wedding as well. We were her third wedding as an officiant. If she hadn't been available, we would have asked one of my cousins to do it and would have paid the expense for them to get ordained online.

    We were in charge of writing our own ceremony, and she went over it and adjusted some minor wording. Mostly, she just read it as it was written.
  • labrolabro Hotlanta member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Our vendor actually recommended a few people to us that had officiated regularly at her venue. I hadn't had a lot of luck finding anyone professionally listed in our area so her recommendations were extremely helpful. The officiant we selected could not have been more perfect and we spent a lot of time getting to know him while doing pre-marital counseling so our ceremony was still very personal to us.

    I've been to three weddings now where someone had a friend officiate for them. They were all beautiful ceremonies!



  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    Someone posted their wedding, I think on reddit, and it was in my area. She raved and raved and raved about her officiant, so I looked that person up and ended up booking her. So basically, a referral. But from a stranger, not a friend haha.
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  • You could ask your venue, and see if they have any recommendations.

    Our officiant is a distant friend of my grandparents. He is a minister, but he also performs non-denominational ceremonies (which we had).

    Otherwise, via googling, start making a few phone calls/ send emails. Of course talk price, are they available. But you should also ask how they typically run a ceremony, is it flexible, any requirements they have, how long is the service usually. 
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