How to Choose the Right Ceremony Officiant

You have found the perfect guy to marry and spend the rest of your live with.  However, who is going to help you tie the knot, and make it official? Choosing the right ceremony officiant is key to a memorable wedding for you and your guests. So we want to share how to choose the right one. We asked, Alan Katz, Presiding Officiant of Great Officiantsto tell us all the details of choosing the right ceremony officiant.

Here is what Alan shared with us:

Choosing who will officiate your wedding is essential to making wedding dreams come true. Choosing the wrong one can spell disaster. Having a friend do your ceremony may sound cool, but most times it turns out less than satisfactory. There are many nuances both legal and practical that have to be contended with.

Choose a professional Wedding Officiant to perform your wedding.

These are a few questions to ask to ensure that you are getting the right Officiant.

Can you customize the ceremony?

A great Officiant should work with you to customize your ceremony. Putting in the elements you want and taking out the parts that don’t apply.

Can we do a religious or non-religious ceremony?

The Officiants job is to design a ceremony that echo’s the belief system of the couple. If they are unwilling to bend, then find another one.

Do you have sample wording/ceremonies/readings?

A professional Officiant should have ceremony samples ready to review with you.

Is Counseling required?

If you are getting married in a Church then counseling is usually required. If you hired an independent Officiant most do not. If you feel you need counseling, choose a licensed marriage and family therapist, not an Officiant.

Are you known and respected in the Wedding industry?

The best way to check out an Officiant is to look for reviews. The Knot, Wedding Wire and Yelp are great credible resources. Read their reviews. The one with the most reviews is usually the best for a reason. Ask what wedding associations they belong to.

Do you have back up in case you are sick?

Select a company with multiple Officiants to choose from. This way in the event of sickness there is always a backup.

Will you marry us if we are of different faiths or if we have been divorced or are the Same Sex?

A professional Officiant should not judge a couple based upon their lifestyle or belief. They should honor all adult couples who wish to be wed. If they do not honor all couples seek another Officiant.

Would you allow another Officiant to take part in the ceremony?

These days many couples are of mixed faiths and bringing in multiple Officiants is common place (although more expensive).

Can we choose special readings or music?

It is Your Wedding, it should be your way.

Will you give a sermon during the ceremony?

A wedding ceremony is no place for a sermon; it is a place to celebrate love. It can be enhanced by your beliefs. If you want a sermon do it in a church.

Do you issue the Marriage License?

Some Officiants are specialized Notaries for the County to issue Marriage Licenses. If they do not, they should be able guide you on how to get yours.

Will you participate in the rehearsal?

The rehearsal is an important part of the process. If needed they should be there.

Are there any restrictions as to our attire, or our bridal party’s attire?

Don’t ever let an Officiant dictate the rules of the ceremony. It is your decision alone. You can also recommend what their attire should be.

Will you allow flash photography allowed during the ceremony?

You want your photographer to capture your special day, the Officiant should do what’s necessary to ensure they get the perfect shot! Ask them to step aside out of frame for the final kiss.

Will you wear a mic if the videographer requires one to capture the ceremony?

The audio in your video is absolutely essential. Insist they work with the videographer as needed.

Remember, it is your ceremony do it your way.


For any questions, you can contact:

Alan Katz
Presiding Officiant
Great Officiants
(855) Wed-Vows  / (855) 933-8697

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