A Guide to Finding the Right Wedding Officiant

by Esther Agyapong

Anyone who can legally officiate a wedding is called a wedding officiant. This term typically refers to a nonreligious official but generally includes religious leaders. Couples who come from different religious backgrounds or who don’t have religious affiliations can choose a secular officiant for their event.

Finding the right officiant for your wedding is crucial as they play a massive role in your celebration. They’ll coordinate your vows and ring exchange. Some could even go as far as being the MC at your wedding reception. Here’s all you need to know about wedding officiants and a guide to finding the perfect fit for your special day.

Types of Wedding Officiants

The type of officiant you use for your celebration will depend on what kind of ceremony you choose to have. A modern celebration with non-conventional aspects will do better with a nonreligious officiant. A church ceremony, without question, requires a religious officiant. Below are the various types of wedding officiants.

A Celebrant

In places like the UK, a wedding officiant is called a celebrant. They can perform religious and secular ceremonies and administer other rites. A wedding celebrant can be a legal official, a professional officiant, or an ordained clergy.

Religious Clergy

If you belong to a religious organization and want to get married in a house of worship, your wedding officiant will be a religious clergy. Most couples having a traditional wedding ceremony also use clergies as the traditional wedding ceremony is in a place of worship. These clergies will most times not deviate from the order of the ceremony.

However, some clergy members will officiate a customized wedding ceremony, too. Local colleges or a university will have resources for finding one. Retired clergy may also be more open to performing a flexible ceremony.

Secular Officiant

A secular officiant is best for a celebration that does not fit the norms. You’ll find many in associations, and they are often unaffiliated with religions. They can perform a same-sex, interfaith, or secular ceremony.

Interfaith Officiants

Interfaith officiants do ceremonies for people of different religions. They could also work with nonreligious and same-sex couples. These officials are great at doing unique and personalized wedding services.

Civil Officiant

The role of a civil officiant is to ensure that your wedding is legal. They witness and validate your marriage consent and are legally registered. Your local city clerk’s office could have a list of registered civil officiants. Some also have websites with their quotes and prices available.

Friend or Family

Did you know that it is easy to get ordained online? It is also inexpensive, so a close friend or family member can get ordained and do your ceremony, and it is a beautiful way to personalize your celebration. However, this may not be allowed in some locations. So please ensure that it is legal in your locality before you go ahead with it.

How to Find a Wedding Officiant

Have you found the kind of officiant that works for you? Then, it’s time to go on your search. Below are six effective ways to find the wedding officiant for your celebration.

  • Ask your recently married friends. They can make a referral if you attended their celebration and loved the officiant. They could also share the list or database that they used.
  • Contact a house of worship. If you want to get married in your or your partner’s place of worship, contact them for the guidelines and an officiant.
  • Ask for a justice of the peace or a judge. They can officiate wedding ceremonies at any location.
  • Talk to your other vendors. Your wedding planner might know a wedding officiant you can use, but so could your wedding photographer or caterer.
  • The Knot Marketplace offers couples a great database of wedding officiants by location. You could also check reviews from couples who have worked with them there.

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