wedding-officiant As the master of ceremonies, your wedding officiant plays an essential role in setting the tone of your wedding.

When planning your big day, remember to choose an officiant who shares your spiritual values and with whom you and your fiancé/fiancée feel personally comfortable.

This is the beginning of your new life together—you don’t want just anyone presiding over it!


Who is qualified?

There are several types of people who are qualified to serve as your wedding officiant:

•    Priest
•    Rabbi
•    Theologian
•    Catholic scholar
•    Cantor
•    Judge
•    Justice of the peace
•    Governor
•    Mayor
•    Notary (only in FL,ME,SC)
•    County clerk
•    Legally-ordained minister
•    Anyone who has been deputized to perform a one-time wedding ceremony


Remember, there is no rule requiring you to have a religious ceremony. However, your ceremony venue may dictate who you must use as your wedding officiant. If you are holding your ceremony in a church or synagogue, you might be required to use their officiant.

Before you start your search

Determine the kind of ceremony you want to have: religious, secular, or interfaith?

You will need to sit down in advance with your fiancé/fiancée to discuss your collective values, and then find an officiant who fits with those values.

If you want to include personal vows, readings or songs into your ceremony, make sure you find an officiant who will allow you to do so.

Can I have a friend do it?

Yes, a friend of yours can become a minister through the Universal Life Church and then be the officiant at your wedding.

In Florida, Maine and South Carolina, a notary may also act as a wedding officiant.

Where can I find a good officiant?

It’s easy to use Eventective to find the best wedding officiants in your area.

Before you make a final decision about your wedding officiant, you should interview each candidate personally to make sure they are the right one for you.

Here are some questions you might want to ask:

1.    How long have you performed weddings?
2.    Why do you perform weddings?
3.    Is premarital counseling mandatory or optional?
4.    What sermons or speeches do you plan to give at the wedding?
5.    Can we write our own vows?
6.    Can we include songs and readings of our choice?
7.    Are there any restrictions on wedding attire?
8.    Is the photographer allowed take pictures inside the ceremony venue?
9.    Are travel or rehearsal charges included in your fee?

Additional points

•    If you want to get a preview of what your officiant might be like, see if you can attend a service that he/she will be conducting.

•    Rules and regulations for wedding officiants vary between states. Make sure that the officiant you choose is in compliance with the laws for your state.

•    Remember to include the officiant fees into your wedding budget/costs.