14 Questions to Ask When Hiring an Officiant

For some, the officiant can make or break your ceremony. These questions will help you choose the right one.

(Photo courtesy of The Glenmar Studio)

Many brides may get wrapped up in choosing décor, the perfect playlist and the food menus, among tons of other wedding things. Some may forget to focus on the officiant – the person who will actually be marrying you. And for some brides, the officiant can make or break your ceremony.

The officiant sets the tone for the entire ceremony – and you want to make sure it’s perfect. Before meeting with any officiants, it’s important for you and your future spouse to decide how you want your ceremony to go. Do you want it to be more about you two, your relationship and the life you’re beginning together? Do you want it to be more traditional? Once you decide how you’d like your ceremony to flow, then you can decide on the right officiant for you.

Here are 14 questions to ask when hiring an officiant for your wedding to help you choose.

  1. Are you legally able to marry couples on Long Island? As everyone knows by now, getting your friend or family member ordained online to marry you doesn’t make it legal on Long Island. So, just triple check the credentials of your officiant before you hire them.
  2. What is your style? Are you all business? Or do you get to know couples? Will I be able to give input into what I want in the ceremony or is it cookie cutter?
  3. Are you religious? If this is important to you, your fiancé and your family check to see if the officiant is OK with incorporating religious traditions in your ceremony.

MORE: The importance of an unplugged ceremony

  1. How do you incorporate ‘us’ into the ceremony? This is a really important question if you want to customize your ceremony.
  2. How often do you meet with couples before the wedding? If the officiant wants to get to know you, they may want to meet with you a few times ahead of the wedding. It’s important to ask so you can add the meetings to your busy calendar!
  3. Do you customize ceremonies for each couple? Is it different for every couple? If it’s not, is that OK with you?
  4. Will we get the chance to see what you will say before the wedding? Some couples need to know ahead of time so not to be surprised. If you’re one of those couples, this is important to ask.
  5. Do you have standard vows?
  6. Do you let couples write their own vows?
  7. How long do your ceremonies last?
  8. Do you have suggestions of the flow of the ceremony? If you’re really lost on how to prepare for your ceremony, this is a good question to ask.
  9. What is your fee? How do you accept it? Do you need a deposit?
  10. Do you stay for the cocktail hour/reception? If they are staying, which some do, make sure to check with your venue on the vendor headcount.
  11. How many weddings do you do in a day?

MORE: How to Incorporate a Special Guest Who’s Not in Your Bridal Party

Ultimately, you need to choose who you are most comfortable with. This person will play an important role as you start your life together with your new spouse. You want to make sure your officiant is perfect for you and allows you to have the ceremony you always dreamed of.