Your Wedding Officiant – Choose Wisely

By Rev. Calvin Wulf

Your wedding officiant is the single person who can make your day one to remember or one you’d like to forget. Think about it. Have you ever attended a wedding where the officiant didn’t quite seem to connect? It can be awkward for everybody.

Begin your search for an officiant early. Ask recently married friends who did their ceremony. When you check out photographers, planners, and venues, ask who they recommend. Keep a list.

Do a web search for wedding officiants. See if the names on your list pop up or search them by name. Does what you see on their web site match your wedding day expectation?

Decide what style of ceremony you want, formal or casual, fun or thoughtful, religious or nonreligious. Do you want a male or female officiant? It’s your day so go with your feelings.

Get together with officiants who are available on your wedding day and seem to match your style. Pay attention to how they treat you in person. Assume they’re putting on their best face.

Choose a person that is interested in who you are and what you want. Some people are listeners and some are talkers. If they do all the talking, be sure you send them walking.

Look for someone who fits your personality as a couple. Maybe you want an officiant who is friendly and outgoing or one who is more reserved. If you feel uncomfortable, you may be in for an awkward time at your wedding, so don’t hire that one.

Find out how they handle a wedding. Ask to see a sample ceremony outline, or better still, ask them to show you options you can consider. This may indicate how they will do on your wedding day.


Check out their ability to respect your spiritual beliefs. Do they offend you or affirm you? Remember, respect is a big deal for such an intimate occasion.

Consider how much you want to be involved in the details. For example, writing your own vows, including special features like a wine box or a sand ceremony, may or may not be okay with your candidate. You know what you want, so choose an officiant who encourages your creativity.

You can be flexible with your finances when choosing an officiant. This may be the lowest cost item in your budget. Check out the customary fees in your area and plan to pay within that range.

Lists of the 10 questions to ask your wedding officiant are easy to find. That might be all you need. But there is really only one question that matters. Who do you want to launch your marriage?

Remember, your wedding day is the first day of your lifetime together.

Copyright, Calvin R. Wulf and Lisa Aré Wulf, 2015