(Closed) ADVICE NEEDED – How did you choose your officiant?

posted 10 years ago in Secular
Post # 3
Member
72 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

This was a tough area for my fiance and I as well.  We called a few people and found that anyone that is affiliated with a church is MUCH more money than a standard Justice of the Peace.  We ended up going with a Justice of the Peace that our friend used.  After talking to him on the phone to go over how he runs his ceremonies, we met him in person to make sure we were comfortable with him. He gave us a list of options to choose from for our introduction, wedding vows, readings, how he will introduce us as husband and wife… he let us pick it all!   I really like how we are designing our wedding and getting to choose what we would like to say/have said.  I think it is important to ask how the ceremony is set up, learn what will be said, how he/she sets everything up that day, what he/she will wear, and most importantly, if you are comfortable with the person. Good Luck!

Post # 5
Member
5262 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

My uncle is our first choice, more because I think it will mean a lot to him. He’s a pastor and a nice guy. 

If it wasn’t for him, though, we’d go non-religious. Probably either a justice of the peace, or have a friend get ordained. I don’t know why, but I could totally see FI’s uncle doing it! 

Post # 6
Member
2007 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

We went though a list of people that we know well who would be good public speakers and might enjoy doing it. That our officiant know both of us well was our biggest criteria.

We wound up asking my new uncle (he married my aunt last year) and he was perfect! He was close but not too close, comfortable speaking publicly (he’s a college professor) and has the perfect mix of seriousness and humor. We then worked together to come up with the script. Because we were in Colorado you can marry each other and thus he didn’t have to get ordained or anything. Another perk is that all it cost us was a gift certificate to a nice restaurant!  MUCH cheaper than the hundreds of dollars that seems common for an “official” officiant and MUCH more personal.

Post # 7
Member
1892 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

We are getting married out of state and ended up getting a list of people from the local wedding association. We went through the list, read the testimonals and did some research. I also have a thing about peoples voices when the speak or read outloud so I listened to each, got a feel for their style and we both quickly agreed on who we liked best. He is really down to earth and listens to us in order to make the ceremony as personal as possible. We even had a chance to meet up with him when we were in the area.

I would just check out the ones that you are leaning towards and then talk with them or meet up and see who you click with.

Post # 8
Member
4122 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Use someone that’s important to you.  Depending on your states laws a friend/family member may only need to pay for the license!  

If that’s not an option, a Justice of the Peace is fine!  Someone who isn’t necessarily a FT wedding officiant…. and here’s why.

A bride of mine (I’m a photog) once hired a guy who had a whole service.  Beach wedding, he provided himself, tiki torches, sound, and whatever else I guess was needed.  He had already given the bride a strict, you must be on time, speach at booking.  MOB was LATE.  When the bride arrived at the time of cutoff, already stressed about the time because her mom was late… the minister asked the groom (who had been standing next to him for 40 min!) for the license.  They forgot it at home!  HE REFUSED TO MARRY THEM!  He refused to do a non-legal “ceremony” for the guests.  He almost started pulling torches up and leaving.  Twice the money later, a bride in tears, a groomsmen made it across town and took a picture via cell phone to send to the officiant.  The groomsmen MISSED the wedding.  Luckily, things worked out in the end.. and I was able to keep the bride occupied, but no one deserves that kind of drama!  He was only in it for the money, not the happiness of his “clients.”  Shameful.

So, be careful! 😉

Post # 10
Member
908 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

We had two officients, one Independent Catholic who is associated with a church (but we didn’t use the church) and a Jewish Cantor.

They each cost about $800.

It was a lot but they each had to travel 1-2 hours.

Post # 11
Member
950 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Don’t know what the rules are in Washington, but in California, the state allows anyone to apply for an officiating license for ONE day & legally marry you.  My Future Brother-In-Law did this at his wedding – officiant was an old family friend and neighbor of Future Sister-In-Law – and he did a great job!  They aren’t affiliated with any church, but didn’t want just any stranger to marry them, so they picked someone important to her. We’re doing this for our second ceremony (getting married in the Catholic Church, but also want an outdoor wedding, so doing that second); one of FI’s childhood friends (whom I love, too!) will officiate our outdoor ceremony.  If this is an option for you, you’ll get to pick someone who is personally important & what a great way to invite someone to be part of your wedding! Laughing

Post # 12
Member
908 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

KLP thats HORRIBLE!!

I was late to my wedding b/c of my Mom and our priest had to leave an hour after the ceremony began to get to another wedding.  We weren’t sure how long it would take b/c we’d never done a complete run-though.  My husband was txting me and telling me that the priest needed to leave at 4.  In the end, I was only 10 minutes late and there was plenty of time.  We were well aware of the priest’s schedule before the day so my frustration was directed at my Mom!  UGH!

Post # 13
Member
4122 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Peacock – Don’t stress… just do research and be careful. I really do think that you should check our states requirements and have someone family or friend officiate.  It’s always going to be more personal if the person doing your wedding actually knows at least one if not the 2 of you 🙂

Post # 14
Member
1700 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

@KLP: OMG. I can’t even begin to imagine……

Post # 15
Member
142 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

KLP: THAT horror story is the exact reason i’ve told everyone the ceremony starts at 3:00 but booked the officiant @ 3:30. I’m sorry, but if he’s ready to go at 3:30 and a VIP person from my party (besides the groom of course :P) isn’t there, (be it my mom, sister, of BFF) that’s too bad. People i know are always late and i just didn’t want to take that risk…

Post # 16
Member
369 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

KLP~ OMG! That is really aweful! Picking up the tiki torches out of the ground! He needs some anger management!

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