(Closed) Officiant Woes

posted 6 years ago in Ceremony
  • poll: What should I do!?
    Spend the extra money, it's normal. : (3 votes)
    16 %
    Hire the judge and do a rehearsal without him. : (13 votes)
    68 %
    I have a recommendation (post below) : (3 votes)
    16 %
  • Post # 3
    3625 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    I don’t have a suggestion for you from the area, but our non-denominational officiant was less than that and not only did she come to the rehearsal, she also gave us sample ceremony wording so we can craft our own. Not sure what is the “normal” rate, but in SoCal, everything is super expensive so I think $400 for yours seems a bit high. I think it is a good thing to have the officiant come to the rehearsal so s/he knows where to stand, the timing, the people, etc. so I would rather pay more for someone to show up to the rehearsal than to get a bargain and wing it.

    Post # 4
    778 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    Is there a way you could find a friend and have them become ordained online?  That way you can get someone you’re comfortable with and have the ceremony you really want.


    Btw, I’m in the same boat about an officiant.  My fiance is a scientist, and we both have very cut and dry beliefs, and we’re looking to have a secular ceremony.


    good luck!

    Post # 5
    1460 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    Go to your county/city courthouse and they should be able to give you a list of officiants.  I found our’s on the net and she’s charging $200 and that’s only because we’re having a personalized ceremony.

    Post # 7
    5494 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2011

    Our officiant said he didn’t do rehearsal either.  I told my DOC about it and she said that this was the norm and that she leads the rehearsal and had never seen an officiant attend the rehearsal. they know what they’re doing. I wouldn’t worry about that aspect of it.

    Post # 8
    3471 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA

    Why don’t you ask a friend to dit and have them become a non-denominational minister (universallifechurch.org) It’s free, and there are no strings attached. 

    Otherwise go for the judge and just dothe rehearsal without him. 

    Post # 9
    8394 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    We had the judge at our rehearsal and honestly it was totally unnecessary. We just had him walk down first the day of, so it was pretty uncomplicated. He didn’t charge anything but I think my parents gave him $250.

    Post # 10
    2692 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 2012

    I would think if you’re doing a simple non-religious ceremony, you could forgo the officiant at your rehearsal.  As long as you meet with them first to discuss specifics beforehand so you are both clear what you want and how things will run.

    I spoke with my officiant today and she told me we don’t need to meet until 2 weeks before the ceremony to discuss details.  Howver, I doubt she will be able to attend the rehearsal so I will make sure to have all the specifics (what we want and how we want it and timing) so we’re both clear on things.  For the rehearsal, I basically want to practice entrance and exits, time the music and make sure things go smooth (no confusion on anyone’s part). IO don’t think I need her there for that.


    Post # 11
    3763 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    You could also go to the courthouse before the actual wedding and get legally married, then have a friend or family officiate your ceremony (i.e. they won’t need any special certification). This way you will already be “married” at the ceremony your friends and family go to, but you could still do personal vows to e/o instead of generic courthouse ones.

    Just brining it up as an idea because this is what Fiance and I are doing. He is Catholic and wanted the marriage to be recognized so we will be officially getting married (just us and maybe immediate family) a day or two before the big winery ceremony with all of our friends and family. We will write our own vows for the big ceremony and have our mutual friend officiate. 🙂

    Post # 12
    34 posts
    • Wedding: July 2013

    @jymdrw:  There’s a judge/lawyer in that area that’s only $200 – but I don’t think he does a rehearsal.

    I know a girl who does them, and TOTALLY personalizes your ceremony – and does a rehearsal at no charge – $400.00….plus you get more….keepsake of your vows, and as many rewrites as you need. You get to proofread everything… She’s really nice…and I would’ve chosen her, except my fiance didn’t want a girl… seasonalceremonies.com, I think… She also has a FB page… Seasonal Ceremonies. I think it’s an excellent deal…. That’s the most I wanted to spend, but we just hired Rev. Phil (idoweddings.tv) for $1300!!! NOT what I wanted to spend…but I think he fits us well….

    Good luck, finding an officiant is tough!!!

    Post # 14
    298 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2012 - Prairie Production- Chicago (loft)


    I am using Bob from hands and Hearts Weddings (Chicago). He as come to our home several times to plan the ceremony and he will create the type of ceremony you want. He does have some samples to follow, but you can completly transform it into what you want to make it your own. he was a priest- and has worked in a church- but now just loves to perform at weddings. He will even give you options on what he can wear- including a black suit.


    Im sure he’d be willing to travel for a small fee. He’s doing our wedding for 350.

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