When it comes to planning a wedding I always advise (my clients and myself) to book the things you are certain of first. This way you can get a few things checked off the list early on (even if they are small things) and you will feel better and hopefully less overwhelmed.
One of the things which is most of the time an easy choice is the officiant. Some people might have a family church and whether you are getting married at the church or not your pastor will perform your ceremony. Decision made.
If you are having a church wedding, as members or not, your officiant will more than likely come with the church. Decision made.
If you don’t have already have someone in mind, there are various routes you can go.
There are “floating” officiants out there who can be found through referrals (friend or planner) and also online. I recommend using sites such as WeddingWire who offer referrals as well as reviews so you can get a sense of what other couples are saying. These “floating” officiants are often not affiliated to one church and are happy and able to perform ceremonies at any venue and also of multiple denominations.
For same sex couples, the choice is unfortunately still somewhat limited. I am happy to say that I am seeing more churches accepting and recognizing same-sex marriages (depending on the state of course) and I’m also finding more “floating” officiants who are happy that laws now allow them to join two people in holy matrimony, no matter their sexual orientation. Without getting on a rant, I just want to say that there are now options.
Another option which is becoming more and more popular is to have a friend or family member get ordained online and they will be legally able to perform the ceremony. This is a great touch and is a wonderful way to include an aunt, uncle or grandparent.
For me it was simple, which is why it was one of the first things I booked. My officiant married my sister and some of my friends. He is great. He is also happy to tailor the ceremony to whatever religion or needs his couples may have. For me, we are compromising. I come from a family who believes but does not belong to a church and is more “spiritual” than religious, whilst Gerber Babe comes from a Southern Baptist background. So for us we are combining both our needs and honoring our families’ choices with a mixed ceremony. The most important thing for us was finding someone who will understand this and make our day the most special day possible.
I’m happy to say that we did not have to put much though or time into this decision. And officially have one thing checked off the list.