couple outdoor ceremony

Photo: By Asa Photography

An officiant may very well be the most important person at your wedding—getting married is what this whole shebang is all about, right? So be sure to choose wisely when selecting your officiant.

We talked to several pros to find out the essential question to ask potential wedding officiants.

  • Do you have any restrictions on the type of ceremony or requirements to officiate my wedding? (Some ministers or officiants will only do a "traditional" wedding.)
  • Are you available for my wedding date and location of ceremony?
  • What is your fee? Are there any extra fees for mileage, extra ceremonies, attending the rehearsal, etc.?
  • How will you be dressed?

—"Rev" Aliene Bodholdt of in Denton, Texas

  • How long is the ceremony?
  • Does the officiant attend the rehearsal?
  • Can I have readers besides the JP?

Dan Griffiths, Justice of the Peace, in Windham, New Hampshire

  • Can we meet with you in person before the ceremony?

Wedding and Marriage Officiant Rev. Rudy Heezen of Whitby, Ontario, Canada

  • Does the officiant offer any flexibility within the ceremony format to meet the individual needs of the couple?
  • Does the officiant offer a virtual rehearsal via Skype or FaceTime as a savings to the couple versus paying the mileage to attend the rehearsal?
  • Is the officiant supportive of interfaith, secular and same-sex marriages (if applicable) and if so is there ceremony format gender neutral?
  • Are there opportunities for friends or family members to participate in the ceremony to add a personal touch?
  • Does the officiant accept credit cards?
  • Does the officiant offer any guidance on how to apply for marriage license, and walk you through the name change process afterwards, including providing assistance and how to expedite the process of obtaining a certified copy of the marriage certificate?

Heather Saul, wedding officiant in Hampstead, Maryland

  • Do you offer counseling?
  • Can you handle a complicated family situation? (if applicable)

Rabbi Laurie Green of Baltimore, Maryland

  • Can we write our own vows?
  • Can we be creative and have a theme wedding (if applicable)?
  • When I need to reach you, how do I contact you and if I don’t reach you right away then how soon can I expect you to respond?

—Wendy Thurow of Our Simple Ceremony in Ocala, Florida