You’re engaged– CONGRATULATIONS!! Now the planning can begin…. You need to select the venue, the bridal party, the cake, the dj, and…. oh yeah….. the officiant!

While the officiant likely isn’t something you’ve been spending years making Pinterest boards around, finding the right one is an important aspect of creating an unforgettable wedding day.  Before you start shopping around for a particular person, though, it’s a good idea to sit down with your partner and discuss what you want the ceremony to be like so you can then tailor your officiant search with that in mind. Are you envisioning an indoor wedding or outdoor? Do you want a local ceremony or destination? Do you want it to be religious, secular, or a combination? And if religious, do you and your partner share a common faith, or do you want to design a ceremony which incorporates aspects of two different ones? In cases such as that, many couples choose to have two officiants.

Officiant at alter of wedding ceremony

Once you’ve ironed out those guidelines together, it’s important to take your time and not be afraid to vet a few candidates before you make your final decision. As you navigate your search, consider the following:


  • What tone or style do they embody? Are they formal? Friendly? Funny? Romantic?
  • Do they have religious or cultural beliefs that work well with your own? Remember, these don’t have to match exactly, but they should at least coexist well in order to avoid any friction.
  • Do you want to have a friend or family member perform the ceremony? If so, do they have the requisite certifications for your city, county, state, and country in order to legally perform as an officiant?

Skills & Services

  • Have you seen them perform a ceremony in the past or do they have references you can check?
  • What services do you wish your officiant to provide? Do you want them to write a special ceremony just for the two of you, or follow a script? Do you want them to participate in premarital counseling? Do you want them to do something special like sing or do a magic trick or release a pair of doves?
  • Do their services work within your budget? And if you’re having a friend or family member officiate, will you be paying them, and if so, how much?
  • How many meetings or rehearsals do you want them to attend?


  • What is their travel radius?
  • Are they willing or able to officiate at the venue you’ve chosen?
  • What is the back-up plan if this officiant gets injured or sick?

A couple of extra notes:

If you’re planning a destination wedding: these can be great, but also a little complicated.  Sometimes in order for your union to be legally recognized, you need to do a separate ceremony at your local courthouse before or after your destination ceremony in another state or country, so make sure to factor that in as you’re searching for officiants.

Packages: Some venues and planning services include the officiant in an all-inclusive package. If this is the case for you, make sure you and your partner are 100% okay with the person that they have on offer to be your officiant, and don’t be afraid to speak up or change your plan if you aren’t. Remember, this is your wedding day, and both of you need, and deserve, to feel comfortable with whomever is performing your ceremony.

If you’re in the Rochester, NY area, we’d love to tell you about our officiant services at Spectrum Sounds, where our caring officiants are dedicated to bringing respect, sincerity, and professionalism to all types of couples and ceremonies. Please give us a call at tel:585-451-1111 or send us an email via our contact page and we’ll be happy to answer all of your questions.

Finding the right person to officiate at your wedding can be a little labor-intensive, but when the big day comes and it’s you, your partner, and your officiant right there together for a moment you’ll remember forever, you’ll be SO glad you put in the time and effort to make sure you got it just right.