Questions to Ask Wedding Officiants

Whether you choose a friend or someone else to marry you, to help you find the person who is best for your needs, here are some questions to ask when meeting with officiants:
  • What is your experience with marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples? 
  • How do you charge? (You’ll notice that some officiants charge a fee and others accept donations or honorariums, which often go toward the house of worship that they’re affiliated with. Most often these fees are paid in advance, but if not, the payment should include a note of appreciation. This is traditionally presented by the best man, but in gay weddings, can be presented by your wedding planner, best person, or even yourself.)  
  • Do you provide a ceremony microphone for yourself and readers? (I recommend a microphone for weddings with more than fifty guests.) 
  • Will you attend and run the ceremony rehearsal? If the officiant performs several ceremonies in one weekend, find out whether he or she will be at your rehearsal. Some may not, and if you and/or your planner are not comfortable with that, choose someone else. 
  • Do you write custom ceremonies? 
  • Do you require pre-marital counseling? 
  • Can we write our own vows? 
  • Do you have sample readings? 
  • How long do your marriage ceremonies usually last?  
  • Do you have any audio or video footage of a ceremony you officiated? 
Note that it’s traditional for the officiant and his or her spouse (if applicable) to be invited to the rehearsal dinner and wedding. The officiants I know usually decline because they have their own families and perform at many weddings. But it is a nice gesture to invite them nonetheless.
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