TheSanDiegoBridalShow's blog / Wedding Tips / SELECTING A WEDDING OFFICIANT

14 January, 201214 January, 2012 3 comments Post Comments Wedding Tips Wedding Tips
There are many different decisions a couple must make in order to have a successful wedding day. Of all of these decisions selecting the right wedding officiant is the most personal and is certainly one of the most important. For those couples who attend a church, synagogue or other religious organization, finding a wedding officiant becomes much easier. These couples usually have someone they know and trust participating with them in their wedding ceremony. For everyone else it becomes a very different matter all together. 

There are many questions that need to be answered in order to select the right officiant. What organization are they associated with? What do they offer for a wedding ceremony? How far do they travel? Do they require counseling? And, the seemingly most asked question, how much do they charge? 

First, what organization are they associated with? In California people who perform weddings do not have to register with the State. But, it is important that you know what organization ordained them or recognizes them as having authority to legally officiate a wedding ceremony. They can actually be independent from any organization as long as they still have this authority. 

What do they offer for a wedding ceremony? In other words, do they help you plan the wedding or do they just have a ceremony that they do. Do you get to meet with them? Will they let you get involved in the planning? Can it be religious or non-religious? Do they let you have any say regarding the content of the message? Also, will they do interfaith ceremonies? 

How far will they travel? Although it is not necessary to find a minister in the area you wedding is taking place, it is important to know if you minister charges extra to travel over a certain distance. Sometimes this can mean that the "bargain" minister really wasn't that cheap after all. It is best to select someone with a flat fee so you know exactly what you're paying for. Another question would be if the rehearsal is extra or included in the fee. (More on cost later). 

Do they require counseling? Some officiates will not do a wedding without counseling. Although this is a great idea for anyone getting married, sometimes couples don't want this or are taking care of this themselves. If this is not what a couple wants, then this is not the right officiant for them. 

Now, the most asked question, and usually the first one asked by couples: How much do they charge? In almost every area of the wedding a decision on cost comes down to, not only what each couple can afford, but what do they get for the service they are paying for. In every other category of service for weddings the decision is based on goods offered and the cost of those services. It is basically a business decision. 

Selecting an officiant is more of a personal, emotional, even a spiritual decision. It is typical for a couple using their own clergy to simply give them a tip of some modest amount. There are some who think this system of payment will also apply to an officiant they 'hire' to do their wedding. This is not how it works. If you use your clergy, you may already donate to the church from which they receive a salary. in this case, a tip is more appropriate. When you asked someone to officiate your wedding who works independently, he is basically earning a salary on his own. It is not appropriate to pay him in the same way. On the surface it may appear that every wedding officiate does the same thing no matter what they charge. There can be a very big differences! 

An experienced, qualified edding officiant in San Diego can charge anywhere from $250 to over $600. The good ones charge more because they usually have more experience, do more to make your ceremony special, spend more time with you and do a better job in their presentation during the ceremony. The better officiants will meet with you and get you involved with the planning. They will be available if you need them and will help you in any way they can. Like any other service for your wedding day, the better wedding officiants are not the cheapest ones. Keep in mind that no matter what you pay for an officiant, they will always be the cheapest item you will pay for. 

The most important thing to remember is that your wedding officiant is the first person your guests will see on your wedding day. Whatever you plans, however much you spend, if the officiant doesn't represent you well in your wedding ceremony, they will be the focus of conversation the rest of the day, (not to mention be in most of your pictures of the ceremony). The right officiant will start your day right and help you to have the wedding you dreamed about. 


  • sgmxgzh1By sgmxgzh1 1269 Days Ago
    0 points    
    This is a really good read for me. Must agree that you are one of the coolest blogger I ever saw. Thanks for posting this useful information. This was just what I was on looking for. I'll come back to this blog for sure!
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  • andy15By andy15 1651 Days Ago
    0 points    
    ya agree with you for a perfect wedding the decisions made by the couple matters a lot. all the planing, regarding budget, guests, their meal etc and also most important the wedding dresses. i think your points are helpful
  • revronwedsBy revronweds 2361 Days Ago
    2 points    
    Most basic questions not covered when choosing a minister: How long have you been ordained? How many couples have you married? Are you available part time or full time? What awards and or reviews have you received? Are you current on the latest technology for communication? These are important key indicators that will insure the ceremony goes smoothly. The number of weddings officiated equals experience and it is the level of experience the officiant has that will eliminate distractions. Cell phones ringing, the rings are missing, the best man is standing at the wrong end, the officiant's mic is on a microphone stand(not great for photos), the guests are left standing, or the officiant forgets to turn on his lapel mic. With over 80,000 couples married by Rev. Ron of San Diego, the most important objective is to eliminate distractions so that the couples enjoys every minute of their ceremony.


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