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19 Questions You Need to Ask Your Wedding Officiant Before You Get Married

January 11, 2023

Your wedding day should be one of the most incredible days of your life. After all, it is the day you will forever bond with the love of your life. That’s why, whether it’s the wedding venue you choose or the caterer, every tiny detail needs to be considered. This includes the person who will marry you and your soon-to-be life partner. So when you’re looking for a wedding officiant, there are specific questions that you should ask before you make a decision.

What is a Wedding Officiant?

Whether you call them ministers, celebrants, or even judges, the bottom line is that an officiant is a broad term for someone who can perform a legal marriage ceremony. They usually fall into either religious or civil categories. With that said, here are some questions you should ask your officiant to ensure that everything goes smoothly (in no particular order).

Wedding Officiant Handing Rings to Husband and Wife

  • Are you available on my wedding date?

Some of the questions on this list qualify under the “of course, you have to ask that” list. Yes, this is one of those kinds of questions. If the answer is no, then you should move on.

  • How many weddings have you officiated?

Hiring someone with zero experience in this line of work can mess up your entire ceremony. The more experience someone has with officiating weddings, the smoother it’ll go.

  • What type of weddings have you officiated?

Does the officiant specialize in traditional ceremonies, or can they conduct ceremonies more suited to you and your partner’s interests (i.e., funny weddings, weddings in multiple languages, etc.)? A wedding is a short love story that must be told the way you two wrote it. You just have to find the right narrator that matches its tone and feel.

  • What type of microphone do you prefer?

Some officiants choose the traditional microphone as it is considered more reliable. Others prefer having both hands to hold their script and would instead use a lapel mic. If they choose the latter and you have an outdoor wedding, please check the forecast, as the wind could be picked up by the mic itself and could make the whole experience miserable.

  • What items can you provide?

It’s essential to know from not just a logistics perspective but also a financial one as well. For instance, if the officiant does not have a microphone, you may have to rent or buy one. This question pertains to more than just the logistics of the ceremony itself, as some officiants can provide audio of the ceremony. It can be a great memory that you can listen back to for the rest of your lives!

  • Are you available for the rehearsal?

To make sure your ceremony goes smoothly, it’s always important to not just hold a rehearsal beforehand but also to have all the leading players involved in it as well. Missing one of these critical people could throw off the timing of everything, especially the person in charge of running the ceremony.

  • Will you handle filing the marriage license for us?

Some officiants may view this as a burden, while others consider it an honor. It’s not a dealbreaker, but it could save you some time from filing it yourself.

  • How much do you charge?

You should find this out not just for the wedding but also for the rehearsal.

  • Do you have a backup in case of an emergency?

Whether a last-minute thing popped up or an illness got in the way, it’s always advisable to have a plan B in place.

  • Can we see some of your past work?

It’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into beforehand. While this may seem like an odd question, you’d like to understand if the officiant can match the style and tone of your wedding ahead of time. See if there are any videos available from past weddings they’ve done that you can watch.

  • Can we meet ahead of time to go over logistics?

The more facetime you have with the officiant before the festivities, the better off you’ll be. If they can’t make themselves available to meet beforehand to discuss the ceremony, you may be better off finding someone else, as this can show a lack of care.

  • Do you have any reviews?

Finding reviews online is an excellent way to get feedback on your potential officiant. After all, you want to know how they’ll perform ahead of time.

  • What time will you arrive at the ceremony?

Ensure the officiant arrives at least 30 minutes before your ceremony. You already have enough stress on your plate, so why add on the burden of not knowing when the officiant will be there?

  • Can you help us with our vows?

Some people need help with writing vows. For those people, it’s not out of a lack of love, but it’s the high pressure of putting into words how much your partner means to you. Your future officiant can help with that!

  • Are you okay with us making changes to the ceremony script?

Doing this minutes before the ceremony would not be cool, but it’s essential to know if your officiant can go with the flow in case something changes.

  • What will you wear on our wedding day?

You might have some issues if you’re having a traditional ceremony and your officiant plans to show up in a Lloyd Christmas-style orange tuxedo. You may have to be specific about this.

  • Do you require premarital counseling to marry us?

You may not have seen this coming, but some require that you have had premarital counseling. While this does offer its fair share of benefits, it may be a turn-off for some couples.

  • What questions do you have for us?

The more your wedding officiant knows about you, the easier it’ll be for them to craft the love story that deserves to be told to your audience. If they ask many questions, it will show the care they want to put into your ceremony.

  • Are you available to travel if needed?

If you’re planning a destination wedding, it’d be nice to know if the officiant is willing to make the hike. Also, find out if they need to be covered for travel expenses or not if they’re eager to.

As mentioned above, every detail must be taken into account for your special day. Another aspect you should account for is the venue. So don’t settle for just any place. Contact us if you’re looking for the best wedding and event venue in Montgomery County, PA! When it comes to your wedding, we’ll ensure that the style, cuisine, and attention to detail are on point.