When planning your wedding, it's easy to become focused on the dress, decor, and catering, while forgetting all about the need for an officiant. For those that belong to a specific church and are planning a church wedding, the decision may be easy and part of the wedding package at the church. For secular weddings or those not held at a church, you may need to find your own officiant. The following guide can help you understand your options.
If you and your spouse do have an affiliation with a specific church or religious sect, you may still be able to have a religious leader preside over your ceremony, even if you aren't having a church ceremony. Simply contact a church in the specific sect and inquire about officiant services. They should be able to provide you with a list of ministers or priests that officiate outside of church premises. You can then interview them to pick the best one for your wedding. They may also be able to refer you to non-denominational officiants. This can be a good idea, if you and your future spouse are of the same religion, but from different sects.
Secular or civil options
It can be a bit more difficult to find the perfect secular officiant, if you don't want a religious ceremony. References from newlyweds can be your best option. If you don't know any newlyweds, there are likely online portals for your city that will have recent reviews of officiants. Many wedding planners and venue providers also have lists of officiants you can contact and interview for your wedding. Another option is to contact the courthouse where court weddings are performed in your city. Some court officiants also freelance as officiants at off-site weddings.
Appoint a friend
Many people are unaware that it is relatively easy to become an officiant. The process varies from state to state, but often it requires little more than filling out a form at the local courthouse or county clerk's office. There are also non-denominational churches that provide ordination as an officiant, either online or in person. Keep in mind that, often, this ordination is not sufficient to officiate. You may still need to complete paperwork for the state to make everything completely legal. The benefit of appointing a friend or loved one is that you can have someone that you love and trust playing a pivotal role on one of the most important days of your life. If you'd rather hire, of course, you can always contact a company like Wedding Officiant Chicago.
I still remember my first wedding. Because I was in a hurry to get everything done, I just chose the run-of-the-mill option for every aspect of the ceremony. Instead of finding a minister who knew me and the groom, I just took whoever was available. Instead of custom designing my cake, I chose it out of a big, boring book. Unfortunately, all of these design oversights led to a wedding that was really bland. However, that marriage only lasted a few years, and before I knew it, I had a chance to do things again. The next time around, I added special touches that made a big difference. Read my website to find out how to make your wedding better.