Choosing your wedding Officiant is as important as the other decisions you'll make.
This person will be in your photographs, video and memories for the rest of your life. It's sometimes difficult for couples who aren't part of a formal spiritual community to figure out how to even find an Officiant. For your own sake, give this choice the attention and financial consideration that it deserves.
Choose an Officiant who has the most to offer and be willing to pay for their experience, expertise and service. Be sure to spend as much time, care and money on finding an Officiant that fits you as perfectly as the wedding dress, cake and flowers you choose. There are a lot of options these days and one size definitely doesn't fit all.
Most wedding planning guides haven't caught up with today's wedding Officiant pricing.
You may be caught off guard by the idea of paying a spiritual person for their services. Most professional wedding Officiants whether they are a Justice of the Peace, a Minister affiliated with a Church or an unaffiliated Officiant charge a fee. In Colorado professional Officiants charge an average of $400 for their services.
I've heard many confused complaints about this such as, "How can they charge that for a 20 minute ceremony?" Just like any professional there is a lot of planning and preparation that goes into your 20 minute ceremony. There is at least one meeting with the couple to determine what they want to do. The creation of the written ceremony, and additional changes if needed. Travel to the ceremony site and usually at least two hours on site during which there is a 20 minute ceremony.
Even so, when it comes to finding an Officiant, many couples focus only on the fee. Keep your perspective.
Think about the total cost of your wedding. If you save a few dollars on your Officiant by choosing based only on the lowest cost, how significant will that be in five or ten years?
Meet with your prospective Officiant.
See what kind of chemistry you have. Does she/he seem nice?
Easy to work with? Does she/he have a pleasant speaking voice? What will she/he wear? Is the Officiant focused on pleasing you, or will you be expected to “do as you’re told?”
Does the Officiant have any restrictions or objections to your location, music, plans for pictures or video?, etc. Find out what kind of ceremonial elements she/he has to offer? What experience does this person have, and can you get references if you want them?
Finally, where is the Officiant “coming from”
ideologically. Some Officiants are very traditional Religious Ministers –
while others are interfaith, non-denominational Ministers who are
coming from a different perspective.
It’s not a matter of one being better than the other – but only of matching where you’re coming from with your Officiant’s style and beliefs. So you can have the kind of ceremony that you’ll look back on happily ten years from now.