How do you choose a qualified Wedding Officiant?

How do you choose a qualified Wedding Officiant?

Little do we need to tell our couples how stressful planning a wedding can be.  You might be in the midst of wedding planning right now!  Ask yourself this important question:  Do you know who is going to officiate your wedding?  For some of you, this may be an easy answer.  But what about those couples that do not belong to a church or have decided to get married outside of their home church and their pastor refuses to marry them?  What about those couples that want a non-religious ceremony?  Gay and lesbian couples?


The choices for a professional wedding officiant in Southern Indiana are slim, unless you happen to know someone that knows someone that used to be a pastor.  Or there is always the Internet – a person can get ordained in 5 minutes just by paying a little bit of money.


Now, ask yourself this:  if the person that you are going to use as your officiant is a family member that got ordained over the Internet or who has not spoken in front of an audience in many years, how confident are you that they are going to perform well during your ceremony?


We have heard many horror stories:  “The officiant looked like they just rolled out of bed and decided to go to a wedding”…”My husband and I were not called by our correct names through the whole ceremony”…”He {officiant} smelled like mothballs and went off on some strange tangent that had nothing to do with us”…”She {officiant} used an IPAD for a script and dropped it during our wedding.  We stood up in front of everyone while she tried to figure out what went wrong with her screen”.


How can couples avoid these potential situations?  Just like with any other vendor, do your homework!  Here are a few key questions to ask or keep in mind:


  • Does the officiant have references or reviews that can be referred to?
  • When was the last time the officiant did a wedding?
  • What does the officiant wear to a ceremony?  Is his/her attire up to date?  Are there pictures that can be referenced?
  • What will the ceremony be like?  Does the officiant make the ceremony him/herself or can the couple provide their own input?
  • How many weddings does the officiant do on one day?   If more than one, how far are they separated out from one another?


An experienced and qualified officiant can make volumes of difference in how smoothly a wedding can run.


Please contact us with questions you may have regarding your wedding officiant questions!


Warmest Regards,

Reverend Thomas and Leah Dugan