Wedding officiant chicago cost

Wedding officiant chicago cost DEFAULT

Chicago Wedding Officiant

Pastor Rich

Rating 5.0 out of 5, 242 Reviews

5.0 (242)

 · Chicago, IL

Pastor Rich is a bi-lingual* wedding Officiant located in Park Ridge, serving the entire Midwest region. He is committed...Read more to serving all couples and families without discrimination and he is fun, calm and super-dependable. Rich believes it is "your Wedding," so he wants the ceremony to be about you...

The Wedding Rev

Rating 5.0 out of 5, 302 Reviews

5.0 (302)

 · Chicago, IL

Now doing VIRTUAL weddings!! The Wedding Rev - Rev. Dave Angle is a well-known and highly reputable wedding officiant in...Read more Chicago, Illinois. Reverend Dave and his team of ordained ministers and pastors work hard to create an unforgettable ceremony that speaks to you as a couple as well as your...

Love Story Weddings, Rev. Brad Hughes

Rating 5.0 out of 5, 178 Reviews

5.0 (178)

 · Chicago, IL

Love Story Weddings Officiates your day, your way. When most weddingsfeel more like a long funeralor a lame comedy...Read more act... Love Story Weddings featuresyour engaging LOVE STORYfor a fresh, fun, and unforgettable wedding! Visit & book your Zoom consult...

Love is Love - Reverend Steven Reid

Rating 5.0 out of 5, 4 Reviews

5.0 (4)

 · Chicago, IL

Love is Love. Your wedding is the most important day of your life. It is a celebration of where you’ve been and a...Read more commitment to where you will go together. Shared with all who are dear to you, it is a day of excitement, anticipation and more than a little nervousness. I am here to alleviate that...

Jeff G The Officiant

Rating 5.0 out of 5, 32 Reviews

5.0 (32)

 · Chicago, IL

Jeff G The Officiant is an experienced wedding officiant for couples marrying in Chicago, Illinois. This wedding...Read more officiant, Jeff, has officiated more than 200 weddings since 2012. He also plans custom ceremonies, to make every event one-of-a-kind. Services Offered This licensed officiant works with...

The Contemporary Reverend

Rating 5.0 out of 5, 11 Reviews

5.0 (11)

 · Chicago, IL

The Contemporary Reverend is a Chicago, Illinois-based business that offers customized wedding officiating services....Read more These experts believe that the ceremony is the first personal step a committed couple takes in unifying themselves to one another. In light of this, the team here believes that this...

Chicago Wedding Guy

Rating 4.9 out of 5, 254 Reviews

4.9 (254)

 · Chicago, IL

Chicago Wedding Guy is a wedding officiant service run by Rev. Thomas J. Perrucci, who is based in Schaumburg, Illinois....Read more From traditional vow exchanges to something unique, Rev. Tom is enthusiastic about helping couples create their dream ceremony. The professional officiant is devoted to ensuring...


How much does a wedding officiant cost?

While a wedding officiant cost can vary depending on where you are in the country, along with a number of other factors, the average cost in the U.S. is $300 with most couples spending between $200 to $450. Remember that this is only an average, and wedding officiant prices can differ from city to city and officiant to officiant. Additional expenses, like travel fees and rehearsal time, can add on to a wedding officiant’s costs.

What does an officiant at a wedding do?

A wedding officiant has an essential role on your big day—performing your ceremony and ensuring that you and your partner are actually married. A wedding officiant can be a religious figure, like a priest, rabbi, or minister, but can also be a secular officiant like a judge, a justice of the peace, or a professional officiant who is legally allowed to perform weddings in the state where your wedding is being held. The most obvious role of a wedding officiant is to actually prepare and perform the ceremony. Whether you choose a religious or secular officiant or want a traditional or more modern ceremony, it is his or her job to work with you to create a meaningful and special experience for you, your partner and your guests. But there’s an important legal component to a ceremony officiant’s role, too. While you and your partner need to actually obtain the marriage license, your officiant will ensure that it is filled out, signed, and sent to the proper office based on your state’s marriage license laws.

Your officiant may also provide premarital counseling, and/or attend your rehearsal to ensure things run smoothly on your big day.

How far in advance should I book my officiant?

We recommend researching and booking your wedding officiant at least seven months before your wedding day. Once you’ve decided the type of officiant you’re looking for (religious or secular), start the research process by reading online reviews of officiants located near your wedding venue, then schedule interviews (in-person, whenever possible) with your favorites. Once you book your wedding officiant, you will meet with them at least a month (usually more like three months) before your wedding day to plan your ceremony from start to finish.

How much do you pay a minister, rabbi, or other religious officiant to marry you?

Many religious officiants who are affiliated with a house of worship don’t have a set fee, so it can be a bit confusing to figure out how much to pay them. If you are getting married in a house of worship, the cost of a wedding officiant may be included in the venue fee. If that’s not the case, you will likely be expected to give a donation, anywhere from $100 to $300 or more (this may depend on if you’re a member or not). If you’re unsure, don’t be afraid to ask the house of worship with which your officiant is affiliated if they have a suggested amount.

When do you have to make a donation?

A donation is typically made when your wedding is being officiated by a religious figure—whether your wedding is being held in a house or worship or elsewhere. In this case, a set fee is not required, but a suggested donation should be made to the officiant’s affiliated house of worship.

What is included in the cost of a wedding officiant?

When it comes to your wedding officiant’s cost, it’s more than just showing up on your wedding day to perform your ceremony. A typical wedding officiant’s cost includes the following:

  • Prep work: There’s a lot of preparation that goes into making your ceremony a success. Your officiant will meet with you before your wedding to craft a ceremony that’s unique and meaningful to you, whether that means including religious elements, family traditions, readings you like, and more. Creating a ceremony plan takes at least three to four hours, not including edits and communication with you. If you’re writing your own wedding vows (36 percent of couples do!), your officiant can assist you with that as well.
  • Travel and event time: You’re paying for your officiant’s time and presence at your wedding. And if your officiant is traveling a long distance to your event, you may incur additional travel charges.
  • License handling: Your officiant is responsible for making sure your license is properly filled out, signed, and sent back within the required time frame.
  • Rehearsal time: Your officiant may or may not attend your rehearsal, but if he or she does, it’s likely an extra charge.
  • Equipment: Some officiants provide their own wireless microphones and speakers, which cost money to buy and maintain.
  • Business expenses: From phone service and Internet to education and marketing, your wedding officiant cost probably includes these and more business expenses to ensure he or she can work efficiently and be as responsive as possible.

How much should you tip a wedding officiant?

Be sure to factor tips into your budget when determining your wedding officiant cost. Religious officiants don’t usually accept tips, instead, it’s customary to make a donation of $100 to $300 or more for his or her house or worship. If you’re having a civil officiant, he or she should receive an additional $50 to $100 for excellent service. Don’t forget to review your officiant on WeddingWire, as well.

What do I need to ask my officiant before my wedding?

It’s important to meet with your wedding officiant before booking him or her. Once booked you will likely meet and communicate with your officiant several times, so that he or she can get to know you and your future spouse, as well as what you’re looking for in a ceremony. Obviously, it’s important for your officiant to know your wedding date and time, and venue, but there are some essential questions to ask your wedding officiant as well:

  • Do you have restrictions on the type of ceremony you will perform?
  • How many times will we meet before the wedding? Do we meet in person or are you open to meeting via Skype or video chat?
  • What is your fee? Are there any additional charges?
  • How will you be dressed?
  • How long is the ceremony?
  • Do you attend the rehearsal?
  • Can friends and family members participate in my ceremony?
  • Can you provide guidance on the marriage license process in my state?
  • Can we write our own vows?
  • Are there other personal touches we can add on to our ceremony
  • Can we receive premarital counseling from you?
  • What is the best way to contact you?
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How much do you charge? I'm glad you asked. You have unique wishes and needs for your ceremony. Once we get together or talk I can give you a more firm price.

We all have budgets. The ceremony sets the tone for the entire day. Its important that the person you hire is going to give you the ceremony you envision. It is important that you connect with the officiant, and you are comfortable working with them. Fees are secondary a ‘perfect fit’ with the officiant is crucial to the outcome of your wedding ceremony.

Expect to pay more for experienced and well regarded officiants. Hiring the best officiant is worth the extra cost and effort to your best wedding ceremony ever!

Below I list my packages and what is included. Please note: these are guidelines, please discuss with me any concerns or questions you may have.

The Services I Offer:

  • Classic Wedding Ceremony ($400-$600) Includes initial face to face get together to get better acquainted as well as discussing and planning your wedding ceremony. Time planning the wedding ceremony. Unlimited phone, text and email support. Includes day of the wedding. Marriage license filing. Note: Rehearsal not included.
  • Premium Wedding Ceremony ($600-$800) Includes initial face to face get together to get better acquainted as well as discussing and planning your wedding ceremony. Time planning the wedding ceremony. Time at the rehearsal coordinating and working with the wedding party to assure a stress free wedding day. Unlimited phone, text and email support. Includes day of the wedding. Marriage license filing. Note: Rehearsal is held during an ‘off’ time, e.g. Thursday, Wednesday prior to weekend ceremony.
  • Elite Wedding Ceremony ($800-$1000) Includes initial face to face get together to get better acquainted as well as discussing and planning your wedding ceremony. If requested, a second optional meeting to review and fine tune your ceremony. Time planning the wedding ceremony. Time at the rehearsal coordinating and working with the wedding party to assure a stress free wedding day. Unlimited phone, text and email support. Includes day of the wedding. Marriage license filing. Note: Rehearsal is held anytime of your choosing.
  • Elopement / Renewal Ceremony ($250-$350) last minute arrangements, less than 10 guests, Phone, text and email support only, subject to availability, travel, location.
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Rev. Thomas J. Perrucci: Wedding Officiant
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 847.310.0300

Wedding officiants in chicago

Wedding Package Prices for an Ordained Minister in Colorado

Wedding Ceremony in Denver or a Neighboring Colorado Town

Price: A wedding ceremony in Denver is $395 and a neighboring Colorado town including Boulder, Breckinridge, Frisco, Vale, Aspen, Estes Park may be an additional $100-300 depending on the distance. Rehearsals are an additional $100, as well.

Process: After you and your fiance complete the “Wedding Ceremony Questionnaire,” Michael will send you an outline of the ceremony for the initial preparation call or in-person meeting. The outline will be adapted based on your needs and wants. The intent is to curate a memorable experience with the confidence that no planning detail is forgotten! As you approach your ceremony date (about 2 weeks before), Michael will contact you to discuss any modifications. On the day of the ceremony, Michael will arrive 30 minutes early to perform a sound-check, confirm any last-minute details, and meet with the wedding participants.

Moving Forward: If you're ready to move forward, Michael will send you a contract. The deposit (50%) must be made through Zelle (7734848094) or Venmo (@michaelmoodyofficiant) to secure the wedding date. The remaining payment is due 7 days before the ceremony. You may use a credit card if needed as well (additional fees apply).

Service Areas: Michael officiates wedding ceremonies in the Denver neighborhoods of LoDo, River North, Washington Park, Cherry Creek, City Park, Central Park, Capitol Hill, Cheesman Park, Park Hill, Highland,Platt Park, Lower Highlands, Sloan Lake as well as the zip codes 80215, 80214, 80204, 80203, 80205, 80207, 80218, 80219, 80222, 80223, 80224, 80246, 80238, 80221, 80022, 80230, 80231, 80202, 80209, 80247, and 80210. Michael also serves as an ordained minister in Boulder, Breckinridge, Frisco, Aspen, Vail, Estes Park, and more. If your Denver neighborhood or Colorado town isn’t listed here, no worries! Please contact Michael to propose a wedding ceremony location in a different area!


Chicago cost officiant wedding

Pricing, Services & FAQ


If you are seeking a personable, respectable professional team who will expertly take care of your ceremony both in terms of the preparation and performance along with all the social aspects that accompany such a momentous occasion, our fees would range between $300 and $600, depending on the requested services.

We handle each quote individually and customizes each ceremony. We try to keep standard rates though our pricing varies slightly depending on date, time, location and whether or not a professional rehearsal is desired. Various options like Unity Traditions are included in your standard fees.


For your individual pricing please click the button below and complete the Quote Request Form. We will send you a no-obligation e-mail quote with plenty of materials to review. And, if technology just isn’t for you call us for a phone consultation. Either way, we will give you a simple, straight, quick answer with no hassle.

Click Here to Request a Quote

Service Options

  • You have the option of selecting from existing ceremony templates or having a personalized ceremony prepared.
  • Under the personalized option, we will prepare for you an originally written ceremony based on either, 1) a simple Background Questionnaire that you complete, or 2) a Build-It-Yourself ceremony template. For those who choose to use them this way, these tools can not only help to bring out what you would like to share about yourselves in your ceremony but also give you the chance to appreciate one another and what is special about your relationship.
  • As a part of the Questionnaire, you have the opportunity to provide personal background and details to share with your guests
  • A copy of your finalized ceremony script will be e-mailed to you for your approval, or you may allow it to be a surprise. We will revise the ceremony as many times as desired, although couples are generally happy with the first draft.
  • Ceremonies may last as long as you wish – tell us what you would like or I will provide guidance on appropriate length.
  • Ceremonies may include all types of content as desired: Non-Religious, Christian, Non-Denominational, Interfaith, Multicultural, etc. – any variety as we will write it based on your personalities.
  • We will include unity traditions and cultural customs to suit your wishes.
  • If you like, we will add in your own vows or favorite texts.
  • Languages: English, Spanish and bilingual

Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the below FAQ responses are only giving general information. Others however are giving detailed responses on our philosophy as a business owner and wedding officiant. Please read them as a way to get to know us and the quality of service that we would like to provide to you.

How do we get started?

We keep it very simple for my couples:

1) Learn about us / our team / our services: This is best done by reading our reviews, website text, personal profiles, FAQ and the materials that you will receive when you request a quote. After sending you our quote and materials we will also be happy to discuss our services over the phone. We prefer to do a phone meeting first if couples would like to meet at all (depending on their service option) so that we can easily look over the materials together and make notes while we talk.

2) Reserve my services: When you request a quote we will send you the details on how to do that. It can all be done electronically.

3) Share what type of ceremony you would like to have: How we will go about this is explained in our initial quote e-mail (if you haven’t noticed, we have pretty much wrapped up everything into what is provided on our website and what we send you when you request a quote!).

What is your role and authority as a wedding officiant?

There are a few items to understand about what we do as your Wedding Officiant. There are a lot of mixed conceptions about what Wedding Officiants are – are they like ministers, judges or Justices of the Peace? Are they emcees? The below will help to clarify our role in your wedding. If you need a simpler explanation feel free to call!

1) As your Officiant, we are willing to present more or less whatever you would like to share with your guests.

2) As your Wedding Officiant, we are neither evaluating your marriage readiness nor telling you what your marriage should be about.

3) As Wedding Officiants, if we sign your marriage license then we are acting as non-denominational ministers.

NOTE: Whether or not they hold other ordinations or have formal ministry experience outside of marriage ceremonies, our Officiants who sign marriage licenses are all ordained as non-denominational ministers. Though we can officiate / emcee ceremonies without this ordination, having it allows us to sign marriage licenses for eligible couples.

There is no specification as to what your religious beliefs may be. Any beliefs are acceptable. However, if both of you clearly feel within your hearts that your marriage is civil vs. religious, i.e. if someone were to ask you in a court of law, “Was your marriage religious or civil?” and your answer would be “Civil,” then I advise couples that they should, either before or after their ceremony, take vows before a judge to have their marriage recognized by the government.We do not recommend going to a Wedding Officiant who will bend the law to sign your license. This may have ramifications for your future legal marriage status.

NOTE: Contrary to how some Officiants may advertise themselves, there are no legal “Justices of the Peace” or other such authorities in Illinois. Unless they are current or retired judges, Wedding Officiants who sign licenses must be ministers, even if “non-denominational.” As such, no Wedding Officiant is legally eligible to solemnize a completely civil marriage. For business purposes or out of ignorance of the law, many sign illegally. We will go as far as legally permissible to accommodate each couple. Know that no matter what, we can still perform your ceremony. You may simply choose to pay an additional $15 for the judge to sign your license at the courthouse – a small price to pay in the long run.

If you have any questions on this information or on our role as your Wedding Officiant please get in touch!

Do you require pre-marital counseling?

In short, no.

Our service contract requires couples to agree that they have taken whatever steps they feel are valid to prepare for their marriage. However, is proof of counseling or counseling with us required? Not at all.

If counseling is requested, we can refer you to one of several qualified counselor who we have worked with in the past.

We do not want religious readings in our ceremony. Can you still sign our marriage license?

As far as legally signing your license, the requirement is that one or both of you considers this to be a marriage that is taking place on the grounds of your religious beliefs. There is no specification as to what those beliefs are, neither is there a need to include religious readings or anything of that nature. So, we can call the ceremony “non-religious” for the purpose of describing the content – that is, there are no scripture readings, etc. – but if either or both of you feels that your marriage is religious then that is sufficient. We may not know what your beliefs are, and we don’t need to. The real marriage is taking place within your hearts, and that’s where the definition of religious vs. civil comes into play.

If on the other hand both of you feel that this is a 100% civil marriage with no religious aspect at all then that is just slightly different in terms of how I would recommend handling it. In that case, we can certainly prepare / perform your ceremony and will be happy to, but for your protection you should have your license signed by the judge at the courthouse to insure the legal aspect of your marriage for the future. The signaturet of any wedding officiant who is not a judge will be noted as a “minister” and your marriage will be recorded as “religious” vs. “civil.” You can see how that is odd if the ceremony is completely civil in both of your minds.

We would not like a “religious” ceremony, but we would like to have God / religious tradition involved. Can you provide that?

If you would like to include religious or cultural components in your ceremony, if you would like God to be mentioned or some other sense of spirituality, or if for example you would like to have your ceremony performed by a person of faith because this is important to you at that moment of taking your vows then be certain that this can be accomplished. We have backgrounds in ministry along with other knowledge of spiritual traditions. We even have experience in public speaking, creative writing and artistic performance. In other words, we have tons of experience and can utilize all of it to bring out whatever content and mood you would like to share between yourselves and your guests at your wedding ceremony.

Whatever your preferences, we will be honored to work with you. Just let us know what you need!

My family would prefer that I am married by a religious official. Is that you?

As wedding officiants, some of us have experience / ordinations as religious officials and some of us do not. If you would like someone with official, institutional religious experience just ask!

On the other hand, if we are discussing whether or not your ceremony is actually considered “religious” then that is a different matter. If this topic is confusing to you just give me a call. We will be happy to help out as it can definitely be confusing!

Our professional and personal understanding is that we (and all other wedding officiants who are not acting as insitutional religious authorities) are eligible to perform what these days are called “non-denominational” religious ceremonies. These may be spiritual in nature and may refer to God, include religious readings, etc. They may even focus mainly on a particular tradition (e.g. Christianity) and include scripture readings and prayer. If your aim is to have a “spiritual” ceremony or to have God included then there is nothing wrong with having such a ceremony. It is much nicer than going to the courthouse!

We will be honored to stand with you as you share your sense of spirituality and seek blessings for your union and married life.

At the same time, while such ceremonies can be meaningful expressions of the commitment being made by the couple the marriages should not be understood after the ceremony by either the couple or their guests to have been consecrated or blessed by the authority of a particuliar religious institution or tradition beyond the American Marriage Ministries organization – the U.S. non-denominational religious institution that allows us to sign licenses for couples of all beliefs. It is important that this is understood so that our service to you is honestly performed.

What is the difference between of our various Officiants?

In terms of the quality of service that you will receive there is no difference, because: 1) we write the ceremonies for all of our staff, 2) we ave hand-picked and auditioned / trained all of our Officiants, and 3) we don’t work with anyone whose services will not live up to our xisting work reputation. We offer a diverse staff of officiants to meet the needs of the Chicagoland community.

What’s the difference between your company and other Officiants who are not part of a company?

With CWOS, you get the services of a team combined with the professional commitment of our carefully selected officiants.  Thus, the other big distinction between working with our company and with an individual Officiant is that if something happens to your Officiant there is no real back-up plan.  We will back up your ceremony to make sure that it still goes wonderfully.

The officiant that you select or is assigned to your ceremony has the script in hand in advance and we prepare and assign another Officiant as a backup. This rarely happens, so don’t start getting anxious, but life does have hiccups. If something is going to happen to your Officiant, better that you have an Officiant who has a backup plan already in place!

Do you provide our marriage license?

Generally speaking, your marriage license must be applied for in person by both of you. Couples sometimes ask us to get the marriage license for them, but unfortunately that is not possible. Please visit the website for your County Clerk’s office for information. Click here to visit the Cook County Clerk’s site with applicable info.

Click to visit other Illinois county clerks’ pages:

DuPage County Clerk
Kane County Clerk
Lake County Clerk
Will County Clerk
Winnebago County Clerk
McHenry County Clerk

What happens to the license after our ceremony?

After the ceremony, your officiant will complete the license and turn it in for you. This is a free service that we provide. You may also turn the license in yourself if you prefer.

Someone will need to contact the County Clerk’s office to order copies of your marriage certificate. They will not send them to you.

Do we need to have witnesses

Illinois does not require witnesses to sign the marriage license. Some states such as Michigan do.

Do we (the couple) sign the license

Illinois does not require couples to sign the marriage license. Some states such as Indiana do.

The Most Common Mistake Wedding Officiants Make (And 3 Tricks to Prevent It!)

Wedding Officiant Cost Guide

It can be easy to get so caught up in the details of the big day that you forget to make the most important part the most special one—the wedding ceremony. Hiring a good wedding officiant will take care of this, and you’ll get far more than just someone standing in front of you announcing you as a married couple.

You’ll get the experience and guidance of someone with hundreds of weddings under the belt, bringing calm to your chaos and a meaningful and memorable ceremony that will be talked about for its excellence for many years after. This is your one day to say how you feel about each other in front of people you love and who love you.

How much does a wedding officiant cost?

While it can cost $50-$100 or so to hire an intern minister or retired judge, or have a civil ceremony by the justice of the peace at the courthouse, expect to pay $200–$500 for an experienced wedding officiant.

This is a great price, because he/she will spend approx. five to ten hours on each wedding. The price will be higher if you also want your officiant at the wedding rehearsal.

This pricing guide covers:

What to know before you start looking


Once Hired

Wedding Rehearsal

Wedding Day

After the Wedding


Wedding Officiants Near Me

What to know before you look for your wedding officiant

Before you book your officiant, it will help you not waste time by first deciding what type of wedding you want to have and setting that decision in stone. Decide on:

  1. Date
  2. The officiants with the best reviews tend to book up quickly, so once you have the date down, pick your top three and see if they are available to officiate on your day.

  3. Elopement, small wedding with just family, or large wedding
  4. Some officiants have more experience with certain sizes of wedding than others, so, especially if you have a large wedding planned, pick someone with plenty of experience engaging large crowds. On the other hand, if you’re eloping and it’s just you two and your puppy, choose someone who exudes warmth and happiness for you to make it all the more special.

  5. Indoor or outdoor ceremony
  6. Weather during an outdoor ceremony can be unpredictable, and having an officiant who knows how to work a mic is important. Get his/her advice in advance on speaker setup to make sure everyone will be able to hear your vows being read to each other over gusts of winds and rain on the canopy.

  7. Include religious aspects or not
  8. We all have different upbringings and life experiences that have led us to the place we are today regarding matters of culture, faith, sexuality, and what’s important. Pick a minister or officiant who welcomes all of that about you both and is able to help you put together a ceremony that embraces all those vital parts of your world.

Wedding Officiant

Most officiants will list the types of ceremonies they feel they can offer the most to, to include the following:

  • Nonreligious
  • Interfaith
  • Vow renewal
  • Civil union
  • Ordained ministers for your religion
  • Multicultural
  • Bilingual or more
  • Humor
  • Fun/party style

What officiants on Fash are saying...

2bemarried in Santa Ana, CA, a wedding officiant with 40 years of experience, says, “I enjoy the thrill of seeing a couple rejoice in their expressions of love and deep respect for each other and their backgrounds, including their religious heritage to the degree that they seek to reflect that value for all of their guests. ... I have skills as an officiant for Catholic, Non-denominational Christian, and inter-faith couples.”

For a fun/party style wedding, look for someone who is fully on board with your plans.

Celebrations by Phillip in Austin, TX, say, “Phillip is willing go the extra mile for you.  If you have a themed wedding and would like for the officiant to dress in costume, Phillip would be more than happy to help you out.” Phillip’s prices start at $200.

Never underestimate the power of humor in an officiant. It relaxes everyone on the day and can make the ceremony noteworthy, thanks to the laughter and smiles rendered.

Rabbi Norbert Weinberg in Los Angeles, CA, says, “Throughout the wedding, I make sure to keep you and your guests engaged in the celebration and emphasize joy and gladness, with a measure of good humor.”

Consultation with Wedding Officiants

A good officiant will meet you either in person or via online video chat to listen to your love story and get to know you both a little—your personality styles, hopes and expectations for the wedding ceremony, how you want the ceremony to feel, and preferences and ideas.

From that, the officiant will be able to put together a customized, personalized ceremony that is uniquely you. Most officiants will either have a flat fee for this part or they won’t charge, while others will have a consultation rate but will roll it into the final cost.

Before, during, and right after this consultation is when you’ll know if you’ve found your officiant based on:

  • Response time to your first e-mail or phone call and ensuing communication
  • On time for consultation
  • Warmth, kindness, enthusiasm
  • Subject matter expertise
  • Organizational skills
  • Humor
  • Charisma and presence
  • Articulation
  • Presentation style

You can also get a good idea of officiants’ personalities by looking at their social media accounts. For example, Southern California Wedding Officiant owner in Long Beach, CA, Jeremy Schultheiss, lists his social media links on his Fash profile so you can learn more about him. His advice is to, “think through where your event is and what your hopes are for the big day,” and “look for someone you can trust and that is responsive to your communication.”

You can also assess their love of their job by the words they use in their profiles, likes those of Rev Sara Henderson of Ceremonies from the Heart in Kent, CT, who says, “I love everything about my work! ... I love helping them create a personalized ceremony that captures the magic of their unique relationship and love.”

Once You've Hired Your Officiant...

Once you’ve hired your officiant, he/she will be one of your key players. You’ll go over each aspect of the ceremony and choose your preference for how you want it to be. The officiant will provide several guides and helpful information for this part, guiding you through the welcome, your couple story, the vows, readings, exchange of rings, and closing.

Wedding Officiant

Talk through all the smaller details such as who enters when, who stands where, when would you like this particular song clip to be played, when the officiant should announce the surprise guest—your fiancé’s brother from Australia, and so on.

This decision process sets the tone for the day and will put your mind at ease, as you’ll know what to expect and be prepared.

Sample readings, vows, and couple stories

The officiant will also give you many sample readings, vows, and couple stories to help you write your own, and from past experience can recommend the best length for all these before you begin to lose your audience. Many couples have said, after the wedding, that the officiant helped them craft their couple story and vows to a perfect length and with words that emphasized the love, caring, and humor they wanted the guests to feel as they were shared.

You want the officiant’s speech to convey what your marriage means to you, so this is a valuable part of the service that can touch even the hardest hearts among your guests.

In addition, the officiant can suggest some delightfully unique and memorable touches to the typical wedding ceremony, such as handfasting, a wine ceremony, or a guest rope knotting.

Wedding Rehearsal

It’s highly recommended that you also have your officiant at the wedding rehearsal. It will help the wedding party know where they should be and when, and will calm any frayed nerves the night before the big day.

Did you forget anything? Fash can help.

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Wedding day

Great officiants are prepared for anything—from having a hairdryer and hairspray in the car for last-minute hair problems to having an extra copy of your vows in case you forgot yours. They remain calm and focused no matter what unexpected things happen, such as traffic delays or rainstorms. They even have such a large network of professional wedding services that they can call on someone straightaway if someone lets you down at the eleventh hour.

They will usually talk with you before the ceremony begins, give one more quick rundown of how it will go, and then it’s time. As soon as your officiant begins, he/she will have already read the mood of the room and set the tone to the one you want, thus ensuring everyone’s attention and keeping the focus on you and the whole reason why you’re all gathered together—to celebrate your love for each other.

After the Wedding

Before hiring, make sure your officiant will take care of filing your marriage license with the state and mailing you a copy. One couple had a Disney wedding, but because they didn’t ask their officiant about this part, they never got their copy to prove it. You want an officiant that will take care of all these details so that you don’t have to.

Wedding Officiant

Tipping your officiant is optional, but a standard tip is $50–$100. Your officiant will let you know if you need to pay for his/her service before or after the wedding. Most will ask for at least half upfront.


You many want a family member or friend to officiate at your wedding, in which case you’ll need to know the licensing requirements for doing so in order to get your marriage certificate after the wedding. Know, however, that many couples have been disappointed with this choice due to the person’s lack of experience, while others have raved about how much better having an officiant was compared to what could have been.

 U.S. Marriage Laws states, “Usually the state laws licensing provide any recognized member of the clergy (such as a Priest, Minister, Rabbi, Imam, Cantor, Ethical Culture Leader, etc.), or a judge, a court clerk, and justices of the peace have authority to perform a marriage.

However in some states even the clergy must be first certified or licensed. Some states have laws that permit other persons to apply for authority to perform marriage ceremonies.” Read more about the licensing requirement for officiants for your state here. Ask your officiant for a copy of his/her state licensing certificate.

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Wedding Officiants Near You


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I gave her valuable guidance on this matter. When she finished, I looked at myself in the mirror. Thanks to the makeup, I looked much older than my fifteen years. I looked like a fashion model.

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