Wedding Officiant

Find a wedding officiant near Washington, DC

Find a wedding officiant near Washington, DC

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Top 10 Wedding Officiants near Washington, DC

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

Do wedding officiants offer remote or virtual services?

Reach out to wedding officiants in your area, and ask them if they can offer a remote or virtual ceremony. Some officiants may be willing to meet in person while maintaining 6 feet of distance, while others may prefer to conduct the entire service over the phone or a video call service such as Skype or Zoom.

Familiarize yourself with the social distancing rules in your community, city and state, and move forward only if both you and the officiant are comfortable with the arrangement. 

What does it mean to officiate a wedding?

To officiate a wedding is to oversee the official union of two people in marriage. A wedding officiant is vested with the power to legitimize your union in the eyes of the court. An officiant also sets the tone for your ceremony, leading the couple through their vows and shaping the experience with the words they choose and the pace they set. An officiant may be based in a religious faith, may be an interfaith officiant, may be a secular officiant, or may be a friend or family member who has received ordination online.

You can have a traditional wedding officiated, or you can also have an officiant oversee a commitment ceremony, a vow renewal or an elopement. Once the wedding is complete, the officiant will ask you to sign the wedding certificate, and will then submit the document to the court on your behalf. This makes your marriage legal. Wedding officiants work with you no matter how simple or elaborate you would like your ceremony to be. The more involved wedding officiants are in the planning and customization of the ceremony, the more they will typically charge.

Who performs a wedding ceremony?

Anyone who is authorized by the court or a credible online source has the power to perform a wedding ceremony. Traditionally, wedding officiants were ordained members of a religious organization or civil officiants authorized by the court to legally marry two people. With the increasing customization and personalization of weddings, many couples are asking a friend or family member to become ordained and act as their wedding officiant. Wedding officiants can represent a wide range of backgrounds including Christian, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, nondenominational, interfaith or nonreligious. There is no legally required structure for a wedding ceremony, so couples can customize the language of the ceremony and their vows in any way they desire (though members of some religions may have specific requirements). To legally validate the marriage, the couple and the wedding officiant must sign a marriage certificate after the ceremony verifying the date and names of those involved. The wedding officiant should then submit the certificate to the court, which will in turn mail an official marriage certificate to the newly married couple.

How much does it cost to officiate a wedding?

The national average cost to hire a wedding officiant is $150-$200. Wedding officiant rates are affected by the date of the ceremony, the time of day, and how far the officiant has to travel. Some officiants may charge extra for additional ceremonies like unity candles or sand ceremonies, as well as the cost of the supplies. Many wedding officiants have higher rates for larger weddings and lower rates for smaller, more intimate ceremonies. Personalizing the ceremony means a lot to some couples. Wedding officiants may have flat rates for standard ceremony templates, perhaps $100-$125, and charge more for a more customized experience, such as $150-$200. This allows the couple to collaborate with the wedding officiant as they are building a unique ceremony script. At the pre-wedding meeting, the officiant will ask whether the couple plans to write their own vows and how much input they have about the rest of the wording and flow of the ceremony. Additional planning meetings and extra communication can add up to a higher overall cost. If your venue has parking or other fees, you may need to pay on behalf of the officiant. Often wedding officiants can rent sound systems and wireless mics if you have an outdoor wedding location or venue that is not wired. These extras will also increase the overall cost.

Reviews for Washington wedding officiants
Tamara D.
We are so happy we hired Michael to officiate our wedding! We had a very small, intimate civil ceremony at a restaurant. He did a great job entertaining our small crowd and officiating the short and sweet ceremony we wanted. Thank you, Michael!
Michael Rye - Wedding ConsultantMichael Rye - Wedding Consultant
Therese L.
Bishop Frazier officiated our wedding just a few weeks ago, April 2023. He did a fantastic job! He had a powerful but gentle voice at the same time. He was able to spread the word of GOD at our ceremony and also knew when to smile or laugh during the ceremony. Officiating came very natural to him and we could not have had a better person officiate. He was on time (actually pretty early) and sent out our marriage license on the first business day after the wedding. Thank you Bishop Frazier for being such an important part of our special day. ~Mike and Therese
Bishop Ronald A. FrazierBishop Ronald A. Frazier
Thumbtack Customer
Minister Keaton was an amazing officiant for our small intimate wedding. She got our guests to participate in the ceremony and made it very special for everyone involved. Thank you for everything, Gina & Denis
I Wed You LLCI Wed You LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Deborah was excellent and we're so glad we hired her to officiate our wedding. She was flexible with the process, reliable, responsive, professional and I highly recommend her to anyone looking to tie the knot!
I Wed You LLCI Wed You LLC
Jonmica M.
Jalisa’s services were fantastic. She was professional, responsive, and she put together a program that met my husband and I personality. I would recommend Jalisa if you are looking for an officiant for your wedding.
Lauren C.
We had the pleasure of having Rev. Keaton officiate our wedding! She was great to work with and made sure that our ceremony was personalized. We received so many compliments from our guest about how lovely the ceremony was. We incorporated jumping the broom and Rev. Keaton provided the history and significance of the broom for our guests. She was always available with any questions and assisted with filing our marriage license paperwork. I would highly recommend if you are looking for a special and personalized wedding officiant!
I Wed You LLCI Wed You LLC
Thumbtack Customer
OUTSTANDING !!! Rev. Dr Norma Edwards officiated my wedding this past weekend and it was a beautiful candle light service. She was calm, her energy was serene, and she was very professional. We feel like she was one of our family and we are truly grateful for her presence on our wedding day!
WeddingsByRevNorma - Ceremonies and CounselingWeddingsByRevNorma - Ceremonies and Counseling
Kamilah R.
Rev. Keaton officiated my Valentine’s Day wedding and I truly believe she was a God send! My now husband and I were looking for an officiant last minute after his brother, who was going to officiate, was unable to attend our wedding. I was worried about it being impersonal by having someone who didn’t know us officiate but that was the exact opposite. Rev. Keaton met with us in advance to go over the ceremony flow and added personal touches that made our guests feel like she was our ministering Pastor that did our premarital counseling. All of her communication was prompt, clear, and she kept us at ease through it all. She arrived early and made sure the ceremony ran smoothly. It was so beautiful and I cried and laugh through the ceremony. I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to officiate because she made it that special!!!!!!! I’m so grateful I found her on this app, definitely worth it!
I Wed You LLCI Wed You LLC
Thumbtack Customer
We needed a bilingual wedding officiant for our same-sex wedding in downtown DC and Marjorie promptly introduced herself and offered up her services. Marjorie asked us to complete a couples questionnaire and after reviewing our responses, some email exchanges and a phone call, she presented us with a wonderfully poetic wedding ceremony draft. We only made minor changes because it was really perfect. If we had wanted to draft our own ceremony that would have been acceptable as well. Everyone at the wedding commented afterwards about how beautiful the ceremony was and what an excellent job Marjorie did as officiant. Though it was a bilingual ceremony, she didn't do a 1-for-1 translation of each passage. Rather, she weaved between both languages repeating only certain key parts. The result was a wholly original ceremony for both audiences that flowed beautifully. She is a 5-star officiant in either language. -Donald
Memorable MomentsMemorable Moments
Meirong L.
Reverend Keaton is an inspiring officiant. Ever since we first spoke to her, she conveyed confidence and professionalism while being attentive to our preferences and desires. On the day of the ceremony, she showed up sharp on time and graciously visited the bride in her room. During the ceremony she was passionate and engaged, getting praise from all guests. We were so happy to have her as the officiant to our wedding.
I Wed You LLCI Wed You LLC
Tayebeh K.
We are glad that we asked Kirsten to officiate our wedding. She helped us out through out entire process including getting a license and selecting a good location. She is sweet and kind. Ceremony was very beautiful we loved it so much. She will was on time and very patient.
Notary2Go MarylandNotary2Go Maryland
Joycelyn V.
We really liked Rev. Dr. Norma. She's a great wedding officiant. During our ceremony, against an ambient traffic noise at the Union Station, all we heard was her voice and her heartfelt words for us. It wasn't a ho-hum experience since she was able to add a lighter mood.
WeddingsByRevNorma - Ceremonies and CounselingWeddingsByRevNorma - Ceremonies and Counseling
Tiffany O.
Mary is an amazing officiant! We originally planned a “normal” wedding pre-COVID, but then the pandemic struck. Mary was extremely flexible and married us on our planned wedding date in a small ceremony with just my husband and I. She made us feel so comfortable and reassured with our decision to move forward legally marrying this year and remaining available for a formal ceremony next year. Mary - I cannot thank you enough for your support and time!
Rev Mary StoneRev Mary Stone
Thumbtack Customer
Rev.Norma was by far the best decision we made for a Wedding officiant. She delivered us an awesome and very heart felt service and prayers. All of our family and friends said they loved the way she explained what everything meant and the purpose behind it. I would recommend her to any and everyone. Thanks for all the blessings and love. -Rex and Kara Murray
WeddingsByRevNorma - Ceremonies and CounselingWeddingsByRevNorma - Ceremonies and Counseling
Thumbtack Customer
Norma exceeded our expectations. We had anticipated that by selecting a celebrant we didn't know that we'd get a competent but disengaged official. Instead, we got Norma. She came to our house to meet us and plan, and it was evident that weddings are a ministry for her. She also wanted to get to know something about us and our relationship. She stayed in regular contact with us in the weeks leading up to the wedding, offering both encouragement and practical advice on some of the peculiarities of marriage in DC. And the service itself was lovely. We couldn't have made a better choice.
WeddingsByRevNorma - Ceremonies and CounselingWeddingsByRevNorma - Ceremonies and Counseling
Thumbtack Customer
On May 24, 2015 Rev. Norma did the honor of serving as our officiant for our wedding DC. She did a phenomenal job of interacting not only with myself and my husband but also with our guest. I highly recommend Rev Norma and I look forward to future interaction with her. If my husband and I decide to have children I will surly call her for a blessing! Erika & William Downs
WeddingsByRevNorma - Ceremonies and CounselingWeddingsByRevNorma - Ceremonies and Counseling
Vincent B.
Herland, when he showed up was an officiant, he seemed a bit off and disheveled. He did give a beautiful celebration to our union, after being 2 hours late. I and my partner were just happy to be married. I have to be honest. The morning we were married there was some confusion as herland text me that he was on his way, then he was bringing a guest to our wedding? Then later after an hour , There was traffic from Alexandria Va , then 45 mins later there was an accident.?. I called repeatedly and got no answer on his personal cell. I called many times. some of my family drove that very morning in rain from New York and they arrived on time ,,,, so ? Luckily our guests were accommodating. When he did arrive. He was that last to enter and appeared to be a bit hung over from the evening before? I maybe wrong but just my observation. After the ceremony he admitted that we were his first gay wedding which further annoyed me. I paid him and he left. The end.
Tie The Knot WeddingsTie The Knot Weddings
Thumbtack Customer
My husband and I had both been married before and so we were in search of an Officiant who could help us work through our past issues as well as give us the tools for a successful and prosperous marriage. We both wanted to approach this "last time" with our best! Enter Rev. Norma. She was amazing in that my husband and I felt an immediate connection, but more so, she took the time to help us with pre-marital counseling. With absolutely no judgment!! She is a gifted listener and her years of experience and specialized education gave us the right tools to begin our life together. Her counseling wasn't "canned" or "generalized," instead, my husband and I could tell Rev. Norma gave us material that was pertinent to our questions and needs. The result: an absolute beautiful, intimate, and heart-felt wedding ceremony that was performed in our home in the midst of family and friends. After pronouncing us husband and wife, she spoke blessings over us and then left us with this: If the "D" word ever comes up, call her. Wow! Our guests were weepy-eyed and my husband and I knew we had chosen the right person to marry us! We are happy, healthy, and on our way to a finally successful marriage! Thank you, Rev. Norma, for your love and care and especially for making our wedding day absolutely beautiful! It was a day that was magical, anointed, and wonderfully tailored just for us!!
WeddingsByRevNorma - Ceremonies and CounselingWeddingsByRevNorma - Ceremonies and Counseling
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