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Find a wedding officiant near Savannah, GA

Find a wedding officiant near Savannah, GA

17 near you

Find a wedding officiant near Savannah, GA

17 near you

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Top 10 Wedding Officiants near Savannah, GA

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a wedding officiant during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The safest way to conduct a consultation during COVID-19 is virtually. Ask wedding officiants near you if they can have a phone call or a virtual appointment over video chat. If they can, make sure to ask them any questions you have about upcoming work. Discuss what precautions, if any, they have in place to ensure safety. You might consider asking if they accept digital payments or if they can complete the work remotely, without any in-person contact. 

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. 

Are there ways to be safe if I hire a wedding officiant when social distancing?

If you decide to hire a wedding officiant when social distancing, ask if the officiant can offer remote services. Some wedding officiants are choosing to conduct services virtually and/or stand more than 6 feet away from the parties. Discuss possible arrangements with your wedding officiant, and familiarize yourself with your local community guidelines, as well as the CDC’s guidelines for social distancing. Only move forward if you and the officiant both feel comfortable.

You may want to implement extra precautions, such as using digital payments instead of exchanging cash, sanitizing all involved spaces and waving instead of shaking hands. 

Can I use digital payments to pay for a wedding officiant?

Ask your wedding officiant if they accept digital payments. Many professionals are accept payment via Venmo, PayPal, Square Cash, Apple Pay, Zelle and other online platforms. Professionals may be more willing to switch to digital payments during the COVID-19 pandemic, as this is typically considered safer than using cash or credit cards. You can see which digital payment options officiants accept by reviewing their online profiles.

Does a wedding officiant need to enter my home?

This depends on the location of your wedding. Unless the ceremony is being held in your home, a wedding officiant will not need to enter your home before the ceremony. Some couples are choosing to stand outside or go to a vacant public place, so the officiant can conduct the ceremony while maintaining 6 feet of distance. Ask your wedding officiant what kinds of arrangements they offer, including virtual or remote services.

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.

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.

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.

Reviews for Savannah wedding officiants
Thumbtack Customer
As a wedding planner I have seen Howard officiate several weddings and without question, I knew he was the best choice to officiate my ceremony. Howard is a very kind and sincere man that is always professional, prompt and prepared. I can not say enough good things about Howard. I highly recommend him.
Howard Pendley, Ph.D.Howard Pendley, Ph.D.
Thumbtack Customer
Mr.Pendley officiated our wedding on 03/26/2016 on Tybee Island. He did a wonderful job and made our ceremony even more prefect with his beautiful words and service. We would recommend him to any couple looking for an officiant.
Howard Pendley, Ph.D.Howard Pendley, Ph.D.
Thumbtack Customer
Dr Pendley officiated at my wedding on 12-29 -15. He did a perfect job. I would give him my unqualified recommendation.
Howard Pendley, Ph.D.Howard Pendley, Ph.D.
Jenny S.
Howard was amazing and extremely instrumental in providing officiant services to us on our wedding day, 11.21.20. He is very friendly and kind and definitely gave a great ceremony on our special day! Thank you, Howard!
Howard Pendley, Ph.D.Howard Pendley, Ph.D.
Thumbtack Customer
Howard was amazing with our ceremony. He was the perfect choice for our wedding. We kept it just serious enough with the right blend of fun and laughter for our guests. Thank you Howard for officiating our day! Erin and Danny 10.17.2015
Howard Pendley, Ph.D.Howard Pendley, Ph.D.
Jane M.
Dr. Pendley was an exceptional officiant! My husband and I were thrilled with our ceremony. He was professional, clear and calm in his speaking voice and made our ceremony feel very romantic. I like that he took it seriously and didn't make jokes or go off script as I have seen some officiants do at other weddings. I strongly recommend Dr. Pendley, you will not be disappointed.
Howard Pendley, Ph.D.Howard Pendley, Ph.D.
Thumbtack Customer
Dr. Howard was a joy to have as our wedding officiant. He took time out of his busy schedule to meet us weeks prior to our ceremony, which demonstrated his commitment to the service and significance of the occasion. Dr. Howard is as sincere, kind, and friendly as he is educated, experienced, and knowledgeable. Standing before him at our wedding ceremony it felt almost as though he had been our minister for a long time. In short, I couldn't imagine having any other clergyman make our wedding vows as memorable.
Howard Pendley, Ph.D.Howard Pendley, Ph.D.
Thumbtack Customer
Dr. Pendley has the most calming characteristics when helping a perspective wedding couple plan their wedding. All the anxiety of decisions, problems of vow choices and just in-general worries that something may not go as planned, all disappear after talking with Dr. Pendley. He always reminds you that no matter what "seems" to not go as planned will not matter, that at the end of the ceremony, a couple will be happily married, and that is what matters! We look forward to have him officiate at the wedding which is coming up and know it will be just what we want. Evans/Prather
Howard Pendley, Ph.D.Howard Pendley, Ph.D.
Thumbtack Customer
Howard is such a great guy, and we're so glad we hired him to officiate our wedding. He met with us several times before the wedding to help us figure out our ceremony and make sure we had the perfect blend of the traditions that were important to us and to our families and some of our more unconventional ideas. It was a beautiful ceremony and Howard led us through the whole process with so much kindness and professionalism. When our rehearsal was delayed an hour, he walked my husband's grandma to the store to get more camera batteries, which was really above and beyond his responsibilities as our officiant. Everyone that met him raved about how friendly he was. We cannot recommend him highly enough!
Howard Pendley, Ph.D.Howard Pendley, Ph.D.
Don S.
I hired Howard at the last minute for an elopement wedding at Forsyth Park in Savannah. The Savannah County courthouse was closed due to Covid, so we met Howard at the Effingham County courthouse, an hour's drive from Savannah. However, without my divorce decree they would not issue a marriage license, so Howard returned to Savannah. Two hours later I had obtained my divorce decree, and Howard returned to Effingham and graciously officiated my wedding on the courthouse steps.
Howard Pendley, Ph.D.Howard Pendley, Ph.D.
Thumbtack Customer
Howard Pendley made me and my husbands wedding a day to remember! His words truly touched the hearts of all our guests and ours as well! He was very professional, on time, and with a smile that showed he was ready to unite us as one. If you need an officiant to perform your special day do not hesitate and choose Mr. Howard!! Thank you so much again!!!
Howard Pendley, Ph.D.Howard Pendley, Ph.D.
Shanquita W.
I so enjoyed Rebekah and Francis Wedding Officiants. She was on time, familiar, comfortable and satisfied all my needs no matter how big or small they were. We didn't ask for alot but she still made us feel extra important on our special day. And her prices were reasonable. My family enjoyed her sense of humor as well. IF YOU CAN USE HER, DO!!!
Francis Wedding Officiants- (we travel to you)Francis Wedding Officiants- (we travel to you)
Haley S.
Howard officiated our outdoor wedding in Savannah and I am so thankful I found him through this app. His communication skills are amazing and all the brides out there know how important that piece is. He was willing to meet with us the day before to help us pick out the perfect spot since this was a destination wedding. The ceremony itself was beautiful with touching words. He made us feel very comfortable. Howard is so easy to work with. I highly recommend him! Howard, thank you again for working with me through all this! You made everything perfect yesterday!
Howard Pendley, Ph.D.Howard Pendley, Ph.D.
Alyssa W.
Travis and I were incredibly blessed to have found Howard on Thumbtack. During the planning process, Howard was eager to meet with us and get to know us personally. He was always very responsive to any questions we may have and was an empathetic sounding board for our planning difficulties. At the rehearsal dinner and wedding, Howard and his wife went above and beyond. They were helpful beyond all expectation and for that we are so grateful. Tears come to eyes as I think of how helpful these two were for our wedding weekend. His wife helped my aunt coordinate our ceremony when she felt overwhelmed by the task. Howard even washed dishes after the rehearsal dinner and found a towel to wipe off wet chairs before the ceremony. While we aren't proud our officiant ended up with these tasks, we are so thankful he stepped up. The ceremony was perfect. Howard was eloquent and well practiced. When hiring Howard you aren't just getting a professional officiant. You are getting an incredible person. Someone who adds more than you ever expected to your wedding.
Howard Pendley, Ph.D.Howard Pendley, Ph.D.
Thumbtack Customer
Me and my fiance called Howard Pendley two weeks before our wedding, to officiate our reunion and we were surprised how professional and reassuring he was from the beginning. We met for breakfast to go over things together and both, him and his wife helped us. During the ceremony his demeanour made us comfortable and at ease. We want to thank him so much, and I will always recommend his services.
Howard Pendley, Ph.D.Howard Pendley, Ph.D.
William A.
First of all, Savannah is a great place for a wedding. We had our ceremony by the fountain in Forsyth park. Dr. Howard Pendley definitely helped make it a truly amazing experience for us. Howard met us in our hotel lobby the day before our ceremony and took the time to get to know us and also share about his work and family. He asked questions to determine the type of ceremony we desired. He arrived on time for the ceremony and delivered on what he had promised. He then took our wedding photos, since our photo savvy friends that had planned to come along were unable to come. We plan to spend our 1st anniversary in Savannah and look forward to visiting with Howard again. If you are looking for an experienced, professional and personable marriage officiant in the Savannah area, then look no further than Dr. Pendley. Dr. Bill and Lori Asbury
Howard Pendley, Ph.D.Howard Pendley, Ph.D.
Lindsay A.
Howard officiated our wedding a few weekends ago and he was wonderful! While we wrote our own vows, the readings he chose were beautiful and we couldn't have asked for a more perfect ceremony. He spoke clearly and was well prepared with readings as well as some marriage advice. Since we were unable to meet ahead of time to discuss the ceremony in greater detail due to mine and my husbands schedules, Howard got to the ceremony a little early to run through everything with us and answer any last minute questions we had. We received several compliments on the ceremony from those in attendance! Overall a great experience and we would recommend Howard to anyone requiring such services.
Howard Pendley, Ph.D.Howard Pendley, Ph.D.
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