Your guide to hiring a non-denominational wedding officiant

We've helped 312 customers hire a non-denominational wedding officiant in the past year.

Planning checklist

Prepare for success by getting started now.
12 months before: Choose your officiant
  • Conduct a search for non-denominational officiants in your area.
  • Read the officiants’ bios and reviews from reputable sources and start to narrow your choices.
  • Contact 3-4 officiants, asking if they are available on your wedding date. Ask important questions about your ceremony.
  • Have a face-to-face interview, asking questions that give you an idea of their personality as well as requirements.
  • Ask for couples’ testimonials and samples of ceremonies the officiant has conducted in the past.
  • Choose the officiant you are most comfortable with, who can sign your marriage certificate and uphold your wishes for your ceremony.
  • Put in writing, either in a document or email, the things you have agreed upon.
6-9 months before: Plan
  • Remember that your non-denominational officiant is a facilitator, not a wedding vendor, and should be treated respectfully.
  • Discuss together any readings and prayers you want in your ceremony.
  • Decide how vows will be exchanged, or if they will be exchanged at all.
  • Plan whether gifts given to family members or close friends will be part of the wedding ceremony.
  • Tell your officiant who the bridesmaids and groomsmen are, why they are important to you, as well as any other ceremony participants.
  • Your non-denominational officiant will prepare the invocation, declaration of intent and pronouncement.
  • Together, organize the procession, exchange of rings and recession.
1 day before: Hold a wedding rehearsal
  • Plan the rehearsal date and time, ensuring that your officiant can attend.
  • Start in the middle of your ceremony by getting everyone in place where they stand during the ceremony.
  • Have your officiant read through the headings of the ceremony so everyone knows the order, but do not read the details.
  • Practice the recession, procession and then the hand off.
  • Give final payment to your officiant and give him or her your marriage license and photo IDs.
The day of: Have your wedding ceremony
  • Make sure your officiant feels like a special part of the day with expressions of gratitude and attention to his or her needs.
  • Invite the officiant’s significant other to the ceremony if this applies, and invite them both to the reception.

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