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Find a wedding officiant near you

Find a wedding officiant near you

26 near you

Find a wedding officiant near you

26 near you

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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.

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.

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.

Reviews for wedding officiants
Neil G.
It was a pleasure having our wedding officiated by John!
Pastor John's Personalized WeddingsPastor John's Personalized Weddings
Hayley H.
Shelley is very experienced and very responsive from the beginning to the end. She recommends great places for the ceremony, asks our love history to tailor a personal speech and gives us a wonderful wedding experience. We are very happy that we choose Shelley to officiate our wedding!
Loving Vows (Officiant) &  Furry ❤️ FriendsLoving Vows (Officiant) & Furry ❤️ Friends
Neha K.
We are so lucky that our paths crossed with Bob, and he officiated our wedding! Before meeting Bob, I spoke with many people and instantly felt happy, positive energy talking to Bob and was optimistic that we wanted him to officiant our wedding. My husband and I wanted to enjoy the day and stay stress-free, and Bob made everything very comfortable for us. He is lively and funny, works based on what you have in mind, and everyone loved him! When we saw the recording the next day, we kept laughing and repeating the video over and over to hear the way he shared our story and performed the ceremony :) Thank you so much, Bob, once again for lovely memories!!
Bob Le LaurinBob Le Laurin
Veronica C.
What we loved about working with Gwen is that she really get's to know you at a more personal level. What made our wedding day even more meaningful was that she knew part of our history and was able to connect with us. She even made a suggestion for our ceremony that made it even more meaningful to our families. Thank you Gwen, we loved having you as our officiant and our wedding would not have been the same without you.
Rev. Gwen AponteRev. Gwen Aponte
Vy L.
Joe was our wedding officiant exactly one year old. We were so happy to have Joe as a part of our ceremony. He’s very friendly, sweet, funny and professional. We loved how he described our personalities and love stories during the ceremony, it helped our families and guests to understand a little more about us. We are thankful for everything he’d done for us. We would totally recommend Joe.
Wedding Ceremonies To RememberWedding Ceremonies To Remember
Thumbtack Customer
She is quite friendly and helpful. Even can sell you items for your wedding and has a good network of people who might have that special item -- tiara, dress, etc., that you are looking for. She was scheduled to be our wedding officiant but unfortunately broke her arm. She recommended Allen Richards to stand in and everyone was really impressed with him. He even sang after we said our vows. Sharon pays attention to detail and will stay in contact with you quite often to make sure everything is taken care, vows, schedule, etc., so that your ceremony will run smoothly. She mailed me a "something old" for our ceremony, a shell bowl, which was sweet. I'd recommend her highly as she came through even though she wasn't able to be at our wedding due to her accident.
Reverend B. Sharon Staley - Wedding OfficiantReverend B. Sharon Staley - Wedding Officiant
Allegra P.
Rebeca was an amazing officiant! She is so organized, thoughtful, sweet, and responsive. When we first met her she was prepared with an outline for the ceremony and provided a lot of helpful and thoughtful suggestions. We ended up getting a rose arrangement for my now husband’s mother since her birthday was the day following the wedding. She also sent us a lot of samples for love quotes, vows and ring exchanges which were very helpful. Rebeca did our ceremony in English and Spanish and it ended up being so beautiful.
Rebel's WeddingsRebel's Weddings
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