Wedding Officiant

Find a wedding officiant near Clifton, NJ

Find a wedding officiant near Clifton, NJ

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Top 10 Wedding Officiants near Clifton, NJ

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 Clifton wedding officiants
Katelyn D.
Heather was absolutely amazing i am so grateful she was available to officiate my wedding. She was nice and early handled all paperwork I didn’t have to do a thing. Highly recommend
The Bubbly Wedding OfficiantThe Bubbly Wedding Officiant
Thumbtack Customer
We felt an automatic connection with Claire when we first spoke on the phone! Within five minutes of meeting her in person, we knew we had made the right choice. Claire to the time to get to know us, so the experience would be ,ore personal. She inquired about our history together and employed that knowledge during the beginning of our wedding ceremony. If this was her first time time officiating at a same-sex marriage, one would never have known . The conviction of her words brought an even deeper emotional substance to our ceremony. All of our guests were most impressed with how well she spoke, and officiated our ceremony. We highly recommend Claire to ALL couples who are looking for their wedding ceremony to be memorable. We feel that not only have we found the right minister, but a we've found a new friend.
Miriam's Well MinistryMiriam's Well Ministry
Thumbtack Customer
Jeff and I are truly blessed to have discovered Rev. Schwartz. From the first time we met her, we knew she was the perfect officiant for us. We cancelled our appointments with other ministers we had that week and booked her right away! She put together a stellar ceremony of our dreams and customized it PERFECTLY in terms of content, timing, and performance. If you are looking for an articulate minister who is willing to go the extra mile and accommodate your preferences, book Rev. Claire M. Schwartz! Claire was ready and offered to orchestrate the whole ceremony, including directing the procession and the music. She honored our plans to let the venue direct the procession aspect, and we were blown away by how respectfully and professionally she worked with the maître D at our venue (Valley Regency in Clifton, NJ). She came to the rehearsal and ran through the key parts and prepared us for any bumps. The part we loved best about the ceremony was how she weaved together a heartfelt story about how my husband and I met and fell in love. We requested her to perform a 10 minute ceremony and she delivered! Our guests laughed and cried during our ceremony, and afterwards, many came up to us and our parents and remarked how wonderful our officiant was! She was a hit! In planning and performing the ceremony, we saw how her prior experiences in performance arts were truly invaluable. We initially planned to have the ceremony outside in the gardens, but as luck would have it, it began raining 1.5 hours before the ceremony and she calmly worked with our venue and musicians to rehearse and perform the ceremony indoors. No stranger to improvisation, there was another part during the actual ceremony when a 2 year old girl fell off her seat and started to cry loudly and uncontrollably. Rev. Schwartz responded to the situation perfectly with grace and a bit of humor, and the ceremony continued without skipping a beat. In summary, we loved working with her and HIGHLY recommend Rev. Schwartz for all your wedding officiant dreams!
Miriam's Well MinistryMiriam's Well Ministry
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