Find a wedding officiant near Albany, NY

Find a wedding officiant near Albany, NY

Find a wedding officiant near Albany, NY

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Top 10 Wedding Officiants near Albany, NY

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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 Albany wedding officiants
Marcia M.
Robyn did a wonderful job officiating our wedding and she came all the way up to Albany to do it! She is highly skilled at communicating and working with couples to create the ceremony they want. She was also so good at holding space for the two of us and turning our wedding jitters into joy.
💍 Robyn Ashley Weddings and Elopements 💐💍 Robyn Ashley Weddings and Elopements 💐
Thumbtack Customer
Reverend Gary Shapiro was the Officiant at our wedding on 10/9/15. Overall this was a great experience. We had several enjoyable conversations with Gary before the wedding. He had us fill out a questionnaire which he used to get to know us better and to get an idea about how we view our relationship and marriage. He incorporated this into our ceremony and made it very personalized. My husband and I are not religious, but Gary was very accommodating of our beliefs and tailored our ceremony to this. We were very happy with our experience with Gary and with our ceremony the day of the wedding. I would definitely recommend his services to anyone looking for a wedding officiant. Thanks! Jessica and Daniel Dwyer
Reverend Joy WeddingsReverend Joy Weddings
Thumbtack Customer
I hired Rev. Peter to officiate my wedding ceremony on April 24,2015, in a very short notice. He was very nice and very easy to work with. He officiated and preformed the ceremony at my home since my husband and I wanted something private, which our reception was held the next day. I highly recommend Rev. Peter, my husband and I really loved his choice of words during our ceremony and couldn't have asked for anyone better! Thanks again Rev. Peter! - Moraima Bonelli
Rev. Peter RehonisRev. Peter Rehonis
Thumbtack Customer
We already had a secular officiant, and were just looking for a religious person who could bless the wedding to appease a family member. Rev. Rehonis not only rose to the occasion, but went well above and beyond what the situation called for. We did most of the wedding planning ourselves, and he skillfully guided us through how the blessing should take place, as well as fine tuning other parts of the ceremony. On more than one occasion, he was able to meet with us on very short notice to go over things. He did all of this with an endless supply of wit and charm that endeared him to everyone involved. Several engaged friends at the wedding took his number down for their own future days. We cannot recommend Rev. Rehonis strongly enough.
Rev. Peter RehonisRev. Peter Rehonis
Christina W.
My new wife and I just wanted something small and personal with family and some close friends. He met my wife and I for a meeting before to go over the ceremony explaining we just wanted something small and meaningful. He came and preformed a personalized ceremony on very short notice. He was a life saver by being willing to adjust time when we needed to make sure family and friends had could come and celebrate with us. Being married right before Christmas Rev. Peter was very reasonably price. I would recommend his services to all who need a professional, personalized Wedding Officiant.
Rev. Peter RehonisRev. Peter Rehonis
Tea B.
Claudia made our ceremony so special, memorable, and beautiful. From the moment we contacted her on Thumbtack, she was so responsive and we quickly set up our first meeting. She made the entire ceremony process so easy yet so detailed and really understood what we wanted out of a ceremony. She took the time to get to know us, and how we have successfully blended our different cultures and families, and sincerely listened and took notes as she spoke with us. Our entire ceremony was done four weeks prior to our wedding and it was over three pages long (ceremony was 20 minutes long). She did a great job keeping our vows secret from each other and made sure they flowed and complemented each other's. When it came to our wedding day, she was there early to do a run through with the flower girls and ring bearers to make sure they were comfortable with all the logistics. Our friends and family couldn't say enough about how good our officiant was and how she was able to capture the true essence of our love and the spirit of our family. We will forever remember our ceremony and our wedding day and Claudia was the one that made it so special!
Chaplain Claudia MeyerChaplain Claudia Meyer
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