Wedding Officiant

Find a wedding officiant near Hilton Head Island, SC

Find a wedding officiant near Hilton Head Island, SC

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Top 10 Wedding Officiants near Hilton Head Island, SC

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. 

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.

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. 

How can I find out if a wedding officiant is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?

The definition of essential services varies by location, so you will need to visit your state or city government website to learn what is considered an essential service in your area.

For more information on a national level, read CISA’s publication on critical infrastructure workers. Some, but not all, jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.

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.

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.

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.

Reviews for Hilton Head Island wedding officiants
Dorothy T.
It was an absolute pleasure to have Dr. Pendley officiate our wedding ceremony. He was the perfect blend of personal and professional. He provided us with several ceremony examples prior to the wedding and offered to customize them as well. After the ceremony he even took time to take some pictures for us! We highly recommend choosing Dr. Pendley (Howard) as your wedding officiant. We are so happy that he was part of our special day.
Howard Pendley, Ph.D.Howard Pendley, Ph.D.
Ashley S.
Howard was the perfect officiant. He has a warm personality and a calming way about him. He was professional in all areas. I would totally recommend him to anyone for their wedding day!
Howard Pendley, Ph.D.Howard Pendley, Ph.D.
Stephen V.
Pastor John did a wonderful job officiating our daughter's wedding! He allowed the couple to customize their vows or to edit a script that he provided. He's personable and added so much to their special day!
Pastor John A. PetersPastor John A. Peters
Jennifer R.
My husband and I could not have been more pleased with Howard as our officiant. He truly went above & beyond to make sure our beach ceremony was worry-free, intimate & unforgettable. Howard took the time to meet my husband & me for coffee the day before our wedding, and was genuinely interested in the story behind our love for one another. I highly recommend Howard to anyone in need of a passionate & professional officiant on HHI or surrounding areas.
Howard Pendley, Ph.D.Howard Pendley, Ph.D.
Thumbtack Customer
Howard Pendley was very professional and did an outstanding job at our wedding. He was also very down to earth, which makes a difference when everything can be a little stressful while planning for your big day. We would definitely recommend him to anyone in need of a great officiant!
Howard Pendley, Ph.D.Howard Pendley, Ph.D.
Anna S.
Dodi I truly believe was a gift sent to my husband and I, having her officiate our wedding was so amazing! She made it so personable & fun, we felt like she was part of the family. Beyond reliable and wrote us a beautiful BEAUTIFUL ceremony, exactly how we dreamed! Thank you Dodi!
Weddings on the GoGo with the DoDoWeddings on the GoGo with the DoDo
Sherice M.
Gail did an amazing job officiating our wedding. My husband and I loved how she catered to our specific wants and needs. She even showed up in our wedding colors without prior notification:) We had a sunset ceremony on the beach and she stayed as long as needed while we took photos and enjoyed our guests. The words that she added were beautiful and biblical, which was important to my husband and I. We made a great choice. Justin & Sherice 7/7/18
Amazing Weddings  and Notary Public ServicesAmazing Weddings and Notary Public Services
Hannah B.
Howard Pendley was an amazing officiant and we truly could not have asked for anyone better! He replied to all of my messages so quickly and answered all of my questions. He took the time to pray for my grandfather who has been ill. Howard invited my now husband and I to lunch prior to our wedding to get to know us and take time to go over everything. Although we were unable to make time to do this due to my grandfather's health, he still made sure we had everything we wanted for the ceremony. He presented our vow books since we decided to write our own vows and he spoke about our sand pouring ceremony. He made everything run so smoothly and he was patient with my very long vows! He also traveled from Savannah GA to Hilton Head SC to marry us. We are very thankful that we found Howard! To put it short, he is professional, responsible, great value and so kind and sweet! If you are looking for an officiant, hire him! He will tailor your ceremony to be however you like!
Howard Pendley, Ph.D.Howard Pendley, Ph.D.
Kelly B.
Howard was the key factor to the most amazing day of me and my husbands lives. We decided to elope as sort of a last minute idea while on our trip to Hilton Head. He reached out via thumbtack and we were immediately impressed by his stellar ratings and genuine profile. From literally day 1, Howard answered every question we had and made suggestions and accommodated every single one of our last minute needs as we only gave him about 2 weeks to plan our elopement, even though we had gone back and forth about our location. He reached out to my husband on his own just to check in on us and see if we needed anything. When we finally decided on getting married in the sand in a random spot on the beach, Howard didn't hesitate to park and walk across the street with us onto the beach and stood with us as we picked the perfect spot in the sand. He emailed 2 sets of vows to choose from and came prepared with our pick of the 2 (which were the most genuine, deep, loving, and beautiful vows). Overall the experience was one that we will never forget. He was there as we laughed and cried, and even took our first pictures as husband wife and also sent us a thank you card for allowing him to officiate our wedding and be a part of our special day.I would recommend him over and over again. Love, Kelly and Travis Bailey
Howard Pendley, Ph.D.Howard Pendley, Ph.D.
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