How to Choose An Officiant?
To help you in choosing an officiant, I recommend you first decide what kind of an officiant you want andhow much you are willing to spend. What is it that you are looking for in an officiant? What is most important for you?
Personality and chemistry matter more with the officiant than any other wedding professional (with the exception of a wedding consultant, if you choose to have one). Do you want someone who relates well to you? Someone more authoritative and proper or someone more down to earth? Someone more outgoing and demonstrative or more reserved?
Two essential factors to consider is professional qualifications and ministry experience. Officiating weddings is more than reciting words and making pronouncements. Weddings are about people. And the experience and professional training in dealing with a variety of people -- couples, families, future in-laws, friends -- particularly at a time of such heightened feelings as a wedding, is essential to the success of your wedding. Weddings are, in fact, moments of CRISIS (mostly positive crisis, happily) that demand special pastoral sensitivity and intuition.
Depending on where you live, you should expect to pay between $200 and $600 for a fully-credentialed, ordained minister. I know of one who charges $1,500. I'm trying to keep my rates on the low end of the scale to maintain affordability for most couples.
Every wedding minister has his or her own unique mix of personal, relational, and technical characteristics. Most persons fall somewhere along a continuum. This a helpful tool for determining your own personal preferences for your officiant.
Specialized 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 Versatile
Experience 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 Enthusiasm
Introvert 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 Extrovert
Warm 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 Polished
Strong 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 Tender
Elegant 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 Personal
Intuitive 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 Objective
Economical 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 Professional
Seminary 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 Mail Order
Specialized or Versatile The Specialist focus primarily on doing weddings only. Excels performing various wedding ceremonies, polished presentation, almost 2nd nature. The Versatile officiant is more the complete package, can do more things well, more experienced dealing with interpersonal and family dynamics and other crucial, non-technical aspects of wedding.
Experience or Enthusiasm No substitute for Experience to bring assurance/comfort to couples that theyre in good hands. Safe. No surprises. Enthusiastic officiant not dry or boring, brings energy and life to ceremony. Engaging.
Introvert or Extrovert Introvert tends to be more calm and unflappable. Extrovert tends to be more personal and engaging.
Warm or Polished The Warm officiant loves people and people love him/her. Strong relational attachment between couples/family and officiant. Polished officiant makes fewer mistakes, everything done properly and orderly.
Strong or Tender The Strong officiant commands respect, protects the bride and grooms wishes, takes charge. Particularly good for weddings where family dynamics are complicated. The Tender officiant more sensitive to feelings, works for solutions that everybody can be happy with. Smoothes rough waters.
Elegant or Personal This perhaps describes the character of the ceremony under the guidance of the officiant more that the officiant him/herself. Elegant is beautiful, flawless to perfection. Personal is real, the human touch, vibrant with life, touchable, relational.
Intuitive or Objective The Intuitive officiant has a marvelous sense of knowing whats right for the situation, sensitive to the meaning of the moment, in touch with the couples feelings. The Objective officiant takes the guesswork out of everything. He/she is clear, usually concise, nothing left to chance, detailed and organized.
Economical or Professional Economical saves money. Professional saves worry.
I would LOVE to help you create the wedding day of your dreams! It would be an honor to be your friend and -- as both friend and minister -- to perform your ceremony. And remember, you'll love your ceremony or it's FREE!! You have nothing to lose!
Please don't put off calling if you're at all interested. There's NOTHING more difficult or heartbreaking than having to tell a bride her date is no longer available (I don't even want to THINK about that!).
Best wishes and, again, congratulations on your engagement!!
Minister Derrick Hall,
Wedding Officiant / Wedding Consultant