How to Select an Officiant

Greetings!  And congratulations on your engagement!

Now, of course, comes the challenge of selecting your wedding officiant. How does one choose a wedding officiant? How do you differentiate one wedding officiant from another wedding officiant? Here are some tips for selecting a wedding officiant.


To help you in choosing a wedding officiant, Wedding Ministers recommends you first decide what kind of a wedding officiant you want and how much you are willing to spend. What are you looking for in a wedding officiant? What is most important for you?

Personality and chemistry matter more with the wedding officiant than any other wedding professional (with the exception of a wedding consultant). Do you want a wedding officiant who relates well to you? A more wedding officiant more authoritative and proper or a more down to earth wedding officiant? A wedding officiant more outgoing who might be more unpredictable or perhaps a wedding officiant more reserved and less personal but safe and predictable?

Two essential factors to consider in selecting a wedding officiant are professional qualifications and ministry experience. Officiating weddings is more than reciting words and making pronouncements. Weddings are about people. And the experience and professional ministry training in dealing with a variety of people -- wedding couples, families, future in-laws,-- 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 from your wedding officiant.

Every wedding minister has his or her own unique mix of personal, relational, and technical characteristics. Most wedding officiants fall somewhere along a continuum. The Wedding Minister Officiant Inventory™ is a helpful tool for determining your own personal preferences for your wedding 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

Specialized Wedding Minister or Versatile Wedding Minister – The Specialist wedding officiant focus primarily on doing weddings only. This wedding officiant 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.

Experienced Wedding Minister or Enthusiastic Wedding Minister – No substitute for Experience in a wedding officiant to bring assurance/comfort to couples that they’re in good hands. Safe. No surprises. Enthusiastic wedding officiant not dry or boring, brings energy and life to ceremony. Engaging.

Introverted Wedding Minister or Extroverted Wedding Minister – An Introverted wedding officiant tends to be more calm and unflappable. The more Extroverted wedding officiant tends to be more personal and engaging.

Warm Wedding Minister or Polished Wedding Minister – The Warm wedding officiant loves people and people love the wedding officiant. Strong relational attachment between couples/family and wedding officiant. Polished wedding officiant makes fewer mistakes, everything done properly and orderly.

Strong Wedding Minister or Tender Wedding Minister – The Strong wedding officiant commands respect, protects the bride and groom’s wishes, takes charge. This wedding officiant is particularly good for weddings where family dynamics are complicated. The Tender wedding officiant is more sensitive to feelings, a true wedding minister who works for solutions that everybody can be happy with. Smoothes rough waters.

Elegant Wedding Minister style or more Personal Wedding Minister – This perhaps describes the character of the wedding ceremony under the guidance of the wedding officiant more that the wedding officiant him/herself. The Elegant wedding officiant is beautiful, flawless to perfection. The Personal wedding officiant is real, the human touch, vibrant with life, touchable, relational.

Intuitive Wedding Minister or Objective Wedding Minister – The Intuitive wedding officiant has a marvelous sense of knowing what’s right for the situation, sensitive to the meaning of the moment, in touch with the couples’ feelings. The Objective wedding officiant takes the guesswork out of everything. This wedding officiant is clear, usually concise, nothing left to chance, detailed and organized.

Economical Wedding Minister or Professional Wedding Minister – An Economical wedding officiant saves you money. The Professional wedding officiant saves worry.

Choosing your wedding officiant comes down to knowing what factors in a wedding officiant are most important. For example, if there will be a lot of family input and involvement in your wedding plans, you might prefer a more Versatile wedding officiant with ministry training/experience in human dynamics -- particular in dealing with potentially ticklish personalities. On the other hand, if yours is a simple, private, backyard wedding, economy and availability in a wedding officiant may be your primary concerns.

After you've determined what gift mix you're looking for in your wedding officiant, research and/or ask questions of potential wedding officiants to see how closely they align with your preferences. Once you've found a wedding officiant you like, BOOK HIM/HER as soon as possible!!

CLICK HERE to return to the main directory page.

The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached, or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Wedding Ministers, Inc.

Wedding Ministers / Officiants