1. Wedding Officiants - What You Need to Know

Learn the language! Become familiar with these common wedding terms and important details.

  • Officiant - pastor, minister, rabbi, religious leader, captain or other person legally qualified to perform your ceremony.
  • Bridal or wedding party - friends and family chosen to participate in your wedding ceremony – bridesmaids, flower girl, groomsmen, ring bearer.
  • Processional – entrance of wedding party. Traditional order is grandparents, parents, bridal party, ring bearer, flower girl, bride and her father.
  • Recessional – exiting of wedding party. Traditionally, bride and groom lead the way; followed by bridal party, ring bearer, flower girl and officiant.
  • Vows - promises made by couples to each other and declared during the exchanging of rings.  Vows can be traditional or personalized and written by the couple.
  • Lighting of unity candle - a traditional ceremony where bride and groom each take a lit candle and together light a single candle representing the start of their marriage.
  • Sand ceremony - a common ceremony where the bride and groom each take individual containers of sand and pour them into a new and single container representing the start of their marriage.
  • Readings - Common ceremony activity where a friend or family member reads a meaningful poem or passage.
  • Marriage license - the official legal document to be signed and recorded with the county. IMPORTANT: This document will need to be signed by the bride, groom, officiant and at least one witness.



TIP: A frequent guest comment is, “It was difficult to hear the bride and groom.” Include a microphone and speakers at your ceremony to be sure every guest can hear not only the officiant but also you!

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2. Ask Yourself about your Officiant

Do you want an indoor or outdoor ceremony? Church, park, beach?
Do you want a religious or civil ceremony?
Do you know your ceremony style – casual, traditional, formal?
Do you want to write your own vows or use traditional vows?
Who do you want to include in your bridal party?
Have you talked with your parents?  Yes, it is your wedding but family is important.
Is it important that your officient know you well?


3. Ask your Officiant

Do you have a certain style in the type of weddings you perform?
What is your biggest challenge when officiating a wedding?
Have you ever turned down a couple's invitation to perform their ceremony? Why?
How will you get to know us?
Will you attend our rehearsal and if so is there an additional fee?
Do you require pre-marital counseling as a condition of using your services?
Will you handle final details of the marriage license including mailing it in? If so, how soon after our wedding can we expect that to happen?