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FAQ – How To Hire An Officiant

Is it an officiant or officiate? People refer to it both ways, and they are one of your most important vendors. The person who marries you has a big job. Without them, you can’t get married! Your officiant needs to be someone who you connect with well, who can conduct a special ceremony, and who you are comfortable with. Here are our recommendations on how to choose the best ceremony style, and officiant for your wedding.

Selecting Your Ceremony Service:

First, decide whether you want a religious service performed by an ordained priest, rabbi, or another cleric, or a civil service led by someone certified by state laws.

Here are several different types of officiants to consider:

  • Religious Official – Priests, ministers, rabbis, Muslim qadis, Hindu priests
  • Ordained Minister – Friends or family members can do the honors by getting ordained by the Universal Life Church or American Marriage Ministries online
  • Justice of the Peace or Notary – Appointed on a state level, these officials are authorized to perform civil marriages. You can find a database on states’ websites online
  • Civil Official – if you are close to a judge, county clerk, lawyer, mayor, or other public servants
  • Civil Celebrant – a person can petition for a one-time pass to perform a marriage in some states

Obtaining a Marriage License:

The State of Colorado does not require the signature of an officiant to solemnize the marriage, which means you as a couple can sign your marriage license yourselves! To do so, make an appointment by following the easy steps provided online, which can usually be done 30 days prior to your wedding date. Below are the common Colorado counties we work within, and their information.

Conduct a Q&A:

You’ll want to ask your officiate questions so that you know they are prepared to conduct your ceremony. Here are our recommended questions to ask:

  • Are you able to create a personalized ceremony?
  • Do you have videos we can watch of you at a past ceremony?
  • Do you have any testimonials we can review?
  • Will you be present for our rehearsal? This is always recommended that they are.
  • Would you like to join us at the reception? This is based on your preference, should you like to extend the invitation.
  • Do you have a backup to step in if necessary?
  • What do you wear on the wedding day?
  • How long do your ceremonies usually last?
  • What are your values?
  • Will you help us write our vows?
  • Will you help us obtain our marriage license?
  • How many pre-wedding sessions are suggested or required?
  • Are there any other rules/requirements?
  • What are your fees for officiating our wedding?

Flow of Ceremony:

Remember to discuss the flow of the ceremony with your officiant. Should you decide to include a Ceremony Program, it’s important to understand the flow, and have this complete so your programs could go to print. This includes how your bridal party will process down the aisle, any traditions or rituals you’d like to include, as well as readings, and your Ceremony Music Selections. Here are a few great Ceremony Readings provided by The Knot that you can use.

When deciding on your flow, describe to your officiant how you envision the ceremony being, what roles you’d like your family to play, what you’ve seen at other weddings that you liked and did not like, and if there are any traditions you’d like to include. Discuss with them how you both met, how you fell in love, and how you got engaged. This will help your officiant to better get to know you as a couple and share your love story.


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