Finding a wedding officiant

wedding officiantYou need to find a good wedding officiant for your upcoming wedding. It’s not a last minute decision, either. You need to line one up a good one at least eight months in advance of the big day.

Church weddings aren’t as popular

The process isn’t as straight forward as it used to be, simply because Millennials aren’t as religious as their predecessors. That means they are less likely to have a church affiliation, the traditional source of wedding officiating.

In 1986, the number of people in the 18 to 29 year age range who had no  religious affiliation was but ten percent. By 2016, the number had nearly quadrupled to 39%.

Nonetheless, most Millennials believe in God, according to the Pew Research Center. Fifty percent believe in God with absolute certainty; and another 21% believe in God with a fair amount of certainty.

Make sure your wedding officiant is legal

So when it comes time to find your wedding officiant, you need to decide if it is going to be a religious ceremony. If you attend church or a synagogue, your search may be easy.

If you don’t have a church, like so many Millennials, and prefer a more secular ceremony, you can select from a pool of non-affiliated officiants. But be sure they are credentialed. Every state has their own unique marriage laws, as you can see at this link.

Even more, ask potential officiants if they complete the paperwork to file your marriage license, and if they understand all legal aspects associated with making your wedding official.

Then you can move to the more practical concerns, such as are they available on your date, and again, are they properly credentialed for your specific location.

Follow that up with questions about the depth of their experience. How many weddings have they done? Ask for references and check them out.

Yes, you’ll want to ask about other practical things, such as their attire, fees, and rehearsal availability. Even more, explore the ways they can work with you to customize your ceremony. How flexible are they when it comes to the vows and the flow of the ceremony? How long will their ceremonies take? And do they provide a detailed contract for you to review?

But most of all, confirm that they can legally perform your ceremony.