Your wedding officiant is very important.  They not only legitimize your union, but set the right tone for your entire wedding ceremony. As such you need a wedding officiant that understands your relationship what you are looking for in your ceremony and vow exchange.   The best wedding officiant will have a personality that blends in well with yours.  They should also have chemistry with your fiancé.  Ultimately, your wedding officiant has to be able to relate to the needs of everyone involved.

A wedding officiant should also be good with people.  They should be excellent public speakers, regardless of the situation.  Most importantly, they need to be able to address the needs of both you and your spouse.   This process is easier if you are on the same page.  In addition to the little details, you need to think about the type of ceremony you want.  For example, if you are an atheist, you will probably want a civil wedding or a non-denominational ceremony.  Wedding officiants can also create unique interfaith or intercultural ceremonies based on the input of their clients.

UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF A WEDDING OFFICIANT:

To put it simply, the wedding officiant is responsible for performing your ceremony.  They issue your vows and sign your marriage license.  They also serve a go-between for the different parties involved in your wedding.  With that said, you need to make sure that they possess all of the necessary licensing for doing that type of job.

This principle applies regardless of the type of ceremony you are performing.  Even if your wedding is non-religious, the wedding officiant must still be licensed to marry people in your state.  If you turn to a person that does not hold the necessary licensing or certifications, your marriage will not be honored in your jurisdiction.  In turn, you may have to do the process all over again, to ensure that your union gets recognized by the state.  If you do your homework on your wedding officiant ahead of time, you can avoid such consequences.

HOW TO FIND A SECULAR WEDDING OFFICIANT:

Your local courthouse can help you access a secular wedding officiant.  Most of them are Justices that work directly with the court. So, you will not have any doubts as to whether or not they are legitimate.  Of course, if you would prefer to work with someone else, there is always the option of researching names in your phone book.  Call the ones that are the closest in your area.  Also, try to get a sense of their personality as you talk to them on the phone.

You can also find a wedding officiant at your local City Hall.  Just make an appointment, and everything will be taken care of.   While these weddings are simple, they are very quick.  They are also easy on your budget.  In many cases, you will pay less than $100 for a civil wedding.  Yes, the ceremony will be quick, but if your budget is low you can make up for it with a more elaborate reception.

If you still cannot find a wedding officiant, consider turning to friends or family.  Virtually anyone who is an ordained minister could quality to marry you.  Of course, you should always double-check their licensing, but usually ordained ministers are licensed.   Alternatively, if a special friend or family member plans on becoming a minister in the future, they can get ordained online.  Again, you will want to check the laws of your state to ensure that an online marriage is valid.

HOW TO FIND A RELIGIOUS WEDDING OFFICIANT:

If you do not know a clergyman, you will have to find a wedding officiant on your own.  The Internet and your phone book are your best resources, but do not limit your research to making a couple of phone calls.  You should also talk with your officiants in person before working with them.

The first question you should ask when talking with a wedding officiant is what type of denomination they serve.  Many officiants will only serve their own denomination, though there are an increasing number of multi-faith ministers that will serve a variety of denominations.  Either way, this is something you have to know upfront.  And even if their denomination matches your beliefs, you need to make sure they are open to a secular wedding.  Some ministers may not want to host same sex weddings, or those that are in very secular environments (like Las Vegas).   If this is a problem, just move on to the next choice.  With all the wedding officiants out there, you do not have to settle for someone that is not willing to work with you.  Remember, the majority of wedding officiants are ministers.  As a result, they have to properly represent their religious beliefs, even if they do not match the norms of secular society.

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK YOUR WEDDING OFFICIANT:

Can we customize our wedding ceremony?  Are we allowed to write personal vows?

Do you marry people that are not members of your congregation?  If not, what do we have to do to become members?

Can you marry people that are in an interfaith relationship?  What about people that are not religious?

If my partner or I are divorced, will you still be able to conduct our ceremony?

Can non-religious guests participate in the wedding?   Could they sing songs, give readings or even take communion?

Looking for a wonderful Wedding Officiant in Indiana?  Please visit Rev Dr Mike Dearing at One Spirit Wedding in Noblesville, Indiana, 317-687-4200.