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5 Questions a Great Wedding Officiant Will Always Ask

Published Monday, Feb. 7th, 2022


A qualified wedding officiant knows the right questions to ask couples.



Attention couples: Are you currently in search of the perfect wedding officiant? 


Are you deciding which friend or relative to ask to officiate your ceremony, or interviewing professional officiants for the job?


We know that choosing the right officiant isn’t always easy. 


One of the best signs that an officiant is a good fit for you is if they take an interest in you and the kind of ceremony you want. They’ll ask you a lot of questions early in the planning process, including the questions below, and may even give you and your partner a questionnaire to complete.


You’ll know you’ve found someone qualified when they ask you these 5 questions. 



First-time wedding officiants take note: 

Get in the habit of asking these 5 questions when you’re asked to officiate a wedding, and see how they can improve your credibility and experience as a wedding pro! 




A happy couple meeting with their wedding officiant

An eperienced wedding officiant will check their calandar right away,

to make sure they're free for the date and time of your ceremony. 



1. When and where is the wedding ceremony? 


It’s essential for an officiant to show up to the ceremony! A good officiant will ensure they’re available the day of your wedding before they commit to it.
Of course, some couples will want to ask a beloved friend to officiate right away, before they’ve even set a date. In that case, these details can be worked out together later. 


Related: How to Ask Someone to Officiate Your Wedding - Our Favorite Way to Say 'Will You Marry Us?'


2. Do you have a marriage license? 


In several states, it’s illegal for an officiant to perform a wedding ceremony without a marriage license physically present. Good officiants will make sure a couple has applied for their license, or plans to, early in the planning process, in order to avoid paperwork disasters on the wedding day. 


Remember, it’s the couple’s responsibility to apply for a wedding license. Don’t apply too soon, because most licenses have an expiration date. Don’t apply too late, or you might not receive it in time for your wedding day. 


Related: Marriage License Waiting Period, Expiration, and Return



If your ceremony is scheduled to take place soon, your officiant may check that you've already applied for (or plan to apply for) your marriage license.  



3. What style of wedding vows do you want? 


Great officiants make sure your vow exchange reflects you. After all, vows are the very heart of a wedding ceremony – they are the promises a couple make to each other as they enter a marriage. 


Couples might want to read written vows, share joint ‘we do’ style vows, or repeat classic ‘call and response’ vows. Either way, the best officiants will ask a couple’s preference when creating a custom ceremony.


Not sure what kind of vows you want? These articles might inspire you. 




Close up of a bride and groom pouring sand during a unity ceremony

Your wedding officiant will ask questions to help you decide which elements, such as unity rituals and readings, to include or leave out of your ceremony. 


4. What should I leave out of the ceremony? 


Everyone’s idea of a perfect ceremony is different, and certain parts of traditional ceremonies can annoy or offend some couples. That’s why it’s just as important to know what not to say on the wedding day.


Great officiants will ask what to avoid during the ceremony, from the phrase “love and obey,” to terms like ‘husband’ or ‘wife,’ to mentions of religion or family



5. How do you want me to pronounce you married? 


“I now pronounce you…” what? Like the questions above, this one is all about ensuring that a ceremony fits the values and identities of the couples. Some couples want to be pronounced ‘Mr. and Mrs.’ or ‘Mrs. and Mrs.’ Others just want to be pronounced ‘married,’ or maybe, ‘partners for life.’ 


Great officiants will ask how the couple wants to be addressed at the end of a ceremony, so that their new bond is honored in the best possible way. 


Related: The Pronouncement Explained



A groom and bride embrace on the wedding day outdoors dressed in their wedding clothes.

The best wedding officiants will ask you how you want to be pronounced at the end of the ceremony.  




You might also like: 



Asked to officiate?  


You only get one shot to deliver a perfect wedding ceremony.



There’s no ‘take-two’ when it comes time for a couple to say ‘I do’--  Wedding officiants only get one shot to perform a perfect wedding ceremony. 








Give yourself the tools and training you deserve to succeed as a wedding officiant, so that you can stand beside the lucky couple with complete confidence on their big day. 








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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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