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Incredible Officiants of 2023: AMM's American Weddings

Published Wednesday, Dec. 27th, 2023

Collage image shows ministers, officiants, and wedding celebrants featured in American Weddings in 2023

A look back at 13 wedding officiants who made the wedding industry brighter this year (plus two newsworthy moments you don’t want to miss)


One of the best parts of the job here at American Weddings is interviewing ministers from all over the country to hear about their experiences as officiants. 


It’s a heck of a lot of fun, always inspirational, and an honor that we wouldn’t trade for anything. 


Every minister has a story to tell – and a unique perspective on what it means to officiate. These personal stories can inspire us, encourage us, challenge us, make us laugh, and remind us why we do the work we do… and we’re so grateful to have the chance to share them with you! 


So without further ado, here are ten of our favorite Minister Features published on American Weddings this year.


Thanks for reading… and thanks for sharing your stories with us. 


AMM Minister Features We Loved in 2023
Plus 2 newsworthy moments you don’t want to miss 



1. This Dallas Officiant is Giving Wedding Guests the Tea & Putting Couples at Ease


Texas Officiant Latrice Roman is known for performing fun marriage and elopement ceremonies that center a couple’s love story. We spoke with Latrice about her knack for making guests and couples comfortable, building an inclusive business, and her cute new elopement venue, The Photobooth Elopement Place, an extension of Put a Ring on It, Dallas!



Minister & Officiant Latrice Roman poses with newlyweds in front of a decorative wall at her elopement venue in Dallas, they are smiling and looking toward the camera, Latrice holds up the couple's marriage license with a smile

Latrice and her happy newlyweds at The Photobooth Elopement Place, via @putaringonitdallas



2. Two Texas Officiants Make a Splash with Underwater Weddings


We spoke with officiants Nicki and Brandon Storm about their new underwater wedding business. These scuba-experts-turned-officiants shared advice on performing personalized underwater weddings, scuba certification, destination diving and wedding packages, and more.


3.  NYC Celebrant Chris Shelley shares the secret to becoming a successful wedding officiant


Celebrant Christopher Shelley is a master storyteller who uses lessons from live theater to create memorable wedding ceremonies. We spoke with Chris about how he keeps wedding guests and couples entertained on stage, and his role as a guest speaker at AMM's Officiant Accelerator event in New York City.



Celebrant Chris performs a formal wedding on the beach, with newlyweds and wedding attendants

Celebrant Chris Shelley officiates a beach wedding in Cape Cod / Photo: Anne Lee Photography



4. Adam Sank on Officiating Funny Weddings, Marriage Equality, & Nudity at the Altar


Comedian Adam Sank, known for his work with the ‘Adam Sank Show’ podcast, ‘Last Comic Standing,’ and ‘Bad Dates,’ is also an accomplished wedding officiant! We spoke with Adam about comedy themed weddings, how to write a funny wedding speech, recent attacks on LGBTQ+ rights and marriage equality, naked weddings, and more.



Adam Sank performs a marriage ceremony for two smiling grooms

Adam and the happy grooms during an amusing outdoor wedding ceremony (Photo courtesy of Adam Sank)


5.  From Wedding Officiant to Crime Novelist – Helen Bradley’s New Chapter


Officiant Helen Bradley, owner of Savannah Simple Weddings in Georgia, is also a successful crime novelist! We spoke with Helen about her first novel, Breach of Trust; her thriving wedding officiant business, her advice for first-time officiants, and more.



Helen poses for the photographer outdoors against a lovely fall scene, with trees in a park. She's wearing a blue shirt and smiling.

Officiant & Author Helen P. Bradley, photo by Dreamweaver Photography, courtesy of the author


6. This Wedding Officiant Wants to Marry You in the Nude


Texas Officiant Renee Reyes added a unique service to her resume this year: Naturist weddings! We spoke with Renee about the nudist wedding trend, the spiritual aspects of naturism, getting naked in nature, how to find a nudist-approved wedding venue, and more.



Officiant Renee of The Love Officiant smiles and waves at the camera while outdoors wearing a bright pink summer dress

AMM Minister & experienced wedding officiant Renee Reyes outdoors in beautiful Corpus Christi, Texas. 


7. Inviting Death Home: Home Funeral Guide Sara Williams on Reconnecting with Death and Dying


Educator and Celebrant Sara Williams (of Shrouding Sisters, North Carolina) has been fascinated with the ceremonies that honor death since childhood. We spoke with Sara about her role as a home funeral guide, the importance of Death Cafes and the death positivity movement, how green burial reconnects people to the cycle of life, and more.



Celebrant Sara performs a natural burial ceremony

Celebrant Sara performs a funeral service during a natural burial in North Carolina. (Photo courtesy of Sara)


8. How Filmmaker Nico Raineau Fell in Love with Writing Wedding Ceremonies


Nico Raineau is an award-winning filmmaker and wedding officiant, with a skill for finding the ‘romantic comedy’ in every couple’s love story. We spoke with Nico about his new officiant business, RomCom Weddings, his love of theme weddings, the Writers Guild of America strike, his upcoming romantic comedy movie about a professional wedding officiant, and more.



Officiant Nico poses with two happy newlyweds, funny pose

Nico poses with happy newlyweds (Photo: Sam Turchin Photo)


9. Creating ‘Spiritual But Not Religious’ Weddings & Lasting Marriages with Rev. Dr. Samora Smith


Rev. Dr. Samora Smith of Common Ground Ceremonies in NYC specializes in interfaith and ‘spiritual but not religious’ weddings. We spoke with her about her approach to spiritual weddings, her role as a guest speaker with AMM’s Officiant Accelerator, and how she helps couples build lasting marriages with premarital coaching at The Lovesmith Academy.



Rev. Samora performs a rooftop marriage ceremony in NYC

Photo: @revdrsamora "Rooftop ceremonies are so NY!!" Samora says of this beautiful sky-high elopement. 


10. Want to Start a Wedding Chapel? Advice From Professional Officiants


Want to open your own wedding venue, or start a wedding chapel? We spoke with 3 professional wedding officiants –  Lori Prashker-Thomas, Latrice Roman, and Margaret Hall – for their tips on building a brick-and-mortar business, with advice on start-up costs, location, marketing, taxes, and more. 



Officiants Lori Prashker-Thomas ; Latrice Roman ; and Margaret Hall

Officiants Lori Prashker-Thomas ; Latrice Roman ; and Margaret Hall


Plus 2 Newsworthy Interviews You Don’t Want to Miss


1. Drag Queens Belong at Weddings! Protect LGBTQ+ Ministers & Wedding Performers


This year brought repeated attacks on LGBTQ+ rights, including proposed and passed anti-trans bans and restrictions on drag performers. We spoke with queer ministers and wedding officiants about Tennessee’s proposed drag ban, and how these laws impact weddings, officiants, and the LGBTQ+ community as a whole.


2.  Marriage Equality for Disabled Adults: AMM talks to DREDF about the Best Ways to Get Involved


We spoke with the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) about upcoming legislation to establish marriage equality for disabled and elderly adults receiving SSI and SSDI benefits. Learn how to get involved, share your story, and amplify this important issue!



Officiant Pixie poses with newlyweds

Photo: Pixie Aventura poses with happy newlyweds. Pixie is an AMM Minister, wedding officiant, and drag performer living in NYC




What a year! We can't wait to see the stories and unique voices that 2024 will bring. Thanks for reading, and happy new year! 


- Your Friends at American Marriage Ministries





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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