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“Wedding Officiants near me” - What to watch out for when searching for wedding officiants in 2020

Published Tuesday, Feb. 4th, 2020

The secret to finding the best wedding officiant in your area?

It might be easier than you think... but you'll need to start early. 



Finding a wedding officiant is different than any other part of wedding planning. As wedding ceremonies change with the times, the search for the perfect wedding officiant is starting earlier and getting more complicated.


Just check out Google trends, which around this time of year shows that people become very interested in this subject:



A screengrab showing the number of searches / queries "marriage officiant near me"



But with hundreds of articles about “what to look for in a wedding officiant” or, “how to officiate a wedding,” it’s harder to find people talking about “how to find a wedding officiant.”


Remember, there are built-in biases no matter where you look. Google searches could miss the best officiants. Friends could recommend the wrong person. Zola might send you an officiant that treats you like a child. No matter how you search, there’s always the risk of getting it wrong.



But don’t fret, we’ve been here before, and we can help.



Finding a wedding officiant is a unique journey that depends on the couple:


  • Some couples might just click the top search result in Google and roll the dice.


  • Others might ask friends or family members for recommendations 



  • And other couples might use platforms with officiant directories, like Zola, The Knot, or Offbeat Bride.



Photo of an open laptop on a wooden desk, with a notepad and pen next to it, with notes about finding a wedding officiant



Our advice is, check them all out, because your choice of wedding officiant will set the stage for the rest of the event.


To help you on this quest, we’ve outlined what to look for as you peruse your options:



Google and other Search Engines


We use google to plan everything from doctor’s visits to where to eat dinner. So why not search for a wedding officiant?


Generally speaking, this strategy will get you where you need to go, but realize that Google rewards officiants that A) have a large advertising budget B) are technically savvy, and C) shows you a few top performers that get the best search results. 


So, when using Google, make sure to research more than just the first few officiants that show up in your search. The perfect officiant might not have a great web presence or a huge advertising budget, so keep clicking until you are really happy!



Zola, The Knot, WeddingWire, and other Wedding Registries


These platforms might seem like the perfect place to find wedding professionals (and they often are!). But it’s also important to remember that their primary reason for existence is to make their shareholders wealthy, not to put you in touch with the best officiant. 


In practice, this means that their search results will favor vendors that can pay for prominent placement in their searches. This doesn’t mean that these officiants aren’t great, it just means that other great officiants might not show up. 


If you choose this route, make sure to be as communicative as possible with your choice of officiant to make sure they really understand what you want. That way, you don’t end up being rushed, or getting stuck with a generic ceremony. 



Personal Recommendations or Ask a Friend to Officiate


This category delivers the best results, in our humble opinions, and here’s why. There’s no substitute for in-person knowledge.


If you’re wondering where to find a wedding officiant who can create a ceremony that suits your specifications, it’s likely that someone who knows you well also knows an officiant that meets those requirements -- or would do an incredible job officiating the ceremony themselves! 


Perhaps you have already attended a wedding ceremony that was particularly memorable. Chances are, it was because they had a great officiant. Now all you need to do is reach out to whomever it was that tied the knot, and ask them for their officiants contact details. 


And if you have a friend in mind who would make a wonderful officiant for your wedding day, ask them to marry you! 



Read this next for tips on how to ask someone to officiate your wedding: 


How to Ask Someone to Officiate Your Wedding -

Our Favorite Way to Say 'Will You Marry Us?'

A wedding officiant holds up a glass to toast his friends at a festive outdoor wedding ceremony





Lewis King
Lewis King

Lewis is AMM's executive director. He also wears other hats at AMM, like taking out the recycling, restocking the sparkling water, and watering the office plants.

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