Photo by Blane Marable

One of the most important jobs at your wedding is the person who actually marries you. The officiant that you choose to do your wedding needs to be someone special. After all, they are the person who is able to make your wedding both special and engaging for your guests. Note that depending on the type of wedding you’re having, this will help determine the type of officiant you will choose. Here are some tips to picking the right officiant. 

Photo by Blane Marable

Types of Officiants


If you and your significant other are a part of a church, then having your pastor, priest, or rabbi officiate your wedding is a great option. Many times, couples participate in marriage counseling with their religious officiant prior to the wedding. Because of this, your religious officiant knows each of you really well. It could also be someone from the house of worship where you or your significant other grew up attending. This will make your wedding really special because this person has known you since you were a child, and now you have become an adult. 


You could always choose a traditional celebrant. This is someone who is legally able to perform both religious and secular ceremonies. An example of a celebrant would be a judge. 


Having a secular officiant is an option for couples that want to have the ability over what is said during a wedding. These officiants are not normally affiliated with a religious organization, and they shy away from the traditional wedding. 


Having a civil wedding officiant is similar to a celebrant in that they are only present to witness the wedding, and validate the consent between both parties. 

Friend or Family Member

If you want to go the less traditional route, then you also have the option of choosing a close friend or family member to officiate your wedding. I personally think that this option is the most special. Picking someone who cares about both of you, and allowing that person to be a part of your big day is something that neither you or they will ever forget. All they have to do is get ordained online. The process shouldn’t take long, and it is fairly inexpensive for them to get their license. 

Photo by Blane Marable

How do you go about finding an officiant once you have decided on the type?

Ask your married friends

If you have friends that have recently been married, then they have already been through this process. They will know people, and those people will also know people. 

Contact your wedding venue

Once you have become engaged, the first thing that a couple does is select the venue. If you were not aware, most venues actually have a list of officiants that they use or other couples have used. 

Reach out to your photographer and vendor

If your photographer and vendor do weddings frequently, then they most likely will know of some good options when it comes to officiants. 

Photo by Blane Marable

Last Tip: Make sure you get to know your officiant before the wedding

Just as a last reminder, make sure you get to know your officiant. You want to know what they have prepared to say on your big day. Of course you don’t want to know everything they will say verbatim, but you do need to make sure that they know what you want. Never forget, it is YOUR day!

Our purpose at Weddings in Athens is to show the outstanding selection of Athens, Georgia wedding vendors such as wedding photographers, videographers, florists, wedding planners and venues. We hope that our information will be helpful to you as you plan your Athens, Georgia wedding.  Please contact Weddings in Athens if you would like to have your listing added. Please follow us on Facebook at

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