How to Hire a Wedding Officiant – Miami, FL
In the following guide I’ll share several tips to follow when hiring a wedding officiant. We will discuss:
- What does an officiant do at a wedding?
- How to compare wedding officiants?
- How much does a wedding officiant cost?
- How far in advance to book your wedding officiant?
- What services are included in the cost?
- Do you tip your officiant?
- Questions to ask before wedding day?
What does an officiant at a wedding do?
A wedding officiant can be a religious figure, like a priest, rabbi, or minister, but can also be a secular officiant like a judge, a justice of the peace, or a professional officiant who is legally allowed to perform weddings in the state where your wedding is being held.
Their job is to perform the wedding ceremony and ensure that all steps are taken to legally marry a couple. This can include not only the ceremony, vows, ring exchange, but also the official paperwork that gets filed with the courts to obtain your marriage license based on your state’s laws.
What makes a wedding officiant stand out compared to others?
A good wedding officiant will work with you to create a meaningful and special experience for you, your partner, and your guests. He or she will perform a beautiful ceremony and you’ll feel comfortable with your officiant leading up to the wedding based on conversations and meetings you’ve had.
One of the things I do to help with creating a beautiful wedding ceremony is have my clients fill out a questionnaire so I can get to know the couple better. It helps me learn their story, history, and many other detailed questions for crafting the ceremony.
I also recommend to my clients to include me for a rehearsal so we can work together to ensure everything runs smoothly and reduce stress, anxiety, and nervousness on wedding day!
Learn more about my services in South Florida if you’re looking for a wedding officiant you can feel comfortable with and trust to perform a meaningful, special ceremony.
How much does a wedding officiant cost?
Depending on where you are in the country and other factors, the average cost of a wedding officiant is between $500 to $700.
For example, my base price starts at $495 for a Miami Dade County wedding but if the wedding will be further away like Palm Beach County or Broward County in South Florida, then I charge $595.
Rehearsal is a separate fee that ranges from $150 to $250 depending on travel distance and wedding location.
How far in advance should I book my officiant?
I would recommend booking your wedding officiant at least 5 months to 7 months before your wedding day. I have stepped in before in emergency situation for a couple who’s officiant backed out last minute and provided them a beautiful wedding ceremony. But to avoid that level of stress, plan to have your officiant decided at least several months in advance.
If you’d like to check out my schedule availability and book a phone call to discuss your wedding date, click here.
Before hiring a wedding officiant you should do research on them. Read online reviews, find out if they service the venue’s near you, schedule an interview (in person if possible) by phone.
One month prior to the wedding date is usually when you’ll formally sit down and review the ceremony plan in detail to hash everything out.
What is included in the cost of a wedding officiant?
Believe it or not, a wedding officiant dedicates a lot of time and resources to making your wedding day special. They are on center stage with you in front of all your guests. This requires a lot of prep work to ensure a smooth presentation on wedding day.
Here is a list of some things to consider to understand the pricing of an officiant:
- Prep work
- Travel and event time
- Marriage license handling
- Rehearsal time
- Business expenses
How much should you tip a wedding officiant?
Be sure to factor tips into your budget when determining your wedding officiant cost. Religious officiants don’t usually accept tips, instead, it’s customary to make a donation of $100 to $300 or more for his or her house or worship.
If you’re having a civil officiant, he or she should receive an additional $50 to $100 for excellent service.
What do I need to ask my officiant before my wedding?
Below are a list of questions you should keep in mind to ask an officiant before your wedding day. We also wrote an article on questions to ask an officiant before hiring to help you with interviewing them.
In terms of what to ask:
- What types of ceremonies will you perform or NOT perform?
- Can friends and family members participate in my ceremony?
- How many times will we meet before the wedding?
- Do we meet in person or are you open to meeting via Skype or video chat?
- How much do you charge for the ceremony? Are there any additional charges?
- Do you attend the rehearsal? Is that an additional charge?
- How will you be dressed?
- How long is the wedding ceremony?
- Can you provide guidance on the marriage license process in my state?
- Can we write our own vows?
- Are there other personal touches we can add on to our ceremony
- Can we receive premarital counseling from you?
- What is the best way to contact you?
Overall, you now have the general idea of the process for hiring a wedding officiant and you got to learn first hand from an officiant (myself). This should give you a good starting point for researching and reaching out to potential hires.
Again, if you plan to have a South Florida wedding, please feel free to check out my services and pricing here. I’d love the opportunity to work with you and create a memorable wedding ceremony. I have lots of experience and great reviews from past clients you can see on this page here.