When searching for officiants, consider the fact that both you (as a couple) and the priest or minister are interviewing each other. Most officiants want to know about your religious beliefs, your relationship and your lifestyle before they perform a union. You and your fiancé need to feel comfortable sharing with this person, confident in his or her ability to lead the wedding, and sure that they are a trusted source of advice and direction.
Begin the process of finding the right official for your wedding as soon as you have chosen a location. For some churches, you must be a member of the congregation in order for the priest or minister to marry you. Sometimes a family member can ask an officiant of their church for you, but don't expect to waltz in and get married. Religious leaders take their duties seriously and their stewardship of the church even more so. Plan on having several meetings with the church leadership.
Another option is to locate a justice of the peace in your county. These are not religious officials, however, they do have the authority to marry couples. This is a great option for those who are having a civil wedding ceremony. For example, if you have planned a wedding along the magnificent Columbia River, a justice of the peace might be a flexible and easy choice. You will need to handle more of the wording for the actual ceremony and give clear, specific directions to these types of officiants, but you will have more control over what is said and how the ceremony is conducted.
Some main points to keep in mind when selecting your wedding officiant is to make sure both the bride and groom are comfortable with the choice. This is a big day for you both. Also, plan on having several meetings with him or her to go over plans, time lines and to be clear on what scriptures or verses are important to you as a couple. This person is going to be conducting the spiritual heart of your ceremony. This is not a place to rush your decision or gloss over the details. Take your time, be clear about your desires, and voice your concerns if any arise.
Finding the right person to conduct your wedding ceremony is an important choice. You are making lifelong promises to each other under the guidance and directions of this person. Find someone who will honor your spiritual needs as well as your personalities.