How to Choose a Wedding Officiant

Think about it. A wedding officiant can make or break your ceremony. An uncaring or unprofessional officiant can sometimes spoil the whole day. Even so, when it comes to finding an officiant, most couples simply focus on two things:

  • Are you available on our date?
  • How much is your fee?

If you were buying an iPod that would make sense. All you need to find out when you call around is "Do you have one?" and "How much does it cost?" - but this only works because you know all new iPods are basically the same. Obviously, when you're talking about people, you just can't make that assumption!

So, if I may, I would like to suggest a better approach:

  • Spend some time talking with your prospective officiant.
  • What kind of chemistry do you have?
  • Does he or she sound nice? easy to work with?
  • Does he or she have a pleasant speaking voice?
  • Is there a photo of the person that you can view - perhaps online?
  • Is the officiant focused on pleasing you, or will you be expected to "do as you're told?"
  • Does the officiant have any objections to your location, plans for music, photos?
  • Is the officiant familiar with Long Island and New York City weddings - with how "things are done around here?"
  • What experience does this person have, and can you get references if you want them? Finally, where is the officiant "coming from" - not geographically, but ideologically?

I'd like to say one more thing about the issue of price. Try to keep your perspective. Weddings on Long Island and in New York City are among the most expensive in the country. If you save $100. on your officiant by compromising, how significant will that be in the overall scheme of things? Will it be worth it? Remember, it's not like buying an iPod - it's more like hiring a nanny (think "Mrs. Doubtfire!"). You need to wisely invest some time in the interview process - but in the end, you'll be glad you did. Not all nannies – or officiants – are created equal!

I hope I can have a part in helping to make your wedding day special and memorable - truly a day overflowing with great memories and "no regrets!" If that sounds good, please contact me. In any case, I wish you all the best.  

Pastor Bill Britton   (516) 242-3721 or

Dear Pastor Bill, Paul and I just wanted to say THANK YOU! The ceremony was absolutely wonderful! Better than we ever could have dreamed of! You did an incredible job! We loved your surprise speech & so did our guests as well. You will certainly be highly recommended by us for our friends & family to use as well as on my LIW wedding review. TAKE CARE!!   Thank you so much again, Sabrina & Paul

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Pastor Bill serves families in the Greater New York area including Long Island (Nassau County and Suffolk County), Queens, Brooklyn, New York City (Manhattan), and Westchester County. If you’re thinking of using a Judge for your wedding, or a Justice of the Peace – or if you’re thinking of going to city hall for your wedding – or perhaps you’re working on a last minute wedding plan – in any case, Pastor Bill would love to speak with you. Pastor Bill is also available for families that have suffered the loss of a loved one and are planning a funeral.

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