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  • Writer's pictureRev. Candace Woods

Why hire a professional officiant for your wedding?

It’s true that a friend or family member can go online and get ordained by an internet-based church. It’s also true that in Colorado you can self-solemnize your own marriage. And so I hear this a lot in wedding planning groups on Facebook: “why would I hire an officiant when anyone can do it?” Well, friends, great question! Let’s talk about it!

By hiring a professional officiant or ritual celebrant, you’re investing in the smooth running of your ceremony. A seasoned officiant has an ease about them, knowing how a wedding should feel and be paced. They are a confident leader, serving as a host and facilitator of the ceremony, meaning that you and your guests and family are calmly led through the event without any hiccups or hitches (except for actually getting hitched!). And even if there are things that go awry, like a bridesmaid fainting or the ring being dropped on the ground (yes, speaking from my own experiences here!), a professional officiant can help guide you through whatever happens and make sure that everything is brought back on track with calm, wit, or whatever’s needed in the moment.


You also know that in hiring a professional officiant you’ll be getting a custom to you wedding script, not something written on ChatGPT the day before by your buddy! As I work with couples to develop their ceremonies, I ask questions about their love story, the vibe that they want for their ceremony, what their faith or spiritual traditions might be, and if there are any special rituals that they’d like to include. I then work to build a ceremony that will FEEL like them, not just be FOR them. Professional officiants also know what needs to be included by law in a wedding ceremony and how to structure a ceremony so that it flows well and doesn’t feel disjointed. When you do this, you’ll have a piece of writing and an event that you’ll be able to cherish and return to for a lifetime.

Another thing to remember is that when you hire someone to lead your ceremony, you’re gaining a trusted advisor and friend that is there for YOU. That means that they’re not out pre-gaming or chatting it up with buddies, but focused on being where they need to be when they need to be there. When I officiate, I check in with my couples to see if they need a breathing exercise to help calm their nerves. They’re also competent in coordinating with your other vendors, giving the planners and day of coordinators information for the rehearsal, working smoothly with the DJ, and already knowing to get out of the way during the kiss so that your photographer can get the money shot! I often end up helping the planner with last minute set up or easing the anxieties of a nervous parent. Professional officiants are there to collaborate with you, your family and wedding party, and vendors to make sure your day is joy filled and breezy!


Even for a simple elopement, you may want to invest in an officiant to help hold the sacred space of the day with you, creating a loving container in which to share vows and make life long promises. Whether you’re planning a micro wedding or a massive one, a professional officiant can add so much value to your experience of your own wedding ceremony. With thousands of hours of public speaking and ritual leading, over 100 weddings officiated, and formal education on crafting ceremonies and services, I’d be overjoyed to work with you to build the wedding ceremony of your dreams!

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