Choosing a wedding officiant is a vital decision when planning your big day. The person you select to officiate your ceremony will set the tone for your wedding day and play a significant role in making sure the day goes smoothly. With so much riding on this choice, it’s crucial to take the time to find someone with whom you both feel comfortable and who can execute the type of ceremony you envision. From religious leaders to family members, there are numerous options to consider when selecting your wedding officiant. So let’s jump in to finding your perfect wedding officiant in Minnesota!
Who to pick as your wedding officiant?
When it comes to picking a wedding officiant, here’s a couple things to consider. First, you want to select someone you both feel comfortable with. This is your wedding day, and you want to have no doubts about who is overseeing the ceremony and setting the mood/tone.
This could be a friend or family member you feel close to. If you’d like to explore this option, I recommend choosing someone who is confident in public speaking and is a good storyteller. Ideally it would be great to have someone who knows you both well and can speak to you two as a couple. Your friend or family member (as long as they’re over 21) can become an ordained minister in one day in Minnesota – check it out here!
You can also choose a professional officiant which could be a Justice of the Peace, Pastor, Rabbi, Imam, Swami, or other Religious Leader. Prices can vary for professional officiants; on average it can be between $300-$900. Services can include pre-wedding consultations, personalized wedding ceremony, support with vows and additional ceremony extras such as sand, candles, and wine boxes. Additionally professional officiants can offer services to perform secular ceremonies or combine cultures/religions to help you craft your own unique wedding ceremony.
Questions you should ask your officiant before selecting them.
I reached out to a handful of wonderful officiants I’ve worked with in the past and they provided some helpful insight into questions you should ask your wedding officiant. These questions can be helpful with navigating who to select and feeling comfortable and confident going into your wedding day.
Question 1: What is your ceremony writing process?
Question 2: How much of the ceremony do you write?
Question 3: Why would I hire an officiant when my friend/family member can do it?
Question 4: Why should we bother with premarital counseling / Should we do premarital counseling?
Question 5: What is your writing and speaking background?
Question 6: I’m spiritual but my partner isn’t; what should we do about the ceremony?
Question 7: Do you talk to family and friends for information on us?
Pricing & Services for Wedding Officiants
When selecting an officiant, it is important to consider their pricing and service offerings. Some may have a set fee for their services, while others may offer a range of packages with varying prices. Look for an officiant who can provide the level of service you desire.
For pricing on average services can range from $300-$900. This is generally based on if premarital counseling sessions are included as well as hours for the event such as rehearsal and wedding ceremony. There can also be a difference in pricing with officiants depending on a weekend or weekday service as well.
When considering a family or friend as your officiant the services can be done for free most times — just the cost to get them ordained and registered if they are not already.
Just like anything related to your wedding, the cheapest option is not always the best one. Go with someone who will represent you well, make your ceremony about you (not them), and provide an engaging and meaningful ceremony for you and your guests. If a trusted family or friend can do that, great! Chatting with a professional is always a good idea though, just so you have all the information you can prior to making your decision.
When should I start researching/selecting a wedding officiant?
If you’ve begun wedding planning then this is the perfect time to start researching officiants. If you have someone specific in mind, it’s best to give as much notice as possible for scheduling. Don’t forget to chat with friends and family who recently got married. Do they have referrals/recommendations? Anything they’d suggest going through the process?
Recommended Wedding Officiants in Minnesota
Justice of the Peace
Are you looking for a Justice of the Peace for your Minnesota wedding? Check out this list of Justices of the Peace for Minnesota. You can filter down by your area, or reach out to your county to learn more about their Justice of the Peace options for weddings.
Your Own Religious Leader
If you and/or your partner attend a church or temple, you can ask your place of worship for information on officiating rules, services, and pricing. Keep in mind that not all places of worship are allowed, by deed or other rules, to perform all marriages. If it’s important to you to create a welcoming space for your family and guests who identify as LGBTQ+, make sure to ask what is and isn’t allowed before committing.
Maggie Keller provides officiant services regardless of the faith you practice. She focuses on creating a wedding ceremony that truly captures your relationship and helping guide and support you along the way to marriage. She offers relationship sessions, rehearsals and ceremony services.
One of the things that makes Maggie unique is her background as a writer and professional speaker helps her craft words with weight and meaning, resulting in a unique ceremony reflective of the couple. She also meets with couples beforehand and facilitates several sessions around the Prepare + Enrich inventory — an assessment that helps couples identify their strengths and growth areas. This extra time allows her to get to know them and what matters most to them and then translate that into writing a ceremony that is deeply personal. Completing this program with Maggie will get you a discount on your marriage license in the State of Minnesota!
One thing Maggie wishes more couples knew about her wedding officiants services is that she sees her role as a conductor—she helps things flow smoothly! Starting with the rehearsal through to the ceremony, she works with your planner (if applicable) to make sure everyone knows what to expect and where they’re supposed to be, eliminating logistical hiccups and those pre-wedding jitters. Learn more about Maggie here!
Liz Rae & Co.
Liz identified that the wedding industry severely lacked openness and understanding for those identifying as LGBTQ. Officiants also did not entirely write their own wedding ceremonies and many did not come from a background in writing or public speaking. Liz launched her business in Minneapolis to give couples a safe space and an officiant who would dive into their ceremony, hand-write it without templates, and lead the way for acceptance in the industry.
When working with officiants of Liz Rae & Co., you can expect their process to be 100% custom to you, but for most people, it looks like 4-ish meetings to really get to know them well. Then, they write ceremonies 100% from scratch based on storytelling techniques to provide something truly custom and fitting for the couple. Here is information on their Minneapolis Wedding Ceremony Packages. Liz Rae & Co. is happy to work with all couples, including LGBTQ+! Just because Liz is a person of faith doesn’t mean you have to be — your wedding day is not about her.
If you’re wanting to have a family or friend officiate your wedding and they are looking for some writing and coaching support before the big day, Liz has Wedding Ceremony Coaching packages that are perfect for that!
Leslie at Positively Charmed! is completely dedicated to the craft of creating ceremonies and has been acknowledged for her skills. She has awards from The Knot and Minnesota Bride magazine, and those awards are due to the amazing work she has done with couples and other professional vendors with whom she’s collaborated. She also attained her Masters Degree in Religion & Theology from United Theological Seminary. Many couples find her professional skills at bridging differing levels of religious and non-religious perspectives to be a comfort when making decisions about their ceremony language.
Leslie is an award-winning writer, which means your ceremony script will be amazing! Leslie offers a wide assortment of services from micro weddings, small ceremonies, courthouse weddings, premarital counseling, and ceremony coaching support (for friends and family performing ceremonies). You can read all about her services and pricing here! Positively Charmed has also expanded into Charmed Studios which can help you with planning an upcoming event, providing ceremony suites perfect for mini & micro weddings & local elopements as an alternative to courthouse weddings!
Ordained Friend or Family Member
If you have a family member or friend who you want to perform your service they can get ordained. They need to be over 21 and complete the required process outlined by your county. You can get additional information here at the American Marriage Ministries and Universal Life Church.
In this case, ensure that the proper credentials are filed with a Minnesota County and that your chosen officiant understands how to fill out and submit your paperwork come your wedding day. These are not things you want to discuss or make plans about on that day!
Choosing the perfect wedding officiant is an important decision. It is important to consider their experience, style, and personality to ensure that they are the right fit for you and your partner. By taking the time to find the perfect officiant, you can ensure that your wedding ceremony is a meaningful and memorable experience for all involved.