Choosing Your Officiant

Your choice of a wedding officiant may be the most important decision you make in planning your wedding. The ceremony isn’t until death do you part, but the memories may be.

“We appreciated your thoroughness, attentiveness and professionalism . . . , but after we saw other weddings with really disappointing officiant performances, we realized how fortunate and blessed we were to have placed such a critical function in your capable and caring hands.”

“We both really truly love the ceremony you drafted. It is perfect, and made me tear up! Thank you for being a part of our special day!”

“I went back and re-read the entire script of the ceremony. I want to tell you again that you have done a wonderful job on the ceremony, and we are very grateful to have found you as our wedding minister.”

Things you need to consider when choosing your officiant:

  • You should avoid officiants who have not been ordained by a recognized church or denomination. For a wedding conducted in North Carolina to be legal the minister or officiant must be ordained in a specific manner. There have been legal challenges in our state to marriages performed by officiants whose only credentials came from mail-order or online sources. While sources including the Universal Life Church claim to be legal in North Carolina, a recent Court of Appeals decision appears to suggest otherwise. These words of advice posted on the website of a local Family Law Attorney serve to emphasize the point: “If your marriage was performed by a ULC minister in North Carolina, there is a very good chance that you do not have a valid marriage in light of this case.  If you are currently planning a wedding, I advise you to not use a ULC minister.”
  • You should look for an officiant who was ordained after others witnessed his or her gifts and talents in actual practice. You want someone who is able to conduct your service without appearing as if everything is being read off a page – an officiant who conducts the service in a conversational tone as if talking with you and those who attend the ceremony.
  • You need to make sure that the officiant will craft a service unique to you. Not all officiants and the ceremonies they perform are created equal. Many ministers just don’t have the time to create a unique ceremony for each couple. For others, their faith tradition doesn’t allow much room for creativity or variation in the wedding ceremony. Even if you find comfort in the practices of a particular faith tradition, you want an officiant that will incorporate these in a unique and meaningful manner.
  • You need to confirm that you will have access to the officiant as the service is being planned. The wedding will be much more meaningful if you and your officiant have developed a relationship of trust beforehand. This can only happen if you have spent some time getting to know one another in the process of planning your special ceremony.
  • You need to make sure that the officiant will provide you with a draft of what will be said at your wedding, not just an order of service. This is your wedding, and you should be allowed to decide what will be said at your ceremony.
  • Finally, you need to make sure that the officiant you select is a minister within the true meaning of the word – a servant – someone who views the task as a privilege and honor. You are entrusting an important task to the officiant, and that person should treat you and your wedding with the importance it deserves.

Why You Should Choose Rev. Randy Ivie to be your officiant:

In 1984, I was ordained by a local church that recognized and helped develop my gifts and skills. I earned two graduate degrees from seminary where I studied the faith traditions and practices of most major denominations and world religions. I served as a minister in local churches for over 20 years and performed countless weddings. Although I have retired from the pastorate, I continue to perform weddings because I enjoy helping couples prepare for and enter into this new and special relationship, and I view this role as a continuation of my service to others.

I craft wedding ceremonies that reflect the history, love and hopes of each couple. Each couple is unique, and each wedding ceremony should reflect that uniqueness. Thus, no two weddings that I perform are the same. This is accomplished through surveys and personal interviews with each couple. Your wedding will be distinctive and meaningful.

You will know exactly what will be said at your wedding beforehand. I will draft and provide you with a full manuscript of your wedding service. However, I will not just read this manuscript at your wedding. My experience permits me to conduct your service in a conversational manner, to remain flexible and sensitive to the flow of the service, and to be an active participant with you during the ceremony, helping you to remain in the moment and create wonderful memories of your wedding.

In the end you should pick an officiant with whom you feel comfortable. That increases the likelihood that your officiant will be able to lead you through the experience and help you fully appreciate the significance of the commitments you are making while at the same time reassuring you that you deserve nothing less.

To inquire whether I am available to conduct your wedding ceremony, contact me by email, phone or the form on the contact page.