Boston Officiants Guide

Boston’s unique combination of old-school conservatism and progressive edge gives you wonderful opportunities when searching for the right officiant. You can easily find someone for a very formal, religious affair, and you should have no trouble finding an officiant to marry you if you’re of different faiths and are marrying in a park. Check out these tips for a sure thing.

Your Boston officiant search should begin as soon as you’ve set the date for your wedding, and once you’ve decided on the style and formality of your affair. You can always be married by a Justice of the Peace, but for more common options, you’ll need to broaden your enquiries.

Traditional, secular weddings.
If you’ve decided on a secular affair, search for titles like “Boston Officiants,” to find a variety of non-denominational ministers or other inter-faith ministers. (The former are well-versed in most religions and can add the religious touches you choose.) All of these ministers can marry you outside a house of worship.

Traditional, religious weddings.
Traditional, formal affairs call for a conservative minister, and the first place to look is your house of worship. Even if your clergyman won’t marry you (because the two of you belong to separate faiths, you’re getting married on a beach, etc.), he might be able to point you in the right direction.

The first thing to keep in mind when interviewing Boston clergymen is whether or not you click with their personalities. The minister you choose is the one who makes your marriage official, so it’s imperative that you share similar views on the ceremony. Listen to his ideas, and offer your own. If his beliefs don’t match yours, move on to the next officiant on the list.

When you’re ready to start talking with Boston officiants, visit the Boston Area Local Vendor Section for a great list of regularly updated contacts.

Once you’ve selected an officiant—and made sure his calendar isn’t booked up for your big day—remember to invite him and his spouse to your rehearsal dinner. Should he be traveling a long distance for your affair, it’s customary to pay for his transportation and lodging expenses.

Most officiants charge for their services, especially non-denominational and interfaith ministers. Religious officiants who offer services independent of their house of worship will charge a fee, too.  If you’re getting married in a Boston church where the minister is part of the package, you won’t be expected to pay him. Instead, a “love offering,” of at least $100 is appreciated. Some officiants can be pricey, so find out the fee or expected donation upfront.

-David Toussaint

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