New York Officiants Guide

Finding Your Clergy in the Big Apple

New York City isn’t just the Biggest Apple of the Bunch, it’s got one of the most diversified groups of officiants for you to choose from. Like the other “coast,” New York City is the place to go totally formal or completely crazy. You will have no difficulty finding the officiant who’s just right for your ceremony, so read on for how to pick the best of the bunch.

Your New York City 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 the affair. You can always be married by a Justice of the Peace, but for more common options, you’ll need to broaden your enquiries.

Tradition secular weddings in New York.

If you’ve decided on a secular affair, search for titles like “New York City 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 of a house of worship.

Religious weddings in New York.
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 (the two of you belong to different faiths, you’re getting married in a park, etc.), he might be able to point you in the right direction.

The first thing to remember when interviewing 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 ceremony requirements don’t match yours, move on to the next person on your list.

When you’re ready to start talking with New York City officiants, visit the OurWeddingDay.com New York City 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 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 New York City 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.

Then get ready for Empire Size Love!

-David Toussaint

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