Finding Someone to Marry You.

I thought we had our officiant in the bag.

Early on in our wedding planning, Mr. Martini expressed that he had a specific person in mind when it came to who would preside over the ceremony. He became close with this person at the church he attended during college, and although it has been years since they’ve spoken, this man held a special place in Mr. Martini’s heart and he wanted to reconnect with him. Of course, I agreed.

Over the next few weeks Mr. Martini did give him a call, caught up on the last 10 years, and eventually met for dinner. Unfortunately when Mr. Martini popped the big question about whether he would be kind enough to preside over our ceremony, he found that he was not ordained and is currently serving as a counselor at his church.

We were sad that he could not marry us, but excited that he will be able to witness our marriage as a guest after losing touch for 10 years. But now we had another issue. Who was going to seal the deal for us?

Mr. Martini felt just a tad bit uncomfortable with a pastor that was the same age or younger than him, and I respected that, so that left out a couple of our alternate options. When I filled my dad in on our dilemma, he wanted us to ask his church’s head pastor, but I was dead set against having a Korean speaking ceremony and did not feel comfortable repeating my vows from someone who wasn’t very fluent in English.

Then my dad suggested a bilingual ceremony and having two pastors speak. The Youth Group pastor in his church is fluent in English, and my dad thought he would be a perfect fit for the vow segment of the ceremony. But I wasn’t sure I liked the idea – I’ve never met this person and not only was he much younger than Mr. Martini, he was also younger than me.

I might come off as seeming a little bit picky, but I felt that the officiant would have one of the most important positions on our wedding day. I mean, he’s going to MARRY us. His words, “I now pronounce you husband and wife” are going to change our lives forever. We also chose not to get married in a church despite protests (our reason for this had nothing to do with religion – we just preferred not to ask guests to travel between two locations), and in exchange we promised to have a “church” wedding without the actual church. Therefore, I wanted a great speaker who was going to make the ceremony meaningful, yet fun. It would have been nice to have someone who at least knew one of us personally. But since we don’t attend church at the moment, it’s been a little tough finding a pastor so far.

How did you, or will you, choose the person who will marry you?


Mrs. Martini

New Jersey
Wedding Date:
March 2014
Add a comment


  1. Member
    frenchbulldog 1088 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:19 pm

    I have 3 family friends that have become ordained Presbyterian Pastors, I’m hoping to ask one of them :)

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    Vicki, Guest @ 5:22 pm

    My hubby and I recently got married. We asked his high school teacher, who was not ordained in any way by a church to be our officiant and marry us. I’m not sure about the rules in NJ, but in California it is very easy to just sign up with the County as an officiant for the day. I think her official title was something like “Justice of Marriage for the County of Los Angeles.” I think the fee was something like $50 and all she had to do was go to the County seat to be sworn in. She really wanted to be our officiant and she did a fabulous job. A lot of people commented that it was one of the best ceremonies they had been to, mostly because she knew my husband so well and over our 4 yr courtship she got to know me as well so it was very personal. I recommend investigating this “officiant for a day” stuff. It really does help to have someone who knows you well serve as your officiant.

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    Autumn, Guest @ 5:26 pm

    My first job out of law school was working for a federal judge, and he’s going to marry us! FI is so excited that someone who’s special to both of us will be tying our knot.

    There’s only one hitch, he’s attending a conference several states away the days prior to the wedding and will be driving to the wedding that afternoon. Talk about a nailbiter! In TN only a very small subset of people can perform a marriage, so we were having trouble finding a backup in case, god forbid, he gets stuck in traffic or something, but luckily for us everyone at the state park where we’re getting married also performs some sort of wedding service, including a lady who can legally perform weddings!

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Emma, Guest @ 6:01 pm

    Oooh I feel you, this is a tough choice! It’s so personal, but I felt that not just anyone who knew us well could marry us. We went with a family friend of my husband’s – a 50′s-ish guy with a great presence. He had officiated at his daughter’s wedding about a year earlier. He was nervous about doing ours, but he did a great job.

    Luckily CA allows you to deputize anyone to become and officiant for a day. We didn’t realize this til very late in the game, and were going to have a court ceremony first to make it official. We were so relieved when we found out our friend could actually marry us. I was very glad that the wedding that our friends and family witnessed was indeed our ‘real’ wedding. There is something about the moment of getting married that is very special.

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    sunflowers, Guest @ 7:06 pm

    Just because your preferred officiant isn’t ordained, doesn’t mean he can’t go online and buy a certificate to allow him to perform marriage ceremonies. He won’t be doing it in his capacity as a minister but it would still be legal. I have several friends who have purchased their licenses to wed people and have officiated at lovely ceremonies. Likewise, my mother is an ordained presbyterian minister and has officiated many, many wedding ceremonies but legally, there is no difference between my licensed friend and my mommy.

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    Julie, Guest @ 8:31 pm

    My brother married us! We live in California so he was deputized for the day. It was really wonderful to have someone marry us who knew us so personally. I definitely recommend being married by someone whom you have a personal connection with.

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    Miss Keswick, Guest @ 11:42 pm

    I have been searching for 6 weeks now to find a priest who will marry us. The first said he couldn’t promise bc he’d have to find a substitute. The following four said no because they were ALL traveling / going to be out of town next July/August. I posted my quandary on and a girl responded that she had the same problem (2 of the 3 churches in our location required we be parishioners for 1 year before we were married there and as it’s 2 hrs away, this was impossible). This priest said ‘maybe’ but he celebrates 5 masses on Sunday and isn’t sure if he’ll be available for the next month. We flip-flopped back and forth between having our ceremony at the Reception venue and at a church, but I’d never considered a non-church ceremony until now since I, too, understand the temptation of simplifying logistics. Right now, we’ve asked a friend of the family who is an ordained Catholic Deacon to do our ceremony. If the 5th priest becomes available, we’ll have a mass. I HATE leaving this undecided, but at this point, I have no choice. I’m just glad my Uncle is able to be there with us, no matter who the priest could be. Good luck! Others have suggested going to the Diocese (if you’re Catholic) and asking them to help you find a priest that’s available.

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    Jessica, Guest @ 12:47 am

    We went to the National Association of Wedding Officiants ( and found ours in CA – she’s fantastic! You can also look under “Clergy” and “Wedding” in the yellow pages, or check out non-denominational churches that are often willing to conduct religious ceremonies for couples who are not members of the church [Source: Bridal Bargains by Denise & Alan Fields, 8th Ed.].

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    jtg, Guest @ 4:46 am

    This has been a very interesting discussion. I’ve always subscribed to the notion that “its marriage before God with whatever legal ends need to be met, so what does it matter who officiates the details?” Its refreshing to have my eyes opened to a different perspective. Thanks!

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    Tabitha (From Single to Married), Guest @ 11:30 am

    It was so tough, harder than I thought it would be. We wanted our bishop (similar to a pastor) but because the ceremony was in Washington, DC, there were rules and regulations we had to follow. It ended up working out, but we had to get a letter of referral from someone who was authorized in DC and who was able to recommend our bishop before they would let him do it. Talk about walking through hoops!

  11. Guest Icon Guest
    Melothyryan, Guest @ 4:42 pm

    We’re beginning to have similar convos at the dinner table these days. We were both raised Roman Catholic but in recent years I’ve begun attending a non-denominational Christian church. We’re considering whether we want to get married in a Catholic church or not, and then which church we’d choose, and if we decide to go with the Non-Denominational route, there are a few choices for who and how and where…

    I look forward to your update!

add a comment

Find Amazing Vendors