Up next in our series about Jewish wedding traditions and alternatives is a discussion of how to find an officiant for your Jewish or interfaith wedding. Curious to learn more about the wedding guide we created with Ketuv Ketubahs? Sign up below to download our free 36-page guide about planning a Jewish wedding!
Choosing a person (or multiple people!) to officiate your wedding is one of the most important decisions you will make in the wedding planning process. This person will likely meet with you several times before your wedding, getting to know you both and crafting a ceremony that sets the tone of your wedding, welcomes family and friends, and celebrates your unique relationship.
Photo by Stak Studios
While Jewish couples often choose a rabbi to marry them, couples may also be married by cantors, community leaders, or anyone else they choose! Many interfaith couples choose to have their wedding co-officiated by clergy of their respective faiths.
Before you choose an officiant, think together about the kind of wedding you want, and what kind of person will help craft this experience. Comfort is key. Choose someone who will work with you to create the wedding of your dreams, and not someone who will insist on following traditions that you may or may not want to include in your wedding. Wherever possible, meet your officiant in person, get a sense of how they think about creating a wedding ceremony, and go with your gut about whether it’s the right fit.
There are a number of great resources for couples looking for rabbis or officiants for their Jewish or interfaith wedding. Here are a couple of ideas:
- Ask your recently married friends
- Contact a local synagogue to see if they have referrals for your area
- Approach a close friend or family member and ask them if they’d be interested in officiating your wedding. The Universal Life Ministry or The American Marriage Ministry are among the many resources that will help with ordination. Remember, just because you won’t have a rabbi officiating doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate Jewish traditions. This handbook can help!
- Check out resources like Unorthodox Celebrations and InterfaithFamily who offer free customized referrals to clergy in your area
Looking for more information about planning your Jewish wedding ceremony? Our free 36-page guide is chock full of helpful information, traditions and adaptations!