How to Hire a Wedding Priest. Once you make the decision to marry, your attention will be focused on getting everything just right for the wedding day. One of the first decisions to make is which priest to hire to officiate at the ceremony. If you actively attend church, you'll most likely use your local priest. You should start preparations for the wedding as soon as you know the date, or no later than 6 months prior to the wedding day.
Contact the church or parish where you desire to have the wedding ceremony to set up a time to visit with the priest. If you don't know the priest, you will need to allow enough time to get acquainted. You should feel comfortable discussing all aspects of the ceremony with him.
Consider the requirements of the church regarding the wedding ceremony. In the Roman Catholic church, the ceremony is a most sacred event, and very little, if any, input is accepted. Before you hire a priest, clarify your interest in contributing to the content of the ceremony.
Ask for recommendations from your friends before you hire a priest. If you meet all the requirements to be married by a priest and you are new to an area, check with friends who attend a local parish. Since part of the premarital counseling includes an emphasis on a spiritual commitment, the local priest will welcome the opportunity to meet with you.
Question the priest about performing the ceremony if your intended is not of the same religious affiliation as you. Some priests will make allowances for a member and non-member marriage. In some regions, it is absolutely prohibited to conduct a wedding ceremony unless both parties are recognized by the church.
Expect to have your wedding in the church if you hire a priest to perform the ceremony. The Roman Catholic church does not recognize weddings performed any place other than inside the church. Weddings performed at any other location must be blessed by a priest before they are considered official.
If you do not have a local priest, consider using a local wedding planner service. Most wedding planners have contacts in every type of religious affiliation and can provide a priest or minister who will perform the ceremony.
Allow plenty of time to get your wedding on the calendar. Churches with large congregations and lots of activities often book as far as 2 years in advance.