Sure, we all know that it’s the wedding reception that gets all the attention, but have you ever stopped to realize that a wedding officiant is the only part of your wedding that you actually need in order for your wedding to actually be a wedding?

Choosing the wrong wedding officiant can really make or break your day. Not only are officiants responsible for taking you through the legal steps to validate your nuptials, the good ones will do so by crafting a unique ceremony that celebrates your love story.

I reached out to some of Toronto’s top wedding officiants to find out what makes their services unique and also for their tips on what couples should look for when searching for their officiant.


Photo Courtesy of Sara Monika Photographer

What makes your services unique?

“In addition to being an officiant, I’m a psychotherapist so when I work with a couple my goal is always to help the couple celebrate ‘their unique relationship’ and the values that are important to them so in essence no two wedding ceremonies are ever alike. In the first meeting with couples, I want to get a feel for the couple, their story and what is important to them in a ceremony so I can help create and shape their vision. They have the freedom to personalize their ceremony as much or as little as they want. The most frequent comment I receive from couples is from their guest’s perspective: ‘it was the most personal and meaningful wedding ceremony they’ve ever attended’. I typically do not book weddings close together so couples get my full attention and I tend to have longer term connections with couples officiating for other family members and friends, baby naming their children and I’ve even officiated funerals for their parents.”

What should couples look for when booking an officiant?

“I believe booking an officiant is highly personal and having the right fit is important. Find an officiant who is willing to meet with you. Given the stress of wedding days, no couple should be meeting their officiant for the first time on their wedding day. The wedding day is all about the couple and their family/friends. If the officiant gives you the impression it’s more about them, (wanting a reception invitation, organizing excessively around their schedule, etc) then look elsewhere.”


Photo Courtesy of Oak & Myrrh Photography

What makes your services unique? 

At Enduring Promises we offer our clients a no-obligation face to face meeting so that you can discuss your vision for your ceremony. A meeting will give you an opportunity to see if the officiant is willing to invest the time to get to know a little about you, your personalities, hobbies, and family dynamics. In other words, an idea of who you are and some idea of your expectations. Does the officiant have a passion for your wedding celebration or do you get the sense that yours is just another wedding? In order to help a couple create a fully personal, unique and memorable wedding ceremony, we establish a unique bond with the bride and groom. We believe that we should be flexible and supportive of the couple’s desires yet confident enough, based on our experience, to say to a couple that ‘I see where you want to go, but I think we need to make this slight adjustment.’ This can only happen if the officiant has taken the time to get to know the couple. But when this special bond is established, the officiant will feel comfortable suggesting different ideas and the couple will trust the officiant and their recommendations.

What should couples look for when booking an officiant?

“Ask for referrals. Quiz your friends, family and even your wedding planner about their experiences. Would they recommend their officiant? If they would, that would be a great place to start. There are several trusted third-party websites that offer reviews/testimonials, so check them out!”


Photo Courtesy of Samantha Ong Photography

What makes your services unique?

“I am part of an amazing team of over 50 wedding officiants called Kettle Creek Weddings. Our unique approach to wedding ceremonies includes commitment to connect personally with every couple we marry, offering lots of ceremony choices, being cost competitive, and bringing extraordinary confidence to the each wedding. The greatest compliment I regularly receive is that I was able to help a couple relax and actually enjoy their ceremony. We have been able to change the wedding culture by bringing a higher level of passion and professionalism to every ceremony.”

What should couples look for when booking an officiant?

“Connect with your officiant. A couple needs to feel a good sense of connection with their officiant throughout the planning process and at the ceremony.”


Photo Courtesy of Will Reid Photography

What makes your services unique?

“I do whatever it takes to help turn couples’ visions into reality, whether it be wearing a Darth Vader mask during the ceremony for a Star Wars obsessed couple or preparing and practicing a foreign language months before the wedding day so that family members flying overseas can feel included and understand the vital parts of the ceremony. Simply put, I will go above and beyond to help couples have the best ceremony.”

What should couples look for when booking an officiant?

Passion. When someone is passionate about their job/career they possess a different energy and enthusiasm and it is that very energy the determines whether the couple and their guests will remember the ceremony or wish to get the bar as soon as possible because of sheer boredom. Here is a powerful question that couples can ask when they meet with a potential officiant: If you had only 6 months to live, would you continue to marry couples ? If they say yes, then you know you are speaking with someone who truly loves what they do and people who typically love what they do are great.”


Garry Francis Officiating Service

Photo Courtesy of Samantha Ong Photography

What makes your services unique?

“I loved getting married and I love being married! I got married more than three decades ago, yet I still remember that special day as one of the greatest milestone moments of my life! I’ve come to cherish my wedding day as a watershed moment that was both meaningful and memorable! I keep the glorious memories of my wedding day in mind when I officiate for each and every couple so I transform myself into their shoes so each unique wedding experience will be a meaningful, memorable, & milestone moment! I’m deeply honoured every time I’m chosen to stand with a couple for such a significant event in their life so I make it my sacred responsibility to be fiercely committed to excellence, quality, and professionalism. Every ceremony, I add a personal touch when I go ‘off script’ to speak from my heart directly to the couple as my ‘wedding gift’ with reflective words about the great and awesome mystery of marriage they are embarking upon.”

What should couples look for when booking an officiant?

I strongly recommend that couples choose an officiant based on connection and chemistry! The connection you have with your officiant should feel like a family member standing with you. If there is no connection with the officiant who is called upon to manage such an intimate moment then keep looking until you find that connection. Chemistry with your officiant is paramount especially for the wedding day and the actual wedding ceremony. Your officiant should be able to roll with you through the stresses, strains, joys and excitements of the wedding day. If, as a couple, you sense you have to roll with them, then keep looking until you sense that chemistry.


Photo Courtesy of Selina Whittaker Photography

What makes your services unique?

“I love providing couples with a wedding ceremony. I mean, I really love it and I feel like it’s a gift or service that I’m giving that truly comes from my heart. Guests always assume that I know the couple extremely well because my voice is so full of emotion and sincerity when I speak, but it’s because I’m so delighted to be there for them in that precious moment in their lives. The day I no longer feel like this is the day I will stop doing weddings!”

What should couples look for when booking an officiant?

“Couples should ask an officiant if they will let them customize their ceremony. Many civil or religious officiants will be quite sticky about their routines or doctrine. Will the officiant stick to their agreed upon ceremony or go off script?”


What makes your services unique?

I just love weddings! They bring such joy! I have been told that my passion for weddings is very evident. 

My goal is to bring the couple’s vision of the ideal wedding ceremony to life! I work closely with each couple and value their needs and individual expression which then helps me to craft a ceremony that is a genuine reflection of their love. This creates a memorable celebration for the couple and their guests. I’m often asked how long I’ve known couples since my ceremonies are so personal.

What should couples look for when booking an officiant?

“When choosing an officiant, couples need to feel comfortable with the person who will be presiding over their ceremony and who will be in their wedding photos. They should listen to concerns about the type of ceremony the couple hope for and answer any questions they may have. They should be willing to personalize the ceremony for each couple. Is the officiant eager to incorporate cultural traditions, the couple’s love story, special requests, etc.? Check reviews.”


What makes your services unique?

“I’m not 20 or 30 or even 40. I haven’t simply been given the title of Wedding Officiant. As a Spiritualist Minister, I bring a lifetime of experience and spend time with my couples, listening carefully to their vision, helping them create the type of personalized and meaningful ceremony they desire. My approach is to be there for them, with them, helping them to enjoy their celebration as much as possible with warmth, encouragement and perhaps most importantly a sense of humour. I have been told that I am the Queen of Calm and that my welcoming presence puts everyone at ease, family and guests alike. My life experience as a professional musical theater performer, ensures that I am comfortable and confident in any situation or setting.”

What should couples look for when booking an officiant?

“The officiant should be professional, well-spoken and instill confidence. The couple must be totally comfortable with the officiant and know they will be provided with the kind of ceremony they want, not what the wedding officiant/minister wants.”