How to Find an Interfaith Officiant for Your Wedding Ceremony

Here are a few ways to find the right interfaith officiant to make your ceremony special and legal.
chapelle johnson the knot assistant editor
Chapelle Johnson
chapelle johnson the knot assistant editor
Chapelle Johnson
Assistant Editor
  • Chapelle writes articles for The Knot Worldwide. She covers all things wedding-related and has a personal interest in covering celebrity engagements and fashion.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Chapelle was an editorial intern for Subvrt Magazine.
  • Chapelle has a degree in English writing from Loyola University New Orleans.
Updated Aug 18, 2022

If you and your spouse-to-be come from different religious backgrounds, you most likely are planning an interfaith wedding ceremony. This means you'll need to choose an interfaith officiant to help create a ceremony unique to you and your partner. Approach this search the same way you would for any other wedding vendor. First, look on The Knot Marketplace for an officiant specializing in interfaith ceremonies. Next, find the perfect interfaith officiant for you. Sounds impossible? Well, we're here to help. We've talked to experts about what types of people can officiate an interfaith ceremony, what questions you should ask potential officiants and what questions they should be asking you. If you follow our expert-backed tips, we guarantee you'll find someone you and your partner feel comfortable with and who can bring your ideal ceremony to life.

In this article:

What Is an Interfaith Officiant?

An interfaith officiant is someone who has studied multiple religions and is prepared to help people who are spiritual or non-religious celebrate their event in whichever way they choose. Additionally, couples who are part of the LGBTQ+ community often choose interfaith officiants to help them plan their ceremony so it's as inclusive as possible. Interfaith officiants guide weddings, child blessings, funerals and much more.

Types of Officiants That Can Lead Interfaith Ceremonies

Interfaith officiants aren't the only ones that can lead interfaith wedding ceremonies. There are four main types of spiritual leaders that can help you and your partner create a celebration you'll love.

Interfaith ministers

The main focus of this type of officiant is to bring people of different religions together, but they also work with LGBTQ+ and non-religious couples. Many interfaith ministers define their work as being outside church walls by working in community service and spiritual counseling. Interfaith ministers (or officiants) are known for being all about creating special and personalized wedding services for their clients.

During your interfaith officiant search, Rev. Mercedes Ibarra, interspiritual minister and founder of Rev. Mercy Ceremonies, suggests you look up the titles "interspiritual officiant" and "interspiritual minister" too. This way you cover all of your bases and don't miss out on an officiant who identifies a little differently. Rev. Ibarra also suggests that you consider hiring Unitarian or Bahá'í Faith leaders to perform your wedding ceremony. "Both of these faith traditions are actually quite interspiritual as they celebrate and practice the various religious traditions from around the world as an essential part of their own practice," Rev. Ibarra says.


A celebrant is a person that is usually unaffiliated with any religion and can perform secular and interfaith ceremonies. Celebrants can see over baby naming, funeral ceremonies and more. Some people believe that the titles "interfaith minister" and "celebrant" are interchangeable because they have the same principles. Others claim that interfaith ministers are required to do more religious studying and training than celebrants. To avoid any confusion, we recommend you ask potential wedding officiants how they identify themselves and if their services can meet your needs.


The term clergy refers to persons ordained for religious duties like worship, guidance and special ceremonies. Clergy members exist in many faith practices so they aren't tied to one religion, which is why rabbis, pastors or priests are all considered a part of the clergy. Many clergy members may be open to presiding over interfaith wedding ceremonies, but there's no guarantee, so speak with your desired clergyperson about your interfaith needs before booking.

One great resource for finding clergy members, who are open to performing interfaith ceremonies, is your local college or university. Those studying to become clergy members often serve a diverse community and are used to working with a congregation of various faiths. Another option is asking a retired clergy leader since they may be willing to perform a more flexible ceremony.

Loved ones

You may not have considered it, but it's relatively easy and inexpensive to get ordained (lots of celebrities have done it). If you'd love to be married by a close friend or family member, ask if they'll undergo the official process and perform your ceremony. Rev. Whittney Ijanaten, owner and lead officiant of Rev. I, do Officiating, believes asking a professional to officiate your wedding isn't required because that's how she got her start. "[My sorority sister] asked me as someone she loved, cared about and respected. And I feel like if I hadn't been given that chance, at that moment, from her, and that belief, I wouldn't be here right now," Rev. Ijanaten says. So, ask someone you can't imagine not being a part of your wedding journey and personalize your nuptials.

One major thing Rev. Ijanaten advises couples to do when dealing with a loved one officiating is to speak directly about what they want for the ceremony. "It's not about the ask, of whether or not you choose a professional, a friend, loved one or someone. It's a matter of making sure that you get across what it is that you want for your day and the expectations that you have for the person who's officiating the ceremony," Rev. Ijanaten says. While speaking with your loved one, make sure they understand the importance of the role. You want both of you to have a great time and create a better bond after the experience, not a worse one. "I find that everyone is kind of operating in this space of 'What do I do?' And I think as long as there's clear communication, and the person who accepts the role as officiant knows that they are not only going to be in your pictures. They are going to be in your forever story," Rev. Ijanaten says.

Lastly, remember that requirements for being ordained differ from state to state, so do your research to ensure you're following local state or district rules.

What to Keep in Mind During Your Interfaith Officiant Search

Before you start contacting officiants, Rev. Ijanaten suggests couples look at each officiant's website or profile on The Knot Marketplace. "I would definitely say they should look for the energy and the vibe that a prospective officiant's profile gives off. What are the expressions on the couples' faces? What is the makeup of the crowds, in which you've seen them in front of?" Rev. Ijanaten asks. Make sure that the officiant is using inclusive language on their sites and that you feel represented in their photos. "I always say, trust your gut, and then look for the language that's throughout [the site], what they've written and the photos and see, what have they done? Do you see couples that look like you?" Rev. Ijanaten asks.

Questions to Ask An Interfaith Officiant

Many people consider the wedding ceremony the most important part of the day because it's not only when you legalize the marriage but also when you and your partner share your love story with your guests. With that said, it's pivotal you find an interfaith marriage officiant that you and your partner connect with and trust to make your ceremony unique. Below are some questions we think you should ask before making your final decision so you can find the perfect officiant for you.

What made you want to be an interfaith officiant?

This question allows you to find out more about your potential officiant than what's stated on their website. When they talk about why they became an interfaith officiant, look to see if they seem passionate about what they do. You want them to be excited about helping you create a ceremony that represents you and your partner––almost as excited as you are about getting married.

What's your experience as an interfaith officiant?

Other things you can inquire about that fall under this question are: How many interfaith ceremonies have you officiated? And how many years have you officiated interfaith weddings? By asking an interfaith officiant about their credentials, you can quickly find out if they are someone you can trust with your interfaith ceremony vision. Don't forget to ask the officiant to show you testimonials from previous clients as well. (Remember, these questions are for professional wedding officiants––not any loved ones that are potentially officiating.)

How do you help couples plan their ceremony?

Since you're planning a wedding that incorporates your and your partner's faiths, it's crucial you have an interfaith officiant that understands how to guide you. Rev. Ijanaten says another way to phrase the ceremony planning question is by asking, "how can you hold our love story?" After explaining to the interfaith officiant your desires, listen to what direction they want to lead you in for your ceremony. Does the officiant seem rigid or flexible in their approach? Is the officiant making sure to integrate your and your partner's faiths equally? Ask these questions, so you have a greater possibility of your spiritual or religious self being fully represented in the ceremony.

Is there a way you can modernize our traditional rituals?

If there are some traditional marriage rituals you want to include, that may be considered antiquated in today's society, ask your interfaith officiant if they can modernize them for you. Rev. Ibarra says she is often asked to do this for couples and tries to make traditions meld with the modern world. "The couples love this update, and the traditional families are still happy because the ritual is still being performed in a way that is meaningful for everyone. This ability to take the old and make it new, while keeping it just as meaningful and sacred is something your interfaith officiant should be able to do for you," Rev. Ibarra says. So discuss with the officiant what marriage rituals you (and your family) want in your ceremony and how you can work together to make them unique to you and your partner.

Questions Your Interfaith Officiant Should Ask You

While it isn't a deal-breaker, there are two major questions that your potential interfaith wedding officiant should be asking you. These questions will let you know that the officiant is willing to support you in your journey in the way you want and need to be supported.

What's your God language, if any?

Rev. Ijanaten asks her clients this inclusive question in consultations so she can get an understanding of what her clients are looking for her to do. "I'm not asking you, 'Oh, do you believe in Jesus?' or 'Oh, what text do you want from the Torah or the Quran?' That's not what I'm asking. I'm asking, 'Do you have a relationship with a higher power that you want to include in your ceremony?'" Rev. Ijanaten explains.

Rev. Ibarra breaks this question into different parts, "First, I ask each person to tell me about the religion or spiritual tradition that they grew up with, what they liked and about it, and if pertinent, what they didn't like about it." She adds, "I also ask them if they still currently practice that religion or tradition and how so. If they do not, I ask them to tell me about their current sense of spirituality, like do they believe in God, or do they believe more in Love, a Higher Power, the Universe or nothing at all."

An officiant asking you this kind of question, and related follow-up queries, shows that they are trying to create a ceremony that reflects your and your partner's spiritualities while being respectful to whatever religions you may be acknowledging.

Who's going to be in attendance at the ceremony?

Yes, your wedding day is all about you, but keeping your wedding guests in mind for your interfaith ceremony is important because you don't want anyone leaving the ceremony offended. An interfaith marriage officiant would ask you this question because they are trying to get an idea of how your loved ones will feel about an interfaith ceremony and what language should be used to be considerate of everyone. The role of an interfaith officiant is to not only be there for the couple but to make it a comfortable experience for everyone they come in contact with on the wedding day. You want your wedding guests to feel included in your celebration, not ostracized.

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