We are asked often what certain words in the wedding business really mean and below are answers to some questions about wedding definitions or terms:
What is an officiant?
An officiant is a person authorized to marry two people, whether it is a secular or non-secular wedding. This is what I am.
What is an official?
An official is a person who might be an officiant, but often is just someone who formally represents the state.
What is an officiate?
To officiate is a verb which is what an officiant does. An officiate is a bit of an awkward phrasing which means officiant.
What is a minister?
A minister is an ordained religious leader who may perform traditional religious ceremonies such as baptisms and weddings.
What is a wedding minister?
A wedding minister is a minister who is ordained and is authorized to perform wedding ceremonies. This is what I am.
What is a wedding officiant?
A wedding officiant is a person, religious or non-religious, who is authorized to marry someone.
What is a reverend?
A revered is another name for a religious minister or member of the clergy.
What is a pastor?
A pastor is another name for someone who is a religious minister or clergy and usually the head of a church.
What is clergy?
Clergy is a group of religious ministers. This is a general term for the body of ministry as a whole.
What is a wedding?
A wedding is the joining of two people in a ceremony by an officiant. In order to be legal one must first get a marraige license.
What is a marriage?
Marriage is a social and legal institution where a couple agrees to live in a legal relationship.
What is a marriage license?
A marriage license is a license that must be applied for in order to have a wedding ceremony. I can provide that for you.
What is a wedding license?
A wedding license is the same as a marriage license, a license to authorize a wedding to take place.
What is a marriage licence?
A marriage license is the same as a marriage licence. This spelling is usually a European spelling of the word license.
What is a marriage certificate?
A marriage certificate is what is issued by the County Recorder after a wedding ceremony takes place as written proof.
What is a marriage officiant?
A marriage officiant is a person authorized to perform a wedding ceremony. This is what I am.
What is to elope?
To elope is to marry secretly and not let anyone know. I can issue a Confidential Marriage License and marry you privately.
What is a justice of the peace?
A justice of the peace is government official authorized to try some local cases as well as marry people. I’m an attorney, not a justice. However, California doesn’t have justices of the peace.
What is a sand ceremony?
A sand ceremony is the introduction of sand into a wedding ceremony as a symbol of your marriage, where sand is blended together to represent a couple blending to form one.
What is a handfasting?
Handfasting is a ritual to symbolize the joining of hands. It’s a pagan ritual.
What is a unity candle?
A unity candle ceremony is a ceremony addition to represent the joining of your lives together. Do not do this in a windy area such as a beach wedding!
What is a rock ceremony?
A rock ceremony is similar to a sand ceremony where rocks are used to represent unity. This can include the guests.
What is a wedding vow?
A wedding vow is what is spoken during a wedding ceremony. It is a promise made by each to couple to the other.
What is a wedding ceremony?
A wedding ceremony is not a vow. It is a formal solemnizing of your unity during which vows may be spoken.
So now you know!