The Right Wedding Officiant for You in Texas
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hello, my name is Reverend Rene Esparza and I am the Owner and Head Minister of Texas Wedding Ministers. Over the past 7 years, I have personally performed over 3000 ceremonies and now manage a team of approximately 30 wedding officiants. We perform weddings in San Antonio, New Braunfels, Austin, Dripping Springs, Corpus Christi and the surrounding areas. My team and I pride ourselves in providing our couples with personalized ceremonies that reflect the love they share on their big day.
Whether it is Catholic-based, non-denominational, interfaith, non-religious or same-sex ceremony, we’ve got you covered! And I can even do it in Spanish.
- Wedding Wire Couples Choice: 2013-2018 with over 400 5-Star Reviews
- Borrowed & Blue Vendor Award: 2016 & 2017
How did you become a wedding officiant?
Becoming a wedding officiant came from my own personal experience. When my wife and I needed to find an officiant for a quick ceremony to marry us state-side before our destination wedding, we noticed there were very few listed online and even fewer at an affordable rate. After our wedding, I told my wife that we can help couples like ourselves who are looking for similar services. I truly enjoy performing ceremonies and love seeing the end result- a happy couple excited to be newly married and enjoying their stress-free and smooth experience. I am always honored to be a part of a great vendor team and enjoy the event! Being a wedding officiant is truly my calling.
What are the most common questions that couples ask you at the first introductory appointment?
The groom usually asks: I just have to show up right? While the bride wants to know every detail of the process. Although the main question that almost every couple asks is if we provide the marriage license.
We hope that all couples ask every question they can think of throughout the process. A huge part of our role and our business is to educate couples. Our role as an officiant is not just to show up on the day and read a script. The majority of our job is done prior to the ceremony. We always recommend a wedding rehearsal to every couple, especially if they are nervous. The rehearsal runs through every moment of the ceremony, including all logistics and cues. Knowing exactly what to expect releases some of the nerves that a couple may carry, which helps them be more in the moment on their wedding day. It may seem like a small thing, but it will reflect in the lenses of the photographer and help capture beautiful memories.
Getting a feel for my couple allows me to add personal touches to their ceremony that makes the ceremony go from just a script to a memory.
Which parameters are the most important to couples?
Most people are concerned that an officiant won’t be as personal or can’t fit in with their religion or beliefs. I personally meet, skype or phone consult with each one of my couples to decide exactly what type of ceremony they desire. We talk and get to know each other so that I don’t feel like a stranger on the ceremony day. Getting a feel for my couple allows me to add personal touches to their ceremony that makes the ceremony go from just a script to a memory.
I personally meet, skype or phone consult with each one of my couples to decide exactly what type of ceremony they desire. We talk and get to know each other so that I don’t feel like a stranger on the ceremony day.
What happens during a typical wedding ceremony?
As an Officiant, upon arrival, the first thing I do is seek out the wedding planner or coordinator to touch base and see if everything is running on time. I find out all the little details such as where the rings are coming from, verify if personalized vows are being said by the couple and where the marriage license is. I chat with the groom and make preparations with him as well as with the person who will be walking the bride down the aisle. I also check in with the bride to say hello and give her a few pointers. Once I have checked in with the couple and the best man and maid of honor, I talk with the DJ for a mic check if needed.
I also make sure he knows the cues of when to start and stop music for processional and recessional. I then check in with the photographer so we can work together to capture beautiful moments of the ceremony. Prior to the ceremony start, I make announcements to the guests. These usually include emphasizing to the guests if it is an unplugged ceremony, introducing the photographer so the guests know not to get in their way and where they are to head following the ceremony. Finally, I come back full circle to the coordinator to help everyone line up and get the party started.
It may sound cheesy- but vows need to be written from the heart! How you feel about your partner and getting to this point, remember what brought you together and all the challenges you’ve overcome to get to your wedding day.
What is the best way for couples to write their vows?
It may sound cheesy- but vows need to be written from the heart! How you feel about your partner and getting to this point, remember what brought you together and all the challenges you’ve overcome to get to your wedding day. Talk about the support they have given you and the moment when you knew they were the one! Inside jokes definitely get a high reaction from guests and are usually a great moment.
How do you personalize a wedding?
- To personalize a ceremony, I need to get to know the couple and then carefully select the content to share with the guests. I ask them to tell me about their story and the shared experiences that made them realize they wanted to unite in marriage.
- A personalized ceremony should also have a certain tone to it whether it be religious tone with scriptures, a heartfelt ceremony script or even themed.
- To add another level of personalization we can add rituals such as a wine blending or a sand ceremony.
- Or they can come up with something completely unique to them, we’ve had a couple build a submarine sandwich where each ingredient had a certain meaning because they met at Subway!
What are some things you can do for inexpensive weddings?
We do offer basic services for couples who are wanting a smaller and more simple ceremony. In the end, the wedding officiant is the only vendor a couple actually need to be married at the end of the day and yet they are also the lowest paid vendor in the wedding industry. While a caterer has to make less food for a smaller ceremony with fewer guests or can switch to a less expensive product such as chicken over salmon, an officiant has the same amount of work regardless of the rest of the wedding. Therefore, we do not discount our pricing. We also do not discount if the couple has already been married and is now having a traditional wedding or the license is not needed to be signed as we still have to perform at our best no matter how big or small the production of the wedding.
We do offer basic services for couples who are wanting a smaller and more simple ceremony.
What is the cost of a typical officiant?
Every Officiant has a different price point for the ceremony, added rituals, rehearsal, counseling, bilingual services (which will add time to ceremony length and writing time), even costumes for themed weddings. The price may also need to include travel fees outside a certain radius of the Officiants office or home. Budget officiants are available out there, but in the end, you get what you pay for.
Is it customary to provide a gift for a wedding officiant?
It certainly isn’t mandatory but, of course, they are appreciated. Sometimes it is in the form of a tip and other times it is a small gift as they would buy for their groomsmen. I have received everything from a bottle of wine to a black Corvette Hotwheel toy. I will continue to collect them as memories of every wedding I perform.
What was the most memorable wedding you officiated?
The most memorable wedding I have ever Officiated was my parents 50-year anniversary ceremony. It was such a great time telling their story amongst their friends and our family, making them laugh, smile, and even tear up a little. It was like they fell in love all over again. I have many wonderful memories and have heard many beautiful personal vows that couples share. And although couples may look for perfection on their wedding day, it's often the imperfect moments that are the most memorable. Such as when a bride was being walked down the aisle by her father and his pants fell down completely to his ankles because he forgot his belt!