Favorite Wedding Officiants

by Scott Johnson

Deciding on who is going to officiate your wedding is as major of a decision as any when it comes to your big day. It can be as easy as hiring your religious community leader to head up the ceremony—especially if you’re getting married in your house of worship. But anybody can take the necessary steps to officiate weddings, as it is increasingly easy to become ordained on the Internet.

Just a few weeks ago, actor Arrow actor Colton Haynes tied the knot with Jeff Leatham, the Four Seasons Hotel floral designer, in a Palm Springs ceremony officiated by none other than Kris Jenner. The two, who have been “Instagram Official” since February, know quite a few famous people, as Melanie Griffith, Cher, and Serena Williams all helped out with the star-studded engagement back in March. You can learn more about their relationship here.

Though none of our weddings featured celebrities of this caliber, it nonetheless made us wonder who our favorite officiants were. So we’ve compiled a list of the best!


Vera Wedding, 08/04/17, Russell’s Loft, Rev. Ray Van Winkle

A Seattleite since 1982, Rev. Ray Van Winkle is the owner and primary officiant at Seattle’s Best Officiants. Sincere, sweet, and with some excellently timed humor, Van Winkle has made a life out of weddings. His officiating of the Vera Wedding in August 2017 ranks as one of our favorites thanks to his touching words issued to Alex and Mathew right before their “kiss seals a promise.” The officiant is much like a master of ceremonies, so in many ways it’s important to find one that best matches the personality and attitude of the wedding, we think Mathew and Alex chose marvelously.

Balsoma Wedding, 04/29/17, Great Hall at Greenlake, Huey Yu

Depending on who your best friend is, they could play a very important role in your wedding day—especially if they’re not already your maid of honor or best man. For the Balsoma wedding, groom Dominick chose his long-time friend Huey Yu to serve as officiant of the ceremony. While this may not be as “formal” as other weddings go, it is a special day meant to be shared among friends and family, so why not let some of them in on the action? Having a close friend adds a personal touch, especially if the history is long and poignant. They know you better than anybody else, so why not let them be the guide to your new union?

Wagner Wedding, and Ko Wedding, Chaplain Dale

Like Rev. Ray Van Winkle, Chaplain Dale (real name Dale Amundsen) is a career officiant. According to his website, he has conducted almost 3,000 weddings, loves doing weddings in “unusual locations” and has a passion for working with the couple to guarantee the perfect day. We’ve seen his work at three different weddings and have no doubt he’s the real deal.

At the Wagner and Ko weddings Dale offered words of love and encouragement, while still maintaining the confidence of a seasoned officiant. He’s calm and knows how to react to the soaring emotions with wit and authenticity, asking in both weddings, “you ready for this?” This breaks the high-flying emotions just enough to allow for a heartfelt kiss as the bride and groom seal the deal.


Whether you go the religious, seasoned or personal, picking the right officiant is certainly a decision that should feel right for both the bride and groom. Whoever you pick will be the one who ushers in a whole new era in your life and they will have a deeply profound effect on the entire day as a whole. Let us know which route you went with your officiant, we’d love to hear if it was the right choice!