Choosing outfits for a wedding – from ballgowns and tuxes to jumpsuits and leather jackets – is no easy task. And while the couple and the wedding party usually spend the most time planning their outfits, a wedding officiant has to think about their attire too. After all, what makes the best wedding officiant outfits?

In this post, we’ll answer all of your questions about wedding officiant outfits: What should an officiant wear? Should they match the wedding party or stand out? What if you’re hosting a theme wedding – will your officiant dress up?

Plus, we’re providing our top tips for what makes the best wedding officiant outfits and how to add personality to an officiant outfit. If you’re an officiant, this section is for you!

formal wedding officiant outfit, young hip and married vancouver officiant in blue suit at wedding ceremony
by Thea Loo and Jeremiah Reyes

What should a wedding officiant wear to the wedding? 

Generally, a wedding officiant will dress formally and professionally for the ceremony. You’ll often see wedding officiants in business-appropriate outfits, like suits and skirts. Contrary to what you may have seen in movies, wedding officiants do not have to wear overly stuffy and fancy outfits, religious attire or all black.

Most wedding officiants don’t want to be mistaken for guests or members of the wedding party, so will skip options like floor-length gowns. They will also opt to be overdressed rather than underdressed, as you don’t want to be the only person at the wedding in jeans!

Of course, some wedding officiants will have a specific uniform. If you’re working with an officiant through a religious organization, they may have specific robes or outfits they wear in their role.

Does the officiant wear the same outfit as the groom? 

No, the wedding officiant does not have to wear the same outfit as the groom or other wedding party members. This is up to the couple and their officiant.

Some couples want their officiant to blend in with their wedding party and may request they wear a suit, tie or skirt in the same colour that the wedding party is wearing. Other couples will want their officiant to wear a different colour so they’re not mistaken for a member of the wedding party.

blazer and dress shirt wedding officiant outfit at young hip and married vancouver elopement with queer couple
by John Bello Photography

Can I ask my wedding officiant to wear something specific?

Yes, you can ask your wedding officiant to wear something specific… but within reason! For example, it would be okay to ask your officiant to wear a dark colour or to avoid pink, but it would not be okay to make them buy a specific lavender jumpsuit you picked out.

Definitely let your officiant know how formal your wedding ceremony is going to be. If you have any no-go colours (for example, if you don’t want them to wear the same colour as your wedding party), most officiants are more than happy to accommodate that sort of request.

Even without guidance, you should trust that your officiant will show up dressed professionally and looking put together. Check out their social media to see how they’ve dressed at previous weddings. If you’re nervous about their outfit or have a specific look in mind, make sure to have a conversation with them ahead of time.

halloween wedding with wedding officiant in witch costume, bride and groom in costumes
by Amber Leigh Photography

Can I ask my officiant to dress up for a theme wedding?

Most wedding officiants are more than happy to dress up to suit the theme of your wedding. At Young Hip & Married, we’ve had officiants dress up as cowboys, witches, TV show characters and Elvis at past weddings – check out Jane as a witchy officiant at the Halloween wedding above!

Once again, you’ll want to make sure your ask is reasonable. Give your officiant lots of notice and specific instructions on what type of costume will work. If possible, give them options so they can find something out of their own closet. For example, asking your officiant to come in any costume for a Halloween wedding is easier than requesting they specifically come as Little Red Riding Hood.

If you prefer that your officiant wear something specific, you may have to cover the cost of buying or renting that item. You’ll still want to give your officiant a heads up and make sure they’re comfortable wearing what you’ve chosen. Remember that you can make a big impact with a simple addition, like a crown or cape, instead of a full costume that may be expensive or uncomfortable.

vanouver wedding officiant in grey checkered suit for whistler wedding, formal wedding outfit
by Candice M Photography

All right, wedding officiants – this next section is for you! 

The best wedding officiant outfits…

…look professional

The most important rule when it comes to wedding officiant outfits is to look professional and put together. You need to look the part; you are a professional wedding vendor offering a professional service.

Remember that professional does not necessarily mean fancy. Aim for a business or business casual look rather than cocktail or evening attire. For example, you probably wouldn’t want to show up to a wedding ceremony in a floor-length gown and be mistaken for a guest or member of the wedding party.

Keep things simple and monochrome for an easy professional look. Consider dressing in grey, navy, black or another solid colour. Suits, skirts and simple dresses are all great options.

…don’t pull focus

The last thing you want to do as a wedding officiant is outshine the couple – especially since you’ll be in so many of their ceremony photos! If more people are talking about your outfit than the couple’s outfits, you’ve stolen their spotlight.

Avoid flashy prints, busy patterns or bright colours unless the couple specifically requests a certain style from you. And while we hope it doesn’t have to be said: Please don’t wear white!

wedding officiant outfit of black dress for beach wedding elopement, wedding outfit for beach wedding
by Keely Rae Photography

…match the formality of the event

You always want your wedding officiant outfits to match the formality of the event and venue where the ceremony is taking place. You don’t want to show up in a tux to a relaxed backyard wedding or in jeans to an elegant affair.

When in doubt, check with the couple. They can let you know how formal they and their wedding party will be dressing and give you an idea of the overall formality of the event. You could also ask them about their wedding party colours to ensure you don’t clash or match.

…allow the officiant to do their job in comfort and style! 

As an officiant, you want to look great but you still need to think about the practicalities of the job. Your outfit should be one you’re comfortable standing in for a good chunk of time while you address a crowd and have your photo taken. Get rid of anything itchy, tight or uncomfortable.

If the wedding ceremony is taking place outdoors, consider the weather. How will your outfit hold up in rain, wind or snow? Do you need to walk on a muddy path to get to the ceremony location? Will you be too cold or too hot in the elements?

Since you’ll be on your feet for a while, you’ll want to wear comfortable shoes that still look formal and professional. Skip the heels if you’ll be standing on grass or climbing around a mountain for a helicopter elopement.

Lastly, don’t forget to do a mic check! If you’ll be wearing a microphone for the ceremony, ensure your outfit has a place to clip it on and carry it. Certain fabrics don’t work well with microphone clips and you may need a belt or pocket to hold the battery pack.

wedding officiant outfit of matching dress shirt with bowtie and polka dots
by Erica Miller Photography
stylish wedding officiant outfit with fluevog shoes, checkered vest and hat, young hip and married officiant Shawn Miller marrying couple in helicopter elopement
by Erica Miller Photography

How to add personality to wedding officiant outfits

Just because you’re dressing professionally and not pulling focus doesn’t mean you can’t show off a bit of your personality. In fact, some couples are looking for an officiant who has a fun and creative vibe!

Look for small ways that you can add personality to your wedding officiant outfits. Consider wearing funky shoes. Officiant Shawn is a big fan of his colourful Fluevog boots (worn at his helicopter elopement above) and Officiant Jane loves her animal print sandals.

You could also inject personality into your outfit with your accessories. Officiant Beth has an awesome collection of bow ties she wears to her weddings (check out her polka dot bowtie above!). You could add on a piece of statement jewelry or even rock some nail art on your fingers.

Remember, you don’t need a closet full of wedding officiant outfits. A few key pieces that you can mix and match will be more than enough to get you through wedding season – plus you can always change up your accessories for a new look. While it may feel like you’re wearing the same thing to every wedding, each couple will only see you in that outfit once!

female wedding officiant outfit of dark skirt, bright top and nice shoes; Young Hip & Married officiant marrying a couple at Hycroft Manor
by Aileen Choi Photography

Female wedding officiant outfit ideas

While officiants of any and all genders can dress in whatever makes them feel their best, we have heard from some that female wedding officiant outfit ideas are hard to come by! While some male officiants may find it simple to throw on a suit, other officiants struggle.

So here are some female wedding officiant outfit ideas that our female-identifying officiants love to wear:

  • Simple black, navy or grey dress
  • Pencil skirt and blouse
  • Slacks, dress shirt and bow tie
  • Blazer over a dress, skirt or slacks

What wedding officiant outfit ideas do you love best? If you’re a wedding officiant, what do you like to wear to weddings?