Choosing the right officiant for your same-sex wedding can make or break your ceremony. Therefore, the person marrying you should be vetted as thoroughly as the caterer who's preparing the deviled eggs. To weed out religious homophobes, consult for a list of churches with open-minded pastors, and heed the wise words of Reverend Nathan Meckley, a gay senior pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of Portland, who has conducted dozens of same-sex weddings... and a few opposite-sex ones too!

NATHAN MECKLEY: The greatest thing about a same-sex wedding is that it already breaks free of assumptions and categories by being about an out, same-sex couple. What you can do as a couple is only limited by your imagination! Three important considerations:

You want an officiant to take your wedding as seriously as you do!

Directly ask the potential officiant if they believe in marriage equality—that your marriage (legalized or not) and your wedding ceremony carry the same meaning as an opposite–sex wedding or marriage. If they can't respond with a clear and strong "yes" to marriage equality, look for someone else. For a religious/spiritual ceremony this can be more critical because some clergy will simply refuse to conduct same-sex weddings; others may feel able to do some kind of ritual, but it may not be considered the spiritual equivalent of "marriage."

You want someone who is comfortable and confident officiating the style of service you want!

How "traditional" or "innovative and unique" do you want your wedding to be? It's your day; you can do anything you want as a couple! If your officiant is only accustomed to tuxes and gowns and you want jeans and bare feet in a meadow (or vice versa)—again, look for someone else.

Experience is priceless!

The fact that your options as a same-sex couple are endless means that an experienced officiant can provide BOTH guidance AND flexibility for your wedding. Don't underestimate the value of experience when you get to negotiating the last statement of most wedding ceremonies:  "I now pronounce you (...fill in the blank...)"! How many ceremonies has this person actually officiated? Ask.