For couples planning on saying, “I do,” a wedding minister or officiant is an essential part of the ceremony. Even though a wedding ceremony may only last 20 minutes, the officiant plays an important role in getting married.

Whether it’s a friend, family member, minister, or professional officiant, the person must be legally recognized to lead your wedding by the state in which the wedding takes place. For religious ceremonies, the officiant must be recognized by their specific religious organization.

Typically, an officiant helps you create your ceremony, signs and delivers the marriage license, and performs/guides the wedding ceremony. A good officiant will also walk you and your partner through each moment and help you feel as relaxed as possible so that you both can enjoy every part of the ceremony.

Related: Tips for Writing Your Own Wedding Vows

Today you’ll meet Austin wedding officiant Scott Payne of The Knot Tyer Wedding Minister Team. As a minister for 36 years, Scott has officiated many weddings and tailors each ceremony to reflect the couple’s wishes. From traditional to contemporary, each ceremony is personalized, ensuring a special and meaningful wedding.

Wedding officiant Scott Payne conducting wedding ceremony for bride and groom at a wedding ceremony. Photographed by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

Tell us a little about yourself and your wedding officiant business.

I am a Christian minister of 36 years and I have been married for 35 years to my beautiful wife, Anna. We have three boys together. As a minister, I've officiated many weddings throughout the years. I love officiating weddings! I truly love people and will do everything I can to make you, as a couple, and everyone else comfortable and relaxed during the ceremony. I can be as serious or as light hearted as you feel the occasion calls for. I absolutely love weddings and will do all I can to create an environment of joy and love! My goal as your wedding officiant is to be there for you in any way that meets your needs. I want to help make YOUR day as special as possible!

What do you love most about being a wedding officiant?

I love to help couples put their signature on their wedding to make their wedding special and meaningful! It is an amazing honor to be a contributing factor on the happiest days of a couple’s lives!

Is there anything you'd like couples to know before they come to you?

I believe each wedding needs to be just the way the couple wants it to be. This means I walk through everything with couples and give them many amazing choices for their wedding ceremony. I am very open to changing up the services from traditional to contemporary ceremonies so I can help create the ceremony of their dreams!

When working with me you can expect a very enjoyable experience and a ceremony you will always cherish that we will create together.

Related: 8 Wedding Planning Tips You May Not Have Heard Of

Wedding officiant Scott Payne conducting wedding ceremony for bride and groom during their outdoor wedding ceremony. Photographed by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

What goes into creating a couple's wedding vision?

I get to know you both, make notes, and bring up lots of amazing ideas for your ceremony, some of which you may have never heard about. I find most of my inspiration for ceremony ideas when I meet with couples and see their personalities and profound love for one another! The goal is that when we are finished with your ceremony, it will reflect your wishes and will be a dream come true!

How far in advance should a couple book with you?

It is best to try to book a year in advance, but reach out anyway. I might be available, and if I am not, one of my amazing Ministers might be.

What tips/advice can you give couples planning their big day?

Enjoy the journey, plan ahead, as far in advance as possible so you have time to enjoy the process. Getting ready for a wedding can really be a wonderful memory!

Scott Payne is an officiant for Austin, Texas and all surrounding areas of the Hill Country. You can learn more about The Knot Tyer Minister Team and read his helpful ceremony hints on the The Knot Tyer website.

Looking for more wedding day vendors? I know plenty!

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