When I am first contacted by someone getting married it usually starts off with a bit of awkward stumbling. The caller isn’t really sure what to ask or where to start. I try to put them at ease by asking about dates and locations and offering to send sample ceremonies because if I wait too long it may be even more uncomfortable.
Several times, the first question was “How much do you charge?” Once, a bride wanted to know right away “What do you wear to perform weddings?” (That one was fun because I could tell the story about the time I wore a monk’s robe for a couple with a medieval theme to their wedding)
Karen Loucks Rinedollar (adoresamore.com and karenloucks.com) did a great job of answering this question in the WedPlan article titled How to Choose the Right Officiant for Your Wedding. Every point she makes is important, but if it were me, my main question would be this one: “Is the wedding officiant warm and helpful during your phone/email/in person questioning?” There are probably plenty of folks who could legalize a marriage but relatively few who are really invested in you as a couple. (I would like to think I am and I am willing to bet Karen Loucks Rinedollar is as well.)
If you plan to be married don’t put the choosing of an officiant way down on the list of priorities. She or he can make all the difference in the words and feel of the ceremony.