Congratulations! Great questions.
Persons authorized to perform weddings in Texas include licensed or ordained Christian ministers, priests, Jewish rabbis, officers authorized by religious organizations, justices of the supreme court, judges of the court of criminal appeals, justices of the courts of appeals, judges of the district, county, and probate courts, judges of the county courts at law, judges of the courts of domestic relations, judges of the juvenile courts, retired justices or judges, justices of the peace, retired justices of the peace, and judges or magistrates of a federal court of Texas. Flat out ask anyone you interview how they satisfy the requirements in this statute. No officiant should ever be offended by that question.
If you aren't having luck on-line finding officiants in the Waco area you might want to call other wedding vendors like wedding planners, DJs, photographers and event coordinators to see if they have anyone they recommend. Network with friends and friends of friends and co-workers and acquaintances and ask if they have used or seen anyone you might like.
Customary fees vary widely. Not necessarily so much person by person, but region of the country. In my area I'd be really pushing it to ask $200 for a wedding, but colleagues in New York City can get over $500 a wedding....sometimes $750! I'm going to guess Waco is more like my area though. I think it's reasonable to charge anywhere from at least $150-250 for just a wedding and $200-350 for a wedding with a rehearsal. It also depends upon if there are any travel expenses involved. I charge more if I have to drive more than half an hour to a wedding.
Gratuities are neither required nor expected, but certainly appreciated. I would say that about 1/3 of my couples have given me a gratuity. And not always in terms of money. I've gotten restaurant gift certificates, candy, champagne, a music CD, picture frames, bookstore gift certificates, Starbucks gift certificates, etc. It's really the thought that counts. You can wait to see how the officiant does and if he or she blows you away, send something later. I can tell you it never fails. The couples I have to bend over backwards for and really go the extra mile to pull off a virtual miracle hardly ever add a gratuity. The ones whose weddings were a piece of cake and I could have done in my sleep are outrageously generous. Not sure why it's that way, but even my husband's noticed it. LOL!
I encourage people to go with their instincts. If someone clicks with you, hire them. If there is something you can't quite put your finger on that bothers you or they simply don't resonate with you, move on to someone else.
Hope these links help.http://brevardminister.com/your_officiant_matters.htmhttp://brevardminister.com/officiant_etiquette.htm
Good luck! Wish I knew someone charming and loads of fun (who owns boots and a hat) in Waco I could refer you to.
Rev. Ann Fuller