How did you become a wedding officiant?

Becoming a Wedding Officiant fell into place for me when two of my friends wanted to be married and asked me to Officiate. I had already studied and had received both my Bachelor and Master of Divinity, although at the time it wasn't clear what I wanted to do with that degree. I took it upon myself to look at many different Officiants that were online.

I studied to see how they ran their services, and what made them unique. I spent hours looking at different vows and their structure. After Officiating at my first wedding, there was entirely no doubt in my mind that this was the path I needed to follow.

What I love most about my job is the personal connections with my clients. Those are treasures. If you ask me what I love most about my job, it's the honor of being a part of those love stories. It is this that brings me joy and continues to motivate me.

Are there things that differentiate wedding officiants?

The first thing in differentiating between Officiants is to see how they communicate. During your interview, are they speaking about you, finding out about you, or in general focusing on you? Are they talking about themselves the entire time? Yes, there is a place and time to speak about oneself, but briefly. Any interview should focus on you, your needs, your desires, and what will they do for you. The right Officiant should be wholly engaged in your concerns.

Another tip is to check their reviews. Do they have pictures or videos of previous weddings? If possible always meet face to face with your candidate. Personal connections can tell you more about whether you feel comfortable or not, and if you want that person to represent you.

How do couples come up with their vows?

Creating the perfect vows takes time and effort. It requires teamwork with my clients working to ensure that the ceremony reflects who they are, and their love story. I will send my clients a list of personal questions designed to help the process get started.

Some clients decide on readings or poetry in their vows. Sharing core values, universal themes, and hopes for the future also help to make the promises both unique and personal. In some of the theme weddings I have done, it is a shared interest. I usually will go back and forth with my clients perfecting their vows until they are delighted with the results.

Which portion of the process keeps you busy the most?

The entire process keeps me busy and takes up energy but in a right way. I would say the most power goes into first writing the vows. The day of the wedding requires a lot of energy. I get up early and typically get to the venue at least an hour before any ceremony.

Often, I am helping set up, or checking with my clients to make sure all is well. I also set up my portable amp, and sound test it to make sure that is working. I check and recheck the vows, walk the venue, and get a feel for where everyone will be. It can be chaotic, and I’m the one to bring calm and order into the energy before the wedding.

How are you paid?

I am normally paid through Paypal or by Check.  Fifty percent deposit is required upon signing our contract. The rest is due one month before your wedding. 

How do we get our marriage license?

You would go to the county clerk in the district you are being married in. For example if you were going to be married in Baltimore, you would go to the county clerk in Baltimore to obtain your papers. You must go to the right district. Make sure you match the venue with the right court district for your papers.

Do you offer discounts?

I offer Military Discounts.  Other than that my prices are set to reflect the time I put in to each couple's ceremony.  Clients mistakenly think that if their ceremony is an hour, it's an hour of my time.  That is not the case. My time goes into driving back and forth to the venue for a rehearsal and coordinating it which is on a separate day from the wedding.  The next day is usually the wedding, so there is the drive back and forth, being there at least a half hour prior, the ceremony itself, and taking care to make sure the wedding goes smoothly.  So what is an hour for my clients is usually a minimum of three hours per day, or six hours total to do their wedding, not including custom vows. The custom vows are a courtesy for the full wedding price, and therefore that time is not built in to my prices.

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