1.) Getting a Quote
The first step is yours! Fill out the form on the “Get a Quote” page so we can start talking. I’ll have a few questions for you that will help me to provide you with a proper quote. Namely where the wedding takes place, how many guests will be in attendance, and a few other technical details such as sound systems and whether or not you’d like additional readings in the ceremony. Prices range from $250-$400 and tend to stay on the low side unless there is great travel distance involved.
Now it’s time to get to know everyone. The three of us will sit down in person or virtually to see if we’re a good fit for the ceremony. At this time I’ll ask you questions like how the two of you met, how you feel about each other, and other such questions that will help us start creating a personal and heartfelt ceremony. At the end of the meeting you will provide a $50 deposit (which will apply towards your final balance and is only non-refundable in the event of cancellation by the couple). Deposits can be made via cash, check, or PayPal.
After this point, should you have any questions or concerns for me along the way before your wedding date, my phone and email are always available. No question is too small! Please feel free to contact me as needed to set your mind at ease.
3.) Writing the Ceremony
I will open up a Google Document and share the link with you as I begin writing your ceremony to give you access for comments and suggestions as the process unfolds. If you are interested in including readings or poems in the ceremony, I will provide you a few examples for your review if you don’t already specific ones in mind. During this process, you can think of me as your writer and you both are my editor. If something doesn’t sound quite right, or you have changes or suggestions to make, I want to know! This is your wedding after all and we need to make it perfect for you.
It’s time to meet our cast of characters and get ready for the big production! If you don’t have a rehearsal planned, I strongly advise you reconsider. Rehearsals instill confidence and help reduce any stage fright you may have and clear up any potential confusions or timing issues. Hosting a rehearsal dinners isn’t always necessary, but having a rehearsal of the ceremony is critical in my opinion. Meet up with the bridal party in your parent’s backyard or in a park and let’s test out the ceremony.
I always insist on two rehearsal runs or more if you are feeling jittery. Things as simple as the order in which the bridal party enters, where everyone stands, and who holds onto the rings tend to slip by unnoticed without the rehearsal. You definitely don’t want to be in the middle of the ceremony and forget who is holding what or watch your maid of honor juggle your bouquet alongside her own!
5.) Last Minute Check In
We’ll see where you’re at and if you have any other questions. We’ll review the entire ceremony, discuss the rehearsal, and address any jitters you may have. This will likely take place as we wrap up the rehearsal and most likely you’re going to hear me tell you both to get a good night’s sleep.
6.) The Big Day!
First thing I do on the day of the wedding is to find you both and show you I’m there. There are bound to be a million things running through your head and the last thing you’ll want to worry about is whether or not your officiant has arrived on time.
As we go through the planning process, don’t worry too much about things like sound or layout. I’m going to get concrete ideas from you and make sure everything is set up to your specifications. If someone else ends up being in charge of these details, I’ll check in with them to make sure everything is perfect. There will be mic checks for the sound system, and coordinating with photographers.
The rest of the ceremony is up to you at this point. We’ll perform the wedding you want with the people closest to you in attendance. Trust that this really is the easiest performance of your life because nobody is there to give you a bad review and there will be guaranteed cheers and applause at the end no matter what!
Tradition in Secular Ceremony
While secular, non-denominational ceremonies have become a specialty for me, I always emphasize the use of tradition in weddings. The one request I hear constantly from couples is “I want a short ceremony” and many aren’t aware that a short, bare bones ceremony can run about 5 minutes or less.The first order of business when we write a ceremony is I encourage you to review what a basic “no frills” traditional ceremony looks like. After that we can start attaching all the bells and whistles, and find something that is truly yours.
I strongly encourage you to implement some sort of unity ceremony in your service. Even something light will make your day stand out in your memory. A very popular ritual that I am well versed in is handfasting. If you’d like to learn more about it, please take a look at this link and we can talk further during the initial consult. Otherwise if you need some inspiration, feel free to check out my Pinterest for some ideas.