The Endless Love
Wedding planning is a huge endeavor, one that will probably take up many of your days between engagement and the wedding itself. Choosing an Officiant is also no easy task but meeting with your Officiant in-person really helps to get a clearer vision for your ceremony. Here is a quick summary of what you can expect when you book your ceremony with me.
The Complimentary Consultation
Before we meet, there are a few questions you should know the answers to. It’ll help you and I plan your day as easily as possible, and you won’t be surprised when I ask these questions. Most of my first meetings with couples run for about an hour, so you may want to arrange a time you can relax and enjoy talking about your wedding. If you've never heard the term before, an “officiant” takes the place of a religious figure or judge, for those who prefer not to use them. Officiants are legally authorized to marry couples in the state of California.
First and foremost, of course, I will want to get to know you and your fiancé. I like to ask my couples how they met. It’s a great way to open up the conversation, and for me, every meeting story has something special. Maybe you were in high school, at a party, or introduced by a friend – it still tells me a little about who the two of you are together. I also like to ask each person how they knew the other was The One. More wonderful stories! It’s one of the most fun parts of my job. Sharing those stories helps make your ceremony personal.
Those are the easy questions. The harder and more important questions come next. What are the values that are important to you in your marriage? I think this question often surprises couples, but I do ask with several motives. Knowing what values are important to my couple helps me shape and focus on the ceremony. Family, true partnership, love, honesty, and loyalty are great to talk about during the vows. Maybe education and travel mean a lot to you; maybe exploring or special activities or interests are a big part of what got you together. Either way, it helps me craft your perfect ceremony.
I also ask where couples see themselves in ten years. All marriages have challenges, and I like to think that this question will spark some good conversation between bride and groom before the wedding. Some couples have a very carefully defined plan for their future; others just know they want a house and kids somewhere together. How you and your fiancé talk about the answer is as important to me as the answer itself. You can tell a lot by how two people interact!
Once we’ve talked about the two of you together, I’m going to want to talk about the practical aspects of the ceremony. It’s crucial to nail down a style – short and sweet? Romantic and flowery? Solemn but joyful? Warm and familial? Knowing the “feel” will let me look through my library of ceremonies and point you to the ones that suit you best.
How about vows? I need to know if you’re writing your own. If not, would you want me to put together something special for just the two of you, or are you set on the tried and true? It's okay if you don't know yet. I will help you figure out what works best for you.
I’ll ask about the wedding party, if you’re being escorted down the aisle, and if you want to honor someone special. Some brides and grooms honor Moms with a rose, or Dads with a kiss or a handshake. Some want to leave an empty seat for a special loved one who has passed. Some want to include their children in the ceremony. You and your officiant can discuss the best ways to work all these into the ceremony itself, and still keep it flowing smoothly. It may be that you don't know yet or haven't settled these questions with your family and friends. That's OK! You'll have some time to do it, and your officiant will be happy to make suggestions on how to structure your ceremony. We know that you haven't ever thought about the elements of a ceremony before.
Still with me? After we’ve got all that settled, there might be extra ceremony elements you want to include. Perhaps a candle or sand ceremony, the hand ceremony, or an anniversary box are on your dream wedding list. You may have a cultural ritual you want to be included. Knowing that when you meet with me means we’ll have a great time talking it over and coming up with ideas on how to incorporate that element into your ceremony.
As with any vendor, chemistry is important- it's great to go with someone you feel a connection with at your meeting. Feeling like you're on the same page with your officiant will put your mind at ease about the ceremony overall.
The Booking Process
After or even during the consultation, couples begin to decide whether or not we are a good fit. They also have a better idea of which package works well for their needs. When this happens, we begin the booking process in three easy steps. I will send you an email containing information and links to each of the following forms to be completed online.
In the first part of the email will state a brief description of the package you expressed interest in.
The Ceremony Agreement
The second link in the email takes you the Ceremony Agreement. Here you will again fill in your information and details of your ceremony date, time and location. Terms and conditions are listed in the Agreement so please read them carefully. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.
The Retainer Deposit
To secure services for your wedding date a $100 non-refundable retainer fee is required. This amount is accepted in Cash or Check and either Venmo or Zelle bank transfers.
The Questionnaire is what I will refer to when I am crafting your ceremony. I ask that you try to fill it out as much as possible and if you can’t, that’s OK because I will always touch base with you sometime before the wedding to make sure everything is still the same. If you choose to include details about your relationship in the ceremony, you will receive a separate “Relationship Questionnaire” to fill out.
Once I get your answers I begin crafting your ceremony in Google Docs that I later share with you to view and make changes if needed. Once you approve the ceremony, I transfer it over to my Kindle White ready for your wedding. I have a second Kindle that I use for back up just in case.
Before the Big Day!
A few weeks before your wedding day, I like to contact my couples to touch base with them to see if anything has changed since our last conversation. I also like to remind them of what they should bring for the ceremony, for example, items for their rituals like lighter if they are lighting candles or roses for their mothers. But, most importantly I make sure to remind them to not forget their marriage license. You wouldn’t believe it but with all the excitement a lot of couples forget their licenses! Lastly, I confirm the ceremony time and answer any questions.
THE WEDDING DAY!
I like to arrive early at least 45 to 1 hour before the ceremony time. I collect the marriage license from either the planner or designated person that is holding the license. I recommend to my couples that they have someone who they trust to have the license ready for me. After I take the marriage license I look it over and speak briefly with the witnesses if they are available.
My next step is to touch base with the wedding planner, coordinator, DJ and photographer to make sure that we are all on the same page so that the ceremony runs smoothly. Most importantly I like checking in with the bride and groom right before just to make sure I answer any questions and help them feel more at ease.
The wedding begins, I take my place and meet the couple at the altar. I joyfully Officiate the ceremony and send off the happy newlyweds off to their new marital journey! Most of the time the married couple leaves the premises to take pictures, so this is when I meet the witnesses to sign the marriage license. The Bride and groom are not needed since they signed their license when they obtained their license at the County Recorder’s Office.
I offer my couples the choice of taking in their license themselves in person or have me mail it for them. A few weeks after the wedding I follow up with the couple to see if they have any questions and if their license has been returned to them.
Your wedding should always be a day to remember, a day to cherish forever, a day that will reflect the journey of love that has brought you to this moment of commitment. The wedding ceremony is, therefore, a special time of joyous celebration for the union being created between two people in love.
My goal is to help you create a heartwarming ceremony that symbolizes your love on this special day. The words you want spoken will launch the dream and vision for your new life together.
As your Officiant, I take this assignment as a sacred trust and will do my utmost to make the ceremony reflect the individuality and uniqueness of each couple who stand before me. My desire is to help you create a ceremony to remember!