What are your credentials?
I am an ordained, non-denominational Wedding Officiant and Civil Celebrant, legally sanctioned to perform weddings, commitments and other rites of life, in the state of Michigan. I am ordained through the Universal Life Church - an interfaith and nondenominational ministry as well as an ordained member of the clergy of both The Church of Spiritual Humanism and Open Ministry. Because the ULC, the Church of Spiritual Humanism and the Open Ministry embrace a diversity of beliefs, it allows me to perform a wide variety of ceremonies--from the very secular to the very religious.
What locations do you serve?
I am legally ordained in all areas of Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Other states are available depending upon circumstances and availability. Ceremonies outside the Metro Detroit area (Wayne, Oakland, Macomb counties) may require an additional mileage charge. All additional travel expenses are the responsibility of the bridal couple.
How long does the ceremony take?
The actual wedding ceremony lasts about 20-25 minutes depending on how much the couple customize it by adding special vows, readings, poems, music, etc., and how simple or elaborate the processional and recessional is.
What happens if you get sick?
In the unlikely event that I am unable to perform the ceremony for whatever reason, I will find a qualified substitute replacement who will follow the ceremony outline that has been created for your wedding.
Do we have to memorize our vows?
No. In the Customized ceremonies, you may write your own vows but come wedding day, I will recite them to you as you repeat them after me.
Does the Officiate stay for the reception/dinner?
While etiquette may dictate that the Officiate should be an invited guest to your reception, I do not require it. If, your Officiate is a family priest or a personal friend, that is a different story. I love officiating for all weddings, but I also do not want to see a couple feel obligated to invite me as a guest to their wedding reception. This is simply not necessary.
What time does the Officiate arrive prior to the ceremony?
I generally arrive at least 30 minutes before the ceremony unless there are reasons established prior to the date that require I be there earlier. An on-site cell phone number is required.
Is a Rehearsal necessary?
Traditionally, most bridal books suggest that a rehearsal take place. I say talk it over with me. Rehearsals are very helpful in reducing stress and nervousness. Walk through the ceremony with your wedding party also allows for identifying specific challenges that may otherwise not be realized until it is too late. You may or may not need your Officiate present. (Much depends on place and size of wedding). There is an additional fee for a rehearsal and the cost depends on how much time is involved for the Officiate. I do offer a simple Rehearsal Guide if you wish. A practice run through may even be an option prior to the guests arriving providing the venue is available and the necessary participants are present. All of these details must be worked out in advance.
Can I customize my ceremony to include my children/parents, etc.?
If your package includes a customized ceremony, absolutely! After you have made your reservation request and paid your deposit, I will be delighted to work with you to customize your ceremony to fit your wishes.
Do we meet prior to the wedding?
While I enjoy meeting the couple prior to the wedding day, it is only necessary if we are creating a Customized wedding ceremony. The Simple Civil and Simple Traditional ceremonies utilize a pre-written form that requires no actual face to face meeting and the pricing is reflected by this. The Classic and Premium Customized Ceremonies do require at least one meeting.
Is there any additional charge for getting married during a Holiday?
There is an additional charge of $150.00 for weddings performed during certain holidays; i.e. Thanksgiving Day, Dec. 24th, Dec. 25th, Jan. 1st etc.
Can I make changes to the packages listed?
Packages are priced as listed. There are no substitutions or discounts if you wish to not use a specific service or item. Basic Packages are designed to include similar basis elements and their price reflects this uniformity. Additional elements are available as customization of the ceremony increases.
Can you send me a brochure via regular mail?
It is my goal to provide affordable prices while maintaining the highest standards of personal service. My "brochure" is my website. A printed representation could not compare to the amount of information, photos and descriptions found on my website. Once your day has been reserved and deposit received, I will send you sample ceremonies and vows via E-mail. Should you desire a truly customized ceremony, we will then arrange a time and date to meet and discuss all the options and any resulting fees.
How soon in advance should I reserve my date?
I strongly suggest you reserve as soon as you have decided on a date to ensure availability. If you need to change your date after submitting your reservation, you may reschedule your wedding date once within 9 months from the original date and any amounts already paid will be fully applied. New wedding date is subject to my availability.
I am ready to reserve my date. What's the next step?
Just go to my contact page and email me to find out my availability. Once that has been established and your initial needs defined, I will either mail you a contract for you to sign and return with your payment/deposit or set a date to meet in person to finalize everything - it's that simple! You may also contact me by phone, 313-485-9213 (cell) if you have any specific questions or concerns.
OUTDOOR WEDDING QUESTIONS– Michigan has many outdoor settings that lend themselves to beautiful weddings. These are a couple of questions that are sometimes raised.
What about “Sunset” Wedding requests? The sunset is a very quick spectacle, only lasting about 5 -10 minutes, and once the sun sets, it gets dark very quickly and limits photography. The only way to have your ceremony right at sunset is one that doesn't include arches and/or after-ceremony photographs. Weddings are usually scheduled about one to one and a half hours before sunset. Even if you schedule a sunset ceremony, if there are clouds in the sky, you may not be able to see the sunset at all! Because of this, you should not give the "sunset time" too much importance when making a decision in terms of your ceremony time. A late afternoon or early evening ceremony about 1 hour before sunset should still give you a beautiful setting and colors for your wedding photos.
Will there be other people on the beach/park or do you have a secluded area or private beach for our wedding?
All beaches in the State of Michigan are public beaches and I cannot reserve or separate any part of the beach. If the idea of strangers being around your wedding location makes you feel uncomfortable, then perhaps an outdoor park or beach ceremony is not for you. There are certain times of the year when the beaches/parks have more people than others. Also, if you choose a morning wedding, you will probably not encounter that many people around either.
What happens if it rains?
It is the couple's responsibility to arrange a back-up plan in case of inclement weather. You are contracting my services to go to an outdoor setting and perform your wedding ceremony. No refunds will be given due to inclement weather. However, you will have the option of a one-time rescheduling of your ceremony. Inclement weather includes, but is not limited to rain, the threat of lightening, anticipated thunderstorms or dangerous weather condition, i.e., high wind, etc. If you are planning an indoor reception, your ceremony can be moved to that location or I can postpone your ceremony until the next available day, subject to availability.
Can I bring my own music CD?
You are welcome to bring special music to be played during the ceremony. This request must be coordinated with whoever is providing the sound system. Please note: Music played on a CD player on the beach or other outdoor venue does not always lend itself to good sound quality and volume. Factors such as the surf, birds, beach goers, etc. may interfere with the volume and quality of the music.
Do you provide a microphone/ sound system?
Yes, I can provide a portable sound system for an additional fee of $175. This system accommodates groups up to 150 people, indoor, 50-75 people outdoor. For ceremonies in locations other than a small setting/home, with less than 20 guests, a sound system with a wireless microphone is strongly encouraged.
As a former classroom instructor my voice is strong, but all guests should be able to hear and enjoy the ceremony.
What Other services do you provide?
I am able to provide other services such as bouquets, flowers to wear, décor, tuxedo rental, cakes, chair/table/tent rental, specialty linens, day-of-coordination and more.. should you require other services, please give me the opportunity to discuss them with you.