[What to Expect]
Who Am I:
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, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. I am ordained through the ULC - an interfaith and non-denominational ministry as well as an ordained member 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. As a non-denominational celebrant, I will not ask for a religious commitment or require counseling sessions as a prerequisite of marriage from my couples.
For the Simple Ceremony:
Looking for a simple, pre-written ceremony that "covers all the bases"? A planning meeting is not required. This service is suitable for couples who want something informal but do not want the "courthouse" environment. It can be arranged on very short notice and over the phone. The basic charge is $175 for ceremony of this type.
For those desiring a custom ceremony that is more than the basic “simple wedding, the procedure is typically as follows.
At the first meeting:
We will chat, ask and answer a few questions, get to know each other so that we can determine if we "connect". As an Officiate, I really enjoy getting to know the couple, their "story", what brought them together and what their hopes are for this union. Using the information gathered from the meeting, I am able to better customize the ceremony to fit the couple and their wishes. We discuss the general types of ceremonies that are commonly used and the various parts of those ceremonies.
After the initial meeting:
You can decide if you wish for me to be your Officiant. There is no charge for the initial meeting should you decide not to select me as your Officiant.
Should you wish to avail yourself of my services, you will receive from me information to assist in ceremony planning, writing of vows, and other aspects of a wedding ceremony. You can then sit down together and choose the elements for your very special, personal ceremony. A simple Contract for Service will be signed and a deposit accepted.
The Planning session:
Depending upon the service desired if a planning session is necessary, a date, time, & place will be arranged to meet. During this session we will discuss all the aspects of the ceremony. An outline of the event will be decided and all the various elements will be selected. From this meeting a detailed document will be compiled and submitted for your approval.
In some cases a second session may be advisable closer to the date of the wedding to iron out any last minute changes. For Customized services, up to two planning sessions and unlimited phone calls and emails are included in my price. With these planning sessions, rehearsals may not be necessary. However, many couples find it very helpful to go through a rehearsal process. If you choose, I can attend, provided it is scheduled in advance. An additional fee is required for a rehearsal. It will generally take more time for the rehearsal than for the ceremony itself. Should you desire a "Day of Coordinator", I am able to provide referrals.
Marriage License: You should apply for your marriage license anytime 4-60 days before the ceremony. It may be advisable to have someone with nice handwriting fill in the forms in advance so the only thing left to do on the wedding day is sign. I can also fill in the forms prior to the ceremony taking place the day of the wedding. Be sure to select your two witnesses, who must 18 years or older.
On the Wedding Day:
Typically I will arrive about 30-45 minutes before the ceremony and coordinate with photographers, singers, readers, DJ’s etc. The Signing can be done at this time as well, immediately following the ceremony or as part of the actual ceremony…. It is up to you, but should be decided in advance.
My Attire: Black robe, dark suit, basic tuxedo or anything to fit in with your themed wedding. (within reason). Special attire (specific tux, theme/vintage costume) may require a rental fee.