Quick Weddings are Sweet Moments

As the Justice of the Peace gets pretty booked up well in advance, I often get calls to officiate a quick signing of the wedding license for couples to “make it legal.” While that may sound kind of dry and impersonal, I like to add a romantic touch. After all, this IS a wedding, and the date of this legal process will become the couple’s anniversary date far into the future.

These quick weddings don’t usually involve wedding dresses, guests, and flowers. They don’t usually include family members.

We might meet in Panera Bread and talk together quietly at a table. We might meet in a nearby park if the weather is nice. We might meet at the couple’s house or apartment. I even met a couple for beers at Dogfish Head Ale House. (I ended up officiating a bigger ceremony for them about six months later too.)

But, I like to make it special. This is, after all, the moment that the couple transitions from single to married. It’s an important moment and I consider it an honor to make this possible for them. So here’s what I do:

I bring a little ceremony script. It’s really simple. It includes: a brief reading about the meaning of marriage, vows (this is a legal necessity), a ring exchange (if the couple is including rings), and pronouncing them married.

I bring the couple a copy of my book, A Moment for Us: Care for Busy Couples – 101 free ways for couples to enjoy more love, caring, and togetherness in 30 seconds. I sign it for them and date it.

We take a picture.

And of course, I sign their wedding license to make it legal.

Look at these happy faces.

FAQ

What wedding services do you offer?

Every couple is unique, and your wedding ceremony should reflect you! I am happy to provide custom wedding ceremonies, personalized wedding ceremonies, elopements, brief ceremonies with simple vows, and marriage license signing to couples of all faiths (or none) and all people who wish to be married to each other (including same-sex couples).

If you hire me to be your officiant, my services include the following:
•    two meetings (in person or one by Skype if necessary)
•    unlimited phone and email consultations
•    optional relationship survey and premarital counseling session
•    writing and editing custom ceremony that’s as unique as you are
•    research into readings and rituals that will be part of your ceremony
•    run your wedding rehearsal (if desired)
•    conduct ceremony
•    file your signed wedding license when the ceremony is complete

What are your fees, and what type of payments do you accept?

$250 includes all of the above. Should you want only a quick and simple ceremony, without rehearsal, or something different than specified, the fee may be adjusted and a different quote given.

A 50% deposit is due upon booking, and the remainder due at the rehearsal or wedding, (if there’s no rehearsal).

I accept cash, check, or PayPal. Credit card payments are also an option if needed.

What is the process for working with you?

At our first meeting, I will bring a detailed, personalized packet with an agenda of guided questions and sample readings. We discuss every part of the wedding ceremony, your wishes, and start to craft your ceremony together.

Afterward, our discussion and the notes from our conversations guide me in preparing an outline of your ceremony. We email back and forth about the “TBD” (to be decided) items, until everything is finalized.

You have the option of completing a Relationship Survey online, separately, which will help outline any areas of your relationship that could be strengthened. If you select this option, I’ll discuss those aspects with you at our second meeting. This has been known to be very helpful. The content of the Relationship Survey that I compiled is derived from many premarital counseling sources, including the famous The Five Love Languages book.

We usually meet a second time to go over any lingering details and the results of your Relationship Survey (if you chose that option).

Then, I craft a final script of the ceremony and conduct the rehearsal (if desired) so that everyone feels comfortable and confident.

After that, I’ll see you at the ceremony!

Where do you officiate weddings?

All over! I’m a licensed wedding officiant in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC.

I’ll officiate weddings indoors, outdoors, casual, fancy, fun-themed, or anything in between.

If you’re outside of the area and would like me to officiate, or you have a destination wedding in mind, just ask. I’m willing to travel!

Will you conduct wedding rehearsals, and are they included?

Yes, absolutely. They’re included in my quote.

Can we interview you before deciding to hire you?

What a great idea! Let’s get to know each other so we are sure we’re the best fit. Contact me to set up a time to talk. We can arrange an interview in person, via Skype, or on the phone.

If desired, I can provide references.

What other services do you offer?

You may hire me to officiate your destination wedding, vow renewal, baby welcoming ceremony, adoption ceremony, and lend support by officiating memorial ceremonies and funerals as needed.

Are you available on short notice?

Often, yes. Please call me at 240-780-8444.

Is it customary to tip a wedding officiant?

Officiating weddings is a service profession. Tips are appreciated as compliment for a job well done. That said, tips are not expected. They are a way of expressing that you think I’ve provided exceptional service.

What do you wear for the ceremony?

Usually, a blouse, colorful scarf, blazer and black slacks. See the photo gallery on my website. That said, I am open to special requests.

What if I have other questions?

Contact me! I’m happy to answer them!