Here are but a handful of the questions I get asked on a regular basis, and I am sure you have quite a few more. I will be more than happy to spend some time with you and your significant other to answer any other questions you may have. You can submit an inquiry through the Contact Me widget here on the website with a best time to contact you or you can reach me at (858) 395-7834.
Do you marry couples who have different beliefs, who are already living together, have children, or have been married before (or multiple times)?
Yes! I do my best to honor each person and their journey spiritually and otherwise. I’m not God and I don’t want His job. Therefore, I do not judge where people have come from, but try my best to assist them in where they are going.
Do you require pre-marital counseling?
No! It is not a requirement. I believe counseling prior to marriage is profitable, and I do offer a special two-hour pre-marital counseling session that delves into a couple’s backgrounds, family of origin issues, present and future goals, finances, and communication/conflict resolution tools. I also try to build enough relationship with each couple that if they need a marriage tune-up in the future, they feel free to come back to me, and I consider that an honor and a privilege.
Do you provide the marriage license?
No. You will need to secure your marriage license from your local county clerk recorder within 90 days of your wedding date. I encourage you to call and make an appointment to expedite the process and to know what to bring with you.
Do you stay for rehearsal dinner and receptions?
Usually I do not. I appreciate invitations, but I don’t often accept them due to other wedding and family commitments. I do stay after ceremonies to take pictures with the bride and groom, and complete the marriage license.
Do you book multiple weddings on one day?
Yes. However, it often depends on the wedding locations and if they are 2-3 hours apart from each other. I turn down lots of weddings because I don’t want to do assembly-line weddings like a Las Vegas wedding chapel officiant. I devote myself to doing a great job for each couple and I don’t need the increased blood pressure points and risk of making mistakes by booking weddings too close together.
Do you attend rehearsals?
It’s up to you. I charge extra for attending and leading wedding rehearsals. Unlike many officiants, I prefer being present for a rehearsal to get a chance to meet your bridal party and families. Rehearsals tend to make the ceremony go more smoothly, and provide reassurance for a couple that may be nervous. If you do not have a large bridal party, you may not need a rehearsal.
Do you say “If anyone objects to this marriage, please speak now or forever hold your peace”?
Absolutely not! If the bride and groom show up for their wedding day, they are consenting to be married and it’s nobody else’s business. Besides, I don’t like to create opportunities for people to hijack a ceremony in this manner.
No! It doesn’t happen as often as soap operas or wedding movies portray. But I do have minister friends who have seen it happen. Certainly nothing to celebrate.
Have you ever turned down conducting a wedding for a couple?
No. If I have misgivings due to a couple’s age, short time of knowing each other, immaturity, or particular personal or family issues, I seek to address those in a truthful, but also a grace-filled way. Again, I’m not God. When couples want to get married, they will find someone to marry them. I confident that I’m the best man for the job for their now and for their future.
Any pieces of sage advice for couples based on your experience?
a. Weddings bring out the best and worst in people. Have good boundaries and realize that as hard as you try, you will not please everyone, and you will likely disappoint some people.
b. Asking the question “Why didn’t we elope?” one or more times during your engagement happens to nearly every couple in the process of planning a wedding. It is a way of venting frustration or emotion.
c. It is smart to have a “No Wedding Talk Day” designated at least once a week. The overwhelming, all-consuming nature of wedding planning and preparation can overtake the romance and joy of your relationship. Take steps to not be strangers by the time you reach your honeymoon.
d. If you’re able to get away for a week or more immediately after your wedding, it’s wonderful to have a honeymoon, as much to have needed time together and decompress from the whole experience. Even if you need to put it on a credit card, do something nice and exotic if possible to create a memory as newlyweds.