Working with a Wedding Officiant: The Step-by-Step Process
You're engaged, you're looking for a wedding officiant, and you want to know what happens next. The wedding preparation process varies by the wedding officiant, but here's the process as you'll experience it with me.
We will have three meetings, plus the wedding rehearsal and wedding ceremony itself.
Once you contact me (at least six weeks before your wedding date!), I'll send you and your future spouse a questionnaire to fill out and return to me a week before our first meeting. Our first meeting will be a discussion about your compatibility and challenges as future marriage partners. I'll also ask you what you're hoping for in the wedding ceremony itself: what you hope to symbolize about your love through ritual. Please note: the first meeting needs to take place at least four weeks before your wedding date.
For our second meeting, I'll draw up possible templates for the ceremony for you and your future spouse to review. We'll map out the ceremony logistics at this time, reviewing various options and determining which ones work best for you and your partner.
At our third meeting, we'll review the final script for your ceremony and I'll answer any remaining questions you have (and hopefully soothe any worries that may arise!). I'll ask you to bring your marriage license with you to this meeting for me to tuck away until the Big Day.
During the rehearsal we'll run through the scripted ceremony until you feel comfortable with where you're standing, how you're moving, and what you're saying. The goal of the rehearsal is to make the ceremony familiar enough that you're not distracted by it on the Big Day.
Then, when the wedding ceremony begins, all will be well. There's no way for you to "mess up" even if the details don't go exactly as planned, because you're there with your future spouse, surrounded by people who love you, and guided gently by a wedding officiant who won't let you falter! In the end, there are really three things you need to make a wedding legally valid: the committed couple expressing free consent to marriage; two witnesses; and the wedding officiant to file the paperwork with the county clerk. The rest? Yours to savor and enjoy fully.
How much does it cost? I have a sliding fee scale.
If you live within a 50-mile radius of San Francisco, the sliding scale is $50-250. If you live outside the Bay Area, the sliding scale is $300-650 in order to defray travel costs. I don't turn anyone away simply for lack of funds, so please inquire, even if you're not sure you can afford it.