you'll find a few commonly asked questions with answers you may find
helpful. If you have a question that doesn't appear in this list or if you would like to ask me something privately, feel free to submit your question using the form below. You can also go directly to my Step-by-Step page describing what the process will be like if you choose me as your wedding officiant!
just got engaged and I feel overwhelmed--I've never planned a big event
before, and I don't want to spend my money on a wedding planner. Where
should I start?
_There are many free wedding websites that include,
among other things, an online budgeting tool that will keep track of
both your budget and the dozens of items you'll need to plan for. I
which is what I used to plan my own wedding, but you might also try
plugging in "wedding planning tools" through your favorite search
like to have a religious wedding, but my future spouse and I come from
different faith backgrounds. How can I make sure that our faiths are
both respected during our ceremony?
Two items will be critical for you here: the space and the officiant(s). First, you need to make phone calls to your
respective religious communities and find out if they allow
inter-denominational or inter-faith wedding ceremonies. You may be able
to arrange for the pastoral leaders of your two communities to
co-officiate, including blessings and ceremonies from each of your
traditions. If that's not possible, you might try asking your family
and friends for the contact information for their pastoral leaders and
see if they might be willing (if you're not part of the community, they
are likely to charge a bit more for their services). If neither of
these two options work, you'll also need to find out if it's possible to
have a wedding in your or your future spouse's place of worship without
the pastoral leader present--you may be charged more for this, or you
may not be allowed to do it at all. If not, you'll need to find an
alternate space--but it need not be a place of worship, as long as it is
a place that communicates sacred presence to you and your future
spouse! The third option in terms of wedding officiants is to ask a
religiously sensitive friend or family member to preside. Otherwise,
you can do a search online for a wedding officiant who specializes in
interfaith weddings (you're reading the website of one such
officiant!). Craigslist is a good place to look in larger metropolitan
areas, but you may also be able to find recommendations through Yelp, a
wedding website like The Knot, or a plain old search engine. It is
customary to pay the wedding officiant a fee of $100-300 as well as
covering any travel costs, so find out in advance exactly what
compensation your wedding officiant will expect, if anything.
_3) I want to create my own wedding ceremony. Where can I look for inspiration or resources?
_An experienced wedding officiant will be able to
offer you a variety of options for shaping your ceremony. This is
something to ask an officiant before you hire her/him.
You can also check wedding websites like The Knot or do a search
through your favorite search engine for "wedding rituals" or "wedding
_4) There are
lots of expectations around weddings these days, but I'm not sure how
many of the "extras" I want in my wedding. What are the minimum
requirements to make a wedding legit?
_Excellent question. Requirements vary somewhat from
state to state (and county to county--ask your wedding officiant to
research it for you, because that's her/his job!), but the minimum
requirement in most cases is as follows: A) You need an individual who
is licensed to perform the wedding in the state where the ceremony takes
place (each state has its own requirements for registration as a
licensed wedding minister); and B) you need two witnesses to witness the
ceremony and then sign your marriage license swearing that they have
witnessed you and your (future) spouse giving mutual, free, valid
consent to the marriage.
_5) I like what I
see here and I'm interested in interviewing you as a possible
officiant! A) What can I expect from you as an officiant, and B) How do
I get in touch with you?
_Thanks for asking!
A) So I can prepare properly to be your wedding officiant, you'll need to contact me at least six weeks before your wedding
date (more time is preferred, but this is my minimum in order to get to
know you and your future spouse and sufficiently prepare for the
service; eight weeks' notice is required if I'm traveling anywhere 50 miles outside of San Francisco).
My religious specialties: I'm
especially familiar with Roman Catholic and other Christian liturgical
formats for weddings. I also have a fair degree of familiarity with
Jewish wedding practices. Being a lover of religious ritual, I am
willing to do research on any tradition that espouses love as a virtue.
I will work with you to make sure that your wedding ceremony meets your
religious and ceremonial expectations (see below!). If you're not religious or prefer not to have a religious wedding ceremony, there are many options for that, too!
What I'll do:
I'll meet with you and your future spouse three times (by video chat,
if you live outside the Bay Area). Before the first meeting I'll send a questionnaire for both you and your future spouse to fill out independently of one another; the purpose of this questionnaire in order
to evaluate your compatibility and help you see what your future
strengths and challenges as a couple will be. The first meeting will be
a discussion of your compatibility; it will also be a time for me to
remind you to pick up a marriage license and confirm major details about
the wedding (where it will be, what time it will take place, who the
wedding party will be, what ceremonies or rituals you want to be sure to
include, etc.). I will also ask you to tell me what sort of message
you hope to communicate to your guests at your wedding: what is the hope
that you bring for your life together?
second meeting, I will provide you with templates for the wedding
ceremony. We will go over any readings you want to include, review any
music you may have for the ceremony, and discuss in detail specific
rituals you want to include, whether they are common wedding rituals or
rituals of your own making.
By the third meeting, I will ask you to provide me with the finished script for your wedding ceremony
and ask you if you have any remaining questions or concerns. We will
do a run-through of the ceremony at that point so you can get used to
what you'll hear at the rehearsal and at the wedding ceremony itself.
Then, rehearsal and Big Day!
Cost: If your wedding will take
place within 50 miles of San Francisco, my sliding scale is $50-$250. If I travel more than 50 miles outside of San Francisco to reach your wedding site, my sliding scale is $300-650 (to defray travel and lodging costs). Other forms of compensation can be arranged on a per-case basis--I will not turn anyone away simply for lack of funds!
You can get in touch with me by filling out the form below. I will do
my best to respond within a day!