Ceremonial weddings are a beautiful and sacred thing. Uniting hearts together is such a privilege and is such an incredible honour as an officiant. It is also a personal honour of the ones being united (not just the ones being wed but also the families and friends being united.) Because that is really what is happening the fusion of two distinct bodies of people, who may or may not necessarily get along, however, the key to a sacred merge is that the power of love is able to cut through all of this because in the end, all anyone ever wants is for their loved one to be wed to be happy. Simple. Right?
The Beauty of a Sacred Union
For me, as an Ordained Interfaith Minister, and as someone who is a hopeless romantic, I see great beauty in weddings. I have definitely been influenced by many different concepts of what a wedding “should” look like, and have thrown them out the window. Growing up Roman Catholic I have for sure been influenced with “proper procedure,” however I feel and answer the need for couples who wish to create their own ceremony, which puts their very unique qualities into the ritual and their very own energies to represent them as both individuals and a sacred couple.
So, Where Do You Begin?
I always ask the couple individually what their idea of a perfect wedding looks like. What they want to happen with the ceremony, with decoration, with location, who they want to be there. Then, I find the similarities. More often than not, they have already been talking about these things, so they should already have a concrete idea of what they want to take place. This is the easy part. Discuss with your partner what you hope and dream for. Compromise. And then I can make it happen. I have been fortunate in helping people plan their weddings as well as write for them a divine inspired ceremony.
Where I Begin
So, once you have spoken to your spouse to be, we sit down and discuss all that you both want. We organize, and make a plan of how to make this a reality.
With the ceremony writing, I truly take what you have to say and hope for, whether it is more traditional or more whimsical. What matters is that you as a couple are happy. I go through the nuts and bolts of the ceremony and have you both put your spin on things. It’s my job to make you as relaxed as possible in a crazy situation because let’s face it, weddings can be hectic. But do not fear, a mixture of meditation, spa, and personal relaxation techniques we will see you through.
When writing a Wedding Blessing & Ceremony, I design it to align, give gratitude, and invoke unity and connection. I can conduct a more secular ceremony depending on your beliefs, or I can even invoke your ancestors, guardians, or god/dess(es) to balance you as a couple and family with the space and life you have chosen. I may follow an Earth-based spirituality, but I respect and honour all religions (or non-religions) regardless of views. I honour any union that is formed by love. I also do Same-Sex Marriages! My place is to help you through this beautiful ordeal, not make religious judgments. So I honour the divine in you that is also in me.
Below you will see a general ceremony outline. After a preliminary meet and greet, a general outline would follow and look quite similar. However, each ceremony will be unique with appropriate additions and subtractions. Here is a general spiritual Template Wedding Ceremony. The point of ceremony is that it should work for who ever the ceremony is being conducted for. So whatever denomination you may be, you can arrange it to your liking. However, the most important rule of thumb is this: have fun!
A General Wedding Outline
- The minister accepts a request to solemnize a marriage.
- The minister meets with the couple to discuss time, arrangements, witnesses, selection of vows, minister’s fee for the service, and deciding in advance when the fee is to be paid. It is not a professional practice to receive payment during the execution of the ceremony. The fee can be paid in advance, which is the best practice so that the couple does not have to deal with the issue after the ceremony. If not paid in advance, instruct the couple to give the money to the Best Man. It is the Best Man’s job to pay any outstanding fees.
- The minister provides various ceremony selections and the decision is made whether the ceremony will be religious in nature or a civil ceremony.
- Ceremony rehearsal (if needed or desired).
- The minister arrives at the designated location well in advance of the ceremony (at least a half hour.) The minister accepts the marriage license and makes certain there will be the necessary witnesses to sign the license. At the beginning of the ceremony, the minister stands in place to officiate the ceremony.
- After completion of the ceremony and exchange of vows, the minister signs the marriage license (if denomination is asked for: Universal Life). The minister hands the license to each witness in turn for his/her signature.
- The minister photocopies the license for his/her professional journal and prepares an envelope to mail the license to proper state/county office, then mails the license.
Deposit & Payment
There is a $125 non-refundable deposit due upon booking.
Final balance is due 1 month (30 days) before your wedding date or rehearsal.
Fees are non-refundable in the event of cancellation or change in services within 30 days of event date.
A change in venue location may change the package cost based on travel fees for the total distance.
Any cancellation or change must be made and verified in writing.
Please also include any fees that would be incurred for me to get to your ceremony, parking, entry fees, etc, if applicable.
*Please note, prices are subject to change at any time. Your price quote will be guaranteed for up to 4 weeks from the date of inquiry, and confirmed when a deposit is placed.
Location & Availability
Albany, NY and surrounding capitol region areas are preferable, however, with enough planning any state can be made appropriate at the location of your choice.
Please see my Appointments section on my availability. I am available for rehearsals and ceremonies any day of the week, given enough time to make accommodations. Short notice bookings can also be accommodated.
1. Simple Ceremony
$200, includes blessing kit, ceremony, travel expenses (within reason), writing, organizing, and planning event. Does not include additional expenses for fees, parking, etc.)
Sweet and simple, you can choose your own vows, readings and other elements to make the ceremony reflect your own personalities and relationship. As much customization as desired. This includes unlimited phone consultations and email correspondence, and a copy of the ceremony for you to keep. An in-person meeting between the officiant and couple is also included on request (near Albany), either before booking or for ceremony planning purposes.
(A rehearsal is not included in this package.)
On the day of the wedding, the officiant will arrive early, assist in coordination with DJ or musicians, photographers and wedding party as needed, perform your ceremony, handle the details of the marriage license paperwork and signing, and ensure that it is mailed correctly.
2. Ceremony and Rehearsal
$250, includes blessing kit, ceremony, travel expenses within reason, writing, organizing, and planning event. (Does not include additional expenses for fees, parking, etc.)
This package includes all of the Simple Ceremony services, plus a separate rehearsal day at the site of your wedding with assistance and coordination of wedding ceremony procession. A rehearsal typically takes about an hour. I recommend this for anyone who is planning a formal processional or has a large wedding party.
3. Elopement & Marriage License Signing
$100 (Travel limited to a 25 mile radius.)
This is a very basic legal ceremony including only the couple, their two witnesses and the officiant, as an alternative to waiting at a courthouse, for couples who are short on time, or perhaps before planning a more elaborate ceremony or reception at a later date. A very brief ceremony may be chosen with vows.
Photo courtesy of Andy Kainz Photography