Frequently Asked Questions
Why should we pay so much for a professional minister instead of having a friend or notary or Justice of the Peace officiate?
- help you prepare and feel supported as we work together to plan a meaningful ceremony that reflects your and your families’ values, practices, beliefs, and expectations.
- infuse a richness and spirituality to your wedding ceremony.
- offer ideas, guidance, and best practices to ensure that your ceremony is what you want, memorable, well-run, and comfortable for you, participants, and guests.
What are your credentials?
I hold a bachelor’s degree in English from Fitchburg State (MA) University. I have a way with words! I hold a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School. Yes, that Harvard! I am an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister. I am a trained spiritual director and pastoral counselor. I am a certified Prepare-Enrich facilitator. I am the “real deal.” I am a professional, experienced, credentialed, ordained minister. Please make sure you entrust your wedding to someone with pastoral and theological training. There are many wedding ministers out there with suspect credentials. These days just about anyone can get “ordained” by answering a few questions on a website and printing out a certificate. People like this may or may not do a fine job of conducting your ceremony. With me, there is no doubt.
How Much Do You Charge?
Please see the my “Fees” page here. In general $600-$800.
How Do We Pay You?
The easiest and most convenient way is to use PayPal. I accept cash and checks as well.
Do you accept credit cards?
Yes, by using PayPal you can pay for services using your MasterCard or Visa. You do not have to be a PayPal member in order to pay by credit card through PayPal. I find PayPal easy, quick, safe and efficient. Just click on the “Make Payment” button on the “Fees” page or “Home” page of the website. If you have questions or concerns about paying through PayPal, please contact me using the contact form on my website.
Do you require premarital counseling?
No, I don’t “require” you to do anything, including premarital counseling. That said, I strongly believe all couples should do some type of premarital counseling or premarital preparation program with a qualified and licensed therapist or pastoral counselor. I am a certified Prepare-Enrich facilitator and a trained spiritual director as well as an ordained minister with experience in pastoral counseling.
How do we reserve our wedding date with you?
Use the contact form on my website. If you decide to hire me, we will complete a Letter of Agreement that includes a Wedding Information Form with all the details. All of this information helps both of us to confirm our schedules, have the information we need, and avoid misunderstandings. I must receive a signed Letter of Agreement from you before your date is finalized on my calendar.
What happens when and if we choose to meet with you?
We have a casual conversation and get to know each other. We talk for about 20-30 minutes and I confirm all the information I will need to begin working on your wedding. You get an opportunity to decide if I am the person you want celebrating this most important ritual. I am not interviewing you to see if you are “fit” to get married. I will remind you about and recommend pre-marital counseling or similar program because I think it is a beneficial thing for all couples.
What if you are unavailable for our wedding date and time?
I will refer you to other ordained, credentialed, professional ministers.
What kind of wedding ceremonies do you perform?
I can help you craft and celebrate virtually any type of ceremony you envision. Once we have a letter of agreement, I will send you a booklet of resources for ceremonies including things such as readings, poems, prayers, options for vows, and options for exchanging rings. I have performed traditional Christian weddings, liberal Christian weddings, spiritual but not Christian weddings, non-religious weddings, and atheist weddings, as well as many different types of interfaith ceremonies combining elements of two or more religious traditions. I have married two men and I have married two women. I want to help you craft a ceremony that reflects who you are as individuals and who you are as a couple and that reflects the wonder and sacred reality of human love and relationship as it’s made manifest in your togetherness.
How Long are your ceremonies?
It is YOUR ceremony, not mine, but usually weddings last 20-30 minutes depending on variables such how much music, how many readings, and how elaborate the processional and any other special rituals.
Can we have special or non-traditional rituals such as a hand-fasting or broom jumping?
Yes, it’s your wedding and you can create a ceremony that’s right for you. My job is to help you do so.
What time will you arrive at our ceremony?
I will arrive about 30 minutes before the scheduled start of your ceremony. I usually arrive about 15 minutes before the scheduled start of rehearsals.
What will you wear for the ceremony?
Again, there are many options, but usually a black or red clerical robe with a stole or a suit or a suit with a stole. Sometimes a clerical collar, if requested. We will talk about what’s right for the tone and style of your ceremony.
How do you pronounce your last name?
Do you stay for the rehearsal dinner and/or reception?
If invited, I will attend if I am able.
Why do you do this?
The largest religious group in America is now what is called “the nones” or people who claim no formal religious affiliation. “Nones” may be spiritual but not religious, agnostics, atheists, or they may have been hurt or harmed by a church or a religion in the past. Sometimes they are in a relationship with a person of another religion and thus belong “nowhere” or in neither community and are thus “nones.” I am a deeply spiritual person and I love being able to assist others who may have been turned away by church or religion or feel they just don’t fit in. I also love weddings and helping people celebrate!