Frequently Asked Questions
Wedding Package Description & Cost
Every couple with whom I work gets a completely personalized ceremony. I don't do "cookie-cutter" weddings where the officiant just sticks your names into a script and nods at you when it's time to say "I do." My respect for the immense importance of the wedding ceremony will not allow me to do that.
I want to honor who you are and what this relationship means to you and the unfolding of your life story. I take my ministry very seriously and want to be a good companion to you both during the days leading up to this immensely important event in your lives and for all the years that follow.
Although the ceremony itself is always in-person, much of the counseling work and ceremony planning can be done in person or by phone, depending on your location. I've worked long-distance and even internationally when one member of the couple was deployed or working overseas. If you are living in southern California I will try to find a way to meet with you in person.
My One Wedding Package
I offer only one package because after 25 years of doing weddings I believe I have found the very best method of ensuring your happiness and well-being as you move towards embarking on the adventure of marriage.
I do not do weddings on short notice anymore because I feel that being married by a stranger is not conducive to a good wedding. Instead, I accept invitations to work with couples whose weddings are at least two months in the future so that we have a chance to get to know each other at our meetings and in conversation before you stand before me to say your vows.
My wedding package includes two leisurely meetings prior to the ceremony; the first is devoted to your own relationship goals, the second is more geared towards the ceremony itself. (You can read about those two meetings in depth here.)
The package is all-inclusive, not based on hours, so you won’t incur any unexpected fees along the way.
In addition to the premarital counseling and the ceremony brainstorming session, it includes a formal rehearsal on your chosen day, the ceremony creation, all communications leading up to the ceremony, preparing and sharing the ceremony script with the other wedding vendors that you specify (usually the wedding planner, the musicians or DJ, and sometimes the photographer), arriving early the day of the ceremony to oversee set-up of the ceremony space, and officiating the ceremony. If you'd like me to offer a blessing or grace at the rehearsal dinner or the reception, I'm happy to do so. Of course, it also covers my doing the paperwork afterwards, and a follow-up counseling session anytime you request it.
$1000 plus travel (and accommodations if required for out-of-town venues)
Elopements & Renewal of Vows
There are some occasions which require a bit less preparation on my part and I am happy to work with you on your elopement or a ceremony celebrating a special marriage anniversary or renewal of vows. These ceremonies are intimate occasions for couples and their closest friends or family and do not require as much planning or formal rehearsal.
An elopement is no less sacred than a big wedding but it appeals to couples who don’t want the exposure (or expense) of the big party atmosphere. I work with eloping couples in the same way that I work with any other couple, in that I require 2 months lead time and a premarital counseling session prior to the wedding. The only difference is that there is no rehearsal and I don’t spend the time working with multiple wedding vendors, since it is such a small affair.
We collaborate on creating the perfect ceremony for you and I help shape the day to your satisfaction.
The Renewal of Vows
10… 25… 50 years into a marriage is a wonderful moment to pause and renew your commitment to the path. If you remember readings from your original wedding that are still meaningful for you, it is lovely to include them at this time. I always encourage couples to consider crafting their own vows, or amending the vows they took at the start of their marriage, to reflect what they have learned and where they are now going in this love.
If you eloped the first time around, this might be a wonderful opportunity to include those special people who did not get to witness your union then. There are beautiful readings that express a more mature love which I'd be happy to share with you when we discuss your ceremony. I can also create a lovely printed certificate with your names and the date and a verse from your ceremony as a commemoration of the day.
$500 plus travel (and accommodations where required for out-of-town venues)
Finding someone to speak with about the deep longings, pain, and aspirations of the heart and soul can be challenging. This art of premarital counseling or soul-companioning is one I hold as a treasured and sacred task. If you are facing issues surrounding your upcoming wedding, or have issues that appear to be standing in the way of a happy marriage, I am ready and able to assist you.
My three graduate degrees in ministry and religion all included courses and practicums in various forms of pastoral counseling. I have been a member of Spiritual Directors International for many years and have been trained and certified in a variety of counseling skill-sets during my 25 years of ministry.
$75 per session (by phone or in person) Please click this link to learn more about Counseling and Spiritual Guidance.
If you are interested in booking me to be your wedding minister, to work with me on the creation of your ceremony, or to come in for premarital counseling or other spiritual or relationship guidance, please contact me so we can set up a time to talk by phone and get answered any other questions that you may have.