Frequently Asked Questions

1. What’s the process for booking you as our Officiant?

Simply click on the blue consultation button throughout my website to book an initial consultation with me.  This will be a conference call meeting and will run for approximately 1 hour.  Once we decide that we’re a match, you will then take the necessary steps to bring me on board as your Officiant.

Please carefully review my detailed pricing page before booking a consultation.

2. How far in advance do we need to book you?

Planning your wedding day should ideally start with choosing a date, followed by a venue and then the Officiant.  I often see couples waiting until the last minute to hire the Officiant.  I urge you not to do this as you may be disappointed.  As an award winning Wedding Officiant and Certified Celebrant, I’m in high demand and my dates book up really fast.  

To be sure that I'm available on your date, I recommend you contact me as soon as you've selected your venue.  Your signed service agreement and payment “locks in” your date/time so no other couple can have it.  

Please click on the consultation button throughout my website to check my availability.

3. What time should we ask our guests to arrive?

If you know your people are always late for everything, be sure to build a “cushion” in the time you ask them to arrive so that your ceremony start on time.  I highly recommend asking your guests to arrive at least 30 minutes early depending on your venue location and their mode of transportation.  Keep in mind that I may have another commitment after your ceremony, and if you and your guests are running very late, this could pose a problem of epic proportions.

4. Do you serve the LGBT community?

Yes, absolutely!  It would be my honor to officiate your LGBT wedding ceremony!

5. What are your prices and payment methods?

My non-negotiable prices are as follows:

  • $750 – Ceremony Only (Customized)

  • $950 – Ceremony + Rehearsal (Customized)

  • $1,500+ – Starting price point for ceremonies outside the NY tri-state area and overseas

I accept all major credit cards via PayPal.  I do not accept personal checks or any other payment methods.  Depending on your venue location, you may incur addition fees for mileage, tolls, parking etc.  See my pricing page for more information.

  • NO HAGGLING: I'm aware that haggling with wedding industry professionals is very common, please note that my business is a no haggling zone. My prices are non-negotiable.

  • RESPECT: Please don’t book a consultation for my services knowing full well that these prices are outside of your budget – doing so is a waste of my time and is disrespectful to my business.

  • CAUTION: Your choice of Officiant is crucial and you definitely don’t want the cheapest Officiant to be a part of the most important day of your life – trust me! Here is an example of what can happen when you do. You may be in for a disastrous ceremony if you choose a friend or family member who has never performed a ceremony before or someone who got a quickie online ordination just to officiate your wedding – VERY. BAD. IDEA.

6. How do you justify your prices when the ceremony runs for only 30 minutes?

Really?  Okay, let me put it this way:

  • ACTUAL TIME: The amount of time involved in collaborating, crafting and delivering your beautiful ceremony is nowhere near 30 minutes. You are not paying $750 for half an hour of work – you are paying $750 for twenty plus hours of work, and years of experience.

  • PRICING TIP: Your ceremony should cost (at the very least) somewhere in the neighborhood of what you’re paying for your cake!

7. What about the paperwork, do you help us with that?

Yes.  The legal requirements vary from state to state and you may find some general information regarding the paperwork portion of your big day here.  

Melissa & Ariel's Wedding -- New Rochelle, NY

Melissa & Ariel's Wedding -- New Rochelle, NY

8. What’s the difference between the License and the Certificate?

The marriage license is the document that authorizes you to get married and the marriage certificate is the document that proves you are married.

9. Can we write our own vows?

Yes, absolutely!  You can find some quick tips on writing your own vows here.

10. We’re already legally married (but no one knows), can you still perform our ceremony?

Yes, absolutely!  Please note though that it’s illegal to perform a “fake wedding ceremony”, so I would need to see a copy of your Certified Marriage Certificate before I perform your ceremony.

11. We just need our paperwork done. We don’t want a ceremony at this time. Can you just do our paperwork?

Yes, absolutely!  

  • COST: If you don’t want a ceremony but just your paperwork processed, the price for that is $425.

  • PAPERWORK: You will need a valid Marriage License for me to sign, witness and process with the appropriate Registrar’s office.

  • WITNESSES: You can come to my office (by appointment only) or we can make arrangements for me to come to you for the signing. If I come to you, depending on your location, there may be additional fees such as mileage etc. Be sure to have your TWO witnesses available on that date/time.

12. Is there a Service Agreement or Contract?

Yes, I do require a pretty straightforward Service Agreement that outlines the details of your ceremony and the terms of our agreement. This is designed to establish a clear written understanding of my services for your ceremony and to help everyone feel assured that all the details are covered. 

13. Our wedding is not in the tri-state area, will you travel?

Yes, absolutely!  I will travel far and wide for my couples.  You will incur additional travel costs.  Please read my detailed pricing page in its entirety for further information.

14. What do you wear at the ceremony?

My wardrobe varies, depending on the location and weather, however I always dress conservatively. I generally do not wear ceremonial robes or other religious clothing. If you are having a theme for your wedding, I will make every effort (within reason) to adjust my clothing accordingly (e.g. beach wedding).  

Check out my Ceremony Portfolio or the Meet Aretha page for an idea of how I dress for ceremonies.

15. What about the rehearsal, do we need one?

If you're having a small or large wedding party, a rehearsal is highly recommended.  There is an additional fee for a rehearsal and it cannot be held on a Friday or Saturday.  You should check my availability for your rehearsal before scheduling the rehearsal.

The rehearsal takes approximately 1 hour.  This is not a “walk through”, this is a full-fledged rehearsal to make sure that all the moving parts of your ceremony is covered, that everyone is comfortable, and everything runs smoothly on your big day.  

I highly recommend having your rehearsal at the same venue and if possible in the same space as the ceremony.  Sometimes that's not possible – its not the end of the world, we can work it out.  

Click here for some rehearsal prep information.

16. What is the usual length for a wedding ceremony?

My ceremonies generally last approximately 30 minutes.  You want your ceremony long enough that your guests don’t question “that's it?” but not so long that they begin to squirm.  If you wish to make the ceremony a bit longer, we can include various rituals, readings, a song by a talented friend/family just to name a few.

17. Can we include our pets in the ceremony?

Nope.  Pets and wedding ceremonies generally do not have a grand history together.  I will not interact with any pets in any capacity whatsoever.

18. Will you stay for the reception/cocktail hour and when do you arrive?

Although I appreciate your hospitality, I do not stay for the reception or the cocktail hour.  Once your marriage paperwork is all squared away, I will quietly make my exit.  I generally arrive thirty minutes before the ceremony starts.  

19. Should we tip you?

My couples typically tip me between $100 and $150 – it’s never expected but always appreciated. 

20. Got more questions?

Complete my quick consultation form to book a consultation and check my availability.  I’m available to connect with you and your families at any time – you'll hear back from me within hours, not days.

Happy Ceremony Planning!!