What is your Denomination?
Although I am an ordained Christian Minister, I serve as a Non-Denominational Chaplain. This allows me to better serve my couples and help in acknowledging all beliefs and faiths.
Are you certified to perform ceremonies?
Yes, of course, I was educated and ordained at U.C.M. and meet the requirements of not only the State of California but across America. BUT, please don’t let the word “Certified or Licensed” give you peace of mind with your Officiant choice. Here’s a scary thing; Did you know that by simply going online you can get ordained and by sending $25 you get a legitimate ordination certificate? Here’s one better, you can get your dog, cat or goldfish or whoever else ordained? You can actually do it for someone else without them knowing!!!! Being certified and having a religious title (you get to choose the title you want when you order online) does not automatically mean experienced. Not to say those wedding celebrants that have this type of certification are not legal nor are they any less or more qualified to perform a wedding ceremony. I simply state this so you fully understand that there is more to performing a ceremony than the certificate one holds. Remember that your ceremony is the reason everyone has gathered and you want to make sure the person performing your ceremony is experienced to handle not only the ceremony but all the little “Ooops” and “Uh-Oh’s” that can….and will happen during the ceremony.
Do you work with Wedding Coordinator/Planners?
Of course and I have a wonderful reputation with many of the areas professionals however, but, alas…. One must remember that your wedding day is actually two separate events; Your Ceremony and Your Reception. Although most event planners participate in the ceremony by making sure the florists, D-Jay or musicians and staff have everything ready and will usually participate in the sending out and receiving of the wedding party (Processional and Recessional) they are not clergy and those who intrude into the ceremony planning and in the ceremony on the day of the event are going beyond the scope of their experience and authority, this intrusion is unwelcome and unprofessional.
Do you have any restrictions or rules for photographers/videographers?
Only two; first, don’t embarrass my bride and groom and second, do not stop the processional or recessional for a photograph. Other than that, it’s wide open. The way I see it; you’re spending a lot of money to capture these memories, who am I to set restrictions? This makes me one of the more popular Officiants with the many professional photographers in the area. (NOTE: Do keep in mind that some churches have rules regarding ceremony photography and you should check with the venue.)
I am paying for a “Package” that includes everything but we’re unhappy with the Officiant they provide (preferred vendors list), can we still use your services?
Of course and good for you for not “settling”! As your ceremony is the main focus of your day, you should find an Officiant that is a direct reflection of the two of you and allows you to be creative in the ceremony process rather than someone the company has made a arrangement with. I do not contract third party nor do I become part of any “Package” or rate. I work directly with each couple to avoid any misunderstandings or leave the impression that I am part of a group. Sadly, many companies have back room handshake arrangements with wedding vendors and will only work with or refer these individuals and even though you have paid a package rate and they will not be using “their” Officiant, more than likely they will not compensate or refund any part of their fee and you will have to hire me independently. This happens quite often and I would hope that sometime in the near future these types of companies (one stop shopping and backroom deals) will learn that the ceremony Officiant should be an independent process rather than making a big profit, if not for anything else other than; What’s best for the couple!
Do you overbook your day?
Not at all and as of today, I have never been late to a wedding! Sadly, some Officiants will and if just one starts late or runs late, those that the Officiant has scheduled after suffer greatly. I plan my schedules around my couples needs. Unless asked otherwise, I arrive 30-45 minutes early to assure the couple that I am there and ready to go.
Do you attend the reception?
99% of the time, no. I need to be honest with you, the only two people I will know will be the two of you and following the ceremony and during the reception, the two of you are rather busy (LOL). Finding the right table is also a tough one and your guests have no idea just who I am and how fun and contemporary I am. This leads to no one at the table dancing, drinking, smoking or doing the chicken dance! I have learned over the years that this saves my couples a lot of money too. Take the per-head charge and enjoy a nice lunch on your honeymoon! (Note: Remember this as you interview Officiants, some require that their spouse attend as well (for the same reasons above) and you need to consider this for your budget and head count.)
What about references?
Sure, simply click on the links on the left to read reviews from both couples and Wedding vendors..
What do you charge?
That’s a tough question to answer without first talking to you and discussing your ceremony plans. I need to know what you expect from me too, like do I need to dress like Elvis or jump from a plane? The fees for Officiant services in the area are anywhere from $200 to $800 and I’m in the lower end of the middle of this average average. I’m really not trying to avoid or side-step the question. You should meet with at least 3 Officiants and put the same amount of research into selecting your Officiant as you have for your table linens and cake. All I suggest is; just make me one of the three. I’ll even send you home with my ceremony handbook and paperwork you’ll need for your wedding… best thing is, the meeting won’t cost you a thing but a little time and you get to keep everything. Just my way of saying thank you for meeting with me and for your consideration. Plus, meet with me first and I’ll even give you the questions to ask an Officiant so you’ll be even more prepared for the other interviews.
Do you have a sound system?
This is a very tricky thing. There are literally hundreds of D-Jays and entertainment companies in San Diego and most claim to be able to provide ceremony sound and charge an additional fee to provide it. The most common mistake is; they won’t spend the money for the right equipment for the ceremony. Most place a wireless microphone (the one they use for the reception events) on a stand (or no stand at all) and viola! there’s the sound and they go back on focusing on the music portion. In my opinion, there is nothing worse that seeing a minister trying to juggle a bible and your rings while trying to hold a microphone in his face (excuse me, can you hold this for a moment) or worse yet, all those beautiful ceremony photos with a big black microphone in your faces. Yuck! As a solution, if your sound professional does not have a lapel microphone, as a courtesy, I have a wireless AND a wired lapel microphone that I bring and use at no charge. Plus, I offer a sound system for the ceremony at a very low fee.. CLICK HERE for more info.