Serving Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Healdsburg, Petaluma, Bodega Bay
and surrounding Sonoma County areas
How to Get Started
WHERE DO WE BEGIN?
I generally meet with a couple in advance -- usually at my house in Sebastopol -- so we can get to know each other a bit and talk about the type of ceremony you envision. During this meeting you can present whatever ideas you have (but don't feel bad if you don't have any... most couples are pretty much a blank page at this point). I'll show you some sample ceremonies and explain the basic format of a ceremony, from processional to recessional, and suggest a variety of creative options.
We'll also talk about general wedding logistics and planning. If it isn't possible to meet beforehand, don't worry... many couples come in from out of town (or out of the country) and we never have a chance to meet before the wedding. We can do everything via phone and email.
CAN YOU PERFORM A CEREMONY IN ANY LOCATION WE CHOOSE?
Unlike traditional religious officiants who will only perform ceremonies in a church or temple, I can conduct a ceremony in any location you like... a hotel or restaurant, your house, on the beach or in a park... even at my own house.
WHAT IS A SPIRITUAL, NON-RELIGIOUS CEREMONY?
You can see some samples HERE.
What Happens Next?
WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS?
If you decide you want me to perform the ceremony, a $100 non-refundable deposit holds the date. Once we've confirmed the date, we'll work via phone and/or email to create exactly the ceremony you want. A follow-up meeting isn't necessary, although occasionally a couple will request a second meeting to go over final details. I'm always available via phone or email.
HOW ARE YOUR FEES STRUCTURED?
My fees start at $400, and vary according to location (depending on how far I have to travel and/or any unusual driving conditions). Some couples want only a quick ceremony for just the two of them, with one or two friends as witnesses. I can do that at my house (on my beautiful forest property) for $200. NOTE: These fees are approximate and subject to change.
WHAT ABOUT REHEARSALS?
Officiants generally don't attend wedding rehearsals... that's a tradition from church weddings when the minister was always at the church. A rehearsal is mainly for the purpose of figuring out how to move people from point A to point B during the processional, and you can usually figure that out on your own (though I'll be happy to provide advice and direction). In most cases we can do a quick, same-day run-through immediately prior to the actual ceremony.
Can We Create Our Own Ceremony?
Absolutely! Most couples use my basic ceremony and embellish as they wish. You can choose texts, readings and rituals that appeal to you and resonate with your personalities. We can email back and forth, adding ideas as we go, and with just a few emails your ceremony will be complete.
WHAT HAPPENS IN CASE OF A CANCELLATION?
Sometimes weddings have to be cancelled or rescheduled, and I make every attempt to accommodate an emergency. An "emergency” means a hospitalization or death, a natural disaster or a terrorist attack. Your mom missing her flight or a tiff with the caterer (or with your intended) is certainly a huge personal upset for you, but it is not considered an emergency in terms of wedding vendors. If you cancel or reschedule for a non-emergency less than 2 weeks prior to your wedding, I ask to be paid 100% of the agreed rate. Cancellation fees must be paid in full before services can be rescheduled.
Because we are service professionals, there's no expectation or custom that obliges you to invite your officiant to the post-ceremony celebration. However, if you choose to extend an invitation, I will try to attend when my schedule permits, but an invitation is not expected.