What’s on my mind…
WHO AM I?
WOW! I really do not know where to start! Well, let’s begin with why I became a wedding officiant.
I was always a people person. I liked to talk. I liked to be in charge (but knew when to step back). As a speech-language pathologist for over 40 years approaching my retirement from the public schools, the hubs questioned how I was going to continue to supplement our household income once I took my pension since I was not ready for Social Security. I continued to have an extremely small private therapy caseload, but what would keep me in the people world, use my creative side, and allow for a part time work load? Stumped!
Then, one night while watching – what else? – a Hallmark movie, I started to tear up during the wedding ceremony. I shouted to the hubs that I knew what I wanted to be! A wedding officiant! He thought that was a great idea and then – my little cousin got engaged! Well, who better to experiment with than family? It was amazing!
I have immersed myself in the world of wedding officiants and business. I am not perfect. I am constantly learning. In fact, I spend more time learning than I ever thought I would because the field is so exciting and the business part is ever changing. I love it!!! I’ve found myself, on numerous occasions, to have been on the computer participating in zoom meetings, watching webinars, joining professional summits, and talking to other officiants and vendors in my groups – for 8-10 hours in a day because I am soaking up all this education. I am like a sponge.
I do everything myself. I learn better that way. Is that using my time efficiently? Nah. I know that many wedding pros automate emails and other things, but I absolutely enjoy writing every single email to my couples. I learn better. I feel connected. No one else is reading the emails. Just me. There is a lot of personal information involved and I like knowing that the partner I’m communicating with knows I’m here for them.
WHY SHOULD I CHOSE YOU IF YOU ARE A PART TIME OFFICIANT?
Such a great question. Let me begin by saying that, for me, my part time officiant role is the fact that I do not book every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for weddings. Ask my family – I’m learning, writing love stories and ceremonies, and improving my business every single day. I just limit my ceremonies to allow myself the time to give special attention to all of my couples because I do it all myself. No secretary. No ghost writer. No ordinary fill in the blank templates. I am constantly writing. I send emails and texts for the most part after we have signed an agreement. I work with my couples to prepare their ceremonies specifically for them. I use a slow and steady method (time permitting, of course) of giving and gaining the information needed regarding the marriage license process, the love story, the vows, any traditions, and, of course, the presentation and pronouncement to name a few things! I do not work 9-5. I’m here for you whenever you need me.
HOW COME YOUR FEES ARE NOT LISTED ON YOUR WEBSITE?
I see that many officiants will put their fees on their website. I could do that. I may do that in the future. However, for now, I’ve chosen to put my starting fee of $150 on line. This is why I like to have a little chat. Some of my colleagues have online contact forms asking for a few things in order to give a quote. I have four types of ceremonies that I create for my couples, but, many times, once we’ve actually started to talk, they decide to change their ceremony. Luckily for me, they want to include more in their ceremony – not much more than when they started – but, sometimes, it will change the fee because of the time involved and the inclusion of the love story and/or traditions they choose. As well, I generally offer my services within a large area and travel expenses will be included in my quote. I see many couples on my contact lists that in a different state than where they eventually get married. I do not learn that until I’ve spoken to them. It’s these types of items that can affect the fee. If you get an officiant that offers one fee for everything, do they include everything I do? You won’t know until we spoken. I do not add on expenses once I’ve given my quote – unless, of course, it changes the ceremony or the location is very different. My fees and ceremonies are based on time, intensity of the ceremony elements, and travel. There is no contract until we’ve determined everything you want in your ceremony and you have your venue or venue area.