Q: How does the process work?
A: I always try to meet face-to-face with the Bride and Groom as far in advance of the wedding as possible. That meeting lasts between 45 and 90 minutes (depending on how much the couple wants to tell me about themselves). We review the Order of Ceremony I normally use and I hear the couple’s story, so that I can make the ceremony as personal as possible. The most important part of this meeting is the opportunity for the Bride and Groom to get to know me a little so they can decide if I’m the person they want as their wedding pastor.
Q: We have our wedding planned out? Can you work within our plans/planner?
A: Absolutely! I’m happy to work with any ideas you’ve sketched out, or to collaborate with your wedding planner.
Q: We don’t really know how to plan our wedding ceremony. Will you guide us?
A: Again, absolutely. Some couples come to me knowing exactly what they want their ceremony to be. While others come to our first meeting without much in the way of a plan. I love the opportunity to walk those couples through the Order of Ceremony and help them decide on readings, choosing a Unity ceremony and offer any other guidance they may need.
Q: Will our ceremony be personal?
A: My highest priority is making your ceremony exactly what you want it to be. And the most important part of that is making everything fit who you are as a couple. My favorite part of the entire process is getting to know the Bride and Groom as much as I possibly can (including learning about their individual families of origin), then weaving what I learn through the ceremony. The Message is the most personal element of the ceremony. That’s the part in which I speak directly to the couple, tell highlights of their story and generally cheer them on as they begin life as husband and wife.
Q: What is your “style” as a wedding pastor?
A: I match my style and energy level to that of the bride and groom. Some couples express a desire for a light-hearted atmosphere, others say they want their ceremony to be reverent. More than anything, every couple wants their ceremony to reflect their own personality and style. I get to know every couple and work hard at understanding exactly what kind of ceremony they want. Then I provide a very personal, unique ceremony that fits them perfectly.
Q: Do you offer premarital counseling?
A: Yes. I am a certified facilitator of the SYMBIS (Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts) pre-marital assessment. I became familiar with Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott (the psychologists/marriage specialists who wrote the SYMBIS books and designed the assessment tool) since the mid-1990s. I believe their material to be some of the best available for helping couples prepare not just for their wedding, but for a long and healthy marriage.