FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Will you help us craft our ceremony?
Of course. From the first email inquiry to each planning phone call to the dress rehearsal, I take the time to listen and ask questions that enable me to narrate your love story in a meaningful and unique way.
My vision is to revive the art of the personal wedding ceremony so I work closely with you as a couple.
We also discuss what nuances or sensitivities to be aware of related to your backgrounds so we can honor family traditions without compromising the values you hold as a couple. I'm here to help you navigate those places without losing the momentum of the arc of your story as a couple.
What types of ceremonies do you officiate?
What makes your ceremony process unique?
I am a keen observer of what makes couples tick. I live by the poem from Mary Oliver;
Instructions for Living a Life
Tell about it.
My mission is to pay attention to your story, become astonished at how the intersections in your story occurred, and then tell about the brilliance and beauty of your story to you and your guests during the ceremony.
Everyone's story is compelling. Tears and laughter are part of all love stories and tears and laughter keep everyone engaged and on the edge of their seats.
How long is a ceremony?
It all depends on what you want.
22-30 minutes is a sweet spot to aim for.
Shorter than 15 minutes is best left to courthouse ceremonies or for a couple who doesn't want their story included in the ceremony.
Ceremonies that go 40 minutes and beyond tend to be religiously focused ceremonies that require elements that have been ritualized in a particular faith tradition.
How long have you been doing this?
I've officiated well over 400 ceremonies.
My smallest ceremony was the couple and a photographer. My largest ceremony was over 500 guests and 5 wedding planners in Texas. Yes, it is bigger in Texas.
I do quite a bit of public speaking at universities and high schools so I am comfortable with both intimate and large weddings.
What is your background?
I graduated with a B.A. in English literature from Dartmouth College and so I love story and work hard to uncover compelling ways to incorporate couples' stories into their ceremonies. I have seminary work from both Fuller Theological Seminary as well as Regent College in Vancouver, B.C. I also have a graduate certificate in leadership development from The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology.
I have co-founded a few non-profits and am currently a founding partner of Spero Challenge.
Do you travel for ceremonies?
Yes, I'm happy to travel for ceremonies and cost of flights, lodging, etc. will be part of the fee.
Can we hire you to write our ceremony without officiating?
I am happy to spend some time with you in person, or over Skype or Facetime to craft a ceremony to your liking. While much of the ceremony is about delivery, it is the content of the ceremony that drives the delivery.
Do you have any book recommendations on marriage?
There are so many but here are three excellent ones:
John Gottmann's books are excellent. Here's one to get you started.
Danielle & Astro Teller go after sacred cows of marriage and divorce here.
And writer and Methodist minister Walter Wangerin Jr. tackles honesty and hope in his own marriage here.
Those will get you going in a good direction.
How much will your cake cost?
If you've read this far you are likely able to afford a high-end boutique cake which can cost a thousand to a few thousand dollars.
And yet no matter how good the cake may be it is only memorable in the moment of consumption and the presentation for the photographer. On the other hand your ceremony sets the tone for the rest of your wedding celebration and if your ceremony is engaging and shines light on you as a couple it will be a deeply memorable experience for you and all of your guests for years to come.
My experience and my time and my delivery are worth the extra cost. It's as least as good as your cake.
Rehearsals, in person meetings, Skype or Facetime meetings, emails, phone calls, etc. are all included.