Preparing you for your wedding… and your marriage.
I am so happy you have decided to get married and are now looking for an officiant for your wedding!
In my 20+ years of ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church I have officiated dozens and dozens of weddings nationally and abroad. I am happy to do themed weddings, same-gender weddings, and destination weddings.
My services also include pre-marital counseling which helps deepen your relationship and offers the precious opportunity to create a bespoke ceremony weaving in your relationship story, family history, faith, and future dreams.
Christian marriage is a “solemn and public covenant between committed adults in the presence of God,” thus is not to be entered into lightly or unadvisedly, but deliberately and with reverence.
We will meet four times, including your rehearsal before the ceremony. We can meet via zoom and/or in person. You are welcome to meet me at my church in Southfield, MI and in most cases I am happy to travel to you.
1) Introductions and Expectations
We will talk about you, what you are looking for in your wedding and marriage:
Covenant vs. Contract
Family of Origin Information
Books and articles that can help
2) Getting to Know You
We will discuss the readings and reflections you’ve had since our last session.
Intimacy and Finances
After the wedding: Keeping your marriage fresh
3) Ceremony Specifics
We will go through the ceremony, designing something just for you.
We will look at readings, music, and the ceremony.
At your Rehearsal I would like you to bring your marriage license (in most cases you will have to obtain this from the county of residence within 30 days of your wedding date) and we will sign it, except for me – I will wait until the marriage is finalized. I will then mail it to the appropriate county authority.
Setting a wedding date and time
Dates on my calendar are established on a first-come, first-served basis. If you choose a day and time that is unavailable, perhaps there are opportunities to consider a different time of day for your wedding.
If either party has been divorced, approval for the anticipated marriage must be obtained from our bishop. We want to ensure that the responsibilities and lessons from previous relationships have been appropriately addressed. A minimum of six months must pass after the divorce decree is granted before your wedding.
Check with your local authorities, but in Michigan one must obtain a wedding license from a County clerk within 60 days prior to the wedding day.
The wedding service
The Episcopal Book of Common Prayer provides a form for weddings that I like to use as a jumping off point (see pp. 422ff). Holy Communion can be part of the wedding ceremony. A list of suggested Scripture readings as appointed in the Book of Common Prayer will be given to the couple to make their choices.
Music for the ceremony should be chosen to complement the environment and the dignity of the wedding ceremony. In general, popular, secular songs offered by family members or friends are appropriately shared at the wedding reception. However I am open to whatever best represents you and your taste. I can assist you arrange musicians such as trumpet players, violinists, or vocalists.
Photography, video, and wedding planners
I have worked with many talented and professional wedding planners, photographers, and videographers. I find it best to be connected to your vendors with plenty of lead time to assure there is a collective understanding of expectations and timeline.
It is my preference that the hour-long ceremony rehearsal take place at the venue usually the day or evening prior to the wedding. All members of the bridal party should be present and prompt. A spirit of reverence and joy is appropriate. In my experience the ceremony can also provide significant peace of mind in advance of what is always a busy day!