|~ Frequently Asked Questions ~
|This page has become rather extensive over time and has been recently updated to include some
of the things you want to ask but may be shy about. While I am sure this won't cover
everything, here are some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers.
Q: "How soon before the wedding should we be looking for an officiant?"
A: Many couples book a year and a half in advance especially if they know their date is a
popular one. Most of my couples like to take their time going over the draft and fine tuning
what will be said. For others a couple of months is fine, and for others they're asking about this
weekend coming. The golden rule these days is "What Ever Works!" But any vendor you have
your heart set on it is always better to book early.
Q: "Can we meet with you and still meet other officiants before we make our decision?"
A: Of course you can! I feel like a piece of me stays with every couple that I marry and it is
important to me that you are comfortable having that kind of connection to me. I will meet and
write with you then have a draft of your ceremony to you within 48 hours at no obligation to
you. There are many good officiants, but only one right one for every couple. Sometimes
comparing our work side by side is absolutely the best way to choose!
Q: "How do we know that you are authorized to marry us?"
A: The City of New York is the only place that makes officiants register. I am officiant
number 9484. click here to view documentation
This means I can also marry you in New York City if you wish!
Q: "How long have you been an officiant for?"
A: Since 1997, long enough to be knowledgeable, yet still enthusiastic about every ceremony
that I perform. I am a full time professional wedding officiant. My couples are not worked in
after a "real job", weddings are what I do. I'm recommended by top locations and work well
with other vendors as your team, to give you the best of what everyone has to offer. You are
the only stars on your day, we just help you shine!
Q: "If we book with you, will YOU be the one to perform our ceremony?"
A: Yes. I have been getting this question quite often and while there are officiants who
overbook and then farm out the overspill, I am not one of them. If you book me you get me. If
I am unavailable and you are working with one of my associates they will be the one to marry
you... Unless you choose to take a reduction in fee by not booking one particular officiant, but
rather "a qualified COAW officiant".
Q: "Do you require premarital counseling?"
A: No. I believe that in searching for the key components to your ceremony, what are the things
you want to promise and be promised on your wedding day... what do you love most about one
another... that the writing process itself encourages you to discuss many of the things spoken of
in counseling, only in a more natural manner. Every relationship is as unique as the couple
themselves and far be it from me to ever try to tell you what will work for you.
Q: "What kinds of ceremonies do you perform?"
A: All kinds! See the Sample Ceremony Section. We have Civil, Religious, Interfaith and
Multi-Cultural Weddings, Commitment Ceremonies, Baby Blessings, Vow Renewals, we can
even create new original writings for unique occasions! We call them "Couple Centered
Ceremonies" because we keep all the traditional aspects that you are connected to and toss out
the things that make you cringe. We are well versed in religious aspects, culturally considerate
and have the writing skills to turn your thoughts and feelings into personal sections that will
make everyone present feel closer to you and to one another by sharing a side of you and your
relationship that they wouldn't see on any other day.
Q: "We just want a simple ceremony, do we have to meet with you for that?"
A: No, you don't have to do or not do anything with me. I try to do want you want me to do for
you and if skipping the meeting in favor of picking and choosing elements from my website
works for you, then it works for me. The best part of this is that meeting and original writing
take time, first to compose, and then to fine tune. If you don't need that time you don't pay for
it. So if you are using my pre-written material it's $100.00 right off the top!
Q: "How long do your ceremonies usually take to perform?"
A: It is up to you but I usually try to run no more than 20 minutes. Any longer than that and
we run the risk of sounding like "blah, blah, blah, blah...."
Q: "We are... a. Second Marriage Catholics
b. Of Different Religions
c. More Spiritual than Religious
d. Looking for a Justice of the Peace style Civil Ceremony
e. Planning to include Multi-Cultural aspects
f. Planning to Include Our Children
g. Wondering if you knew any Klingon
.... Is this a problem?
A: On the contrary, it is a blessing to know who you are and what is important to you.
Everything that is important to you is important to me if I am to help you create a ceremony
that celebrates your life and your love. I can always learn a few sentences of another language
but if it's more than that, I recommend choosing someone fluent for the job.
Q: "We have always imagined ourselves being married by a man.
Is this wrong?"
A: Not at all. You should have what you want for yourselves, but a meeting still would not hurt
so that you understand the style, levels of service and options that you have before deciding one
way or the other. If you still want a man I have numbers and will be happy to help you find the
one who is right for you!
Q: "We think we want to write our own vows but aren't sure is this ok?"
A: Of course it is! There are many ways to do this and I am here to help. There is also always
the back door. If you just can't talk when the moment comes instead of asking you to I say
"These are your beautiful Bride's own words to you on your wedding day" and no one is the
wiser. I do find that knowing you don't have to speak removes the pressure that causes the
stress to begin with.
Q: "How closely do you schedule your ceremonies?"
A: I don't schedule closer than 3 hours in between weddings, unless of course they are in the
same town or at the same venue. Included in what I consider your time is a buffer "just in
case". You will never lose any part of your day because I am late and
I will never schedule so closely that you feel rushed in any way.
Q: "How early do you arrive?"
A: This is another great question to ask your officiant. How much time of theirs is yours on the
wedding day. I arrive 45 minutes - 1 hour before your scheduled start time and stay till roughly
45 minutes after the scheduled start time, with the ceremony concluding 30 minutes after the
start time, and the final 15 minutes to break down the PA, congratulate you and your families,
and finish up any paperwork that's left..
Q: "What happens if you get sick?"
A: I am very well networked and work closely with Rev. Deb Viola, Father Joe DeVincenzo,
Rabbi Sara Shonfeld, Judge William Corbett, and Rev. Aviva Sala. I know many of you have
read the stories on the local chat boards about some officiants "running late" or "getting stuck in
traffic" or the ever popular "sick mother" and sending a replacement. With the chronic over
bookers working full time, you are right in needing to choose someone whom you can trust
Q: "Do you have any restrictions on photography or video?"
A: Absolutely not. I want the photographer to get you the best shots possible. After all these
pictures are going to be how your great-great-grandchildren know you. We should all be
working together to help your vendors give you the best we have to offer.
Q: "What do your typical services include?"
A: My services are all tailored to fit your needs and usually include:
A meeting where we talk about what you want your ceremony to be like. What's important,
what's not, things you want to include, things I should steer clear of... And of course your story
which is were the original writing comes in.
My turning what you say into a 1st draft and emailing it to you. You will have your first draft
within 48 hours and this I do without obligation to you, because I want you to see how I work
and what I can do before you make a final decision to hire me. This partly because yes, I am
that confident in what I do, and partly because I really want to make sure that you feel that I am
right for you. As I said before, I feel that a little piece of me stays with every couple I marry,
and it is important to me that you feel good about having that kind of relationship with me.
The changes and fine tuning that make the draft into your ceremony.
All the email and phone support you need.
On the day of the wedding I get to the site 45 minutes to an hour early to make sure that any
one who has a part is comfortable, and to coordinate with the other vendors and such.
I bring my own PA and even electricity if necessary. Yes many halls have their own, but mine
is all wireless & smaller than my pinky nail. Look at the Photos There's no big stand & ugly
turkey leg of a microphone stuck in your face or for you to have to hold. Your guests will hear
you doing your vows not me. (this can be an additional fee of $250.00 - $300.00 if not
supplied by the venue or officiant )
You get to keep the final printed ceremony book that I read from with the pretty Certificate of
Marriage... the one that doesn't get you medical insurance or obligate you to the marriage
penalty on your taxes, but at least you don't have to wait for it to come in the mail. Another
reason I started making the keepsake certificate is because the Nassau and Suffolk license has
no place for the Bride and Groom to sign on the day. Your applying for it is your signature. So
if you want the traditional signing the license with the Best Man and Maid of Honor pictures....
well then you just have to fake it with an ugly piece of paper, so why not make a pretty one?
I sign and process the real Marriage License, which is always sent certified mail, so that if 6
weeks comes and you still don't have your certificate from the state.... we have a tracking
I copy the Marriage License for your records. Yes! Bring it on the HM if you booked a resort
that gives you free stuff with proof of marriage, but remember to remove your SS# & Mom's
maiden name. This is another reason that the personal integrity of the person you hire as your
officiant is so important. On your wedding day are handing them the 2 most important pieces of
personal information that you have.
Q: "Do you charge extra to add a candle lighting, rose or other ceremony?"
A: Never! I don't micro-manage fees and ceremony content. I'm with you for the same amount
of time on the day no matter what you include or how big your bridal party
Q: "How much contact will we have with you before the wedding?"
A: As much or as little as you want. Some couples finish everything themselves then send it all
back and others want to talk about all the options for every decision they make. I'm good either
way, however you can expect a check in call every now and then. All calls and emails are
answered within 24 hours except on weekends when weddings sometimes keep me away from
Q: "When and where do we meet with you?"
A: I usually meet weekday evenings at my home in Kings Park.
My Friday, Saturday and Sunday are usually spent marrying. However in the slower months
there are weekend opportunities. If I have a space between weddings that puts me in your neck
of the woods, meeting at or by your home is another possibility.
Q: "What about the rehearsal?"
A: If we do a run through on site the day of the wedding, it is usually scheduled for an hour
before the ceremony is to start. This is included in my fee. If not on the day of then it is an
extra charge for the extra time it will take. Many times my couples are comfortable enough
with the draft that they do not need a rehearsal. I myself think it is a good idea for small
children to be walked through at the location. Most often the Maitre-d handles all the ins and
outs of a run through. If there are no moving parts to the ceremony, I am strictly ornamental. If
you are in a venue with nobody directing traffic, we draft someone to send you down as I catch.
Q: "We have our Marriage License.
Can we come over and get married now?"
A: Believe it or not the answer is usually "Yes!" Give me a call!
Q: "What do you wear?"
A: I usually opt for a plain black judicial style robe, to hide the battery and wire from my mic.
I have other colors, colored stoles and I am comfortable in a dress or decked out for a theme
wedding. So what I wear is what ever you want me to wear.
Q: "We read online "To tip them is to trivialize their profession and extremely bad etiquette."
Is this true?"
A: No it is not an insult but it is not required either. Professional Officiants vary in quality of
service just like any other vendor. Some keep their costs down by rushing in and out,
performing the bare minimum required by law to increase the volume they can do in a day.
Some other officiants in all price ranges bend over backwards to spend the time and effort that
it takes to give you the wedding of your dreams. I believe that anyone who goes above and
beyond should be rewarded in some way and those who do not should not be.
Q: "What do you need to know from us to check your availability?"
A: Date, Time and Location. Please feel free to call me any time!
|Adelina and Agron
Married at the Watermill in Smithtown.
Isn't is true that the best wedding you were
ever at was because of how much you love
the couple getting married? There was so
much energy and emotion going back and
forth between this couple that there is no
doubt everyone was almost as happy to be
there as the couple themselves. Their
wedding was a day to celebrate the amazing
marriage to come!
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Come on over and
we'll get you married!
|$75.00 Wedding Ceremony Special !!!
For the couples who come to my location, with no more than one or two witnesses, this is the
ticket! You're in and out in 20 minutes and married! If you have more guests than that the
gazebo at Northport Harbor is a great option. The fee is $150. and instead of you being with
me for 20 minutes I am with you for about 20 minutes.