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Below are some questions we’ve gathered from previous inquiries with their corresponding answers. If you have any questions or concerns that are not listed below, please don’t hesitate to give as a call or send us an email and we will do our best to answer them as soon as we can.
How much will my wedding cost?
That will depend upon several factors, including the date and time of the wedding, the location of the wedding venue, and whether or not a ferry is involved. Our fees are flexible, and can be customized to fit any budget; however, as a general rule:
Our base fee applies almost anywhere in King and south Snohomish Counties. We also offer a “mini-wedding,” for groups of five or fewer, at a greatly reduced price. Be sure and let us know if you qualify for this reduced rate.
Every wedding, regardless of size, receives the same care and attention to detail. Please use our Information Request Form to give us the details of your wedding and get an exact quote.
Do you charge for in-person meetings?
Our initial consultation is always free. Subsequent in-person meetings may incur additional cost, and will depend upon our availability.
What is included in the fee?
The fee covers our initial consultation, everything we do together to create your ceremony, unlimited phone and e-mail support, time and travel to the venue, our award-winning Ceremony Design packet full of great ideas to help you create your perfect ceremony, filing of all the official paperwork, a beautiful keepsake Certificate, suitable for framing, to commemorate your special day, and same-day rehearsal. In other words, pretty much everything!
Do you offer any other discounts?
We offer discounts if either you or your fiancé is active Military or a First Responder, so be sure to let us know if you qualify for either of these discounts. We also discount if you’re getting married during the week (M-Th), or the low season (Nov-Mar).
Can I combine discounts?
Sorry, only one discount per wedding.
What if we need to rehearse on a separate day?
If you decide to rehearse on a separate day and would like one of us to attend, there’s an additional charge to compensate us for time and travel to the location. The amount depends on driving distance, and for the extra fee, we conduct the rehearsal from beginning to end.
As an alternative to help you save money, our packet includes an excellent guide to conducting your own rehearsal, which steps you through the entire process in a clear, organized manner. Lots of our couples have chosen to do it this way with great success.
Are there any additional costs we should know about?
Occasionally, situations do arise that may, at the sole discretion of your Officiant, require an additional charge:
Do you require a contract?
We use a standard contract form that confirms the booking date and time, and provides all of the pertinent details of the engagement, in writing. This protects everyone concerned, and minimizes future misunderstandings.
What is the retainer required to secure your services, and how can we pay it?
The usual retainer to secure your date and time is $125, and you can pay it instantly, using the Paypal link on our home page. We also accept payment in cash or by personal check at our initial consultation; or by check or money order via traditional “snail mail.”
If you pay by personal check, please remember that your date is not reserved until the check actually clears your bank.
Paypal costs about 3% more in processing fees, but ensures that you are placed on the calendar (and receive your packet) immediately.
What happens after we pay our initial retainer?
The moment we receive your retainer, we send you our complete Ceremony Design Packet, consisting of multiple e-mail attachments in Microsoft Word format (should you have any problem opening or reading them, we can convert them to virtually any format you need). The Packet contains both complete ceremonies of different lengths, styles and themes, along with enough “mix-and-match” ceremony components to allow you to create, literally, hundreds of unique ceremonies! Your challenge is to figure out what you want…and have fun doing it!
If at any point you need more material, we have access to lots more we can provide, and, of course, we’re always available to respond to your specific questions or concerns! Most couples have told us that creating their ceremony was one of the most fun…and least stressful…parts of their wedding planning!
When is the balance due?
Your remaining balance is due any time before the wedding starts. You’re welcome to pay in “installments” if that’s easier for you, as long as your final payment reaches us before the wedding. We gladly accept personal checks until ten days out. After that, all payments must be in cash.
What if we decide to cancel our wedding, or go with a different Officiant? Is our retainer refundable?
By accepting your retainer, we are giving you a guarantee that one of us will be available at the chosen date and time to perform your wedding. The only way we can do that is to turn away any other couples who inquire about that date. For this reason, should you elect to cancel our services for any reason, your retainer is non-refundable.
What happens if you are unable to perform the ceremony due to illness, accident or other unavoidable circumstances?
To date, we have never missed a wedding (knock wood), but we realize that sometimes things happen that may prevent us from fulfilling our obligation. If, for any reason, we are unable to perform our duties as agreed, and fail to provide you with a qualified replacement to officiate your wedding, we will offer our services at no additional charge on any date and time of your choosing (subject to availability). If this is unacceptable, then all fees, including your initial retainer, will be refunded to you, no questions asked.
What happens if we need to reschedule?
As long as one of us is still available to perform your wedding, we’re happy to make the change at no additional cost to you. However, if you elect to reschedule and neither of us is available on the new date, then our obligation to you will end and no money will be refunded. We will, however, do our best to help you find another Officiant.
Is it customary to tip the Officiant?
Gratuities are never expected, but always appreciated.
How long does the “typical” wedding ceremony last?
Most non-denominational weddings last from 15-20 minutes, including the walk-in and walk-out, but of course, the exact length really depends on the degree to which you “customize” your ceremony. In our experience, ceremonies that last much more than 20 minutes tend to lose focus, and after 30 minutes, the snoring from the audience becomes a distraction!
Seriously, though, the idea is for your guests to remember your ceremony for how beautiful, intimate and elegant it was, and not for how long it lasted!
Do you purchase our Marriage License for us? If not, how and when do we pick it up?
Purchasing your Marriage License is about the only thing we can’t do for you! You need to apply for your Marriage License in person at the office of the County Auditor or Recorder. The cost is about $65.
Washington State requires a three-day waiting period after you purchase your License before you can be married, but since the License is valid for at least 60 days, there’s no harm in picking it up earlier, rather than later.
There may be other requirements which vary from county-to-county and you should always do your homework to avoid unpleasant surprises. For complete details, click here, then click the link for the county where you plan to purchase your License.
Do we have to purchase our Marriage License and be married in the same county?
No. You can purchase your License in any Washington county, regardless of where you plan to be married.
How early do you arrive at the venue on the day of the wedding?
If rehearsal was held on a previous day, then we usually arrive 30-45 minutes early to coordinate with other vendors (disc jockeys, musicians, photographers, etc.) If you’ve chosen to rehearse before the ceremony, then we arrive at least one hour early to allow enough time for a full run-through. We can rehearse the men and the women separately if the bride and groom don’t want to see each other before the wedding.
Do you require premarital counseling before the wedding?
We neither offer, nor require pre-marital counseling. However, if you’re really interested, we’ll be more than happy to share our personal observations after being happily married for over 25 years!
Would you allow another Officiant, possibly of a different religion, or a friend or relative to take part in the ceremony?
Absolutely. Different voices always make a ceremony more interesting.
Are there any restrictions on music, decorations, readings, photography?
There are no restrictions of any kind. Not from us, anyway. As long as it’s legal, bring it on!
How long have you been performing weddings?
We have been providing low-cost, non-denominational wedding services throughout Western Washington since 2007.
Will we always be able to contact you if we have additional questions or need more information?
Absolutely! Our fee includes unlimited phone and e-mail support, and neither of us goes to bed early!
We don’t have a venue for our wedding yet. Will you help us find one?
Of course. We’ve performed weddings all over Washington state, and we’re very familiar with appropriate locations. Just let us know the type of venue you’d like, and your approximate budget, and we’ll do whatever we can.
In addition, be sure to check out our Recommended Vendors page for a list of some of our favorite venues.
Are we allowed to write our own wedding vows?
Not only allowed, but encouraged. The wedding vows are the most intimate part of your ceremony, and should always come from the heart. However, if you hit a creative wall, we provide dozens of sample wedding vows in our Wedding Packet.
Is there any place you won’t go to perform a wedding?
Well, if there is, we haven’t found it yet! We have done ceremonies indoors and outdoors, in hotels, restaurants, banquet halls, private homes, condos, parks, forest preserves, chapels, on golf courses, hiking trails, boats, and many other locations. As long as we can get there safely, we’ll go where the wedding is!
What do you wear when you officiate a wedding?
Our dress for the ceremony is always appropriate to the formality of the occasion, and we always confirm our attire with the couple prior to arriving at the venue. Being non-denominational Officiants, we do not wear religious robes or vestments unless specifically requested to do so.
Are you willing to incorporate elements from another culture or religion?
Of course. We find the wedding customs and traditions of other cultures and religions fascinating, and would be happy to learn about, and incorporate, appropriate elements into your wedding ceremony.
If we decide to incorporate a wedding “ritual,” such as the Unity Candle, Handfasting or Blending of the Sands, in our ceremony, do you provide the necessary materials?
You are responsible for providing any “props,” such as sand, candles or cords, that your ceremony requires. Most of these are readily available from local wedding shops and crafts stores (e.g., Michael’s), and you can also purchase them online. We will be happy to help you find whatever you need.
Do you offer weddings in other languages?
Yes. We are pleased to offer both Spanish and bilingual (Spanish and English) wedding ceremonies.
Do you perform same-sex marriages?
Absolutely! We have always offered commitment ceremonies, and we are overjoyed to be able to offer same-sex wedding ceremonies.
Do you ever accept weddings on short notice?
All the time, actually. Although most weddings are planned well in advance, occasionally the need arises suddenly, and with very little advance notice (if any). In that case, if one of us is available, we’re more than happy to help, and we never charge extra for short-notice bookings.
Will you make an announcement after the ceremony directing people to the bar, reception, family photo shoot, etc.?
Of course. Just tell us what you would like us to say.
I want to take my husband’s last name after we’re married. Can you help?
Yes. After the wedding, we send you detailed information about the process required to officially change your name.
And finally…there are lots of excellent Officiants out there. Why should we book you?
You’re right – there are a lot of great Officiants in the Seattle area…and we’re friends with many of them!
Choosing someone to officiate your wedding should be about trust and connection, but here are some things you might also consider while you’re making your decision:
We perform an average of 100 weddings every year, so we must be doing something right. We’ve earned prestigious awards from WeddingWire and WedPlan for the quality of our service and professionalism. We were also voted one of theTop 5 Wedding Officiants in the Best of Western Washington competition, sponsored by King 5 television’s Evening Magazine.
We’ve always kept our fees low, only raising them when it became absolutely necessary (like when the price of gas went through the roof). We know all about living with a tight budget, and how expensive a wedding can get. We want help you keep yours as affordable as possible.
If you’re still on the fence, perhaps a visit to our Testimonials page will help you determine the level and quality of service we provide.