Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. Wedding Ceremonies - Religious - Holy Union
Semi-Religious - Traditional
Civil - Non-religious - Spiritual - Humanist -Intercultural - Interfaith - International
Elopement - You come to me, ceremony on beautiful Lake Hartwell
"Elopement Special" - Midweek - Sunday thru Friday only (pending availability)
Contemporary - "Short & Sweet"
Write your own vows or 'love letters' to each other to be included in the ceremony I write for you!
Affirmations of Love and Commitment
Q. Describe three recent jobs you've completed.
A. A military wedding on Saturday.
An elopement at my home on Friday.
A small wedding at Glassy Chapel on Wednesday.
See my website for 100's of photos from my weddings. http://WeddingWoman.net
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Look for a wedding professional...an officiant or minister that has officiated many weddings...and at your venue if possible. They will be familiar with the 'lay of the land' and can make suggestions as to how to do things...they can also talk with you to make suggestions on venues that will be a good fit and make recommendations for other dependable vendors that they have worked with and know the quality of service they provide!
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. You must be dedicated and realize that ALL of your weekends will be dedicated to traveling and performing wedding ceremonies. No more weekend plans with friends and family! You must also be flexible in dealing with the public.
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. Be sure that the person is authorized to perform wedding ceremonies in your state! In SC they must be a notary public, Judge or Minister of the gospel.
How flexible is the wedding officiate to changing parts of the ceremony that you may not like?
• Will they permit you to write some of your own vows? (I call them, “Personal Promises!)
• What is the process for creating your ceremony?
• Is there anything that they will not say or do?
• How many wedding ceremonies have they performed?
• Have they ever been late for or missed a wedding?
• How many weddings do they perform in an average year?
• Do they have a “back-up” in case of extreme illness of emergency?
• Talk about your spiritual faith so the officiant can adjust the ceremony accordingly.
• Will they marry you if you are of different faiths?
• Will the wedding officiant perform “theme” weddings?
• Are there any restrictions as to your attire, or the bridal party’s attire?
• Who gave them the right to perform wedding ceremonies in your state?
• Can they legally perform wedding ceremonies in your state.
• What are their spiritual beliefs? (Be sure to tell them what YOUR spiritual beliefs are and ask if they will make changes to honor your beliefs)
• Will the ceremony be a religious, non-denominational or secular ceremony?
• Will the ceremony be traditional or non-traditional?
• Will they provide a little light-hearted humor if that is what you want?
• Do they require premarital or religious classes? Is relationship coaching available, if you want it? What are those requirements?
• Are they qualified to offer premarital relationship coaching if you want it?
• What is their fee? Do they require a deposit to secure the date? Does the fee include the rehearsal?
• When is the balance of the fee due? What forms of payment do they accept?
• Are there any hidden charges?
• How many meetings will be necessary to finalize the words in the ceremony?
• Do they attend the rehearsal dinner and the reception, if invited?
• Will they give a blessing or prayer before the meal at the reception?
• How will they be dressed? Will they wear a suit or a robe?
• If you have children, do they have some creative ideas of ways to include them in the ceremony?
• Do they have a “Refund Proceedure or Cancelation Prceedure and is it part of the agreement?
• Do they have references that they are willing to share with you?
• Would they allow another Officiant, Minister/Rabi or Priest to take part in the ceremony?
• Is flash photography allowed during the ceremony?
• What kind of microphone does the officiant perfer?
• Are there any restrictions on photography or videography?
• How accessible/responsive are you by phone and by e-mail?
• Do they work well with other wedding vendors? Will they recommend other wedding vendors?
• If you have been living together, be sure to ask if they will preform your ceremony.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. The officiant sets the mood for your wedding. Make sure you are comfortable with the person you select in order to make the ceremony memorable for the two of you, your family and friends.
One of the things that amazes me is that so many brides spend countless hours planning every conceivable detail of their wedding, only to get to the very end of the process and realize, almost as an afterthought, that they still haven’t found that special someone to actually perform or officiate the wedding ceremony itself.
The truth is: the one main thing that you, as a couple, your wedding party, your parents and all your extended family, friends, & guests will remember MOST about your entire wedding day, is the ceremony itself! But far too often, securing the right officiant to perform the right ceremony is left as an afterthought!
Unfortunately, far too many brides have found themselves standing at the altar, watching in disgust or in humiliation as an inexperienced, unprepared, notary or justice-of-the-peace-type clerk stands there in front of you, with a book in hand, more nervous than you are, reading word-for-word a few trite sentences. And, boom, after a few short minutes, your "Vegas-courthouse quickie" ceremony is over and the deed is done.
And there you are, dreading that you have to turn around, face the audience, and see the mortified look on the faces of your family and friends as you walk down the aisle after an extremely brief, abrupt ceremony that left everyone wishing for quite a bit more. Or asking the question, “Did she know the officiant was going to say THAT?”
Honestly, what bride, especially one who has paid such close attention to so many other important details, would ever want to take a chance on what will be said at her wedding? Clearly, the words that are spoken at your ceremony and the way they are delivered are extremely critical in determining how your overall wedding is perceived by the people you care about most. It cannot be overstated how important it is that you find the right officiant with the right experience who can perform the ceremony in just the right way.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. Following are links to Reviews & Testimonials of my service.
From her website: http://www.lakesidenotary.net/testimonials.htm -
On WedPlan: - http://www.wedplan.net/pages/18498/reviews - Take a look.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. Q: How much do you charge.
A: My place or yours?
Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
A. I was on vacation with hubby at the beach and received a call from Jason (not his real name) on Tuesday. He wanted to get married on Sunday and needed an Officiant. I told him I wasn’t planning to come home until Monday…he insisted, so I told him, “If you can’t find someone by Friday call me back and I’ll come home early. He called on Thursday, “Miss Brenda we can’t find anyone I need you to come”. We left Sunday morning, I wrote his ceremony and headed for the wedding location. While rushing to the wedding I was stopped by “one of the Upstate’s Finest” and given a speeding ticket. I called the groom to let him know I was going to be a little late and why.
He laughed out loud, “Yeah, they will sure nuff get ya in “that town”…the photographer got a speeding ticket, too!” I replied, “Well Jason, don’t you think that is something you might have wanted to share with me…that I should be extra careful of my speed while traveling thru this ‘town’ ?”
I arrived at the venue full of family and friends, got the paperwork done and walked to the gazebo in back for the ceremony. Just as I was pronouncing them husband and wife I heard (what I thought) were firecrackers. I looked up and the bride’s father, father-in-law and brothers were firing handguns into the air!! Dogs and ducks were running around everywhere people were laughing and shouting. All I could think about was the episode of “CSI Miami” when a women was hit in the head and killed by a stray bullet from a gun shot a mile away…I hi-tailed it out of that back yard like I had been shot out of a cannon!
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. I am a wedding professional. I have been officiating weddings since 2006. I am experienced as a public speaker and wedding officiant, having solemnized the marriages of hundreds of couples! I have enjoyed each and every one of them! I love what I do and you will find that obvious by my enthusiasm.
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. I started out as a Mobile Notary Public. I found out that they can perform wedding ceremonies in SC....my husband said I would never officiate a wedding....now I've done about 500!
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. Summer & Joe's Wedding at ZEN in Greenville, SC - Brenda Owen you did such an amazing job! I can't tell you how many of Joe and my family members commented on the excellent and heartfelt ceremony you did for us!! Not only did our family love it, but Joe and I would high recommend you to anyone who is getting married!! On top of delivering a beautiful ceremony, you came early to walk us through what to do, you even knew all the tricks to getting amazing pictures; then took beautiful pictures yourself & helped us with everything we needed when the reception started!! If that wasn't enough, we could tell you had an amazing working relationship with our Dj and Photographer and it showed!! - You helped them with what they needed as much as you helped us!! We didn't know what we where doing and you did an amazing job thinking of everything we didn't think of! Our wedding went as smoothly as it did, because of you (I feel like your prices are far to low for all of the work you did)! We can't thank you enough!! You are way more then a great wedding officiant, you are truly are the WEDDING WOMAN!!
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. Least expensive option - Elopement on beautiful Lake Hartwell in Anderson, SC $125. I am not a professional photographer but I am happy to share photos that I take with you.
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. Being a wedding officiant is very time consuming. Before your start, be prepared to give up ALL of your weekends and holidays with your friends and family! You must be a public speaker, not afraid to speak in front of large groups of people. It is imperative that you be organized, able to mulit-task, knowledgeable about all aspects of weddings and patient! http://WeddingWoman.net
Q. What is your greatest strength?
A. I am a wedding "professional". I am experienced as I have solemnized the union of hundreds of couples. I am a public speaker and am comfortable speaking in front of large crowds of people. I know many vendors and am familiar with most venues in the area, thus I am able to give you 'helpful' advice and insight into your choices.
Please visit my website: http://WeddingWoman.net
Q. What are you currently working on improving?
A. I am a wedding "professional" but I am always trying to 'fine tune' my ceremony. I am experienced as I have solemnized the union of hundreds of couples. I am a public speaker and am comfortable speaking in front of large crowds of people. I know many vendors and am familiar with most venues in the area, thus I am able to give you 'helpful' advice and insight into your choices.
Please visit my website: http://WeddingWoman.net