What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
My pricing is pretty basic. I try to keep it affordable and flexible. I will perform elopements for as little as $75.00 but the average full wedding package which includes consultation, ceremony writing, rehearsal coordination, wedding day ceremony performance, travel both days and filing of the marriage license ranges between $350 - $400. Often I perform small family weddings for only $150.00. It all depends on the day, size, location or complexity of it.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
After the initial contact and verifying of availability, the next step is usually a consultation to discuss the wedding and ceremony. I share ideas and suggestions if they are wanted. A deposit holds the date, I prepare a ceremony based on what was discussed with the couple. I send them a draft to approve or make changes. I arrive early to the rehearsal so that I can go over details of processional with bride. I coordinate the rehearsal forwards and backwards. I arrive early to the ceremony to handle license and certificate and to share a ceremony outline with DJ and photographer. After the ceremony we sign the certificate and then I process the license with the County Clerk's Office. Often times my clients live out of state so everything is handled by email and I meet them at the rehearsal or wedding.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I formed a wedding network so that wedding professionals in all services can meet, refer, learn, share and improve their services with the help of others. It's called NW Wed Pro. I have also produced two Bridal Fairs.
Knowing the other vendors at weddings and being familiar with the venues is important. It can make the entire wedding go smoothly.
What types of customers have you worked with?
Weddings. Elopements. Vow Renewals. Commitment Ceremonies. (in that order) I also find myself being:
The person all the children gravitate to.
The answer person.
And much more.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
I was asked to help make a Dream Wedding for a couple who had lost their home to a fire. The venue offered their estate and I contacted NW Wed Pro members to get them to help out. Within hours we were loaded with donated service providers. Dream Team Events coordinated and brought it all together and I performed the ceremony. The couple was overwhelmed by happiness and the generosity of so many. It was a great feeling. Another big project was as Lead Project Manager for a mass vow renewal ceremony for 65 couples at the Grand Reopening of the Oregon City / West Linn Arch Bridge. I performed the ceremony and coordinated a big reception for all of them after the ceremony.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Do your research. Read reviews. Go with experience. Hire a good public speaker. A professional knows how to handle just about any problem that might arise during a wedding. As an officiant I have coordinated hundreds of rehearsals so that everything goes smoothly on the big day. The wedding party feels much more confident after a good rehearsal.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
I wish they understood that the officiant needs to be booked as soon as is possible. Usually 6-9 months at least, to guarantee your wedding date is available. Many couples think it's a last minute thing but then learn that none of the officiants are available for their date.