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Jan - Jun
Wedding in rain at Silver Falls
Eloping from Michigan
Photos and Videos
Type of ceremony
Service type (affiliation)
Non-denominational (mentions God),
Non-religious (no mention of God)
He was the worst experience we have had with an officiant so far! His profiles description of how he would handle our wedding made him our best choice but once we started actually talking with him his personality, lack of communication, and self centered business tactics made him someone we would never want officiating anyone’s wedding! Good luck to who ever gets stuck with this guy😢Jan 25, 2020VerifiedI Now Pronounce You!'s reply
I'm sorry that this last week of trying to get together has felt so unprofessional and hurtful. Though I have never missed a wedding in 40 years, my heart is pretty beat up and does throw me into the hospital. This week it's been twice, into two hospitals, where I do not take a phone and during these scary times my family bans me from any work of any kind. I did message and call you a couple times when I could. Once from the hospital I think, once when I got home and thought I was okay, and again when I was taken in the dead of night back to our local hospital. I'm sure from your side of wedding planning it just feels like I don't give a crap. My family would vehemently disagree and take full credit for keeping me offline and off work while my life feels threatened. I can't make up for being hospitalized or off the grid. The best I could do is offer to do your wedding for free if, and only if, we talk and you feel like possibly you could throw a little mercy on my and let me show you the wonder and beauty of why my reviews are what they are. Again, I am sorry and sad that my health intervened so desperately this week. I do care deeply about all my couples. It looks like I'm okay now. Home and with my phone back. Thanks mike
Mike was awesome! He was did an amazing job, and we got a lot of positive feedback from our wedding guests. We would definitely recommend him to anyone looking for a wedding officiant!Jul 14, 2018Verified
We hired Michael as our officiant for our wedding ceremony. We were looking for something non-religious and personal and Michael knocked it out of the park. We filled out our respective questionnaires and the ceremony and vows that he crafted from them were so touching. We received compliments throughout the night regarding the great job that Michael did and the unique ceremony we had. I would recommend Michael in the future for couples looking for a personal ceremony without having to memorize your own vows.Oct 7, 2015Verified
We are so happy that we had Mike officiate our wedding. We really wanted the ceremony to be the main focus of the day. We are not a religious couple, but wanted our wedding to still feel ceremonial. It was important to us to have some Celtic traditions, and some modern wedding phrases, but the majority of the ceremony was a wonderful surprise. Mike has a great system of sending a questionnaire to fill out and then he incorporates it into the ceremony. Somehow he knew just what to include and weave our responses into the traditional elements we requested. It took the pressure off of us! Allowing Mike to do his thing meant that we could let go and really feel all our emotions in the moment. Just want we wanted. Our guests marveled at how personal the ceremony was, were touched that we included so much family history, and there was plenty of laughter and fun mixed in. Mission accomplished - everyone felt the love! We highly recommend Mike to officiate your wedding! He's experienced, a skilled orator, and will execute your vision flawlessly.Sep 21, 2017Verified
Mike made us feel immediately at-ease. After having some very unfortunate luck trying to pin down a wedding officiant, we stumbled on Thumbtack and thus, Mike Ashland. What an amazing stroke of good fortune! Our families both commented on how nice it was getting to speak with him, and what an entertaining ceremony we had. The ceremony revealed our love for one another in a way that was honest and genuine, in our own words instead of a using a generic template. His communication was direct, clear, genuine, and prompt. He took the time to interact with the whole family, and to include everyone he could. His love for officiating is obvious: a calming demeanor, a wonderful sense of humor, a touch of the theatrical, and wide-eyed honesty combined to create a most memorable experience that made us laugh and cry. Valuable above and beyond any monetary price- this was an experience that money simply cannot buy and Mike made it as special as it could possibly be. Mike, you have our sincere thanks! If we ever need an officiant for other family celebrations or losses, we will certainly be coming to you to be there with us to officiate. Let us know when you are in town next!Nov 5, 2014Verified
Michael Edward Ashland
- What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?I charge $300 for the wedding. Including when I am also present for the rehearsal, which I help to lead and make memorable, and at which I get to meet a lot of the family...sometimes grist for the mill for the ceremony. For those charges, I meet with the couple. Usually that's about an hour. Prepping and sending out the questionnaire to them 30 days before the ceremony. When I get the questionnaires back, I sit down and craft a ceremony and vows, which usually takes about a day I always bring a complete sound system to all weddings. DJ's and artists have been late or stuck somewhere, or the venue's sound system doesn't work...I'm always ready to go no matter what. And my system can work without power available, which works great for outdoor, beach, farm and forest events. I often handle the music for before and during many weddings. My system is Bluetooth capable so I can load any music I need and play it as needed during the ceremony. . After the wedding, I send the couple a complete copy of the ceremony and vows, along with copies of every note and email we've exchanges and copies of both of their questionnaire answers.. I've also supplied the odd things for special ceremonies...trees with soil and pot for organic unity ceremonies, bowls and bottles for sand ceremonies, ribbon and cord for handfasting, sake cups for San San Kudo ceremonies, broom for "Jumping the Broom..."
- What is your typical process for working with a new customer?I meet you and go over your plans and dreams, who's going to be at the wedding (I work pretty hard to make sure that everyone at the wedding leaves feeling you are authentically married), music, any needs for sound equip (which I bring to every wedding, just in case...), kids involvement, any creative ideas or wants. It usually takes less than an hour. In that time, we get to know for sure if this is a good fit! If we agree, it's a deal. I do not take a deposit. Payment is at the ceremony. It's a good idea to put it in the envelope with the license, since I will be completing the paperwork and sending it in. An important personal note: Are you planning on having what photographers are now calling "early reveal" photos of groom with bride in her wedding dress? If so, I want to tell you something from someone who's been standing at the foot of the aisle with thousands of grooms over the years...don't trade convenience for memories: the guests will be just fine. Adjust the schedule. For couples who don't follow the "old-fashioned" tradition of keeping the bride hidden from the groom until she enters the ceremony, I am not your minister. Standing alongside the grooms, the magic of those first moments of every wedding are incredibly moving and emotional. I'd say most of the grooms are in tears when they first glimpse their bride. And that goes for the guests and often for me, as well. That memory ranks right up there with the birth of children for many people. In the few dozen weddings in the last couple years where, for the first time, couples are posing for photographs for an hour or so before the wedding, that magic, that moment, is simply gone. For them, for that groom and that bride, they simply experience their wedding moment as one of hundreds that day. Another fabulous photographic opportunity. Few grooms come to tears. Guests--many of whom posed with the couple before the wedding--stand up when told, but the hush and gasps and oohs and ahhs are missing. Both bride and groom are tired from the photo posing. They're a little bedraggled, a bit sweaty. It's not magical. I officiate wedding ceremonies. I craft, with the questionnaire answers, a moving, personal emotional ceremony. It takes me many hours. Each one is different. I invest quite a lot in every couple. Because I believe a wedding ceremony is one of the most important, potent, memorable events in any couple's lives. Trading that moment for convenience is just a tragedy. When I first meet with couples the whole "early reveal" process comes up. Without lecturing, but simply sharing the emotion that I feel about weddings, I explain why I don't do those weddings. I acknowledge that they won't ever know what they're missing. Many times they change their minds, in which case I can tell you wholeheartedly that they are always incredibly grateful after the ceremony for me encouraging the change away from early reveal. I encourage you with the same commitment. I just can't do "early reveal" weddings.
- What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?Most of what changes is style and music, which I work hard to keep up with. But I also do quite a bit of research for most of my events. Between all faiths and religions there are many changes and developments to follow. For about half of my clients, religion is not important, but spirituality can be, as can the family and ethnic culture and traditions. So I am constantly updating, researching for events and bringing the latest style and information to whatever I do.