JD Prendergast

Spokane, WA

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About this pro

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

I enjoy a great story, hence my interests in reading books, attending a performance, and watching movies. Meeting a couple and getting to know them is very much like a great story ~ except the story is real. And when I am asked to help them celebrate their love for each other, I feel like I get to play a small role in their life long story. It's like being present when an author writes a new chapter, being on set when a movie is being made, or watching actors from backstage ~ it's a special privilege that few people get to experience. But it's even more than being a spectator, it's like I get to have a part in it and be a witness to history at the same time. And as I stand with the two of them in front of me, each declaring their love for each other and pledging their lives to each other, I get to be a witness to a miracle. For something changes in both of them ~ in an instant their relationship takes on a whole new meaning and is forever changed. And being right there as it happens is better than any book, play, or movie. That's what I enjoy most about officiating a wedding.
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Location

Spokane, WA 99205

Background check

Complete

Years in business

5

Number of employees

1

Times hired on Thumbtack

2

Reviews

2 Reviews
  • Amanda B. Sep 6, 2015
    Wedding Officiant
    Verified Review
    Doug was more than we could have imagined! He was available anytime we had questions and was willing to meet even at last minute! Very professional! Offered support for those wedding day jitters! Was such a great help the day of the wedding!! I would highly recommend him to anyone needing an officiate for their wedding and looking for some who is professional,outstanding above will go above and beyond without being asked!
  • Jean-Pierre C. Sep 4, 2014
    Wedding Officiant
    Verified Review
    My fiancée and I were in search of a good fit for our impromptu elopement-style wedding. We were looking for someone who was kind, down-to-earth, and generally not stuffy. Doug was that and so very much more. We were working with an incredibly limited time frame and Doug devoted all of his time to us and was with us every step of the way. Doug's initial reply to our request was very kind and personalized and didn't feel at all cookie-cutter like so many other officiant services we had looked at. We had a very positive first impression. Doug wrote a ceremony script for us that was built around the event we had initially planned out and included beautiful quotes and poems that were relevant. The script itself was entirely customized for us and he was fantastic about getting our feedback and modifying the script as we desired. Doug was incredibly flexible and even collaborated with us via Skype since we didn't have time to meet face-to-face beforehand. On the day of, the weather had not been kind and we had to cancel our main event about two hours before it took place. My fiancée and I didn't have a contingency plan and the wedding party was only immediate family so we decided to have a cozy wedding in our home. This is where Doug completely transformed our wedding... Doug arrived with an alternate ceremony script, which was spot-on, in the event our main plan fell through. Doug had even packed his car with an arch, white Christmas-style lights, candles, and the works just in case. He helped set everything up in our backyard and was so incredibly friendly and kind the entire time. We had a more beautiful wedding than we could have ever imagined and the ceremony was perfect, all thanks to Doug. My family and I enjoyed every moment and Doug even offered us a personalized gift to commemorate the wedding. Wow! Doug went way beyond our expectations in every possible way. We insisted that Doug dine with us afterwards and we had a fantastic time. Doug is one of the nicest, most genuine people I've ever met and my wife and I are so blessed he was able to officiate our wedding. Even though Doug came in as our officiator, he left our home as a very dear friend and kindred spirit and I feel that we all made a very special connection. My family absolutely adored him too. If I had to go back and do it all over again, I would choose Doug in a heartbeat. It is my honor to give Doug the highest rating available. Doug, if you are reading this - I honestly can't thank you enough for everything. You are the best and everyone out there needs to know it! Thank you again and again! PS - We haven't forgotten about your book either. Always remember: when, not if! :) I still can't wait to see it! Please keep in touch! Sincerely, JP and Alaina Married 6-28-14

Q&A

What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
My pricing is simple. Yet for some people, it can seem complicated and maybe it's because I do things differently than other officiants. The honorarium (fee) is all inclusive and is also flexible. What this means is whether you choose to have me read a pre-written script or ask me to craft a ceremony completely from scratch the price is still the same. Whether I only officiate or also help set up chairs a few hours before the wedding and sweep the floors afterwards it's the same price. And as far as flexibility goes I can suggest an honorarium I think is fair. If, however, you feel it's not fair or isn't affordable we can negotiate what we think is fair and more affordable. And in the end, if you feel my efforts and service are undervalued I will happily accept more than we agreed upon. I think it's quite simple actually. Perhaps this method is unusual but I don't think it's complicated. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask!
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I am a chaplain and this means I serve people of all faiths and backgrounds, not just my own. My father and step-mother are Roman Catholic. My mother is an Evangelical Christian. While some people see this as a major conflict I feel blessed for having experienced both traditions. After I joined the military and traveled around, I allowed myself to experience the traditions of other faiths as well ~ including Islam and Buddhism. Eventually, I experienced Judaism and became a convert. I love my faith so much that I studied and become a rabbi. But, as I frequently say to people, it's not about my beliefs ~ it's all about yours. This is your wedding and your ceremony, not mine! My purpose is to serve as a witness to your marriage and help you celebrate it in the ways that are most meaningful to you ~ whether those are ancient traditions or something more modern... or traditions unique only to yourselves.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
In March 2011, close friends of mine asked me to officiate their wedding. I was extremely honored and at the same time extremely nervous. If I hadn't already known them I probably wouldn't have officiated their wedding. I wanted their special day to be perfect and the last thing I wanted to do was goof it up! You see, I had never officiated a wedding before but they both insisted on me being there for them. How could I refuse? Since same sex marriages were still fairly new and only legal in a few states at that time there wasn't a whole lot of information about an appropriate ceremony for the two of them. So, we had to be creative and researched a lot of wedding customs, ceremonies, and scripts. With their help and my passion for storytelling, a beautiful ceremony was crafted. I was able to give my friends a unique wedding gift ~ a custom crafted script and ceremony! After that I officiated about a dozen other weddings for friends and acquaintances. I really enjoyed writing a custom ceremony for each of them. Then another friend asked me a pointed question. "It's obvious to me you enjoy you enjoy doing weddings so why aren't you doing something more about it?" I wondered what he meant by "doing something more about it" and it was suggested I put together a small website and market my services to the public. So, I did. At first, I was nervous. When I officiated before it was always for someone I've already known about. This familiarity helped keep all the nerves calmer. But now I would be meeting relative strangers and I wasn't sure if I'd still enjoy officiating weddings. Having a connection with the couple is a huge part of the ceremony and I wondered if I would still be able to make those connections with those I am meeting for the first time. I decided to give myself a year to find out. That was back in May 2012 ~ and I still enjoy officiating weddings! I love collaborating with couples and coming up with ideas that perfectly fit their ceremony. Every couple is different and their expression of love for each other is unique. That's why I continue creating custom-made ceremonies ~ no fill-in-the-blank type ceremony from me! And that's my gift for the two of you. There are certain ingredients that make a ceremony special and those can truly set the mood for that special moment, for the reception, the entire day, and even possibly through the honeymoon. I strive to bring a unique personal touch to every wedding I officiate and to do my best to make your day a wonderful lifetime memory. My hope is we connect well so that by the time your wedding day arrives, it should feel as if we have known each other for a long time.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Don't be afraid to ask for what you want. Often enough I meet couples that want a particular thing but for whatever reason don't ask for it right away. Sometimes they'll tell me that they wanted to ask, but they didn't want to be a burden or appear demanding. Other times I've been told that they thought if they asked for what they really wanted it would cost more money and they really couldn't afford to pay more. And while all of these points are valid, and depending on the particular officiant it could actually be the case, you won't know until you ask. I try my best to listen to not only the words that are coming from a couple but also to what isn't being said. Sometimes I'm very good at figuring out what a couple is trying to ask for without actually asking for it and this helps me serve them better. But sometimes I can't figure it out and only learn about it after it's too late to do much about it. And maybe I shouldn't care so much, but I do. So, please, just ask. I can't speak for other officiants but you can ask me anything. If it's within my ability I'll do it. I love writing, so if you want help writing vows or want a custom ceremony I can do that. And it doesn't cost extra. When you hire me I'm offering all of me. Not just my time but all my talent too. Need a hand decorating? Need music arranged? Need an extra person to set up or put away tables and chairs? Simply ask. I certainly don't mind being of service to you.