How much advance notice do you need to hold a wedding date?
We have done weddings on the same day as the request within hours (Couples having officiant cancel at the last minute due to illness, emergency or a no show officiant) We suggest you book an officiant as soon as possible to hold your date to alleviate last minute stress.
Do you require a deposit to hold the wedding date?
We require a $75.00 non-refundable deposit that is applied toward the balance of your ceremony. We accept cash, check, credit cards, and PayPal. Please do not send any money unless we have confirmed that we can do your wedding as we may have other weddings pending on the same date as your inquiry.
Can we meet with you before we decide?
Yes. If desired we offer a one time free consultation at our home in Kalamazoo, MI. We can also do a Skype meeting, Face Time, Google Hangouts, or phone consultation. Many couples with busy lives are also preferring to just work by e-mail or phone. Consultations usually last 30 to 45 minutes. E-mail and phone contacts are unlimited.
What can I expect from a wedding rehearsal if I decide to have one?
By holding a wedding rehearsal, the couple gives their family, wedding party and themselves a chance to understand their role in the big day without stressing. Our officiants can guide you & your party through a traditional (or non-traditional) processional, go through the main steps of your ceremony (we don't advise rehearsing lines as we believe it takes away from your actual wedding day), cuing of music if applicable, placement of any ceremonial items, the recessional and go over any final details.
Note: Some officiants will just show up for your rehearsal and expect you or a wedding planner to take charge. Make sure you inquire what you will be getting when shopping for an officiant.
The rehearsal usually takes no longer than 40 minutes depending on the size and timeliness of the group. We are available for an hour. We also offer a FREE rehearsal guide for couples that may want to do their own.
Do you attend the rehearsal dinner or the reception afterwards?
Although we have always appreciated being invited, we do not.
Can I write my own ceremony and vows?
Yes. We have several scripting ideas you can look at and welcome your own ideas as well. You may also review your script and make any changes before it is finalized.
What days are you available?
We are available 7 days a week. Morning and evening.
How long is the actual wedding ceremony?
Most ceremonies average from 15 to 25 minutes. We can make the ceremony as short or long as you like.
Do you require premarital counseling?
No. But we do recommend a book called The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman (A New York Times Bestseller) Great advice for keeping your love alive throughout the years. Great advice also for individuals that have been married before. It is an easy read and you can buy it on Amazon new or used at a low cost. We can also recommend a marriage counselor.
How long have you been officiating weddings? Since 2004. We have officiated hundreds of weddings. You can check out many of our reviews on weddingwire.com
What type of weddings have you done?
Our experience includes theme based weddings, vow renewals, military weddings, inter-faith, single faith, civil, non-religious, spiritual, outdoor weddings (all seasons), several wedding rituals (i.e. sand ceremony, unity candle, ceremony of roses, love lock, hand-fasting, wine ceremony, love letter wine box ceremony, tree planting and more) We have scripting for them and welcome your own ideas.
Are you animal friendly?
Yes, we love animals! We have had dogs and horses in our wedding ceremonies and even had dogs in the wedding party as best man and ring bearer. Tami used to work as a veterinary assistant and we all enjoy and welcome any kind of pets.
What does the officiant wear?
Normally a black suit or dress. We can dress in something more casual or theme based if desired.
Who will take care of my legal paper work after the ceremony?
We take care of mailing in your finalized marriage certificate so it is one less thing to worry about on your big day. We will give you a copy of your signed marriage license (usually has a gold seal) with a keepsake copy of your wedding ceremony.
Does my ceremony have to be legal?
No. Ceremonies can be performed for couples that do not need or want a legal contract. (Some have already been legally married but want a ceremony for family & friends, waiting for paperwork, others want a commitment ceremony, vow renewal, etc.)
How do I apply for a marriage license in Michigan?
If you are a Michigan resident you need to get your license in the county in which either you or your future spouse reside. The license can be used anywhere in the state. If you are NOT a Michigan resident, you must obtain your license in the county where you wish to be married.
Note: Your marriage license is valid for 33 days from the first day after the date of application. By law you can NOT apply any sooner than 33 days before your ceremony.We suggest you mark your calender a month ahead of time as a reminder to apply for your marriage certificate so as not to add to last minute stress.
How much does it cost to get a marriage license?
$20 for Michigan residents, and $30 for non-residents
How long does it take to get a marriage license in Michigan?
Three days after application. If application is made on Monday, the license can be picked up on Thursday. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday applications can be received on Monday.
Do both people have to come to apply for the marriage license?
No. If only one applicant is present, however, be sure to bring all the required information for you and for the other person. That information usually includes:
*Applicants full name and birth date and place of birth (you may possibly need a copy of a birth certificate) and County of residence.
*Mother's full maiden name (first, middle, last)
* Father's full name (first, middle, last)*Birth place of mother and father (State and Country)
*Social Security number
*Photocopy of drivers license (front and back if address change), passport or, military ID or other acceptable ID.
Most county court houses are open M-F and usually take applications up till 4:00. We suggest you make an appointment and confirm what you need to bring. You do NOT need a blood test to get married in Michigan. You can also call the country clerks office to find out how to do everything by mail and some counties like Kent (Grand Rapids area) allow you apply online) For a list of Michigan County Clerks offices :County Clerks Offices
Do we need a witness for our ceremony? By law it is required that you have 2 witnesses over the age of 18 in the state of Michigan. If you are getting married in Indiana you do not need witnesses. If you are having an intimate ceremony, one of us can can be a witness and we may also be able to provide another witness by request.
What is your customer cancellation and satisfaction policy?
We will not refund deposits; however, we will transfer the deposit to a new wedding date if given at least 90 days notice and have the availability. We request half of the payment of the wedding in the event of a cancellation if less than 30 days notice for the work that we have done and because we have usually have turned away other business to save your date. We stand behind our work, and would be willing to discuss any dissatisfaction or hardship.
Do you have a back up officiant?
We usually have each other as a back up and have access to other officiants in the event of an emergency.
“Happy marriages begin when we marry the ones we love, and they blossom when we love the ones we marry.” ~Tom Mullen
What is a wedding officiant?
The person who performs the actual ceremony and makes your wedding legal is a wedding officiant. The person who officiates a wedding may also be called: minister, wedding minister, reverend, Justice of the Peace, wedding officiator, marriage officiator, marriage minister, marriage officiant, marriage official, wedding clergy, marriage clergy, wedding celebrant, marriage celebrant, wedding officiate, Justice of the Peace, pastor, and civil officiant.
love contains respect. In my tradition, husband and wife are expected
to respect each other like guests, and when you practice this kind of
respect, your love and happiness will continue for a long time."
~Thich Nhat Hanh
Earthound Weddings 2017