Frequently Asked Questions

How long have you been performing weddings?
We have been in business for over 15 years and have performed nearly 5,000  weddings for couples all over the area.
Where do you perform weddings?
Our service area is always growing as we add more fabulous officiants to our team. Currently we serve Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, Delaware, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, California, New Jersey and New York. For more information see our full list of locations.
Who are you ordained by and where is your church?
All of our wedding officiants are non-denominational ministers ordained through the Universal Life Church, which is based in Modesto, California. Some of our officiants also hold additional ordinations from other seminaries and ministries such as: United Church of Christ, Church of Spiritual Humanism, All Faiths Seminary International, One Spirit Interfaith Seminary, Pennsylvania Interfaith Ministry, World Christianship Ministries, Divine Transformation Ministries, and our local congregation: Soul Community Church where we host monthly and holiday services.
Can we personalize our ceremony?
Yes – in fact, we insist on it! Your officiant will ask you questions and get to know you so they can draft a ceremony that is reflective of your personalities, beliefs, and relationship. After the draft is complete, your officiant will email you a copy for you to edit if you wish to do so. We want your ceremony to be just right, and are happy to work with you on the draft until it’s perfect.
My fiance(e) and I come from two different religious backgrounds. Are you able to help us?
Interfaith wedding ceremonies are one of the things we do best, and we can create a customized ceremony for you that blends your religious traditions while remaining true to both.
We would like to have a religious wedding ceremony, are you able to do that?
Yes, all of our wedding officiants are ordained, non-denominational ministers and perform both religious and secular ceremonies.
I don’t want to mention (God, religion, anything spiritual, etc.) in my ceremony. Is that okay?
Definitely! While our wedding officiants are non-denominational ministers, we are happy to work with you to create a custom ceremony that is authentic to you and your beliefs, whatever they may be.
Can we involve children in the ceremony?
Of course! Check out our Wedding Ceremony Ideas page for examples that go beyond the traditional flower girl and ring bearer roles.
Do you perform same sex weddings?
Yes! We work with LGBTQ couples almost every week and are happy to marry any couple who wants to tie the knot. For more information, check out our LGBTQ weddings page.
How do we book you?
Simply contact us to check our availability for your date. Once you are ready to speak to an officiant, we will match you with someone on our team based on the information you’ve given, and send you a digital contract. We’ll hold your wedding date for 10 days while you have a chance to speak with the officiant and make a decision. To book your officiant, simply sign the digital contract and make a 50% deposit and you’re all set!
If you are interested in an elopement instead of a full wedding ceremony the process is slightly different. Since Elopements are a more simplified version of a traditional wedding ceremony and are typically booked on a shorter term, payment is due in full at the time of booking. For Elopements you are assigned an officiant based on availability and once you confirm you are ready to receive a contract, dates are held for 48 hours.
When is my final payment due?
The 50% balance payment is due no later than 30 days prior to the wedding date. However, when booking less than 30 days before your wedding, or when booking an elopement, payment is due in full at the time of booking.
How much do you charge?
Our weekend rates depend on the date and location of each wedding, and typically start around $500 for a traditional wedding ceremony. Additional information on pricing and our services is available on our wedding officiant prices page. To get an exact quote for your wedding, simply contact us to check our availability.
Do you charge separate travel fees?
No, all travel is included in our package price. However, if you have selected a venue that does not offer free parking you are responsible for either validating or paying for your officiant’s parking. For destination weddings and wedding outside our service area, overnight accommodations may also be required.
What if I have to change my start time or wedding date?
While we try to be as flexible as possible in accommodating changes, we cannot guarantee our availability for a date or time change. Please let us know as soon as possible if you plan to change your wedding date or time so we can try to find a solution for you.
Will you come to our wedding rehearsal?
Yes, for an additional fee, provided one of our officiants is available. We contract ceremony rehearsals separately from weddings because most couples don’t want (or need) our officiant at the rehearsal. At a wedding rehearsal you are simply practicing walking in and walking out, but not the ceremony itself. We offer all of our couples a free guide to coordinating your own wedding rehearsal, which outlines a few simple steps that everyone can understand.
If I still want you to do my rehearsal can I book it now?
If your rehearsal is Monday-Thursday then you can sign the additional rehearsal contract at any time. Weekend rehearsals are booked closer to the wedding based on our availability, and may be performed by a different officiant on our team if necessary. For more information about booking us for a ceremony rehearsal please email us at info@ceremonyofficiants.com.
Do you allow pictures during the ceremony?
Yes, of course! We have heard that some ministers can be touchy about when and how pictures are taken during the ceremony, but all of our wedding officiants are happy to work with your other vendors. Your photographer and videographer can shoot whenever and however they would like.
My friend wants to marry us. Is that legal?
It depends on where you are getting married, some states and counties are more strict about their marriage laws than others. Obviously we would encourage you to hire a professional wedding officiant, we perform several weddings every year for couples who had a friend realize they weren’t up to the task and “chicken out” a week before their wedding. We are happy to help in these types of circumstances as long as we have availability. You should obviously do your research and make sure you feel comfortable taking a chance using any non-professional vendor for your wedding – any wedding pro will tell you it’s not as easy as it looks! If you are in a situation where you need an officiant very quickly, please contact us here or call our toll-free number at 800-721-VOWS.
We’re already legally married (but no one knows). Can you still perform a ceremony?
Yes, we do this for a lot of couples each year, especially military couples. It is illegal to perform a “fake wedding ceremony”, so we simply need to see a copy of your marriage license before the wedding. No one will know the difference, unless you choose to tell them!
We want to get married but don’t want to do a big wedding, or just go to the courthouse. What are our options?
We have several options available depending on where you would like to be married, from in-home ceremonies to outdoor elopements. Please contact us and let us know you are interested in something simple, and we can help with a few ideas!
Do you stay for the reception?
Each of our couples choose whether to invite their officiant and spouse/guest to the reception, it is certainly not required. If you would like to invite your officiant to the reception, please extend a formal invitation to them directly and they will let you know if it’s possible for them to stay.
I know we tip other vendors, but what about the officiant?
Gratuities are never expected, but are always appreciated.
All of this sounds great! How can we move forward with booking you for our wedding?
Please fill out the form on our contact page to check our availability for your wedding date, and we will get right back to you!
What if I have another question you haven’t answered here?
That’s an easy one! Email us at info@ceremonyofficiants.com or call us at 800-721-VOWS and we will be happy to answer any question you may have. We look forward to hearing from you!