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Frequently Asked Questions

Why should we hire you instead of asking a friend to marry us?

I am a professional and you will be able to relax in my presence. I am trained in storytelling and public speaking. I know what to expect, what questions to ask, and how to coordinate with other vendors. Couples who are not religious often think about hiring a friend or family member to marry them because religious leader equate to impersonal experiences for them and friends equate to a personal experience. With me you will be getting the personal experience because I am going to work with you to create the ceremony, but also the gravitas of a religious ceremony because I know how to hold that space, giving the ceremony a beginning middle and end that will flow seamlessly for you and your guests.

Are you qualified to legally marry couples?

Yes! I am ordained through the Universal Life Church Ministries which allows me to marry people  in most states. In Maine, I also have a Marriage Officiant License. Other New England states have special requirements for out of state clergy that I have to follow. You can read more about that on my blog post series about New England weddings and their legal requirements.

Do you work with LGBTQ+ couples?

Oh yeah! I'm holding down the G, personally, and got married myself before it was legal throughout the country. So I know that it can be a stressful experience building your team of wedding vendors with whom you feel safe. I didn't know about wedding celebrants at the time, so we ended up using a friend to officiate. I know a lot of other LGBTQ+ folks do, too. In my experience, I felt safe, but not necessarily grounded. Besides sharing some details about our relationship with her, we didn't know what she was going to say during the ceremony itself. When you work with me, you get to approve every word of the ceremony and we will go through a couple of drafts to make sure all parts of the ceremony feel grounded in your lives and in your relationship. You'll know what is coming so you can focus on being in the moment.

How do we obtain and handle the marriage license?

It's a fairly easy process. You can visit my blog post series on New England weddings for some more info by state, or feel free to reach out and ask me. We can cover that in your free consultation. You go to the town or city clerk's office in New England, sometimes any office, sometimes it has to be the town you'll be married in. You give that to me either at your rehearsal or before the ceremony on your wedding day. I will make sure it is all filled out correctly, obtaining witness signatures when required. Then it is my responsibility to mail that back into the town office, sometimes with paperwork of my own if I am marrying you outside of Maine. I generally snap a picture of myself mailing it off and send it to you to reassure you it has been mailed. That means you can party after your ceremony with your guests and not worry about losing that legal document. I'll take care of it!

Are there legal words we have to say during our wedding ceremony?

Nope! Not in any of the states that I have worked in or plan to work in. Canada does have some requirements like this, but not the United States. Not a fan of "who give this person to be married to this other person" property-related language? Me neither! Could do without the "to honor and obey" vows? I don't even offer them as an option when I provide vow samples. I have said in other areas of this site, you approve every word of your ceremony. There are no requirements from the government and though there may be a few things I don't feel comfortable saying and will let you know, you get to pick whatever language you want.

What is the process of working with you for a wedding?

We will set up a Zoom meeting that will allow us to get to know more about each other and see if we are a good fit. This is typically 30-45 minutes. I'll send you a proposal and contract after the meeting for you to sign. Once that is signed and you have paid the 50% deposit, I will send you your questionnaires. You can fill those out at any time from then on. I will nudge you to have them completed by two months before your ceremony date. We will then schedule another Zoom meeting to talk over details of your ceremony before I write the first draft. That draft will be completed and shared with you by one month before your date. We will share edits back and forth through the document until it is just right. By the week before your wedding, the ceremony script will be set and I will send out a cue sheet to your other vendors so they will be aware of the main elements of the ceremony. 

What is the process of working with you for a funeral or celebration of life?

We will have a brief phone conversation to go over what your needs are and you can ask questions about my process more in depth. If I believe I can help you, I will ask enough questions in that phone conversation to prepare me for an in-person meeting. If we decide to work together, I will send you a contract and proposal with payment options. Because of the amount of work that is generally done in a short amount of time, a signed contract and payment in full is required before the in-person meeting. The meeting will be with you and whomever you would like to join us in a place that is comfortable for you, typically your home. We will plan to spend 2 to 3 hours during which time you will tell me about your loved one so I can have the information needed to write their life story that will make up the core of the funeral/ceremony of life. We will talk through what other elements you would like and how we can structure everything together. I will leave and write the draft, sharing it with whomever you decide has draft approval. We can go back and forth to edit the ceremony as much as we need to to get it just right. You will know exactly what to expect on the day of the ceremony. 

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