Although I am not currently officiating ceremonies myself, I am still writing ceremonies for other individuals to officiate. My clients are the couple getting married, amateur officiants, and professional colleagues. They come to me for a variety of reasons. In all cases, I am delighted to be of assistance in this limited, but crucial role.
Couples generally seek my writing services when they find themselves responsible for putting together their own ceremony, but haven't a clue how to begin. They may be using a friend or family member to officiate their ceremony, or as in the case of one particular state, not need an officiant at all.
Sometimes they have an idea of what they want and have cut and pasted a rough draft from sample ceremonies they have found on the internet, in magazines, or in books. They simply need someone to put it all together in a ritually meaningful way and perhaps add some personalized touches.
Most couples prefer to place the entire writing process in my hands. I may interview them in a telephone consultation or they can simply fill out an easy questionnaire via email. I send a draft of their personalized ceremony based upon their responses. We exchange a few emails to make any changes necessary for the ceremony to be absolutely perfect for them.
On occasion I have been retained to write a single element in a wedding. The couple has a fantastic idea for a ritual they would like to create using symbols that are personally meaningful to them...but it doesn't exist yet.
Prices for writing a ceremony, or portions of a ceremony, depend upon the amount of work involved. The writing fee is quoted and billed up front. No hidden or added costs involved at all.
It is less common for a professional officiant to contact me, but it does happen. I have written a ceremony for an officiant who booked a wedding two weeks out just before going on a one week vacation. She was worried she wouldn't have the proper time to invest in writing a good quality ceremony. I have written ceremonies for another officiant when his couple specifically asked him to use one of mine. Most of the professional officiants who have sought my assistance are looking for help with customized rituals for clients with unusual or uncommon requests. I am more than happy to pitch in if necessary.
After the couples themselves, these are the folks I hear from the most. Uncle Joe got ordained on-line in order to officiate his favorite niece's wedding...and readily admits he doesn't know one thing about weddings. Great personality, wonderful public speaker, knows the couple intimately, but he's nothing close to being a ritual specialist.
In these cases, I bring Uncle Joe and the couple together into the loop and we work as a team to put together a lovely and meaningful ceremony. My writing fees are the same as when I am initially contacted by the couple.
Header: Shannon Perez of Florida Beachside Weddings, Officiant: Mr. Paul Cummins
Right: Brian and Dominika Davis Photography
Coaching and Mentoring
I offer an additional service for those friends and family members who want to officiate a wedding, but are not ordained clergy or experienced professionals.
I provide one or two half-hour coaching sessions either in person or over the phone. I prepare the individual for the realities of officiating a wedding and share some tips and tricks of the trade. This can include guidance in preparing the ceremony, what to expect when on-site at the wedding, public speaking advice, critical information regarding the Florida marriage license process, and more.
$50 per phone coaching session.
$75 per personal coaching session.
Mentoring is a bit different from coaching as it is designed to assist individuals seeking to enter the profession or experienced professionals who want to improve their skills.
This relationship extends over a period of time and may include email exchanges, phone calls, personal meetings, role playing, and on--the-job training, coaching, and feedback. Mentoring can cover every aspect of professional officiating including marketing, record keeping, consultations, marketing, writing skills, public speaking, care giving, professional ethics, common problem solving, or focus on a specific area the individual wishes to improve upon.
Because mentoring is tailored to the individual's needs, the cost of this service is determined in a consultation with the officiant or officiant candidate.
You may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquiry about my writing or coaching services.