1. Introduction: What's your story?
Hello all. My name is Belinda Clifford, 5 star wedding officiant with Get Hitched Kwik. I felt called to become a wedding officiant in 2018 when my hours were cut at work. I prayed for help and the words, Marry People, came into my mind. I looked it up and sure as shootin' I found out about Wedding Officiants. I always thought that you had to get married by your minister or a judge, before that fateful night in August. I married my first couple in September of that year and have been going gang busters since! My story shows that it's best to listen to those tiny little voices that guide you.
2. What's your experience as a wedding officiant? How many weddings have your officiated?
I've had many great experiences as a wedding officiant. The biggest lesson I've learned is that you have to be flexible. I say everything runs on Bride Time. Couples and family members often say, "I bet you have never had anything like this happen!" I assure them that it's very normal for couples to forget the license and/or the rings on one of the most stressful days of their lives. I have learnt, after doing over 250 ceremonies, that it's all part of the job. A job that I love!
3. How far in advance do couples need to secure your services?
I suggest couples should book their officiant right after they book their venue. Face it, without the wedding officiant there to make it legal, you just have a big, expensive party! I live up to my business name, Get Hitched Kwik. I've done quite a few same day elopements. I'd like to think they are my specialty. Every ceremony is a joy to me, from 200 people to just 5, I find it a blessing to be able to make a couple's dream come true.
4. How would you describe your officiant style?
My style of officiating would be considered laid back and flexible. I try to be the calm in a storm of wedding day nerves. I'm also a bit of a comic. I love to make people laugh, even in what they might consider a disaster. One time a family's sand ceremony went south, sand everywhere! I simply said, "Life gets messy sometimes. Don't sweat the small stuff and tackle it as a family". The couple laughed and later said it was their favorite part of the ceremony.
5. What are your fees for officiating a wedding?
I believe getting married shouldn't put you in debt. You're starting out your new life together. The last thing you need is a stack of bills bogging you down. That's why I keep my fees reasonable. Most couples book my Short but Sweet ceremony. It starts at $120 if you come to Camp Verde or the City of Maricopa. Outside of Camp Verde or Maricopa, I add travel fees. My most expensive starts at $400, for a fully custom written love story that can include readings, prayers, costumes, or traditions of your choice. I also always provide proofs of your ceremony, so we can make any changes you might like.
6. What do you wear when you officiate a wedding?
My usually outfit, for officiating in, is a black pantsuit. I sometimes try to coordinate my jewelry to match the couples color palette or it's just black and white. I have shown up in a tee shirt and jeans for last minute elopements. I try to blend into the background. All attention should be on the couple at all times.
7. How many pre-wedding sessions will the couple need to have with you?
I don't require pre-wedding sessions. I'm available for unlimited contact by phone, text, email, social media, or through my website. I try and make everything as easy as possible. since the couples are under so much pressure.
8. Will you be able to create a personalized ceremony?
I LOVE writing personalized or custom ceremonies! Sitting in a quite corner and letting my creative juices flow is when I really feel like an officiant. Bringing their love story from first meeting to where we stand today, is pure joy. I send the couple a questionnaire, that they fill out separately, to learn the who, what, where, and when of their courtship. Then I put it all together into a moving, sometimes funny, ceremony script. I send the proof to the couple and wait for their feedback on it. I'm always excited to see how I did at capturing them. I've performed personal rituals such as, jumping the broom, sand blending, unity candle, handfasting, rope of 3 strands, cross ceremony, and the bible, coins and lasso ceremony. I'm always up to learning and performing other rituals and traditions the couple might request.
9. Are you available to travel if needed?
I travel all over the state of Arizona and Southern California to make couple's dreams come true. My poor van at the end of Sunday night looks like I've lived in it all weekend. The truth is, I HAVE! I average about 1500+ miles a month in travel. Traveling to weddings allows me to see parts of the Southwest I would never would have seen, if not for being an officiant. Adventure has become my middle name. From Williams to Tombstone and everywhere in between, if you need me, I'll be there.
10. What is your cancellation and/or refund policy?
If you cancel 30 days before your wedding date you get a full refund, less the $50 booking fee. If less then 30 days you get your travel charge refunded. As an officiant, I have already turned away couples for the date you booked and have spent time on writing your ceremony. Couples are always welcome to switch dates, instead of receiving a refund, but there is no guarantee that your new date will be available. I will work with couples to find a date that works for them or suggest another officiant that I trust to perform their ceremony if I'm not available.