1. Introduction: What's your story?
Woods + the Wild was born out of a desire to use my skill, experience, and expertise to serve couples and communities with thoughtful, meaningful ceremonies that are reflective of them!
I'm Candace Woods, a minister, sexuality educator, chaplain, relationship growth facilitator, and herbalist, and I love to use all of these parts of me to help people find intentionality and authenticity in their wedding ceremonies. I've got a Master's in Divinity, so training in ritual and meaning-making, as well as decades of journeying with people through delightful and difficult seasons of life.
2. What's your experience as a wedding officiant? How many weddings have your officiated?
I've been officiating weddings for 5 years now and have walked with over 60 couples through their ceremony planning processes! Whether folks are choosing a prewritten ceremony template for a small, Colorado elopement or we're doing multiple sessions of premarital counseling (what I like to call relationship growth facilitation), I work to bring my most professional and personable self to their day.
My couples comment on my warmth and ability to stay cool even when a wedding day is throwing curveballs. As a minister and chaplain, I'm also on hand to help ease anxious feelings or support a wound-up mother of the bride! With me as your officiant, you know you're getting a seasoned professional for ceremony development AND day-of ease of mind.
3. How far in advance do couples need to secure your services?
While I have couples who book me a year or more in advance, I also can sometimes accommodate last-minute additions to my schedule! Don't hesitate to reach out, regardless of how early or late you are to planning!
4. How would you describe your officiant style?
The ceremonies I craft are warm and intentional and move along without awkward transitions. I work with couples to identify their values and desires and then create custom ceremonies that reflect who THEY are, not what I think they should be.
While I am a progressive Christian minister, I enjoy secular ceremonies, weddings that bring in many traditions, and updating religious rituals to fit secular and spiritual but not religious couples.
I use a lot of nature-based language and metaphors in my writing style and work to find ways to help all gathered feel comfortable and included. I do like to incorporate a good laugh and light-heartedness in my ceremonies so that they feel sweet, personable, and authentic, and definitely not stuffy!
5. What are your fees for officiating a wedding?
My rates currently range from $275 for a simple elopement to $575 for a fully customized ceremony and the inclusion of a special herbal gift that I forage on the day of the wedding! My middle package is $475 and includes a rehearsal and customization. If financial constraints are present, I will work with Colorado Springs based couples to find an accessible price-point.
6. What do you wear when you officiate a wedding?
I wear simple and professional clothes that fit the ceremony site, season, and climate! When I'm working with a couple to customize a ceremony, I ask questions about their color scheme, level of formality, etc., so that I can find an outfit in my wedding wardrobe that will fit their ceremony. Whether we're hiking out to a private aspen grove for a simple outdoor elopement or doing a formal church wedding, I will look the part and fit the style of your wedding!
7. How many pre-wedding sessions will the couple need to have with you?
For customized ceremonies, I typically meet a couple only twice!
I offer a free 15-minute consultation before booking so that we can meet each other and see if we're a good fit. After that, one 60-90 minute session (which can be done virtually for out-of-town couples) is sufficient for me to get what I need to develop a ceremony that reflects the couple!
I do also offer relationship growth facilitation for couples who want to dig into their relationship either before or after they tie the knot.
8. Will you be able to create a personalized ceremony?
Absolutely. My philosophy is that my job isn't to tell people how to get married but to develop a ceremony that is reflective of them and their values.
9. Are you available to travel if needed?
I am absolutely open to traveling to officiate a wedding! I've officiated all over the state of Colorado and in other states! I love to travel, hike, and explore, so whether we're off-roading in a Jeep to a remote mountain top or flying off to a tropical island, I am prepared to journey with you!
10. What is your cancellation and/or refund policy?
If communicated in writing 14 days prior to the ceremony date, a refund of all fees excluding the non-refundable $100 deposit will be refunded. If for some reason I am unable to make a ceremony, due to sickness or travel issues, I work hard to find a replacement for myself (I have a broad network of officiants in the state of Colorado and elsewhere), or else I give a full refund.