1. Introduction: What's your story?
I was a paralegal for 35 years, occasionally using my Florida Notary to marry friends and acquaintances but in 2008, during Florida's residential mortgage crash, I lost my paralegal job and was forced to "reinvent." I began collecting ceremony wording suggestions and ideas and began officiating weddings full time. I absolutely love hearing love stories, working with and providing ideas and suggestions to help my couples have a meaningful and unique ceremony experience.
I believe my paralegal background of writing and research help put together a smooth flowing and expressive service.
I thoroughly enjoyed my career as a paralegal but the happiness and love I get to enjoy as a wedding officiant is delightful and heartwarming.
When not officiating weddings, I make paper flowers and succulents and spend time with my family.
2. What's your experience as a wedding officiant? How many weddings have your officiated?
I am right around the "500 weddings officiated" mark. In 12 years I have done a combination of large traditional weddings and intimate elopements. This past year, thanks to Covid, has required a new "micro" wedding with reduced guest lists. All have been special to me and I try to help make each ceremony unique. If a couple is shy or inexperienced, I have wording suggestions that keep their ceremony sweet and simple. For couples wanting to fully participate in making their ceremony as meaningful and unique as possible, I assist with suggestions for symbolization or traditions special to them, their families or their culture.
3. How far in advance do couples need to secure your services?
Anywhere from a year to a day! LOL
4. How would you describe your officiant style?
I love to work with couples who really want to be involved in creating their own special ceremony but have also put together some sweet, simple ceremonies for couples not quite so involved. I hope my "style" is loving, practical and helpful. Most of all my "style" is to be accepting, supportive and encouraging to any and all who desire a ceremony that will celebrate their commitment and love.
5. What are your fees for officiating a wedding?
Range from $100 to $300.
6. What do you wear when you officiate a wedding?
Black, grey or navy simple dress. Occasionally when weather if cold, black dress pants. Am always cooperative if couples have a specific request.
7. How many pre-wedding sessions will the couple need to have with you?
I like to have at least 1 face-to-face meeting and then unlimited email, phone and meeting support. I have many couples coming to Florida for a destination wedding so phone conferences and video chats are common. Most communication is done through email and phone conferences after the initial face-to-face but I am available to meet in person whenever a couple needs that. I do a lot of ceremonies for couples coming to Florida from a distance that doesn't allow for an in-person meeting so a Zoom conference call is always available, especially this past year with Covid.
8. Will you be able to create a personalized ceremony?
Definitely! I love adding in personalization for any couple. I have experience with most of the traditional and popular additions, such as sand, handfasting, wine and love letter box, unity candle, etc. I also try to be mindful of anything that can be incorporated if there are ethnic or cultural rituals important to the couple. When there are blended families I have suggestions on how to include children. Sometimes, unfortunately, couples have suffered a loss of a beloved family member so I frequently make suggestions on how to honor or include them with a sweet remembrance or moment of silence.
I believe my paralegal background helps me to write and to research elements that help my couples make their ceremony as memorable and meaningful as possible.
9. Are you available to travel if needed?
10. What is your cancellation and/or refund policy?
I generally collect a $50 non-refundable deposit to reserve the wedding & rehearsal dates. I don't typically keep anything beyond the deposit if a couple cancels unless I have put in a lot of time with meetings or drafting the ceremony.