10 Questions with Ellen Gardner-Cook

Living Grace Pastoral Services

Officiant - Ellen Gardner-Cook

10 Questions with Ellen Gardner-Cook

1. Introduction: What's your story?

My name is Ellen Gardner-Cook. I am the owner of Living Grace Pastoral Services is n Jefferson, Georgia. I’ve been married to my wonderful husband for 32 years and I have a heart for helping couples with their relationships. I graduated from seminary at Emory University with my master degree. This year I graduated from Liberty University with my Doctor of Ministry in pastoral care.

During the week I serve as a healthcare chaplain. Before I went into ministry I was a wedding photographer and loved being part of the wedding day. I have a heart for people so I always want the wedding day to be as beautiful as the bride.

2. What's your experience as a wedding officiant? How many weddings have your officiated?

I have done many weddings and vow renewals through the years. I used to be a wedding photographer until I went to seminary. I know the pitfalls that can happen in the wedding day and the things that can make the day run smoothly.

3. How far in advance do couples need to secure your services?

As soon as you book your venue you should start booking your officiant. Aside from the bride or groom, the officiant is the one person you can’t do without on the wedding day.

4. How would you describe your officiant style?

I try to match my style to the style of the couple. As a chaplain it’s not my goal to push my faith or an agenda on my clients. I take the same approach with my wedding couples. I get to know them and match their vision that they have for their ceremony.

5. What are your fees for officiating a wedding?

Our fees range from $400 to $800 for ceremonies depending on the specific elements chosen by the couple.

6. What do you wear when you officiate a wedding?

It depends on what the couple wants.
I can wear my ministerial robe with my clergy stole. I can wear a dress or even jeans.

7. How many pre-wedding sessions will the couple need to have with you?

We can have 1-2 in person consultations and as many email and phone consultations as needed.

8. Will you be able to create a personalized ceremony?

Absolutely. That’s why I like to get know the couple. It helps me understand who they are, what their style is, and what their dream is for the wedding day. How do they want to feel as they stand together taking their vows? What images to they have in their mind’s eye when they imagine the ceremony. All those concepts help me design a custom ceremony.

9. Are you available to travel if needed?

Yes. We are glad to travel and can discuss expenses at the consultation.

10. What is your cancellation and/or refund policy?

We require a 50% non-refundable deposit to reserve your date.



WeddingRule Editor’s Choice 2022