1. Introduction: What's your story?
Hello, I'm Katherine Hunter and I've been a Humanist Celebrant and wedding officiant since 2017. I was drawn to this work because it makes use of my curiosity about people and cultures, my writing skills, comfort with public speaking, and my tendency to sweat the small stuff. My couples usually are looking to express something very important to them and about them during their wedding ceremony, and mostly in non-religious ways. They're less traditional and more invested in what is personally meaningful for them. Working with my couples, we come up with a framework, and I help them capture what is unique about them as individuals and as a couple.
2. What's your experience as a wedding officiant? How many weddings have your officiated?
163 or so.
3. How far in advance do couples need to secure your services?
It depends on which service they're interested in. My Signature Ceremony Service requires the most lead time - ideally I have an initial meeting with couples at least four months before their wedding date. Although in certain circumstances I've been able to deliver this service in much less time, it's best when we don't need to rush.
For my Elopement Service, I often begin working with a couple six to four weeks before their wedding day, although that has sometimes been shortened too.
In principle, I could help a couple with a simple License Signing on a day's notice, if they already have their marriage license. Usually they need some guidance on obtaining the marriage license though.
4. How would you describe your officiant style?
I would say that my style is serious but includes a touch of light humor when the couple wants that. The meaning that each couple brings to their marriage is what I find exciting and beautiful and worth celebrating, and that deep meaning is profoundly serious. It's very important to me when I'm standing with a couple in front of their guests that every word I speak feels genuine for both the couple and myself. Even if I'm discussing a belief the couple holds that I might not share, I look for ways to express that in a truthful manner. Early on I tried using scripts or even other people's words in a ceremony, and it felt very awkward to me, as though I was misrepresenting myself. I can't serve a couple by misrepresenting them.
In the lead up to the wedding day, my style in working with my couples is meticulous. I don't want to be solving problems on their wedding day, and still less do I want THEM to have to solve any problems. So my approach is to think of absolutely everything, and prepare for it, so that any problems are headed off before they can come up.
5. What are your fees for officiating a wedding?
The fee for my Signature Ceremony Service begins at $975, for Elopements at $450, and License Signings at $150.
6. What do you wear when you officiate a wedding?
I wear black or dark grey to officiate. I'm not a minister, so I don't wear anything that would suggest a religious affiliation. I have a few dresses, as well as pant and top sets. I aim to present a professional and polished but subdued appearance. I shouldn't be the focus of attention, and I never want to outshine any member of the wedding party or guest. You can see what I wear in the images on my profile.
7. How many pre-wedding sessions will the couple need to have with you?
At least two. My initial discovery call lasts a bit longer than an hour. After couples book me, we can meet at any time by their request, or communicate through email as they prefer. When couples book me for dates that are more than nine months away, I always suggest a checking-in meeting about 5 months before their wedding date.
And I always have a Virtual Rehearsal with my couples about ten days before their wedding. In this meeting we go over their custom ceremony to check any unresolved issues, and think through every detail. I explain the marriage license and the legal issues, prepare them for their physical rehearsal, and provide many tips for their wedding day.
8. Will you be able to create a personalized ceremony?
Yes, that's precisely what I do! All my ceremonies are personalized. I don't use a generic script because I've yet to meet a generic couple. When couples choose to include a unity ritual or other special element, it's because it's something that resonates with them. While I provide couples with a library of resources with many examples of cultural elements and other ceremony additions, I don't encourage couples to include a ritual just for the sake of it.
9. Are you available to travel if needed?
10. What is your cancellation and/or refund policy?
A non-refundable retainer of 50% of all services is required to book my Signature Ceremony Service. For Elopements, the retainer is 100% of the fee. If the couple needs to reschedule, they may do so without penalty for any date that I'm available. However, if they cancel outright, there is no refund.