10 Questions with Stephen

WeddingRule Interviewed one of the most popular and highly sought-after wedding officiants in Texas, Stephen of I Do Ceremonies. Austin based Stephen is the founder and owner of I Do Ceremonies.

I Do Ceremonies

Officiant - Stephen

10 Questions with Stephen

1. Introduction: What's your story?

Hi, my name is Stephen Simmons and I officiated my first wedding in 2005 after I was ordained. I have been married since 1990 to my best friend, my treasure, my beloved – Tricia. I have two beautiful daughters and I love the journey of life with my best friend and family at my side!! My desire is that every couple will have a marriage that brings them the joy and pleasure my marriage has brought me.

I love performing wedding ceremonies because it is one of the top 3 or 4 highlights in most people’s lives. The day you get engaged is exciting, but the day you say “I Do” should be one of the most exciting and memorable moments of your life. I enjoy listening to a couple’s love story and working with them to create a wedding ceremony that will be memorable and enjoyed each time they look back at the moment.

Since your wedding day is such a special occasion, I strive to create the ceremony each couple desires it to be. I customize every ceremony for every couple, bringing your family and friends into the moment, and performing a ceremony that everyone will remember and enjoy. I never just “show up” and perform a “canned” ceremony. So whether your are looking for a fun ceremony, a spiritual or traditional ceremony, or a combination of tears and laughter, I desire to make your ceremony all you dreamed it would be. Together, we will make your dream a reality!

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

I officiated my first wedding in 2005, since then I’ve created over 1000 ceremonies and I’ve never performed the ceremony twice. As an Officiant, you are the first person all of the guests hear and help set the tone for the celebration. I enjoy telling the "love story" and making the ceremony personal and all about the couple and their love.

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

I recommend couples book their Officiant as soon as they secure a date. The Officiant is the only service provider required for a couple to get married here in Texas. Some couples book a year or more in advance, others decide to elope and contact me to marry them the day they reached out to me.

4. How would you describe your officiant style?

I have found that couples generally are looking for either a "formal/traditional" ceremony, or one that includes some humor or ways to help the couple relax and their guests to enjoy the celebration. In most cases, the wedding day is one of the happiest moments a couple celebrates, so including appropriate humor or ways to help couples relax enhances the experience.

5. What are your fees for officiating a wedding?

I offer virtual ceremonies, elopements and full ceremonies. Fees vary range from $100 - $350 for my services.

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

I try to blend in with the groom or groomsmen for attire, some couples ask me to wear western wear, some summer weddings ask for linen that is cool and not too dressy, and others prefer a suit and tie.

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

I offer a free consultation for all couples and then I assist them with creating their customized ceremony. In many cases, the initial consultation provides all of the details needed to move forward and then we communicate via email to finalize the ceremony.

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

Personalized ceremonies are what I specialize in, again, after more than 1000 ceremonies, I've never performed the same one twice. I offer many options to personalize the ceremony to reflect what is important to the couple. Some couples want a traditional ceremony, others want faith elements or cultural elements incorporated. I partner with the couple to understand which elements they prefer and that is what I provide the day of.

9. Are you available to travel if needed?

Yes

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

Any monies collected are non-refundable, couples have an option to move their date if needed.

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Awards

WeddingRule Editor’s Choice 2020