1. Introduction: What's your story?
Hello! I am Pastor Audrey Craig, a Christian Pastor ordained by the American Fellowship Church. I perform weddings in the Corpus Christi, TX-Coastal Bend area. At the time I started college, much as I wanted to, the church I attended did not ordain females. God, however, had other plans—as He always does—for my “second act” in life. A very close, dear friend was planning her wedding and could not afford the price of the Officiates in her area. I offered to find a church online that required more than just clicking to become ordained. My wedding present to her & her fiancé would be marrying them.
I realized my ordination could have more of an impact than just one wedding. So, I started putting myself on websites that offered free listings, as I am on Social Security & have no other means of income. After looking at the local competition, so to speak, I felt called to offer weddings for one set fee. Just because we have a beach in our town is no reason to “soak” couples for every last dime you can squeeze out of them. My "flat" fee covers everything, including a rehearsal--if you have one. The only time I charge more than that set fee is if your venue is outside of my area. Then I only charge for the gas to get me there and back—not for my travel time. I do not have an hourly rate.
I firmly believe this is your ceremony--and no one else's! It should, and WILL, be done your way! I love children! If you wish to have children in your ceremony, do not hesitate to tell me. I did a ceremony where the couple held their infant twins during the ceremony. Again, I cannot stress this enough, this is YOUR ceremony on YOUR special day. I will do whatever, short of being naked! LOL, it is that you wish.
If you engage my services, you have me for all of your special day. (In 7 years of doing this, never have I had a wedding start on time!) You do not have to worry that I may be late due to performing a wedding earlier in the day—that didn’t start on time and ran late. Likewise, you do not have to worry about my hurrying through everything in order to make it to another wedding I have booked after yours.
I love weddings and all that goes with it. I cannot, however, perform same-sex weddings. My ordination vows prohibit it. I am honored every time I'm chosen to officiate a wedding. I perform non-religious (civil-no mention of God) and religious. Interfaith ceremonies are no problem. Elopements go without saying! I also perform vow renewals.
2. What's your experience as a wedding officiant? How many weddings have your officiated?
I have performed weddings for seven years. My experience includes elopements, civil, religious and inter-faith ceremonies. After twenty weddings, I quit counting! My background is in the Lutheran Church of America (LCA), which is now the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). While a member of that august body, I not only helped with weddings at the church, but also participated in several. This is where I gained my love of weddings. I am now a non-denominational Pastor. When dealing with a request from a couple that is slightly outside of my knowledge, I ask questions and research the topic like mad. (No one can know everything about anything!) I have several "stock" ceremonies that I will go through to find what suits my couple's needs. I make it clear that nothing in these is set in stone. I almost always end up writing a unique ceremony that is theirs and theirs alone. My couples are the final authority on their ceremony.
I've performed a wedding at a small diner. My venues include everything from a backyard to a beach to the Texas State Aquarium. As a professional curtesy, I have performed a wedding in a prison. It isn't my place to judge people
3. How far in advance do couples need to secure your services?
As long as I'm not busy, I can respond immediately to a request for services. Some months are busier than others. If you're getting married in June or October, the more notice time, the better.
4. How would you describe your officiant style?
This is solely left up to the couple. Whatever style they want for their wedding, I will do. I have done the "MAWAGE is wot bwings us togeder tooday" speech from the movie "The Princess Bride".
5. What are your fees for officiating a wedding?
$100.00 unless your venue is outside of my area. Then I charge ONLY for the gas to get there and back. I do not charge for my travel time. I do not have an hourly rate. $100.00 covers everything, including things like Sand Ceremonies and the rehearsal, if you have one.
6. What do you wear when you officiate a wedding?
I have a black robe and a white wedding stole that I can wear. I can wear either or both, it's the couple's call. If you prefer, I will wear street clothes.
7. How many pre-wedding sessions will the couple need to have with you?
This is up to the couple. I can meet in person or by video chat (Duo). The couple will also have unlimited communication by email, phone or text.
8. Will you be able to create a personalized ceremony?
Absolutely! Most of the ceremonies that I do are personalized based on the information I receive from the couple. I would say the only ones that aren't are Elopements where I'm called "at the last minute". In those cases, I ask what the couple would prefer and choose from my ceremonies based on that information.
9. Are you available to travel if needed?
Yes, I will travel! I've never been asked to get on a plane, but as long as expenses for that, and any lodging that may be required, are paid I'm game. As I've said before just pay for my gas to get there and back. The price for the ceremony will still be $100.00.
10. What is your cancellation and/or refund policy?
We all learned in 2020 that anything can, and might, happen to derail your plans. I usually don't take a deposit because of this. If you have to cancel, you have to cancel. Payment is due after services are rendered. Weddings are expensive and stressful enough as it is without being concerned about one more deposit/cancellation.