1. Introduction: What's your story?
Hi. My name is Greg Gasaway. I am the team leader for Sensational Ceremonies in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. I've been with Sensational Ceremonies for over seven years, and am an original member of the Dallas/Fort Worth team. I am a former pastor and youth pastor with over 26 years of experience working with couples, and people in general.
When I found out about the opportunity to work with Sensational Ceremonies, I jumped at the chance. I love getting to work with couples as they get ready for one of the biggest days of their lives. One of the things I love about working for Sensational Ceremonies is that every officiant has experience as a minister on a church staff, so couples are having an actual minister perform their ceremony. When a couple books me, I let them know if they need me for something besides the ceremony I am available for them. I have done baby dedications, and funerals for family members of couple's I have married.
Our Dallas/Fort Worth team has two other members, Robert Sutton and Randall Clark. Both of these excellent officiants have been with Sensational Ceremonies for about four years. Both of these gentlemen are serving or have served on a church staff, and are ordained ministers. All of our biographies can be found on the Sensational Ceremonies website.
We are all committed not just to marrying couples, but to be there for them in any situation should the need ever arise. We are not looking to replace someone's pastor or priest, but if a couple needs us and do not have someone they can call on, we encourage them to call us.
2. What's your experience as a wedding officiant? How many weddings have your officiated?
I have extensive experience as a wedding officiant. In the seven years I've been with Sensational Ceremonies, I have averaged 25-30 weddings a year(over 200 now and counting). This doesn't include the experience and weddings our other team members have done. I have done all different types of weddings from religious to non religious. Every wedding is specifically crafted to represent the couple I am marrying, and I have never done the same ceremony twice. It's been fun to do weddings where I've had a Jewish Rabbi perform the ceremony with me, or learning about elements from various religious faiths like the Catholic lasso ceremony or arras coin ceremony, or reading Dr. Seuss' "The Places You Will Go".
Our other team members also come with a great deal of experience prior to coming to work for Sensational Ceremonies. This not only includes ceremony experience, but experience in the field of premarital counseling.
3. How far in advance do couples need to secure your services?
I would recommend 6 months or longer. Calendars can fill up pretty quickly and it's pretty hit and miss to find someone available when waiting till just a few months before the wedding. Six months allows plenty of time to sit down and visit with the bride and groom and allow us to get to know each other, for them to ask questions, and to go over how best to put the ceremony together. This is not to say all of this can not be accomplished in less time. I've had multiple last minute bookings(inside of a month before the wedding) and the ceremonies were wonderful and very personal, and the bride and groom were so happy with everything.
4. How would you describe your officiant style?
I would say that my style is very relaxed. I enjoy being a part of a couple's special day and try to make them feel very calm and at ease the day of their ceremony. I try to keep things very light hearted, while respecting the seriousness of the moment that is taking place. A wedding ceremony is a celebration of a couple's love, and its a time to rejoice and have fun. While a wedding ceremony has meaningful tender moments, I try to remind couples to enjoy the moment. For me, it is so much fun to be along for that ride, and I try to make sure that attitude of joy and happiness shines through me during a ceremony.
5. What are your fees for officiating a wedding?
For the just the ceremony, the total amount is $280, which includes a $60 deposit. This doesn't include mileage. The deposit is paid directly to Sensational Ceremonies through our website, www.sensationalceremonies.com. The remaining $220 would be paid directly to your officiant. To be at the rehearsal, the total rehearsal fee is $125. Mileage fees vary slightly for each officiant and can be discussed at the time of booking.
For members of the military, the ceremony fee is reduced to $260, which includes the deposit. The rehearsal fee is also at a reduced rate of $100. Mileage fees are generally waves for military members.
6. What do you wear when you officiate a wedding?
Unless asked by the couple to wear something different, we typically wear a black suit and tie with a white dress shirt. This looks very formal and professional, and goes well with whatever the bridal party is wearing. There have been a few situations where the couple has asked for something different(i.e. boots and jeans and blazer), and I have been happy to oblige them.
7. How many pre-wedding sessions will the couple need to have with you?
That is totally up to the couple. We will generally have at least one which is typically the initial consultation. That can be done on the phone, in person, or via Zoom or Face Time. Beyond that, I do not have a specific number. I always let the couple know I'll meet them as much as they need or want. Many times the couple and I will meet and have dinner just so we can get to know each other better and they can feel comfortable with me when their wedding day arrives. I thoroughly enjoy those times.
If a couple would like something more structured, like premarital counseling, I make that available to them as well. For premarital counseling, we do four sessions and there is an extra fee of $200 total for the four sessions. The sessions include foundations of a Godly marriage, Dating in marriage, Finances, and dealing with conflict. Our other officiants premarital counseling sessions and fees vary slightly.
8. Will you be able to create a personalized ceremony?
Absolutely. One of the great things about the ceremonies we do at Sensational Ceremonies is the personalized aspect of each ceremony. Once a couple books myself, or one of our other wedding officiants, they will receive our "Wedding Words" planning document. It is 36 pages full of ideas to help them create and craft a ceremony that is a reflection of who they are as couple. It has ceremonies already put together to use as a guide, or as the actual ceremony. There are extra vows for couples to choose from, a section of poetry, scripture and readings, and a section with unity type elements.
Couples can start from scratch and build their own, or use one of the premade ceremonies to help get them start and then substitute various elements. If a couple chooses to write their own vows, that makes a ceremony more meaningful and special, and when it is mentioned I highly encourage a couple to do so. We all work with our couples to help make sure their is a nice natural flow, and make suggestions on where some things might be placed differently to help with the flow. Ultimately it comes down to each couple and what they want. In the seven plus years, and over 200 ceremonies, I have never done the exact same ceremony twice.
9. Are you available to travel if needed?
Yes I am. Even though I live in Bedford, distance doesn't matter to me. I generally drive 30-45 minutes, or more, to many of the venues I perform weddings at. I have also driven to San Antonio, Lubbock, Waco, the Tyler area and Oklahoma. If a couple is wanting a destination wedding and would like me to come and perform the ceremony, I would be very open to the possibility of doing that.
As a team, we live in various places like Bedford, Little Elm, and Corsicana, but we never try to never let a location or travel keep us from being a part of a couple's special day. We routinely travel to places in the DFW area like Aubrey, Celina, Denton, Weatherford, Terrell, McKinney, Waxahachie and Anna.
10. What is your cancellation and/or refund policy?
If a couple cancels the wedding completely, they are not out any money except for the $60 deposit. If they postpone, I will work with them on rescheduling and just transfer the deposit and ceremony fees and contract to the new date. There isn't a transfer fee for that.