Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Celebrant?
A Celebrant is a trained ceremony expert, officiant and congregational leader. Our mission is to create a ceremony that reflects the needs, beliefs, cultural background, value, and tastes of those involved. As a professional Celebrant, I borrow from many different traditions and sources to create the ideal ceremony that accurately reflects your relationship, your love, and your commitment. A Humanist Celebrant is also an ambassador of humanism and scholar of humanism. Humanist Celebrants are endorsed and trained by the Humanist Society, an arm of the American Humanist Association, and are legally equivalent to ordained clergy and entitled to all privileges under the law in all 50 states, including clergy confidentiality and solemnization of weddings and funeral rites.
What’s the process like? How do you create our ceremony if you don’t know us?
First we will meet for an informal consultation, where I can share information with you, and learn about your needs and desires for your event or milestone. (If you're a wedding couple, you’ll get “homework” – an in depth worksheet you’ll each fill out that will help me get to know you and understand exactly what you are looking for.)
From there, I will offer suggestions for readings, rituals and vows. I’ll then write your ceremony for you, and send the draft to you for approval. We can include any quotes, elements, rituals, or readings that work for you – but there are no requirements. I am available to rehearse the ceremony with you (weddings), and will officiate or lead your ceremony on the day.
Throughout the process, I am available for unlimited phone and email consultations. Clear and efficient communication is very important to me, and I want you to feel confident in your ceremony.
Do you do destination weddings?
Yes, I travel! Additional fees may apply for travel expenses and accommodations. Please contact me, as we may need to discuss how the legality will be taken care of (depending on the state, or outside of the country).
Do you want a custom ceremony, but plan to write your own or already have an officiant? You might want to check out my ceremony writing services!
Do I get to read the ceremony beforehand?
Yes! For weddings, I will take the information from our discussions and your “homework” (the in-depth questionnaire that you and your partner fill out) to create your ceremony. Drafts will be sent to you via email, and I offer unlimited consultations on these drafts. When it comes to the ceremony, there will be no surprises on your wedding day.
Writing your own vows can be a bit daunting, I know! I have a lot of resources and options to help you create your own vows, and can also help you to edit and put them together, too. Of course, you don't have to – if you'd prefer, I can offer suggestions and help you find the words that are perfect for your ceremony!
Do you perform LBGT weddings?
ABSOLUTELY! I am proud to be able to offer same-sex weddings in Minnesota and all other states that have marriage equality. We can discuss the specific wording and pronouns that you are most comfortable using in your wedding, too.
How long do your ceremonies take?
It all depends on what it’s in it! My custom wedding ceremonies usually last between 20-25 minutes, and fit very well in half an hour (as that is how long a venues typically gives you for a wedding ceremony), but I can create shorter ceremonies, too. Non-custom weddings and elopements typically last five to ten minutes.
Should we have a wedding rehearsal?
Rehearsal can help assuage nervous bridal party members, and ensure everything will run smoothly on the wedding day. If you have rituals involving a number of people, or children in your bridal party, I think a rehearsal is a good idea. It’s also a great time to make sure your processional and recessional work, and everyone knows where to go. Rehearsals usually take twice as long as the ceremony itself – we’ll run through it twice, to make sure everyone knows where to go, and I’ll provide cue sheets and information for everyone involved.
What rituals can we include in our ceremony?
I would love to integrate any rituals, traditions, and readings into your ceremony that you’d like. If I am not familiar with a ritual, I will research it for you. That’s the beautiful thing about writing your own wedding ceremony – you can personalize it to your own taste and tradition, and include rituals to really make it your own.
How do I change my name?
After the wedding ceremony, obtain an official copy of your wedding license from the government center or registrar in the county where your wedding was performed. Get more than one – you never know when a bureau may need to keep a copy, or if you need to mail it somewhere. You can use this document to change your name with Social Security, the DMV, and your bank account. Some credit cards may not require proof of the marriage – you may be able to call to have them change your name. See this page for more information.
How do we get our marriage license?
I’ll go over the license details at our introductory meeting. It’s pretty easy! Remember, regardless of where you live, you need to get your license in the state you intend to be married. It’s important to remember that I cannot obtain your wedding license for you, and if you don't have a wedding license for me to sign on your wedding day, you won’t be legally married. Minnesota also offers a significant discount on the license if you participate in pre-marital counseling, which we will discuss at our first meeting. See this page for more information.