Officiant FAQs

Q: Do you perform religious or non-religious ceremonies?
A: As a non-denominational officiant, I gladly perform both religious and secular wedding ceremonies. When we go through the customization of your ceremony, we can sort out exactly what you would like included (religious readings, non-religious readings, unity ceremonies, etc.).

Q: Are you LGBTQ+ friendly?
A: Absolutely! I’m glad to share in all marriage celebrations!

Q: How long does a ceremony last?
A: The true answer: it depends. The average is anywhere from 15-30 minutes, depending on readings, unity ceremonies, how you plan your entry and exit, etc.

Q: What time do you arrive?
A: Generally speaking, 30-60 minutes prior to your ceremony start time. Sometimes having an extra set of hands is helpful!

Q: What do you wear?
A: That’s up to you (within reason)! The last thing I want to do is clash with your colors or stand out like a sore thumb – it’s your day. My usual attire is a neutral-colored collared shirt, tie, and dress slacks (or suit). Alternatively, I do wear a simple black cassock on occasion.

Q: Do you come to the reception?
A: This one is completely your decision. An invitation is neither required nor expected – but is, of course, appreciated. If an invite is part of your plans, please let me know ahead of time, so that I can review and respond appropriately.

Q: Can you help us find other vendors?
A: Yes, gladly! I work with numerous other vendors and am happy to refer you to them to see if there’s a match – some of them even offer discounts based on the referral.

Q: We’re thinking about tipping our other vendors – do we tip you?
A: This is another one of those “not expected, not required, but is definitely appreciated” type of things.

Q: Where is your ordination through?
A: I hold my ordination through the Universal Church of Humankind, a non-denominational church.

Q: How does the refundable deposit work?
A: For non-urgent ceremonies, a 50% refundable deposit is required. That deposit is taken to reserve your date and goes towards your overall ceremony cost. If for some reason you need to cancel, it is fully-refundable up to 45 days before your ceremony date. After this date, the deposit will be held as it is unlikely that date will be able to be filled.

Q: What payment options are available?
A: I generally will send you an invoice via email which can be paid conveniently via credit/debit card. Cash, check, and money order are also accepted.

Q: What if we need to reschedule?
A: I do my best to be flexible with the need to reschedule and understand that there are times things come up. Although I can’t guarantee that a reschedule is available prior to the situation arising, it is something I work hard to accommodate.

Q: Can my photographer/videographer take pictures/video during the ceremony?
A: Yes, please – It’s your day! I just ask that they not actively distract or interrupt you while the ceremony is ongoing.

Q: Do you need a microphone?
A: It is ideal that a microphone is provided (if the size of the location demands it – my voice can project fairly well, especially in smaller venues). However, if one isn’t available, I can still make it work.

Marriage License FAQs

Q: Where do I apply for a marriage license?
A: The short answer: the county clerk’s office. But which county?

  • One or both of you are Michigan residents: the county you live in (license valid statewide).
  • Neither of you are Michigan residents: the county your ceremony is in (license valid only in this county).
  • See MCL 551.101 for more info.

Q: When should I apply for a marriage license?
A: A marriage license is valid for 33 days from the date of application, so it is important that you don’t apply too soon or too late in the planning process. Unless special approval is granted by the clerk or a court of jurisdiction, there is a 3 day minimum waiting period before the license can be issued. My personal recommendation is to apply for your license between 3 and 4 weeks prior to your ceremony date. Most counties allow the application to be filed electronically. See MCL 551.103a for more info.

Q: What should I bring when applying for a marriage license?
A: You will need the following:

  • Your current (not expired) driver’s license or state ID with your current address.
  • Both parties’ birth certificates. If a birth certificate is unavailable, the place of birth for the parties and both the parties’ parents are required.
  • Social Security Numbers (required under state law, see MCL 551.103)

Q: How much does a marriage license cost?
A: This is also based on residency.

  • One or both of you are Michigan residents: $20.00
  • Neither of you are Michigan residents: $30.00
  • Note that these are standard fees that can vary by county.
  • See MCL 551.104 for more info.

Q: What are the requirements for witnesses?
A: You will need to furnish two witnesses (MCL 551.104) to sign the marriage certificate, both of whom need to be 18 years of age or older (MCL 551.103). Usually, one of the witnesses is furnished by each party but this is not required.

Q: Do you send in our marriage license for us?
A: Yes, absolutely. Pursuant to MCL 551.104, I provide you one signed copy of the license and return the other signed copy to the appropriate county clerk’s office. As the clerk’s copy needs to be returned within 10 days of the ceremony, I will usually send it via USPS Priority Mail (which includes a tracking number to ensure it has been delivered).

Q: Do you have more information about the county clerks?
A: Listed below are links to each county clerk’s page in Michigan (if there’s a page specific to marriage licenses, that is what I’ve chosen). Note that websites are dynamic and links may break from time-to-time – when in doubt, contact your clerk’s office directly.