No doubt, you want to make sure all aspects of your wedding are perfect, including who officiates it. We know you probably have a lot of questions about us, so that is why we have provided answers to frequently asked questions about Heartfelt Weddings.
Do you offer Sample Ceremonies?
We are happy to provide sample ceremonies, along with a selection of love poems, inspirational readings, etc. Each ceremony contains certain elements, and you can mix-and-match from the samples or create your own wording (which we are happy to help you with):
Discourse on Marriage/Love/Commitment
Presentation to Guests
Vows/Statement of Intent
Exchange of Rings
The "I Do's"
Do you perform weddings for couples who are from different cultural or religious backgrounds?
Absolutely. Many couples come from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds, and we work with each couple to create the ceremony that works for them, usually honoring both traditions in some way.
Do you require or offer premarital counseling?
We do not require premarital counseling; however, we are happy to facilitate a communication session for couples who have identified areas in their relationship that need some attention.
How many times do you meet with a couple before the wedding?
This varies with each couple. Generally, we meet personally to make the initial connection. Afterward, we work back and forth via e-mail or telephone to create the ceremony. Some couples like to meet again to discuss the details; others find they are too busy as the wedding day approaches. We are always available to answer questions along the way Occasionally, we get requests from couples who live in another state or country. We do all of the preparation via e-mail, telephone or Skype, then meet for the first time at the wedding (or rehearsal)!
What kind of legal paperwork is required?
To be legally married in the State of California, a marriage license is required. Both parties are required to appear in person with photo ID at the County Clerk's office to fill out the application. It usually takes about 20-30 minutes. The license is good for 90 days and must be obtained before the wedding. Costs vary with each County. More detailed information can be found on each County's website. After the wedding ceremony, we will submit the license to the County. You will need to request a certified copy from the County Clerk after the wedding. All of this will be explained to you by the County Clerk at the time that you apply for your license, and a form will be provided to you to request your certified copy.
Do you both officiate at the same time?
No, you can choose either Kathy or Larry to marry you, based on their availability.
Do you require a deposit?
Upon signing the contract, we request a deposit of half the fee to hold the date. The balance is due on the day of the ceremony.
What happens if you get sick or injured and can't perform the ceremony?
Fortunately, in the twenty years that we have been performing wedding ceremonies, this has never happened. In the unlikely event of such an emergency, we will do everything possible to help you find a replacement. Usually one of us is available to step in for the other, if necessary.
Do you usually stay for the reception?
After the ceremony, we stay at least long enough to allow for photos and to get the signatures of the witnesses. Most often, we will find a discreet moment to depart (usually during the "cocktail hour") leaving you to celebrate with your family and friends.
How long have you been doing this? How many ceremonies have you performed?
Over the past twenty years, we have performed over 2,500 wedding ceremonies around the Bay Area, and spend most of our time working with couples to help make their wedding day very special. Kathy and Larry are both non-denominational ministers.
Do you perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples?
Yes. We wholeheartedly support Marriage Equality.
What do you wear?
Depending on the preference of the couple, we will wear either a suit or a black minister's robe.
We were thinking of having a friend perform our ceremony ... do you recommend this?
It depends. If your friend is familiar with all the details of planning and conducting a wedding ceremony, such as: obtaining a marriage license, coordinating the wedding party and family members with regard to where to stand or where to be seated, following up after the wedding by submitting the marriage license to the County and providing instructions for what is needed afterward to change one's marital status, then this is a way to save on wedding expenses. If, however, the friend is not familiar with these details, it can be a daunting assignment, resulting in additional stress for both the friend and the couple. We've talked to hundreds of couples over the years, and the most sage advice we can give is to hire a professional officiant with experience. It will relieve a great deal of stress!