Civil: A civil ceremony is completely void of any religious or spiritual wording or tone.
Any references to God or other dieties have been removed.
Religious: A religious ceremony can be traditional or non-traditional. The ceremony is
defined by formal religious elements. Whether you are observant or semi-observant, a
religious ceremony is always an option.
Interfaith: When any two people of differing faith or cultural backgrounds decide to marry,
this is considered interfaith. An interfaith ceremony blends traditions, cultures, and religious backgrounds in a meaningful way so that each couple is equally valued and honored.
Spiritual: “Spiritual" means different things to different people. A spiritual ceremony does not subscribe to one specific religion. It may incorporate elements from one or more religions. A spiritual ceremony typically employs beautiful, inspiring words and rituals but used in a more universal way.
Same Sex: A same sex ceremony is no different than a hetrosexual wedding
ceremony. It can be Secular, Religious, Spiritual, Interfaith or any combination that you desire. My approach to ceremony creation is no different than any other hetrosexual couple. As your Celebrant and Wedding Officiant, my ultimate goal is to create a ceremony that is a genuine reflection of your relationship!
Renewal of Vows: A renewal of vows ceremony is a beautiful way for couples to rededicate themselves to each other. This type of ceremony can happen at any point in your relationship and you don’t have to wait for a major milestone anniversary to have one. For example, I performed a vow renewal for a couple who were separated and living in different homes for over a year. After working out their marital problems, they wanted to celebrate by renewing their vows.
Below are brief descriptions of the different styles
of ceremonies that we can co-create together!
Step 1. We meet for a complimentary non-obligation meeting in person, on the phone, or via Skype. This is a great opportunity for us to discuss your wedding ceremony and to get to know each other better.
Step 2. Once you hire me as your wedding officiant, I will send a ceremony agreement that each of you will need to sign and send back to me. In order to reserve the date, I require a 50% deposit.
If your ceremony is less than 30 days, I will need the full payment along with the signed agreement. I don’t start working on a ceremony until I have the agreement and the deposit. The final deposit is due 14 days BEFORE the ceremony date.
Step 3. Once I receive the agreement, I will e-mail you an
important “homework” assignment, the Couples Questionnaire.
I encourage my couples to fill out the questionnaire separately without sharing their answers.
The Couple’s Questionnaire is a critical part of the writing process because it helps me personalize the different sections in your ceremony. This is my opportunity to learn more about you. Based on your answers, I will weave a beautiful story that reflects who you both are as individuals and as a couple.
Through the questionnaire we will discuss your ideas, your vows, readings, the processional and other important details. It is very important to me that I have a clear understanding of what you want and what you don't want to include in your ceremony because I want to reflect and help create YOUR vision!
Step 4. Once I receive the questionnaire, I will e-mail you a complete first draft within four to six weeks. At this point you
will have every opportunity to change, add, delete and edit the text. Obviously if this is a last minute booking, the time line will
We will go back and forth until you tell me the ceremony is exactly the way you want it. For every round of revisions, I will always
e-mail you a revised script.
Step 5. Two weeks before the ceremony, the second half of the deposit is due, which can be paid by check or PayPal. I will send you an e-mail reminding you of the due date. A week before your wedding date, I will also send you a “prop check-list” which will clearly list everything you’ll need to bring with you to the ceremony.
Step 6. Your big day is finally here! I arrive early at the venue
making sure that I perform a “sound check” and that your events coordinator, photography, DJ, and videography all have their cue sheets. I will also go over the “altar” table to make sure the props are in place and that anyone who is participating in your ceremony is comfortable and knows what to do and when. Depending on your needs, sometimes I will facilitate a rehearsal with your bridal party on the day of your wedding.
Step 7. Directly following the ceremony, you and your witness(es) will sign your marriage license. I like to decide before the ceremony begins where we will go to sign the license so that we don’t get caught up in “traffic” after the wedding. Many couples like to have their photo taken during the signing so I will make sure that the photographer knows where to go as well.
Step 8. Celebrate with your friends and family and have a fabulous honeymoon and married life.
Step 9. I sign your marriage license and process your paperwork
on your behalf. Please note that during the busy wedding season,
it can take 4-6 weeks for you to receive your marriage certificate. In 5, 10, 20 years call me to renew your vows!
as you make plans to tie the knot!
Before you begin working with a Celebrant or a Wedding Officiant,
I invite you to ponder some important questions.
“What style of ceremony do you want to have?”
“What tone do you want your ceremony to reflect?”
For example, do you want your ceremony to be Religious? Secular? Spiritual? Something in the middle? Do you have a family tradition
that you would like to weave into your ceremony somehow? Is there someone special you want to remember or honor?
These are just a few questions to consider. Fortunately, there are no wrong or right answers, and your choices are infinite! As your Wedding Officiant, I promise to always respect any choice that you make because my ultimate goal is to create a ceremony that honors and celebrates your life together.
I have no judgments or preconceived notions about what you should or shouldn't include in your ceremony. My only concern is that it reflects the genuine spirit of your relationship.
Love is in the air
How I Work
Chris & Sarah Lemp, The Exchange of Rings in 2004
Sarah Lemp Wedding Officiant & Life-Cycle Celebrant 949.424.6063