Do you require pre-marital counseling?

No, but I do offer optional marriage prep sessions that couples tell me are very rewarding! We meet either at my home in Reston or online for three 90 minutes sessions.  Before the first session, you each complete a relationship assessment at Using the Prepare-Enrich report and workbook, along with other materials, you engage in conversations and exercises to help you to connect more deeply with one another and perhaps discover things you didn't know before about each other and your relationship.

Some folks get a little anxious anticipating the sessions, but don't worry, you are in charge of what we talk about.   Some of the topics we might cover are: communication, conflict-resolution, family and friends, spirituality, money, and personality. I will highlight and affirm the strengths already evident in your relationship and encourage discussion around the growth areas that you identify.  Oh, and you'll have some homework, but not too much, I promise!  

If you are curious to learn what research shows makes for great marriages and want to spend some quality time together strengthening your relationship then you might really enjoy marriage prep with me!

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When do we give you the marriage license?

Give it to me at our final consultation if you have it by then. If not, bring it to the rehearsal or ceremony to give to me. In DC, MD, and VA, the marriage licenses do not require witnesses.  My signature is all that is needed.  After the ceremony, I will fill it out, sign it, and mail it to the appropriate courthouse.

What do you wear in the ceremony?

You will notice that in most of the ceremony photographs on my website, I am wearing a robe and stole. This is what I usually wear to officiate ceremonies. However, when the tone of the ceremony lends itself to street clothes I will usually wear a neutral color dress or suit. 

What do you do during the 45 minutes prior to the ceremony?

When I arrive at your ceremony location, I will check in with you, your readers and participants in the ceremony to make sure everyone knows when and where they need to be before and during the ceremony. I'll check on ceremony elements such as the rings and unity ritual elements to make sure everything is in order. I'll check in with the musicians or D.J. to go over musical cues as well as talk to the photographer and/or videographer to go over expectations during the ceremony. I am also available to be of general assistance around any last minute details related to the ceremony. Put me to work!

Do you need a microphone?

I am an experienced public speaker, having led many wedding ceremonies, worship services and performed in theater and concerts throughout my life. I am very comfortable projecting without a microphone in ceremonies up to about 75 people. However, amplification using a lapel microphone and speakers can be very helpful for larger weddings or in settings where there is background noise, such as from a water feature, wind or air traffic. If an audio or video recording is being made of the ceremony, the sound quality will be greatly enhanced with amplification. DJ's and some ceremony sites can offer this equipment. I don't have my own equipment to provide.

Do you stay for the reception?

Not usually. I will always stay long enough after the ceremony for a picture and to visit briefly during the cocktail hour with your family and friends. However, if you would like me to stay for the reception, for instance in order to offer a blessing over the meal, I can sometimes be persuaded to join in the festivities if it means I get to bring my spouse along for a night out! But in general, I do not expect an invitation to the wedding reception.


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