Weddings, Commitments, Handfastings, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: We are planning to be married on (date & time) at (wedding location) are you available? How far in advance should we book our minister?
A: Hopefully, the answer to the first question is, "Yes." You should book with an officiant as soon as possible. Ministers in demand book quickly (frequently 6-months to 1-year in advance), and you don't want to be disappointed.
Q: What kind of wedding ceremonies do you perform?
A: As a nondenominational minister (i.e., all denominational) I perform religious, interfaith and civil. Your ceremony will be personalized to reflect your desires, values, and relationship. The ceremony may be an interfaith service, an inter-denominational service, or a civil service with no religious references. I also perform a Renewal of Vows ceremony. Your vows are written in a meaningful way for you. You are very much involved in the design of your ceremony. The ceremony might include special readings, poems, musical interpretations, recognition of certain special people in your lives, etc. The possibilities of having a unique, romantic wedding ceremony are limited only by your imagination!
Q: Will you officiate a wedding at Lerdo Jail?
A: Yes, the process is a little time consuming to get to and takes some leg work and phone calls by you and myself, but I'll help you get there!
Q: Can we meet with you prior to the wedding?
A: Of course! There is no charge for this initial or even subsequent interviews. I am delighted to meet with you at any time prior to your wedding date. However, occasionally I meet the bride and groom for the first time at the rehearsal or wedding. I understand that we all live very busy lives and planning a wedding just adds that much to the mix! Also, some weddings must be planned long distance because the bride and groom live away from this area. In such cases the phone, e-mail and U.S. mail become our means of communication. And, we can always meet in person when you arrive in the area prior to the wedding.
Q: How do we book you as our minister?
A: I will "pencil-in" the date for you right now. Once I receive your deposit, I will "lock-in" the date for you. Please know that until the deposit is received, I am not booked as your minister. To begin the booking process, please email me or call me to check for availability.
Q: What do you do for us as our minister?
A: I will work with you to develop a ceremony that is written especially for you. I feel very strongly that it is YOUR WEDDING, not mine! I do not just perform ceremonies; I help you create the ceremony that is unique to you. You will have a selection of elements that go into a ceremony to choose from. The result will be a ceremony and vows that are meaningful to you on your wedding day, but will remain equally meaningful to you the rest of your lives. After the ceremony I will file your license, it is your responsibility to request a certified copy from the Hall of Records.
Q: What happens if that special guest is late, and we cannot start the ceremony on time?
A: This is one of the most important questions to ask your prospective minister. You need not concern yourself about this. Normally I only officiate at one wedding on a given day, if I do have another wedding scheduled I make sure to have a 2 hour buffer between ceremonies. The Wedding Services are for a 1.5 hour period. If the wedding is delayed and the services of the Officiant are required beyond the 1.5 hour time frame, an additional $50/hr pro-rated will be charged.
Q: What happens if you become ill or another emergency prevents you from attending our rehearsal and/or officiating at our wedding?
A: In this unlikely situation, you are covered for this contingency. I work with several ordained ministers dedicated to providing each bridal couple with professional, exemplary services. Should such an emergency prevent me from attending your rehearsal and/or officiating at your wedding, another minister will be available to officiate.
Q: Where do I obtain a California Marriage License?
A: A marriage license may be obtained from certain Clerk/Recorder's offices within California. Not all such offices issue marriage licenses. To obtain a license in Kern County please contact:
County of Kern, County Clerk
1115 Truxtun Avenue (1st Floor)
Bakersfield, CA 93301-4639
Regular Office Hours 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Mon-Fri
Open To The Public 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM Mon-Fri
There are two types of marriage licenses offered in California. There is a public (i.e., most commonly used) and a confidential license. A public license may be obtained from any issuing County Recorder's Office in California and is valid for 90-days thereafter at any venue within California. A confidential license, also valid for 90-days, must be obtained from an issuing Recorder's Office in which County the marriage will be performed.
To obtain a Public or Confidential Marriage License directly from the county and to expedite the process, we suggest that you first complete the Public Marriage License Application or Confidential Marriage License Application.
Licenses are issued Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. in the County Clerk's Office located in the Kern County Administrative building. To purchase a marriage license, both parties must appear together and have a completed marriage license application.
More information is available on the Kern County Clerks webpage.
Q: What should I do upon my receipt of the marriage license package?
A: It is important that you DO NOT alter, erase, write or type anything on your marriage license. Bring the complete marriage license package to your officiant, as received by you from the County Recorder's Office. Failure to correctly fill-in the items requested may require that the County issues a duplicate license. Please give the marriage license package to your officiant prior to the wedding ceremony on your ceremony day.
Q: What happens with our Marriage License after the wedding?
A: If required by the license (and after the ceremony), I will ask the witness to sign. Thereafter, I will complete all information required and file the license with the appropriate County Recorder's Office. If you want additional "certified" copies of your license, you may purchase them from the County Recorder. More information is available on the Kern County Clerks webpage.
Q: Do you require premarital counseling?
Q: How do you feel about rehearsals? Will you preside over the rehearsal?
A: I feel that a wedding rehearsal is good idea, it gives the wedding party a degree of comfort, and they feel more confident about their participation. The wedding rehearsal takes a lot of pressure off the bride and groom, so they can more fully enjoy their wedding day. Yes, if needed, I am happy to participate in the rehearsal. I have much experience in this area and am able to lend assistance and credibility.
Q: May our photographer and/or videographer photo during the ceremony?
A: Absolutely! It is very important to capture these magical moments on video or in photos. Photographers and videographers are strongly urged to take as many pictures as they wish during the ceremony.
Q: May I ask, how much is your fee?
A: The fee is determined after our free consultation (please ask about intimate ceremonies in my home and chapel). Fees do vary according to the circumstances and requirements of the individual couple. I will do whatever is right for you, and I will perform the ceremony at the location of your choice. If I am required to travel a distance or incur overnight lodging, of course the fee is greater. This is also true should you wish a wedding rehearsal.
2015 Bakersfield Minister | Images are copyrighted to their respective photographers