How far in advance do you recommend reserving our date? ASAP. Our dates fill quickly, especially in peak seasons. On the other hand, if you find yourself in need of an officiant quickly, call us at (231) 459-8067. Jonathan or Kathy may be able to help. What is your fee? What does the fee include? Our $700 all-inclusive package includes everything couples want from their officiant: personalizing and officiating your ceremony and rehearsal, providing and processing with you the optional Prepare/Enrich (P/E) online relationship inventory (tailored to your unique backgrounds) and P/E Couple Workbook, face-to-face or virtual consultation, local travel, legal submission of your marriage license, and professional referrals. No surprise "extra" charges. 50% is due at booking as a non-refundable reservation fee and the other 50% is due 6 months before your wedding.
A professional officiant is as important as your venue, photographer, caterer, DJ, florist, etc. Our all-inclusive package is the most cost-effective way for you to receive officiating services tailored especially to meet your unique needs. Plus we get to know one another before your wedding!
Why do you include Prepare/Enrich, in your all-inclusive package (as a free bonus for couples) and what is it? Because couples love it, have so much fun with it, and tell us that it really helps make their relationship stronger. Jonathan has been a trained Prepare/Enrich Facilitator for more than fifteen years and every single couple we've worked with has found it valuable for their marriage. Okay, there was one who didn't really like it. Ask us about them. :) We can take as much time as you want processing your P/E relationship assessment. For most of our couples, we hit the P/E highlights and cover the details of their ceremony in one brief conversation (face-to-face or virtually). When Kathy officiates, we get together as couples to talk about your P/E report and workbook. No counseling required. Just great resources at no extra charge. Check out the Prepare/Enrich link for more details. Where can we have our service? Use your imagination! Anywhere you desire (within legal and safety realities, of course). If you need help locating a venue, just let us know. We're Preferred Providers at most area venues and we've officiated services at historic lighthouses, in churches, on the beach, and at private homes. Mileage beyond local travel (25 miles from Charlevoix) will be negotiated at booking. Also, Jonathan is currently the pastor of Greensky Hill Indian United Methodist Church so we have access to a beautiful, historic, hewn-log church in the woods for smaller weddings (or up to 250 for outdoor ceremonies) with a beautiful hall for receptions. Do you have any requirements for the couples you work with? Our only requirements are that you two love each other, are ready to commit to marriage, and are legally permitted to do so. :) Of course, the state requires a marriage license. We've worked with couples from almost every imaginable walk of life. We love and honor all cultures and worldviews and love bringing your heritage into your ceremony. We are very flexible and we will cover all of the details during your consultation.
What attire do you typically wear for a ceremony? It depends a lot on the style of your wedding. If couples have no preference, we usually wear a neutral, professional, suit. But, we are very flexible. We're even happy to be sized and, at your expense, wear a tux/dress of your choice that matches or complements your wedding party. Check out the photos on our HOME page for examples.
Should something unexpected happen, what is your backup plan? Just about everything that might happen at a wedding as already happened to us and we just roll with it. Thankfully, we've never been late to a ceremony and we've never had to cancel or find a replacement. It's highly unlikely that we ever will (we live in Charlevoix, about 4 miles from Castle Farms, and within 25 miles of most of our ceremonies), but we're prepared. Both Rev. Jonathan David Mays and Kathryn Ann Mays are licensed clergy/professional wedding officiants, so we are able to cover for each other. Plus, Castle Farms has staff on-hand who are licensed to officiate, in case of just such an emergency. For other venues, we work with professional colleagues to make sure our couples are covered. . How do we secure your services and book a date? Just call or text (231) 459-8067 or use the Inquiry Form on our SERVICES page. Your date will be officially booked upon receipt of your completed contract and your non-refundable reservation fee. At that time, we'll email the first draft of your ceremony and, if you've selected our all-inclusive package, we'll send the link to your P/E relationship inventory and schedule time to talk about the inventory and workbook and details of the ceremony. When you say yes, we hold your date in our schedule for one week to give you plenty of time to submit your non-refundable reservation fee.