Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the ideal wedding location?
Wedding ceremonies have moved beyond the confines of a church, and have extended to locations that would definitely surprise older generations. If a location holds significant importance to you, a special spot, then you may choose to perform your ceremony there. Both indoor and outdoor environments, as well as traditional, contemporary, and religious venues are all possibilities, and your options are limitless. It’s your decision where you wish to create this big memory.

What types of wedding do you perform?
The main goal is to make your wishes come true. It’s your vision and service. Wedding services offered include a secular ceremony, traditional Christian ceremony, civil ceremony, elopement, and renewal of vows. All couples are welcome, regardless of faith orientation, or other checked box you may fall in. Everyone deserves to have a special and memorable wedding ceremony.

How much will the commitment services cost?
Many variables impact the fee, and will vary depending on size of the wedding, the length of the ceremony, and distance. Contact me for a customized quote. The service and fee will be agreed upon in advance with a signed agreement, and a 50% deposit is expected at the time of scheduling. The remaining balance will be due two weeks prior to the your wedding date. 

How long will my ceremony last?
There is no need to rush your ceremony, though the average length of time is twenty minutes. A service over thirty minutes is considered long, and may lead to varicose veins. Not really. I will facilitate the ceremony so you both can rest assured, and experience the magic and beauty of your moment.

How do we reserve our wedding date?
The first thing to do to reserve your wedding date is to contact me to see if your date and time is available for scheduling. An initial meeting, either in person or Skype/FaceTime, will take place to make sure he is the one you want to conduct your ceremony and to discuss any preliminary details and concerns. In person is always preferred, and I will drive to your neighborhood coffee shop if necessary to make that happen. The process usually starts with a meeting over coffee to talk about your ceremony, and learn about you and your relationship. Good notes are taken, in addition to your completed questionnaire, so that your vows are personalized and reflect who you are, as well as the many reasons your union is to be celebrated. Unlike some ministers, I do not require you to go through a series of premarital sessions, though I can give you a referral if that is something you’re looking for.

Processional Order

The bride’s walk down the aisle is always one of the highlights of the a wedding ceremony, but a few other important people like the bridal party, mother of the bride, and officiant prep the runway before the bride makes her grand entrance. The wedding processional order can be confusing, so check out this traditional wedding processional order guide below, beginning with Mom and ending with the bride. Of course, the order is up to you, and based on the number of people in your bridal party, if you are even having a bridal party, and if there is a bride in your wedding (i.e., two men). Mix it up, the day is yours to design:

The Bride’s Mother: The mother of the bride’s entrance signals that the processional is about to begin. Once she reaches the end of the aisle, she takes her seat to the left of the aisle in the first row. (In Jewish ceremonies, she and the bride’s father escort their daughter down the aisle together.)

The Groom: After the mother of the bride takes her seat, the groom will traditionally take his place at the head of the altar (coming in from the side of the venue). However, many couples these days choose to have the groom’s parents escort him down the aisle (then, his parents would sit to the right of the aisle in the front row).

The Best Man: The best man either walks in from the side and takes his place at the altar next to the groom. Or can he walk in as the last groomsman. He may also hold the bride’s ring (or both rings).

The Groomsmen: The groomsmen open the processional as they walk down the aisle one by one. Some couples also choose to have the groomsmen and bridesmaid walk in together arm-in-arm.

The Bridesmaids: During the processional, the bridesmaids walk down the aisle one-by-one before the maid or matron of honor.

The Maid or Matron of Honor: Before the ceremony, the maid or matron of honor assists the bride with her dress, veil, and train, making sure everything looks perfect before she walks down the aisle. She then stands by the bride’s side at the altar and holds her bouquet and sometimes the groom’s ring.

The Flower Girl(s) and Ring Bearer(s): The ring bearer and flower girl precede the bride down the aisle. Traditionally, the ring bearer carries the wedding rings (or decoys, if he’s too little to be trusted with the real things), tied to a small pillow. The flower girl may carry a basket of petals, which she scatters as she walks, or a posy of flowers. After the procession is over and the rings are handed off to the best man, the children’s work is done, and they can be seated with their parents. These days, couples are becoming more creative with the children’s accessories, incorporating fabric signs and banners, ribbon wands, and other sweet ideas.

The Father of the Bride and the Bride: The bride’s father traditionally escorts his daughter down the aisle, standing to her right. After he “gives her away” to the groom, he lifts her veil and kisses her, signifying his blessing, then takes his seat beside the bride’s mother.

Obtaining a Marriage License in Pittsburgh

There are two ways to obtain marriage license:

  1. Complete the Online Marriage License Application. An email address is required. Once you’ve completed the online application, you will receive a verification email and your application will be placed on file with the Department of Court Records Marriage License Bureau.

          Note: An application for a marriage license is NOT a marriage license.

  1. Go into the office and complete the online application. A clerk will be available to assist you, if needed.

In either case, both applicants seeking a marriage license must appear together in person at the Marriage License Bureau of the Wills/Orphans’ Court Division to complete the process. Photo identification is required when you appear at the Marriage License Bureau.

Once the Application for Marriage License has been submitted, the couple has appeared in person at the Marriage License Bureau, and the three (3) days waiting period required by the State has passed, the Marriage License can be mailed (at no extra cost) to an address provided by the couple. With this option, couples can save on parking fees, missed time from work, or a second trip to downtown Pittsburgh.

The Marriage License Bureau is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Wednesday until 7:30 pm, with the exception of holidays.

Department of Court Records

Wills/Orphans’ Court Division

Marriage License Bureau

414 Grant Street

1st Floor, City-County Building

Pittsburgh, PA 15219  412-350-4230

https://dcr.alleghenycounty.us/Marriage/Application/DemographicInfo.aspx

Applicants should take the necessary steps to obtain a marriage license 2 to 3 weeks before the scheduled date of their marriage ceremony.

Pennsylvania law requires a three (3) day waiting period between the date applicants apply for a marriage license and when the license may be issued.

The marriage license is valid for 60 days from the date it is issued, and may be picked up from the Marriage License Bureau by either the applicants, a friend, or a relative.

A marriage license issued in Allegheny County may be used anywhere in the Commonwealth of PA. Likewise, a license issued in any other county in PA may be used in Allegheny County.

Google Marriage License PA for all of the details, costs, laws, and restrictions.

Fresh Take on Ring Exchange

Tattoos are close to my heart. I love them. I can’t have enough of them. This couple decided to draw their rings on each other’s hand, then get that personalized art made permanent following the ceremony! This is such a unique and wonderful idea. Great for those who do not like to wear jewelry.