What’s The Price for Just a Small Wedding?

July 13, 2011 by Pastor Ken  
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We often get this well-meaning question. It goes something like this:

“Hey Pastor Ken & Jo-Ann, we just want a small wedding…maybe 5 minutes long, not many people are going to be there, and you don’t even have to work hard designing it. Just throw something together for us. How much is that?”

We call this the “Bridal Reduction Inquiry” (Had to come up with a fancy name). It’s where a Bride reduces the value of her wedding in hopes that she’ll get a reduced cost. We get it, and in this economy we totally understand. We actually underpriced completely because of this. Most quality officiants are within the same price range, however the value and level of service (including perks) we provide quickly highlight the “oh…wow…you should charge more” response we get from our clients. After a consultation, the difference becomes crystal clear.

The problem is, we place a high value on every client we’re honored to serve. We provide relentless work in planning each ceremony, and we treat each wedding like it’s a Royal Wedding, whether it’s the Fox45 News Wedding we do each year, or whether it’s in your yard with just your dog and cat as witnesses. You deserve the best. That’s how our pricing is structured, based on the unparalleled value we aim to provide.

You can get a discount.

Discounts are provided based on off-peak differential. That’s just a fancy term for “we can provide the same excellence, but in fairness to the date and time of your wedding, off-peak times can be discounted.” For example, if you get married during the week (Monday-Thursday; Friday before 5pm; or even Saturday Morning before 11am), you are eligible for a $100 off-peak discount!

Moral of the story: It’s your special day, don’t devalue it! You want your vendors to treat your wedding with the same respect they would a “higher priced” client. You are not chopped liver! You deserve the best, period! Don’t allow anyone to treat your wedding as second class, including yourself.

Whether it’s small or large, it’s one of the most important days of your life. :-)

In valued Service,

Pastor Ken & Jo-Ann – The Maryland Wedding Officiant

{Day} or {Lifetime}?

January 25, 2011 by Pastor Ken  
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Quick! Which is more important? A Day, or a Lifetime? … No lifelines for this answer…you should have said a Lifetime! A day is a part of a lifetime, but a lifetime is more than a day.

Although it was an easy answer in theory, I’m afraid the practice says the opposite. Brides and grooms spend, on average, 60% of their awake time leading up to the wedding either planning, or thinking about planning, or dreaming about their ceremony. Coordinator, gifts, cards, reception, catering, dress, tux, DJ, flowers, limo, The Maryland Wedding Officiantâ„¢, party favors, honeymoon, hotel rental, etc…etc…etc…

If we spent 60% of our time and resources working on our marriage before the marriage as we do our ceremony that’s fleeting (with the exception of the pictures, video, or awesome service of our vendors), divorce lawyers would be out of business. Instead, people rely on their ‘love’ to get them through and spend their energy on the wedding day instead. It’s a good thing I have marriage coaching…that only started at about the 19th phone call from a bride and groom who ‘declined’ the coaching prior to marriage! “Uh…Pastor Ken…thanks for our awesome ceremony…uh…I know you do premarital coaching, but uh…is it possible we could talk about some things? Some stuff came up.” Sure! Yes it is!

What sounds better? “Honey, I love you…our love will never fail and we’ll stay together forever”? Or…”Honey, I love you so much that I want to make sure we have the tools to succeed in our marriage…and I want to commit to learning more before our wedding day.”?

Invest in some form of premarital coaching. We even have packages that start a small as (3) hours. It’s not the cost, it’s what it’s worth to your marriage….because long after the cost has been forgotten, the investment dividends will remain.

Blessings!

-Pastor Ken

Fox45′s “Wedding In A Week”!

January 21, 2011 by Pastor Ken  
Filed under Uncategorized

We are ecstatic about being selected to perform the ceremony for the winning couple on WBFF Fox 45 Baltimore’s “Wedding In A Week” Contest! Some lucky couple will win a $35,000 wedding on “the house”.

If you’re a bride or groom, register in the contest! You may get the whole event free! Will you be tuning in? It’s on February 11th. Watch it and tell us what you think of the experience!

Contest Details are here:
http://www.foxbaltimore.com/sections/contests/wedding/index.shtml

Bridal Party Blues?

January 12, 2011 by Pastor Ken  
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Having performed over 350 wedding ceremonies for valued clients (many of whom I remain connected to), I can almost certainly say I’ve seen everything. From the no-show maid of honor, to the ring bearer who should have probably been called the ring “barer” after dropping his underwear in the aisle to entertain the guests, the ceremony stories are endless.

Bridal parties are no exception to this. I’ve seen a lot with bridal parties that had me scratching my head on occasion.

Question: “Pastor Ken, should I allow someone in my bridal party that I or my fiance don’t get along with?”

Absolute Final Answer: Never. No. Absolutely Not.

If it’s the best man who hates the bride, the maid of honor who thinks the groom is a total dipstick, (or maybe the bride who hates the groom…?) the answer is absolutely not.

Wedding Ceremonies contain lots of symbolism…much too much to get into with one post, however the Bridal Party symbolism is critical. Those are the individuals who are “holding up” your marriage, and will vow to love you both unconditionally and support you throughout your marriage—even if it means not taking sides when it gets tough. This is not about a photo opportunity, or repaying a friend for their good deeds in college. If anyone in your bridal party isn’t supportive of your marriage AND partner 100%, then the answer should be a stern “no”. You didn’t disqualify them, they disqualified themselves. Don’t feel bad.

There’s always the reception. =)

“Who Gives….” You Away?

January 11, 2011 by Pastor Ken  
Filed under Uncategorized

There is no question that things are a lot different now than they have been before with regards to marriage and family. Instead of traditional backgrounds, brides more frequently have two families at the wedding (both parents remarried, for instance). This also trickles down into some new territory as it relates to some of the symbolism in the wedding ceremony (who lights the unity candle? Who participates in reading? Pictures? etc…)

One of the more frequent questions I’ve been asked recently with my brides and grooms is: “Pastor Ken, who should give me away?”

A bride may feel closer to her stepfather than her natural father.
A bride may have been raised by an uncle or grandfather.
A bride may have been raised by a single mother.

I’m sure you can add more to the list. You can see how this is becoming a very {real} and {growing} concern.

My advice is always: Go with your gut. I know that’s a bad word to use considering brides don’t want to hear the word “gut” at all! It’s your wedding day and you’ve got to be sure your comfortable in a spiritual sense of who will be giving you away to your Knight in Shining Tux Rental.

I do not recommend walking down the aisle alone though. This “giving away” has a great deal of spiritual ramification. Your groom must receive your hand in marriage…and the giving away not only signifies that he has been approved by the family, but more importantly…it speaks of {accountability}. My father-in-love gave my wife to me, and my shaking of his hand acknowledges my appreciation and my commitment to giving his daughter the best…she’s worth that and more. =)

So I ask you…”Who gives you…to that handsome groom?”