Frequently asked questions

How would you characterize your ceremonies?


Genuine. Relaxed. Personable. Modern. Humanist. These words best reflect the tone and energy of my ceremonies. As a speaker with decades of experience, I know how to channel my energy so that you can relax and be fully present. I am not affiliated with any house of religion, nor do I invoke any particular higher power or impose any mandatory rituals. Instead, I tell your story as we celebrate the human spirit that seeks and thrives on love and connection. I promise that you and your guests will listen to the narrative and find meaning in the words; I am no "minister in a box"!




Can you justify your fee?


My fees are right in the middle of the pack -- some officiants charge more, and some less. What you get with me is a good listener and a creative and detailed ceremony planner. I'll respond to your emails, texts and phone calls ASAP, and won't keep you guessing that I'll show up. I'll write your ceremony with intelligence, sensitivity and playfulness, and will use my strong vocabulary and excellent grasp of English grammar. During your ceremony, you'll find me to be a warm, confident and communicative speaker who conveys genuine emotion and uses a healthy volume and crisp enunciation -- you and your guests will hear and feel my words. Additionally, I am comfortable in social situations and can mingle well with your guests. I can promise you your money's worth!




But a friend can get certified for the day to perform our ceremony. Why should we hire you?


Your friend will undoubtedly have the best of intentions, and may do an excellent job on your wedding day. In general, however, experience leads to the art of officiating well. With me, you'll get no awkward pauses while I figure out what to do next. There will be no nervous laughter or jokes, or stilted and monotone reading. I am fully confident with the flow of your ceremony and fully comfortable using my voice and body in front of your guests, whether there are three or three hundred in attendance. I also know how to work with your professional vendor team and can guide you in some behind-the-scenes logistics that will provide you a seamless ceremony. Let me give you a more memorable-for-the-right-reasons wedding day.




How long are your ceremonies?


We can discuss this during our planning, but in general, most couples today want a ceremony that lasts 15 to 20 minutes.




Can we write our own vows?


Certainly, and I even have some samples you can look over for inspiration. If you prefer "I do" vows, I've got samples of those as well.




What about readings and rituals?


Weddings work well with and without these. If you'd like to incorporate, for example, a poem or passage and/or a hand fasting, wishing stone or wine box ceremony, let's make it happen. You may have your own ideas, or I can make some recommendations.




Do we need you for our rehearsal?


Wedding rehearsals focus on the processional and recessional; you don't rehearse the ceremony itself. Typically, your venue or wedding coordinator takes care of the rehearsal for you as it's part of their service. I have done hundreds of processionals so I promise I will know what to do! However, if you don't have someone to help you run the rehearsal, I can perform that service for an additional $75.




Will you attend our reception?


I am honored to spend the first part of your reception with you. Typically, I leave after we all sign the marriage license, allowing you to enjoy an intimate celebration with friends and family.




What will you wear?


My attire will complement your style, but I usually wear a simple yet elegant black dress. If you have other preferences, we can discuss this during our planning.




Are you LGBTQ+ friendly?


Definitely. I've long been an advocate and activist for marriage equality and with pride, have guided a diversity of couples at their wedding altar.




Will you marry us outside the Phoenix metropolitan area?


I can frequently make that happen. We can discuss travel expenses.




What's the process of working with you?


Once you decide to move forward with me as your officiant, I put you in ink on my calendar -- and that day is yours. I'll send you a booking email with instructions on putting down a deposit, and once you make that, we start our ceremony planning. I know you have a lot of wedding planning on your plate, so I stay organized, keeping us on track for a seamless ceremony. On the day of your wedding, I show up a minimum of 30 minutes ahead of time. We have the ceremony and sign the license, which I then file the very next business day. After the wedding, I mail you a keepsake copy of your ceremony. And I'm available to you throughout the whole process for any ceremony-related needs/questions you may have.




How do we pay you?


I ask for 50% upon booking, with the remainder due 30 days before your wedding. I accept Venmo, PayPal, cash or check.





©2020 by Liz O'Brien