Photo credit: Stephen Martin- www.stephenmartinphotography.com
Frequently Asked Questions
How much advanced notice is needed to book a wedding?
We book up to two years in advance, but can also perform a simple ceremony with little or no notice.
How long is the ceremony?
Based on what you choose it can last between ten and thirty minutes. Our personalized ceremonies are known for being one of the most special parts of the day and will be remembered by your guests for a long time.
What does the officiant wear?
The clothing worn by the officiant all depends on what you want to reflect. For many weddings it will be a robe. If you do not wish for a robe, a proper, subdued suit is the next most usual choice for officiant attire.
Do I need witnesses?
No. Indiana and Illinois do not require witnesses.
I'm Catholic. Can you perform a catholic ceremony?
Yes. Rev. Doug's original ordination was as a Roman Catholic priest. As canon law states, "once a priest, always a priest." What this means for you is that your wedding will be a valid catholic sacrament recognized in the eyes of God.
Can I have a non-religious ceremony?
Yes. That is called a secular ceremony and it will be a beautiful experience full of warmth and depth even if you choose not to include any religious tones. Your wedding will be personal, fulfilling, and memorable.
How much does a ceremony cost?
We are truly dedicated to serving couples of all budget levels. What you choose, such as your officiant preferences, amount of customizing for the ceremony, if you wish us to facilitate a rehearsal, whether you want to meet your officiant in person first, chapel rental or ceremony location, etc, will determine the cost of your ceremony. Since each wedding is so unique, we have found that the best way to give couples an accurate and firm price quote for their wedding ceremony is to discuss these variables via telephone or in person.
Do I need a rehearsal?
That, like many other wedding details, depends on your unique situation. Depending on the number of people in your wedding party, how familiar and comfortable they are with being in a wedding ceremony, and how many little ones will be involved, you might consider having a rehearsal. Some couples choose not to have a rehearsal after their planning session because we have already worked out the major details and both the bride and groom feel comfortable enough to direct their own wedding party.
Why choose an experienced minister?
Sometimes our couples tell us horror stories about how terrible their friend's wedding ceremony was. The reason? They chose an inauthentic officiant or one with little experience. We've heard things like:
"At my brother's wedding the minister read the whole ceremony out of a book. He never even looked up. There was no heart in it at all."
"My friend said that she and her fiancee were not allowed to customize the ceremony at all. During the ceremony it showed. It was way too impersonal."
"The guy acted like he had never done this before..." (they found out later this officiant was an "internet" minister)
"He didn't make any sense. It was long and rambling and me and my wife were so lost."
"He took over the entire ceremony and ran it like a drill sergeant! I felt like I was enlisting."
"The ceremony was only five minutes long! My sister was so upset! She didn't even feel like she got married."
When you are choosing a wedding officiant you want to choose someone who specializes is the ceremony itself, and has many years of experience doing just that. Instead of settling for a florist, internet minister, DJ, or cake decorator, who claim to understand the intricacies of a ceremony just because they've been in the business, leave it to the professionals. Rev. Doug can provide you with an incredibly meaningful, spiritual or religious ceremony because he has been offering these services since his ordination in 1984.
What do you differently than a courthouse ceremony?
If you'd like, we take the time to plan your unique ceremony even if it's just for the two of you. Each wedding is unique so your personalities can shine and you feel like you actually got married when all is said and done. The ceremony can last between 10 to 30 minutes. If you don't want to plan, we will happily provide you with a ceremony to remember without prior preparation on your part.
Do I need a DJ for my service?
Music is provided at our chapel services, though a DJ is welcome.
Can we write our own wedding vows?
What forms of payment are accepted?
Cash, check, and credit are accepted forms of payment. Please make checks payable to Free Spirit Ministries.
Do you have ideas and suggestions for our ceremony?
Certainly! Along with traditional wedding components, unique and personal touches can run through the entire ceremony, (ie: unity candles, releasing of doves, blending of families, or other ideas chosen specifically by you). If you have no particular ideas for your ceremony just yet, rest assured that you will have an incredibly memorable union to celebrate with all your guests. After performing thousands of ceremonies, we have created many of our own unique combinations to ensure the ceremony's seamless flow, making your day as perfect as it can be.
Can you just show up and perform the ceremony without any planning?
Yes, the plannings and preparation for the ceremony are for your comfort. With 28 years of experience performing wedding ceremonies, you can rest assured that you will have a beautiful wedding regardless of how involved you are in the process.
Who should I write the check to?
You can make checks for wedding services (Deposit, Ceremony, Planning Sessions, Rehearsals, Hall Rental, etc.) payable to Free Spirit Ministries.
LATE START FEE
A late fee will be assessed for all weddings starting after their scheduled time.