What is the process?
It’s FUN, this is your wedding day we are talking about!! And, I'm happy to say that in all my work with couples, the process of creating their wedding has brought them closer. First, we’ll meet, talk and get to know each other. After our first no-obligation meeting, you will decide if you want to book my services. If you do, great! We’ll sign a contract and get to work. I will give you each a questionnaire to fill out – to help me learn more about your personalities, your relationship and your vision for your ceremony. I will do some research, write and send you the first draft of your ceremony via email. We’ll communicate back and forth via email and phone, fine-tuning the ceremony until it’s exactly what you want. Once the ceremony is set, I will create cue sheets for musicians, photographers, and anyone involved in the ceremony. I will come prepared to manage a smooth (and fun) rehearsal and be available to you, your wedding party and anyone involved in your ceremony on the day of. I will send your marriage license via certified mail to the proper registry and finally, present you with a keepsake version of your ceremony.
Michael G. Stewart
Do you perform weddings only in Massachusetts?
Most of my weddings are in Massachusetts and Rhode Island but I am available to travel should your wedding be elsewhere.
How far in advance should we book your services?
Most weddings are booked six months to a year in advance (though I’ve done a few weddings with only weeks notice!) Give me a call to see if your date is available and we’ll go from there.
Should we have a rehearsal?
A rehearsal is a great idea. It’s an opportunity to set everyone’s mind at ease, answer questions and run through the ceremony. If your ceremony includes readings, rituals or elements with children, a rehearsal is especially important. Practicing the processional, recessional and reviewing the order of events will help ensure that everything runs smoothly and everyone knows where they need to be. Going through the details in advance will ease any worries and allow you to be fully present during your ceremony. It’s also really fun!
Do we write our own vows?
Personal vows can add an intimate and powerful element to your ceremony. I am happy to guide you through this process. If you prefer not to write your own vows I will be glad to offer a number of suggestions to choose from.
What are your fees and do we sign a contract?
For a full-length ceremony my fees range from $700-$1000 depending on the complexity of the ceremony, distance and need for rehearsal. Additional fees may apply for long-distance ceremonies. I will give you a quote at our first meeting after I understand what you are looking for. If you decide to book me, I will ask you to sign a contract that will detail what you can expect from me as well as the details for the wedding itself. A non-refundable deposit of $200.00 is due upon signing the contract with the remaining balance due 2 weeks prior to the wedding date. I accept checks, cash or credit cards.
Each of my ceremonies is given tremendous care and attention. Whether you are having a large or small, simple or complex, formal or informal ceremony – my goal is to write the perfect ceremony for you. I will spend time with you – listening carefully to your stories, time researching and writing as well as working with your wedding party, vendors and others to ensure a flawless ceremony. I want to make sure that the memories we are creating will be wonderful.
Celebrants are trained in the art and creation of ceremony. A celebrant wedding is one in which you are in charge. Celebrants honor all traditions, beliefs and philosophies. No two celebrant weddings are the same – each one is a unique expression of the couple’s wishes for the day and their life together. The words you share, the elements you choose to express your love and relationship are based on your world-view, not mine. My mission is to write and officiate a ceremony that is a reflection of your personalities, stories and values. To learn more about Celebrancy please visit the Celebrant Foundation & Institute’s website at www.celebrantinstitute.org.
Will the wedding be legal?
Yes. I am an ordained non-denominational minister, which allows me to legally solemnize your wedding. I honor all religious, secular and spiritual traditions. I will work with you on vows, readings, music and other elements to create a perfect ceremony for you. Do you want a spiritual but non-religious ceremony? Perhaps you are combining traditions or want something informal, secular or multicultural. You will have final approval of every word of your ceremony. I will be there to guideyou, make suggestions and pull the details together, making it possible for you to fully enjoy the process and the moments.
How do I get my marriage license?
I will review all of the legal requirements when we meet. You will need proper ID, you will need to apply together in person. Fees and waiting periods vary. It’s important to note that securing your marriage license is your responsibility – I can’t do this for you!! I will return your solemnized license to the proper registry via certified mail.
Do you perform same-gender marriages?
YES! I am proud that my home state of Massachusetts issued the first marriage equality victory by declaring the dignity and equality of all individuals.