Answers. I haz dem.
What is your fee?
You obviously just skimmed my site to get to the nitty-gritty, because it was right there under the SERVICES / FEE page. But I can't really fault you for that; you want to know if you can afford me before you get sucked into my slick sales pitch. Well, good news! You can afford me. Now go read my sales pitch! It took me like, 10 minutes to write it.
Hmmmmm. That seems like a lot of money. What if I think I can get a better deal from someone else?
I agree, it is a lot of money. (Trust me, I paid for my wedding myself, and when I went out and priced officiants, I nearly had a stroke.) So feel free to go and get quotes from other officiants. If you can find one who offers absolutely everything that I do for less, show me the quote in writing and I'll match their price. Hell, I'll probably be so pissed I'll *beat* their price.
Why is your fee so inexpensive compared to other officiants?
*sigh* You really haven't been paying attention, have you? Despite the fact that my friends and family think I'm insane, I refuse to charge a zillion dollars for my services. Yes, I'm worth more. But aren't we all worth more than we ever get paid? So I'm over it. I'd rather help a lot of cool couples get hitched, and I don't want to be a part of the evil wedding industry that gouges couples simply because I can.
Do you do weddings outside of NYC? Does it cost extra?
Yes and sort of. You see, I used to just ask couples to cover my gas and tolls, but by the time the wedding rolled around, they would forget that I drove three hours to be there and I would end up paying for everything myself. (You can't blame them; they've got a lot on their minds that day!) So now I just charge a flat 50 bucks on top of my fee, because that's about what I usually spend to fill my tank and pay a few tolls. Not terribly unreasonable, I think.
Do you travel? How about a destination wedding?
Sure! That's gonna be a TBD expense that we can work out, but the cost will be solely for things like travel (gas or flight), lodging and food; I don't charge extra to make a profit just because you live somewhere else or want to get married in the Bahamas or whatever. And I don't require fancy hotels or food; a clean Super 8 and some drive-thru is fine by me. (Hey, I'm a musician, so I've slept in a Ryder truck and survived on microwave popcorn for weeks. So everything above that is First Class in my book.)
OK, so we like you and want to hire you. Now what?
Well first of all, that's AWESOME. If you haven't already called or emailed me, please do so now. RIGHT NOW. I'll wait.
Great. So the next thing I do is schedule an appointment to meet with you. (If you're out-of-state, this can be via phone or video, but I really like meeting couples in person.) We'll talk about you, the wedding you want, and what you'd like from me. After that, I look over my notes from our meeting and write up a questionnaire for you and your significant other to fill out. Every survey is unique and I usually have a few drinks before I write it just to make it a bit more laid-back and funny. Okay, maybe a lot of drinks. (I probably shouldn't admit that, but there it is. *ahem*) Oh, and I encourage you to do the same before you answer.
After that, I sketch out a ceremony, using whatever guidelines you've set. I'll give you a rough outline of what will happen during the service, or you can just go with the flow. (I used to let couples read and edit the entire service ahead of time, but I found that it encouraged couples to nitpick over nonsense and generally sucked the joy and spontaneity out of it for me, so I am revoking that privilege.) If you want to dictate *exactly* what the officiant should say and when, then I am probably not the person you want to hire. I am first and foremost a performer after all, and I excel at on-the-spot improvisation (whereas most other officiants are going to open a book and give you Wedding #5 or #2 or #8A, unless you pony up big bucks for something custom). So if you like who I am and what I'm about, I will only ask that you trust me. I won't let you down!
A rehearsal is up to you; at the end of the day, I'm gonna sign a piece of paper that says you're married, and I'm pretty good at it. Because that's really the only thing that can get screwed up. But hey, I'm down for a rehearsal if you are. I'm a musucian, fer crying out loud. Most of my life has been spent rehearsing for one show or another.
When do we pay you? Do you require a deposit?
I don't require a deposit, but I also ask that you don't screw me and cancel at the last minute either. Most couples pay me ahead of time, but I will actually *require* payment after services have been rendered (hopefully to your great satisfaction). I take cash, checks, money orders, Venmo, Zelle, and your firstborn. Wait, did I say firstborn? I meant PayPal.
Do you have a contract?
I didn't used to offer one, but I've had a few couples request it, so yes, if you want one to soothe your nerves (or those of your accountant's) I can provide you with that. It's all super-fancy and legal and binding and BORING AS HELL to read.
Are you a real Reverend?
Technically I'm a Minister, but RevD sounds better and either way, I'm fully ordained and registered with the New York City Clerk. Plus I have mad credentials and I'm not afraid to show 'em to you.
What are your views on gay marriage?
That should be fairly obvious, since I perform them and all. But if it's not, here's a cute little cartoon for you. Enjoy.
Do you stay for the reception?
Only when invited, and that is *not* an obligation on your part.
What religion are you and your services?
I am a non-denominational Reverend, and my services can be tastefully tailored to suit your particular beliefs or lack thereof. I am probably not the best choice if you're looking for someone to perform a full-blown Catholic mass, ancient Jewish rite or snakehandling ceremony, but I guess if you were looking for that in the first place, you wouldn't have made it all the way to my FAQ page anyways.
Is this your full-time job?
No. I am a metal musician and retired paramedic who opened NYC's first and foremost Vegas-style elopement chapel, volunteers as a therapy dog trainer and fosters kittens for the ASPCA...none of which pay me nearly enough to make a living in this ridiculously-expensive city. So I have lots of other jobs. But I don't look at weddings as something I *have* to do to pay my rent. I genuinely enjoy performing them, and whatever compensation I receive in exchange is more money I can spend at Guitar Center next weekend. Hallelujah.