Q: I want to book you for our ceremony. What is the next step?
A: You can contact me by telephone at 1-360-332-9439 or contact me via e-mail. I will ask you a few basic questions about the type of ceremony you want and if nearby, suggest that we meet to discuss your wedding plans. During our conversation, I will explain the different parts of the ceremony and answer any questions you may have.
A: In almost all cases (location permitting), I will meet personally with you to discuss your wishes for the ceremony. In case of distance and convenience issues, everything would then be handled via phone and/or the internet. All meetings are handled personally by Officiant Brooke Bakogeorge, who will be officiating at your ceremony.
Q: Do you require pre-wedding counseling?
A: No. Counseling is not required as both of you are adults and your choice to get married is strictly your own. However, I will gladly talk with you about any concerns or issues regarding the wedding you may have.
A: Any ordained minister of a legally recognized ministry may marry you and I am an ordained Officiant in good standing in a legally recognized ministry. It is the obtaining and filing of the marriage license that makes a marriage legal. Your marriage license is obtained by you, then signed and filed by me.
Q: Is there a reservation/booking fee?
A: In almost all cases a non refundable deposit of $100.00 is required in advance by cash/check/money order/Paypal made payable to The Marriage Mate. Receipts issued at request.
Q: Will you do out of town weddings?
A: Yes. Depending on your package choice, there may be a mileage charge. Any wedding over 3 hours from my residence will require a overnight hotel stay, which will be added to the cost of the wedding package.
Q: At what type of locations will you perform weddings?
A: I will perform ceremonies in reception halls, churches, in parks or lake fronts, restaurants, outdoors, on boats, at the beach, at private residences - wherever you like! Just be certain that you have acquired any necessary permits beforehand. If you require my presence for longer than an hour ceremony - for example, an afternoon on the lake on a boat - add an additional $50.00 per hour for my time.
Q: How far in advance should I confirm a wedding officiant?
A: As I conduct all ceremonies myself, many dates are booked well in advance. You will want to book your date the sooner the better.
Q: Can we write our own vows?
A: Definitely! ... In fact, personalizing a ceremony can make it truly rich and meaningful. I am available for help and inspiration if the need should arise.
Q: How long does a ceremony take?
A: Typically, a ceremony will last about 15 to 25 minutes. However, if you wish to add extra readings or other things such as songs, candle ceremony, dove release, etc. your ceremony will last longer.
Q: What do you wear during the ceremony?
A: Typically, I wear a black suit/dress. I can also wear matching attire if that is your request, or any costume/themed clothing of your choosing-provided & funded by you.
Q: We want a non-religious wedding - will you do that?
A: It is your ceremony, and I will do it YOUR way. Except for a couple of legal restrictions, you have ultimate say over how your ceremony is to be conducted.
Q: What about last minute requests?
A: As long as there is room on my calendar, I can officiate for you.
Q: Does it matter what religion or spirituality we practice?
A: No. What matters is that I serve you in a matter that brings joy to your day. I will help you to bring your own spiritual experience to the ceremony, whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Druid, Atheist, Buddhist, Wiccan or purely spiritual.
Q: How do we reserve our date with you?
A: To reserve your date, please call me at 360-32-94390 or e-mail me Brooke@themarriagemate.com
Q: Can we have a non-religious yet spiritual ceremony?
A: Certainly. In fact many prefer a "spiritual" rather than a "religious" ceremony.
Q: Can I include elements of different religions and religious traditions in our ceremony?
A: Certainly! These make for interesting, rich meaningful ceremonies. I work with you and your various traditions to develop a ceremony that truly represents your spiritual values.
Q: What if you are unavailable for our date?
A: Sorry, there is not much I can do about that, but I will be more than happy to refer you. However, I will gladly put you on a waiting list in case the booking cancels.
Q; Will you attend wedding rehearsals?
A: Yes. I will attend the rehearsal and do a run through so that everyone is comfortable with their roles for the big day. There is a $75.00 charge for me to attend/direct the rehearsal.
Q: How do we work together to create our ceremony?
A: During our first contact, I will ask a few basic questions. I will then arrange a meeting with you. At this meeting, I usually start with a few questions designed to give me an idea of your wishes for your ceremony and the particulars of the ceremony. For weddings, I learn about your relationship, how you met, what made you fall in love, etc. Between those questions and an the initial phone conversation or meeting, I get a sense of who you are, as individuals and as a couple and we begin the process of customizing your ceremony for your needs. If I custom create the ceremony for you, you will always have the opportunity to look over the ceremony text, and make any changes. You will usually receive a rough draft of the ceremony within a few weeks of your wedding. I will be happy to make available several sample ceremonies from which you can pick parts of to customize your ceremony. Feel free to mix and match here.
Q: What are your qualifications and experience to perform weddings?
A: I am an ordained Officiant and active member of the Universal Life Church Monastery(ULC), an interfaith and non-denominational ministry. Because the ULC embraces diversity of beliefs, it allows me to perform a wide variety of ceremonies -from the very secular to the very religious.
Q: What do I need to do to legally change my last name after we are married?
A: After completion of the ceremony (or as part of it) the bride, groom and I will sign the marriage license. I will then return it to the appropriate government officials. The Clerk and Recorder will then certify the document, record the marriage and return the marriage certificate to you in the mail. You will need copies of this document for changing your name on credit cards, bank accounts, etc. You will need the original for your driver's license, passport and social security card. Also, if you are to be included in your spouse's health insurance plan, do not assume that this is automatic; you will need to enroll and produce evidence of the marriage (either the original or a copy) before you will be covered.