Wedding Officiating Frequently Asked Questions

Lyssabeth's Frequently Asked Questions

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Fees & Payment Questions

How much does an officiant cost?

There are many factors that determine the final price for our services. Generally, the Basic Ceremony is priced at $285 and the Classic is $425. Things that will cause a raise in those prices include venue location, choice of officiant, the addition of a rehearsal and any additions made to the base services included in the ceremony level.

We encourage couples to establish a realistic budget for all of their wedding vendors. We also acknowledge and respect that each couple will want to prioritize their spending differently for various parts of their wedding day. To that end, we offer a variety of officiating services so that every couple may have the ceremony they seek at a price that is both affordable for them and compensates our wedding officiants fairly for their expertise, experience, time, energy, creativity and professionalism.

Our goal is to give you everything you want, without asking you to pay for the things that you don't. Simply contact us; in less than five minutes, we can ask the right questions to help you determine the best ceremony level for you, and quote you a firm price

How much is the deposit?

We call our deposits "nonrefundable reservation fees" (which means the money is used to reserve the officiant for a specific date). The reservation fee for all ceremony levels is 50% of the total price. You may also choose to pay in full at booking. We include a $10 discount for payments made in full at time of booking.

All monies paid are nonrefundable. If you pay the minimum reservation fee, the balance is due 30 days prior to your wedding date

Do you charge travel fees?

When we suggest an officiant match for your ceremony, we take the following into consideration: your preference (of course!) officiant availability, and location. Your price quote will include everything, including travel costs, parking fees, etc.

So, no travel fees--are there any other additional charges?

You will incur additional charges if your ceremony does not start on time. We allow a 15 minute grace period after which we do charge additionally for each 15-minute increment of time that is delayed ($25 for each 15 minutes or portion thereof). While this rarely happens, you will want to consider your time choice carefully when booking with us. Be sure your site coordinator and wedding planner are aware of this, as well.

We also have a last-minute fee ($50) for any ceremonies booked less 3 days in advance of the wedding date. Although we're happy to accommodate last-minute requests, it does make for a bit of a mad scramble to track down an officiant, process the payment and get your contract emailed off when we are in such a tight time window. It's doable, but we have to drop everything else that we're doing so that we can put last-minute requests at the top of our priority list

Do you offer discounts for mid-week or off-season dates? Do you charge extra for holidays?

We do not offer midweek discounts nor do we charge extra for holidays. The amount of work is the same regardless. The only time we may charge extra would be if the officiant needs to go above and beyond to accommodate your ceremony. (A midnight or sunrise ceremony, for example.)

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept Mastercard, Visa and Discover through a secure (encrypted) page on our website. 

Can I upgrade from a Basic to a Classic after signing a contract?

You can always upgrade services. However, it costs more to upgrade than it would have to book the higher level ceremony in the first place. That is becasue we need to issue an updated contract and update our accounting system, sot here is a bit more work involved when you upgrade later. You'll save about $30 if you book the ceremony level you want right from the beginning.

How and when do I make my final payment?

If you choose to split your payment, your final balance will be due 30 days before your ceremony date. We'll email you an invoice about a week before it's due. If we don't receive your payment by the due date, we will automatically charge the card we have on file.

Is it customary to tip the officiant?

Gratuities are never expected, but always appreciated.

Ceremony Logistics Questions

How much advance notice do I need to give before booking an officiant?

Because we are a group of wedding officiants, chances are good that you will be able to find one of us having availability--even if you are giving short notice. Just remember that we cannot hold your date and time without a signed contract. Also note that some of our officiants are booked over a year in advance so if you have your heart set on one particular officiant, it's best to book ASAP. If you are seeking a Classic Custom ceremony, we suggest booking at least six months in advance so that we can get to know you, although we can make it happen with less time than that. 

How long is the ceremony?

A Classic Custom Ceremony can range from 15 minutes to 40 minutes, depending on the number of components added. You can get a lot of creativity and innovation into a 20 to 25 minute ceremony! Anything longer than that would be too lengthy for most folks. You will want to get to the post-ceremony party, after all! Once we write your ceremony, your officiant will give you a good idea of what to expect in terms of time.

The Basic Ceremony is approximately 15-18 minutes long, depending upon your processional and recessional time.

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Photo courtesy of Kona Photo

What does the officiant wear?

It’s all about what you want to reflect. For many weddings, we will wear a robe (with or without religious connotations). If you do not wish us to wear a robe, then we will wear appropriate, subdued wedding attire (suit and tie for men, suit or dress for women), or anything else you’d like.

Can we write our own wedding vows?

Absolutely! Vows are a deeply personal thing. For any ceremony level, feel free to use our vows or your own for any ceremony level at no additional charge.

We like the Basic Ceremony, but it doesn't quite have everything we want--we'd like to add a reading or maybe a unity candle. Do we need to upgrade to the Classic Custom?

Not necessarily. Although the Basic is meant to be performed as-written, if there is just one thing you want to add (such as a unity ceremony), then let us know. We'll charge you a nominal extra fee (usually $30 - $50) for the added component and keep you at the Basic level. If you want more than one extra added to the Basic, however, we ask that you upgrade to the Classic Custom.

How do I obtain a copy of my marriage license after we're married?

You officiant will mail the license to the County Clerk within one business day of the ceremony. The Clerk will then certify the document and record the marriage. In Colorado, the certified marriage license will be mailed to you automatically. If you want additional certified copies, contact the County Clerk.

I've written my own ceremony. I just need someone to perform it and make everything legal. Can we do that with Lyssabeth's?

Sorry, no. We only perform ceremonies that we've written (such as our prewritten Basic Ceremonies) or that we've worked with couples to create. Inevitably, when a couple presents us with a ceremony script that has not been professionally crafted, it ends up being as much work (usually more) to get it up to our professional standards. If you have written a ceremony that you like, we're happy to use it as a starting point and we'll make sure that all the wording you like is included.

We're already legally married (but no one knows). Can you still perform a ceremony? And is there a reduced fee because the officiant doesn't have to complete and file the marriage license?

It's perfectly fine if you're already legally married. That just means the legal part has been taken care of; you can still have a ceremony and yes, you can trust us to keep quiet about your already-married status to Grandma Jean (although, if our officiant is flat-out asked, we won't lie.). Just bring a copy of your marriage license on the wedding day to show us that you're already wed. But no, there is no discount, since filing the license takes all of one minute and the cost of a stamp.

Does my officiant stay for the reception?

The choice to stay for the reception, if invited, is up to each individual officiant.

What are your officiants' qualifications and experience to perform weddings?

At minimum, all of Lyssabeth's wedding officiants are licensed to perform weddings through the Universal Life Church-an interfaith and nondenominational ministry. Because the ULC embraces diversity of beliefs, it allows us to perform a wide variety of ceremonies--from the very secular to the very religious. Many Lyssabeth's officiants have additional certifications that allow them to perform legal ceremonies. If you are seeking a particular type of credential (i.e. a judge or a minister) let us know and we'll tell you who is available. Note that regardless of the officiant's title, all Lyssabeth's officiants use identical ceremony resources. We will never add any words to a ceremony that conflict with a couple's stated values. Regardless of individual credentials, Lyssabeth's officiants are well-spoken, creative, energetic and calm in the midst of chaos!

We have an in-depth officiant training program that includes study of the Lyssabeth's training manual, classes, observance and one-on-one mentoring.

Where does the name "Lyssabeth's Wedding Officiants" come from?

"Lyssabeth" is the hybrid name of Maureen's two daughter's--Bethany and Alyssa. Now adults, they seem to have turned out a-okay, so Maureen decided if she named the business after them, she might get lucky and achieve the same success. So far, it's working--Lyssabeth's was founded in 2002 and continues to flourish. For more on the history of Lyssabeth's Wedding Officiants, please see our About Us page.

I want to meet with my officiant in person. Where do we meet? Does the officiant come to my home or meet me at a place that is halfway between my home and their office?

Like most professionals, our officiants meet with clients at their home offices. This helps us to keep our prices as low as possible and allows officiants to have access to all the materials and resources they need for your ceremony. Some of our officiants may choose to meet with couples at a public location close to their home office--especially if they have a home situation that might make a meeting in their home less than optimal (e.g. pets, small children). Even in these circumstances, however, we still ask that you meet with the officiant at the location that they designate. If that is an inconvenience, we're happy to arrange a phone or Skype meeting.

There are so many of you and we want our officiant to get to know us personally! Will I still get personalized service?

Absolutely! The reason there are so many of us is that the demand has grown for the creativity, joy and uniqueness that Lyssabeth's officiants bring to each ceremony. Each officiant is chosen by Maureen personally and embodies the Lyssabeth's philosophy of excellence, acceptance of all beliefs and ensuring that every nuance of your ceremony is reflective of your love and values. And although we are a group, you will form a relationship solely with your officiant (although rest assured that we do fill in as backup to one another in the unlikely event of an emergency).

Next Steps

The simplest way to get started on finding the officiant and ceremony level for you is to follow these three steps:

  1. Read over the the details descriptions of our Basic and Classic ceremonies. 
  2. Look over the bios of our Colorado officiants to see who resonates with you the most. 
  3. Complete our contact form and tell us how we can help give you the most memorable wedding ceremony ever. We promise to get back to you within one business day. If you'd like a faster response, call us at 720-360-1094.