1. Q "HOW DOES YOUR SERVICE STAND OUT?"
A What's different about me is that I will only perform one wedding a day. I treat my couples wedding ceremony with honor and respect and treasure their day as they do. Once hired, I am available for my couple 24/7. I will give them 100% of myself and help them in any way I can to plan a ceremony that is perfect for them. I will work with them in creating a personalized, memorable ceremony that fits their wants, desires and most importantly, their personalities.
2. Q "WHAT DO YOU ENJOY ABOUT THE WORK YOU DO?"
A I love everything about being an Officiant!! I truly do. From creating the ceremony that is perfect for my couple to my couple standing in front of me on their wedding day. The whole process is something I cherish. The fact that I can bring two individuals and join them together as one and be there for the start of their lives together and create the beginning of their "Happily Ever After" is the greatest gift.
3. Q "WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A COUPLE LOOKING TO HIRE A PROVIDER IN YOUR AREA OF WORK?"
A Go with an Officiant that you feel you have that immediate connection with. I know they're many out there, that charge all different prices, but go with the one you know you
can talk with, share with, feel comfortable with and trust will have your best interest at heart. Do your research and make sure the Officiant you hire knows all the ins and outs of the legal process as well. You'd be surprised how many don't know this!
4. Q "DO YOU CHARGE EXTRA FOR "ADD ONS" WITH YOUR CEREMONIES?"
A NO! My quote to you will always include writing, preforming your ceremony, filing your license as well as travel. There are never any hidden costs and I will NOT charge for additional services in your ceremony (like unity ceremonies, readings etc.). If you're having a Unity Ceremony, the couple is responsible for purchasing the items required for the ceremony (ie: candles, sand, stones etc.).
5. Q "WHAT IS YOUR TYPICAL PROCESS FOR WORKING WITH A NEW COUPLE?"
A First, once I submit a quote to you I will hold your wedding day for 5 days. This means that if someone else contacts me within those five days with regards to the same day, I will reach out to my first couple to see if they were still interested in my service. If I do not hear back within the 5 days I will put that date back on my calendar and submit other quotes if that day should it come up.
I like to talk with my couples first on the phone and then, if possible, set up a time to sit down and meet face to face. I want my couple to get a feel for who I am as well as me get a feel for the two of you. If distance between us makes it impossible to meet in person then we can Face Time or Skype. My goal is for you to feel as a friend is marrying you on your wedding day and not a stranger you met online. Once I have a signed contract and deposit I will send you my "Order of Service - 11 Steps to your Ceremony" and all the options I have to make your ceremony all about the two of you. Then the fun begins, working together in preparing you ceremony, personalizing every step to fit your personality. I am there for my couple 24/7 and will do whatever is needed to ensure you wedding ceremony is perfect!
6. Q "CAN'T I JUST HAVE A FRIEND MARRY US?"
A My answer to this is, it's your day and you can do what ever you want, BUT: Do you really want a friend or a relative or person with limited experience, lead the most important moment of your life? I've been performing weddings for over 5 years and there are things I am still learning, but my experiences allow me to give my couple a flawless ceremony and one that they will cherish. My personal option is that it is a great honor for the couple to ask family and friends to come up and do a "reading", but not perform the entire ceremony. Now, if it is important for you to have a friend or relative perform your ceremony, but are worried about all the detail, I am available, for a small fee, to work with that person, ensuring they know the details of a wedding ceremony as well as all the legal work with regards to filing your marriage license. You get the best of both worlds :)!
7. Q "WHAT'S INCLUDED WITH YOUR FEE? ARE THRE ANY HIDDEN CHARGES?"
A The answer to this is I NEVER have extra charges (ie: mileage, travel or parking). When I set a price all that is taken into consideration and you'll know exactly what I charge. Included are unlimited phone calls and emails. Of course, if you feel more comfortable with additional meetings face to face they can certainly be arranged, no extra charge. I'm also available for chat on Skype or FaceTime.
8. Q "WHY DOES IT COST SO MUCH FOR 20 - 30 MINUTES OF WORK?"
A It is completely understandable for couples and their guests to assume officiants earn an unusually high amount of money for simply prompting the couple through their vows and pronouncing them married, but that is only part of the story the most visible part. Competent officiants invest time before the wedding gathering the pieces together and ensuring the desired flow of the ceremony is there. Time may be spent helping the couple customize vows, decide between a unity candle or a sand ceremony, and/or writing the opening words, a homily and a blessing. Ceremony composition is far more time-consuming than the joyful occasion itself. Officiants are often present well before the service to calm nerves or confer with a wedding consultant, the photographer, and other wedding vendors. I honestly believe that money is not the main issue. The Officiant's fee is probably one of the least costs of your wedding day (with the exception of your marriage license which is $25.00). The truth is, it's a matter of trust and confidence with the person you hire. I believe that the bottom line is trust, recommendations and experience.
Officiants are also responsible for ensuring accurate completion of the marriage license and submitting it to the appropriate county clerk office within the matter of a few days and there are travel and/or postage expenses associated with this responsibility. Wedding officiating is a business with accompanying expenses. Officiants must advertise, maintain home offices, have internet access, make long-distance phone calls and travel to the ceremony among other costs.
Your officiant is a professional every bit as much as your caterer, your DJ/Band and your photographer.
9. Q "WHERE ARE YOU WILLING TO GO TO PERFORM A CEREMONY?"
A Anywhere! Over the past 5 years I've lived in NJ, TN and now NM. I have been blessed to be a part of beach weddings in NJ, city roof top wedding in NYC as well as weddings in the great outdoors in the beautiful Smoky Mountains. Celebrating your marriage ceremony, in a location that means something to you, will make it more personal and a truly cherished memory.
10. Q "HOW LONG WITH OUR CERMEONY LAST?"
A Usually, ceremonies last 20 - 25 minutes. It all depends on you. Wedding venues schedule ceremonies for 30 minutes. Remember, they work for YOU. If you want a longer ceremony, they should be able to delay your cocktail hour until you are ready. YOU are the boss. Your ceremony can be as long or as short as you want it to be.
11. Q "WHAT DO YOU USUALLY WEAR DURING THE CEREMONY?"
A I generally wear professional clothes with a plain black minister's robe. If couples are looking for a religious ceremony, I can also add a clergy stole. I can change my attire to suit your preferences. I wear a robe because I want to respect your ceremony. Once I was asked to dress like a wicked witch for a wedding ceremony that was on Halloween. It was a lot of fun, but it had to be one of the warmest day in October and my green nose did not last lol. Just tell me what is important to you and you will get exactly what you want.
12. Q "DO YOU NEED TO MEET WITH US BEFORE THE CEREMONY?"
A Unless it's a last minute ceremony - Yes please! It's an important part of creating the ceremony to fit your dreams. I like to say that "I never marry strangers!" I find that constructing the ceremony together is a joyful and wonderful meeting. We laugh, we cry, and you'll know exactly what will be said at your wedding ceremony. If distance is a problem, we can 'meet' over the phone, via Skype or through FaceTime.
13. Q "CAN WE WRITE OUR OWN VOWS?"
A Yes, of course! You can customize your ceremony as you would like. I'm also always available to help you with any details. I will give you some tips about writing your personal vows when we meet. I also included pages of pre-written vows with my Order of Service to help you along. You don't need to be a great author to say what's in your heart!
14. Q "HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD WE MEET WITH YOU?"
A I usually book wedding ceremonies at least 9 - 12 months in advance, but if I'm available, I may be able to marry you this weekend! Please, be sure to call me while you're in the early stages of your wedding planning. Since I only perform one wedding a day, I hate to say, "I'm not available."
15. Q "WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING?"
A You may be surprised that this is my full time job. This is not a hobby. This is not something I do "on the side." This is my calling, my joy! I work every day preparing ceremonies, meeting people and venues. I'm available 24/7.
16. Q "HOW DO WE PAY YOU?"
A I ask for a $100.00 deposit when you decide to hire me. I accept a personal check, credit card, money order or cash. The balance is due one week before your wedding day and you can pay using a credit card using my invoice company.
17. Q "HOW DO WE GET, AND THEN WHAT DO WE DO, WITH THE MARRIAGE LICENSE?"
A In New Mexico the wedding license does NOT expire so you can get it anytime. However, the couple MUST go together. You do not need any witnesses, but I always recommend bringing a friend to take pictures. You will need to bring your license and proof of your social security number (card, copy of last years tax return or W-2) and $25.00. If you are divorced or a widower, bring with you the date of divorce or date of death of your spouse. They will give you your license right and it is valid immediately. I like to get the marriage license at the rehearsal so that I can bring it home and fill out the top half nicely (since you will be getting it back). Immediately after the ceremony, the couple, their two witness and myself (along with the photographer) will go someplace quite to sign the license. Unlike most officiants, I will file your marriage license for you, unless you want to get your certified copies right away. Then of course, you can file it. I like to take all the stresses away from my couple!
18. Q "WHAT IF YOU GET SICK?"
A I would have to be gravely sick or no longer here on this earth for me to miss a wedding. I have NEVER missed a wedding and I don't plan on it. In the event of a dire emergency though, I work closely with another Officiant who has my complete schedule and she will perform the ceremony we have constructed together. You will NEVER be left at the alter!!!
19. Q "DO YOU OFFER PRE-MARITAL COUNSELING?"
A I truly believe all couples should do pre-marital counseling! No matter how well you think you know each other, you don't. This being said, I am a certified SYMBIS* facilitator. SYMBIS = Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts, is one of the most successful pre-marital assessment and training programs. If this interests you, ask me to send you a sample report. You can't ask for a better way to launch the great adventure of marriage!
20. Q "DO YOU PERFORM SAME SEX MARRIAGES"
A You bet I do! I am honored to be a part of ANY couples wedding ceremony that share a deep love for one another! I truly believe that there is no power on heaven or earth that can come between two people who love each other so much that they want to commit themselves to each other in the amazing partnership of marriage!
"Nothing here is promised, not one day. And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside. Now fill the world with music, love and pride."
21. Q "ARE YOU ON ANY SOCIAL MEDIA SITES?"
A Yes I am. Right now I am on Facebook (A Grand Beginning - Lynn A. Grand, O.C.) and Instagram (lynngrandofficiant). I am constantly posting pictures and sharing interesting ideas.
22. Q "IS A REHEARSAL REALLY NECESSARY?"
A Couples have different feelings on this issue. Some couples find that a rehearsal is necessary and feel it is an important 'part of the process'. Some brides take comfort in knowing just what will happen. It doesn't matter if you have a small bridal party (just the couple) or a large bridal party, my opinion, if it makes you happy, I'm happy to be there.
23. Q "I OFTEN HAVE COUPLES SHYLY ASK, "ARE WE SUPPOSED TO TIP THE OFFICIANT?”
A The answer is simple; Gratuities are never expected but always appreciated! I want my couples to know that I donate all gratuities received to "Autism Speaks," on behalf of my beautiful daughter, Kaitlyn who was diagnosed Autistic at the age of 3 as well as to "The Compassionate Friends/USA," an amazing support group I joined after I lost my 18-year-old son, Nick, in 2014 to a tragic accident. These two charities helped me though some of the darkest times of my life and I feel it's only fair to give back to them for all they've given me. If interested in any of these charities, please feel free to ask me.