A Few Things to Keep in Mind…
Should you have Any concerns – I am a Legally Ordained Minister and may lawfully solemnize your marriage.
1. Once you have obtained your Marriage License, please keep the entire license and envelope ‘at hand’ so that it is readily available the day of the ceremony. Your ceremony cannot be performed without it!! The top portion of the license is the keepsake portion and I return the bottom portion to the county clerk’s office when it is signed after your wedding ceremony.
2. A minimum non-refundable 50% deposit is required to reserve your date and time and full payment must be completed two weeks before your wedding day – a money order or your personal check made out to “Melanie Graffius”. (To preserve the emotional integrity of your wedding, and to avoid any possible disruption of your celebration, I feel strongly that all business must be transacted prior to your wedding day.)
3. Most bridal guidelines and planning books cite suggested amounts for ministers at a rate of less than one percent of your total planning budget. This figure is based on weddings held in churches where a fee has already been paid to the church (usually upwards of $700) for the use of the facilities, and the minister is salaried by the church. The amount called for in planning books as appropriate (usually around $50 to $150) is a token gift to the minister that is traditionally donated back to the church by the minister.
My rates are based on the quality and quantity of services provided. My Basic Package is far less, in total cost, than what you would expect to pay even the most modest traditional church. I am a self-employed, independent contractor, in some ways, similar to your florist, DJ or caterer. For my fee, I provide complete ceremony services, from start to finish.
4. I do not require contracts because I prefer to keep things simple. However, I must be notified immediately if you have a change of plans and my availability will then be on a “first come, first serve” basis.
5. Do you have some ideas you want to share with your beloved? I am delighted if you want to contribute to the creation of your ceremony or the writing of your vows. I’ll be happy to help you turn your thoughts into words, or your words into a memorable part of your ceremony. I am readily available by e-mail or phone.