FAQ

Q: "How much do you charge?"

A: That depends! Rarely would it be more than $150. For a simple signing ceremony in the state of New Jersey (you provide the witnesses) I would ask $50. If it takes place within Carteret, New Jersey, I won't charge you anything. On the other end of the spectrum, a full formal wedding with a measure or extra complexity, preceded by two planning sessions and a rehearsal, can run between $250-$400. Most weddings will be far less. 


Q: "Are you really ordained?"

A: Yes, I am endorsed as a Celebrant by The Humanist Society


Q: "Is that online ordination?"

A: No. Each Celebrant, Chaplain, or other professional endorsed by The Humanist Society has to meet certain qualifications, and their application is carefully reviewed by the Society before approval. Further, credentialed Humanist professionals agree to uphold certain ethical and professional standards, and must remained actively engaged in the type of service for which they were approved. Credentials are renewed periodically.


Q: "Does The Humanist Society have churches?"

A: No. The Humanist Society endorses professionals to serve the wider community, representing Humanist values and ideals in the course of their work. However, if you are looking for a Humanist community near you to join, you can look for a chapter of the American Humanist Association, or see if there is an Ethical Society in your area.


Q: "Did you study for the ministry?"

A: Yes! I have an earned Bachelor of Ministry degree from Harding University (1999), a regionally accredited institution located in Arkansas. I am also currently studying for a Master of Divinity degree through Abilene Christian University Graduate School of Theology


Q: "Do you have any experience?"

A: Yes, as both a minister and an officiant. When I was younger I ministered full-time in Brazil, South America and in New Mexico. Prior to that I did supply preaching for a number of congregations and served a pair of churches as a student minister. Through the years I have officiated weddings and infant dedications, and am prepared to craft a ceremony for any occasion.


Q: "Who will you officiate a wedding for?"

A: Any couple seeking to be married needs to have a valid marriage license, and both must be fully consenting to the union. That's it.


Q: "We're religious. Will you officiate for us?"

A: Of course! Just please understand that as a Humanist celebrant I won't lead prayer, or bring into the ceremony any religious elements that were not requested by the couple. I officiate non-religious ceremonies.  


Q: "Will you officiate in a church?"

A: Sure! Whatever venue you secure is fine with me. 


Q: "Can we have prayer at the ceremony?"

A: Prayer really isn't a part of Humanism, and so as a Humanist celebrant I do not engage in it. However, if there is a friend or family member who the couple would like to include to offer prayer, that can certainly be arranged. 


Q: "Can we have a Bible reading at our wedding?"

A: It's very common for people to have scripture readings, such as 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, in their wedding service, even when the couple isn't particularly religious. In crafting your wedding ceremony we can use any text that will help the couple and their guests find it most meaningful, including the Bible. 


Q: "Do we have to use the Bible or Christian language in our ceremony?"

A: Absolutely not. My aim is to provide a non-religious milestone event that those involved will find meaningful. We can craft your ceremony to fit your situation.


Q: "Will God be mentioned at all?"

A: Not by me, unless there's a reading the couple has requested that mentions God. Otherwise someone who leads prayer or provides special music, at the request of the couple, could use theistic language.


Q: "Do you require pre-marital counseling?"

A: No. If you are adults with a valid marriage license, and both want to get married, then that's good enough.


Q: "What if we want pre-marital counseling?"

A: Depending on my availability, I am able to provide basic pre-marital counseling for an additional fee. If you really are concerned about it, I recommend seeking a psychologist who specializes in marriage and family issues.


Q: "Can you officiate a wedding in another language?"

A: Yes! I can officiate in Brazilian Portuguese, as I did for my daughter's wedding.


Q: "Do you only officiate weddings, or can you help with something else?"

A: Apart from weddings I'll be glad to help with vow renewals, baby naming, infant dedication and coming of age. I will only assist with funerals/memorials for people I know personally. I will not facilitate any part of of a gender reveal.