And Now, It’s Time To Wed. HELP!

Congratulations on your engagement!

Are you scared yet? Let me ease your fears.

Planning your wedding is a daunting task. No question about it and I don’t intend to trivialize your trepidations.

Guest list first. Your one most controllable expense factor. Wedding date. Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall? Fees for almost everything are typically higher during the peak season — May through September in the Portland/Vancouver region. And Saturdays always get booked first by venues and vendors of all types.

So now to go to work on a venue. Indoors or out? Or outdoors with an indoor backup?  Important!  Catering might be next — supplied by the venue as part of a package or do you want to bring in your own food (or have an independent caterer take care of that)? What about the cake (or cupcakes or other dessert options)? What about bartending needs if you plan to offer adult beverages at the reception?

Music? For the ceremony and the reception?  A DJ, a live musician or group, or a playlist on your smartphone? Can your venue handle your choice?

Oh! And, by the way, you’ll need a professional officiant to perform your actual wedding ceremony! Leaving that detail to the last minute could leave you in the lurch! And that’s where I come in.

I’d love to marry you and your fiance. Let’s have an up-front conversation about what your processional will look like. How many bridesmaids and groomsmen? Flower girl(s) and ring bearer? Grandparents, parents, and ushers? Who gives this bride? Religious or non-religious ceremony? Special readings, songs, or remembrances? Special ethnic, cultural, or other ceremony elements (like unity candle, sand, handfasting, rushnicks, or others)? This part can be the least stressful and simplest part of your wedding planning tasks because I take full care of it for you.

I’ll send you a draft script and vows to which we can make any changes that you’d like so that the ceremony meets all of your needs, wants, and desires. So you’ll know exactly what to expect on your wedding day. I’ll “spoon feed” you the vows and the ring exchange words so that you’ll have nothing to memorize or remember. You’ll simply be able to enjoy your ceremony as we share it with your guests!

Check out the reviews and the photos of the 150+ weddings I’ve been privileged to perform over the last few years and give me a call or an email to see if I’m available on your desired date. I normally do only one wedding per day so that I can make sure that you have the best experience possible.

Many couples make the mistake of leaving their officiant selection to the last minute. I urge you not to do that to yourselves! Let’s give you a ceremony that you’ll love!





What a Year It Has Been!

I Love My Clients! 

My sincere thanks to all of you couples who provided me with the privilege of officiating at your wedding in 2017!

And special thanks to those of you who made the time and effort to provide those 5-star reviews on so many websites for me. Looks like I’ll pick up Top Pro and Couples Choice awards from at least a couple of sites. And I’m now on a bunch more websites for the 2018 wedding season, including these:  (If you have a Gmail account.)


If you haven’t written your reviews yet, I understand. Between honeymoon travel, thank you notes, name change activities, etc., these things can fall into a crack or seem unimportant to you. On the other hand, were the reviews important to you when you selected me to be your officiant? My guess is that your answer is yes, so please help future couples by providing those reviews now. It’s never too late!

I did my first ceremony for Lily and Chong in August of 2015 at the Sentinel Hotel in downtown Portland and I owe a real debt of gratitude to Lily for getting me into my true calling as a wedding officiant. I did a dozen or so weddings in 2015, more than 40 in 2016, and more than 85 in 2017. I’ve loved doing every one of them. And the clients I have served. And 2018 looks like it will be well over the 100+ mark. If you need an officiant I’d love to marry you and your fiance, so please check Jon’s Booking Calendar for your desired date and get your retainer in as soon as you’ve selected your date and venue. I’ll work with you to create a ceremony and vows that meet all of your needs, wants, and desires.

It’s now engagement season. I’ve already booked a half-dozen 2018 weddings from the Thanksgiving holiday and I expect that there’ll be many more through Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and then Valentines Day. Congratulations in advance if you get engaged during these times and I hope you’ll contact me on my website or by phone or email, or via one of the many other sites where I am listed so that I can make your special day as perfect as possible.

In the meantime, I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy and Prosperous New Year in 2018. I look forward to speaking with you and to marrying you! Here are a smattering of photos and review. There are many more on my website.

Ask the Officiant

A new live interactive forum to answer your wedding questions.

Please note: This service has been discontinued. But I am available one-on-one via phone, email, or live Internet video chat and I’d love to answer your questions.


Join us live on Tuesday evenings for this great new resource.

Do you have questions about your ceremony? About your vows? About your venue? About wedding planners and wedding coordinators? You can get answers to these questions during a newly announced series of live interactive video chat session hosted on the platform.

The plan is to have people interested in both getting from and providing answers to prospective brides and grooms regarding virtually any topic. Thus I encourage wedding planners, wedding coordinators, wedding venue managers, photographers, musicians and DJs, caterers, cake makers and anyone else who would like to contribute to participate in these sessions.

These sessions are not a place to provide sales pitches for products or services. They are meant to provide actionable information to help future brides and groom make their special day as perfect as possible. So if we can help them by identifying and providing solutions to common problems we’ve seen occur during other ceremonies and receptions I think we’ll be adding a lot of value. And my experience tells me that if we provide value then we may be considered when they are making hiring decisions.

So please join me on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 PM Pacific time at for the next sessions. If you are a bride or groom to be, we’ll all do our best to provide you with great information that will help you in your planning efforts to make sure that your wedding day is as perfect as possible. If you are a vendor who can provide valuable advice to prospective brides and grooms, your participation is welcome as well.

FYI, you may CLICK HERE to watch a recording of the first session that was broadcast on October 25, 2016. You missed this event but you can see what I’m trying to accomplish by watching the recording.

As always, your comments and thoughts are more than welcome. Thanks for reading and I hope to “see” you at an upcoming session.

When Should You Get Married?

The month you choose for your wedding has a big impact on your choice of venues.

Choosing when to get married depends on many things, of course. How long do you plan to be engaged before tying the knot? How long will it take you to complete all of the planning for your event? Are you planning a simple ceremony in a small chapel, community center or even someone’s home, or are you planning a lavish affair at a local or exotic venue?

Portland Wedding Dates - WeddingWire - 08-15-2016

Chart and Data Courtesy of

These are only a few of the questions you’ll want to ask yourself. The chart at the left shows the percentages for each month of the year in terms of its popularity for holding a wedding. As you can see, the “Wedding Season” begins to ramp up as early as May here in the Portland/Vancouver area, increases in June (the “typical month” for weddings in the U.S.), dips in July and then peaks in August and September before beginning a steep decline in October.

So what does this mean to you? There are several things to consider:

  • You’ll have more venue choices, and more day and date choices, during the “off-season” months.
  • You’ll probably want to avoid outdoor venues during the late Fall, Winter, and early Spring months due to the weather.
  • You’ll need to book earlier rather than later if you want a rented venue during the wedding season months.
  • If you are extremely budget conscious, you may find lower prices during the off-season months. And more venues and service providers to choose from.
  • If people are going to be traveling from far away for your ceremony you’ll probably want to avoid the months where inclement weather could likely disrupt travel plans and schedules.

These are only some of the things to consider, of course, in choosing your wedding date. As a point of reference, I’ve included another chart in this post, again courtesy of (where I am a registered vendor and where there are several client reviews). It shows the average length of engagements, without regard to any chosen ceremony dates, for engaged couples in our area.Portland Engagement Lengths - WeddingWire - 08-15-2016

The average times seems to peak during months 9, 12, and 14, with an unexplainable dip at months 10, 11, and 13, and tapering off from month 14 and beyond. So what can you do with this information? You have a couple of choices:

  • You can decide how long you wish to be engaged before marrying, which will dictate the month in which you will plan to marry.
  • You can decide when you’d like to be married, which will dictate the length of your engagement.

Let’s say that you decide to become engaged in December and that you want to be engaged for twelve months. That means that the earliest you’ll want your ceremony will be the following December. Does that fit with the kind of wedding venue and ceremony location you’d like? If not, you might want to rethink your engagement length options.

Alternatively, let’s say that you want to get married in August at a venue that supports an outdoor ceremony. Will that work if you want to be engaged for a minimum of twelve months from December? Nope! If the date of the ceremony dictates the engagement length, the engagement length has to be twenty months!

I hope this example helps you think through some of the early decisions you’ll need to make. I’d love to have your comments and reactions to this post. Don’t be shy– comment now! Thanks for reading and please share this post with others who you think may be interested in the topic.