You choose the venue that suits you and your fiance the best. Then you book me to develop the script and vows that suit you two the best. Then I marry you with a ceremony that meets all of your needs, wants, and desires. What more could you ask for to make your wedding day as perfect as possible? Check Jon’s Booking Calendar or give me a call at 503-877-4609 to check my availability for your desired date and venue.
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!
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 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.
This very short video is a placeholder for a video currently in production that talks in much more detail about the topics shown in the graphics.
I’m working on the complete video between rehearsals and ceremonies right now since we are at the height of the wedding season here in the Portland/Vancouver area.
Comments and questions welcome. I’ll try to address them in the completed video!
A Plea to Venues, DJs, and Musicians
Wedding guests often complain that they couldn’t hear the bride and groom recite their vows or the words that go with their exchange of rings. This is especially true for outdoor weddings, which are very popular in the Pacific Northwest from June through September.
As an officiant, I carry my own wireless microphone setup: lavalier microphone, body pack transmitter, and receiver with cables for connecting to the audio system in use by the vendor hired for music and sound. Just in case they don’t have one for me. And because a handheld microphone is virtually useless when you are using two hands for the script and vows. And also because many handheld or on-stand microphones are useless unless they are within an inch or so of your mouth.
Try taking that one virtually useless microphone and handing it to the bride and groom, most of whom have never used a microphone before, so that their guests can presumably hear them speak while they are trying to choke out vows or exchange rings and you just add to their stress without success.
Before I became an officiant I did seminars all over the world. Carried my own wireless lavalier microphone setup. A transformer for European and Asian power. A box full of cables and adapters for the various connection needs in multiple countries. And it usually worked flawlessly.
Not always so for weddings. Sometimes mine has frequency interference issues. If the sound person has his or her own wireless lavalier for me, I’m a happy camper. But my microphone won’t pick up the voices of the bride and groom. A fairly important pair of people whose guests would really like to hear them, and not just me!
So here is my plea: Invest in a SYSTEM with at least three wireless microphones and a mixer so that you can provide body packs and lavalier microphones for the bride, groom, and officiant. It is not prohibitively expensive and it will drastically increase your customer satisfaction.
I just did a wedding today at a famous popular venue. That venue provided a useless microphone on a stand and a small amplifier and speaker with the quality of a child’s karaoke machine. It was pitiful, and far below the level of service that I would expect from such a prestigious venue at such a significant price.
I’ve seen vendors, many of whom appear to be real professionals, with thousands of dollars worth of turntables, computers, mixers, amplifiers, speaker systems and other fancy equipment who somehow don’t even think about making sure that the couple being married can be heard.
Please, people, make the needed investment. I’ll bet your client satisfaction scores will skyrocket!
And one last bit of advice for brides and grooms: When you select your venue, or your DJ, musician, or other audio professional, make sure that you ask them if they provide the equipment that you comfortably need in order to be heard (and also maybe connected to your videographer).
I’d love to hear from you folks, vendors and brides and grooms alike. Let me know what you think. And thanks for reading.
55 Things to Put in Your Wedding Day Emergency Kit
In a perfect world, there would be no emergencies and certainly no need for a wedding day emergency kit. The reality, however, is that sometimes dresses tear, tuxes get stained, and if you’re to believe Alanis Morissette, you should even be prepared for rain on your wedding day. The trick to making it through the unknown when it comes to your special day is to be prepared, and there is no better way to hedge against accidents than having a fully stocked wedding day emergency kit.
What Is a Wedding Day Emergency Kit?
Contrary to the name, a well thought out emergency kit should be used throughout your wedding day, not just when emergencies strike. It’s filled with basic necessities and unique tools meant to solve the common issues a bridal party might face on the wedding day. From water to wet wipes, your kit is there to support the entire wedding party through hunger, sickness, clothing malfunctions, and even anxiety. Think of it like a Swiss Army Knife of wedding day preparation – designed and tested by countless wedding parties before you to be both practical and comprehensive.
Why Do You Need One?
Weddings are exciting and unpredictable events – sometimes nerves get the best of a person, someone almost always drinks too much, and occasionally there’s a fight or argument. And with dresses being literally being ripped off of brides and stories being told about wine spilling on dresses, it’s best to be prepared, right? A wedding survival kit helps mitigate the risk of all of those, and while it’s impossible to account for every scenario, we feel like the following 55 items come pretty close.
How to Build and Manage Your Own
There is no wrong way to build your kit and you are always better off having something rather than nothing. However, the more prepared you are easier the day will go – having stocked the kit with wedding necessities like makeup remover, shoe polish, and fashion tape will save you trips to the hotel, or worse, the store.
Plan your kit well in advance of the wedding, you can even make a game of it during the bachelorette party. Once it’s stocked, treat it like the nuclear football and give total responsibility to a bridesmaid (preferably not the Maid of Honor, she likely has enough on her plate). After that it’s just a waiting game – stay disciplined and resist the urge to use any of the items before the wedding!
When the big day comes put your kit out where it can be seen and utilized – the idea is to make your approach proactive instead of reactive when it comes to wedding support. Let people know where they can find refreshments, makeup, and whatever else you stocked – be a beacon of preparedness on a notoriously hectic day!
Ready to build your own wedding day emergency kit? Click HERE to start!
Note: This guest post is courtesy of Top Gift Guides. Used with permission.
I got to thinking last night as I reflected on this past weekend’s two weddings where I was privileged to officiate. I’d met with both couples well before the weddings and customized the scripts and vows for them. I also advised them on the processional and talked to them about staying calm on their wedding day because it was all going to be fine. I am an optimist, after all.
Both weddings went beautifully. And when I spoke to the brides they were both happy with the ceremonies and happy that it was finally done! They both confessed to being a little overwhelmed with planning and details between engagement and ceremony time. So I put together a little 55-second video with some slides and put it up on YouTube. You can watch it below.
As I was editing the video above, I was inspired to create a longer version of the presentation so that I could reassure future brides that as panicked as they might be feeling at the moment, everything would work out just fine, at least as far as the ceremony and the officiant — me! — were concerned. We had that part of the ceremony fully under control. You can see that longer (8-minute) video starring yours truly below as well.
I would love to have your comments on these two videos. And a description of your experiences from when he “popped the question” to when your ceremony had been completed. I think other future brides would like to be reassured that what they are feeling is normal!
Thanks for reading and watching. And feel free to share this blog post.
(Note: This article was originally posted by Jaimie Mackey on February 18, 2017, at http://www.brides.com/)
While every bride hopes everything goes right on her wedding day, there’s only so much planning and preparation you can do. With so many moving parts, something is bound to happen! And even with a script, carefully selected readings, and an officiant to keep everything in order, there is always the potential for some little snafu to come up at the wedding ceremony. We asked our experts for tips to handle the most common of wedding ceremony mishaps.
Tripping as You Walk Down the Aisle
Even with a perfectly hemmed wedding dress and heels you’ve painstakingly broken in, tripping as you walk down the aisle happens. But don’t panic! It’s easy to avoid—and to recover from. Before you head down the aisle, practice walking (slowly!) in your full ensemble to get comfortable. Then, if you’re walking with someone like your father or both parents, take a short lap on their arm(s) to make sure everyone knows how to move around your skirt. After a deep breath, head down the aisle slowly. A serene pace means you’ll be less likely to catch your skirt as you’re walking. And if you do stumble a little? Grab Dad’s arm, pause for a moment, and then keep going.
Flubbing Your Vows
With emotions running high during your wedding ceremony, trouble with your vows is pretty likely and thankfully makes for a little comic relief that definitely helps to lighten the mood! Laugh it off, then ask your officiant to repeat the line you’ve messed up. If remembering an entire sentence through the happy tears isn’t working, ask your officiant to break your vows up into shorter segments (“I, Susan” followed by “take you, Mike,” and so forth) that will be easier to manage.
A Ring That Doesn’t Fit
Out of all the ceremony snafus, this is probably the most common. From a change in the weather to water retention after too many drinks at the rehearsal dinner, there’s a chance your ring won’t fit on your finger. And of course, men tend to have larger knuckles, which means slipping your hubby’s ring on his finger could be an issue too! There’s no need to worry, though. Do your best to get the ring on, and if it really doesn’t fit, either leave it above the knuckle or move it to a finger where it fits more easily (like the pinky finger of your left hand). Then continue with the ceremony and wrestle with your ring once you’re back down the aisle. It’s nothing a little hand lotion can’t help with!
Rogue Ring Bearers or Flower Girls
The tiniest members of your wedding party are certainly the cutest but can also be the hardest to wrangle. The best way to get them down the aisle is to prepare early. If their parents or grandparents are sitting in one of the front rows, give them a seat along the aisle and stash nonsticky, noise-free treats like gummy bears beneath the seat as an easy bribe. Of course, once they’re on their way, there’s nothing you can do! From taking an alternate route to rushing (or not rushing) down the aisle, they’ll get there however they please. Make sure your videographer captures the hilarity, put a smile on your face as your guests chuckle, and get ready for your own trip down the aisle! Of course, if a meltdown ensues, ask Mom or Dad to grab their kid, comfort him or her, and head to the back of the venue so the tears don’t distract from your vows.
Here’s an article I received at http://www.myonlineweddinghelp.com/bridal-news/wedding-ideas/25-non-traditional-wedding-ideas-you-may-not-have-thought-about that I want to share with you all. I thought it had some good tips in it. Enjoy!
Spring, Summer, and even Fall are coming up fast!
Statistics from WeddingWire.com last November indicated that Officiants are almost the last to be hired as a necessary vendor in the wedding ceremony planning process. That may have been true in 2016, as I received dozens of requests during July, August, and September and was able to accommodate those clients for the most part.
But this year seems to be different. People are planning their weddings earlier and requesting officiants much earlier in the planning process than I’ve experienced before.
The graphic above, with March on top and November on the bottom, shows the number of bookings for which I have confirmed dates with paid deposits for the rest of the coming year. By my count, there are fifteen on the books already. What is more interesting, though, is the increase in the number of requests that I’ve experienced over the last week or so.
I have had to turn down three requests each for June 10th and June 17th, two on July 7th, three each for August 12th and 26th, and another for September 9th. Those seem to really be the most popular dates coming up.
I hate turning people down when I’m already booked, but when I am booked for a date, time, and venue I honor those commitments. And I feel sorry for the folks I’m unable to serve because, frankly, I love marrying people! So if you are planning to wed in the next 6-8 months, I suggest that you select your officiant once you’ve secured your venue, rather than waiting until the last minute. That way you can avoid disappointment by having to settle for someone who would not be your first choice.
There are literally hundreds of checklists, many in previous posts on my blog, that can help you with your wedding planning needs. Please take advantage of these resources and remember: If you fail to plan, you may be planning to fail! You don’t want to subject yourself to any more last minute stresses than you need to, so proper planning and early hiring are critical to accomplishing that.
If you have any questions at all about scripts, vows, rehearsals, or other ceremony elements, I’m available by phone, email, or live video chat on multiple platforms. Have a wonderful ceremony!