Authorized Marriage Officiant (Wedding Day Official) | JD Prendergast


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J. Douglas Prendergast
Traveling Wedding Celebrant
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dba Crann Bethadh  ·  P.O. Box 9519  ·  Spokane, WA 99209  ·  doug@jdprendergast.vet  ·  509.255.3858

       
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  Authorized Marriage Officiant
Wedding Day Official & Celebrant
 

Your families are so happy – you’re going to have a wedding!

There are many parts to your wedding day and your Marriage Officiant is an important part of it. In fact, the ceremony is likely the one thing everybody will always remember. They’ll eventually forget about how the flowers smelled and how the food tasted – but everyone remembers the ceremony! Choosing your Officiant should be  is  your top priority.

Couples will often spend thousands of dollars on their wedding's style and then overlook the most important part. The ceremony and vows the couple makes to each other become the foundation that supports the relationship. A professional Officiant can help make sure this foundation reflects each couple’s personal meaning and values. Your wedding day is a reflection of your marriage and it should also incorporate your beliefs. As your Celebrant, I can personalize your ceremony to make it just the way you have envisioned it.

There are many choices when it comes to finding an Officiant for your marriage ceremony: Judges, Justice of the Peace, Court Commissioners, Clergy, and Civil Celebrants. Any of these can be your Wedding Day Official. Sometimes a friend or family member will be asked to officiate and this may be allowed – just remember each State sets its own laws as to whom may solemnize a marriage. There are various reasons why a couple may choose one Officiant over another but it mostly comes down to three things – the couple’s personal preferences, the availability of the Officiant, and the Officiant’s experience.

Many Justices of the Peace will often lead a couple to write their own wedding ceremony or have them proof some pre-selected ceremony text. However, many couples have said this takes away from the genuine feeling at that special moment when they already know what is going to be recited.

Church-based Clergy can sometimes be bound by dogma or tradition. You will never have to worry about offending a Civil Celebrant if you aren’t thrilled with their suggestions for your ceremony, or dislike something they’ve written and you want to change it.

When couples decide to use a friend or family member to perform their ceremony it’s a much different situation. There’s sometimes an inherent awkwardness from having a personal relationship with someone who is conducting a professional service at their wedding – especially when you have a family member who has written a terrible script for your ceremony or has their heart set on incorporating something you really disagree with.

Ultimately, it’s your wedding ceremony and a professional Officiant is going to understand and respect this. He or she will work with you to ensure you get exactly what you want. Your wedding will be memorable because it is going to be your special day to share with family and friends.

I can lead a tender and heartfelt ceremony in a personal way – whether you prefer to incorporate traditional scripts, want to create your own vows, or help guide me in preparing an original work to be recited on your special day. The options are limitless and you'll be able to have the ceremony that truly reflects who you are as a couple.

Each Officiant has her or his own observances, commitments, and obligations that may not align with your plans. If you’re still wedding planning and haven’t picked a date yet, setting aside a few potential dates gives you and your Officiant some flexibility. In case you didn’t already know, I don’t schedule multiple weddings on the same day. I prefer to dedicate my entire day for the couple I’m working with.

Remember what I said at the beginning? Everyone remembers the ceremony! This is where experience comes in. You’ll want to choose a professional Officiant – not because it means nothing will go wrong. It’s for when something does go wrong. Experience smooths out the rough spots and helps keep the ceremony flowing.

Whether or not you have anything else in your plans for your Wedding Day, choosing a professional Officiant is a #1 priority. You must have a ceremony and a marriage license signed by a legal representative of the State where you are married in order to be legally married!

Speaking of legalities, for those doing business as a sole-proprietor Marriage Officiant, a business license is usually required. Generally, employees that receive a W-2 (church-based clergy, court officials) are exempt from a business license. All others that don't receive a W-2 and/or receive a 1099 should have a business license. A current business license is another hallmark of a professional Officiant, so be sure to verify your Officiant’s licenses!

Also, discuss with your Officiant all of your plans so he or she can serve you better! It's best to contact the Officiant and discuss your wedding plans before asking for a quote. The Honorarium (cost), whatever it ends up being, should be considered a very small part of the overall expense of the occasion. Before you ask, please review the following:
» Determining an Honorarium

Planning to Elope? I am here to assist you in planning your intimate wedding for two and two witnesses. Please let me know if you would like me to arrange for the witnesses. Remember, an authorized marriage Officiant can conduct your Washington or Oregon wedding pre-planned or after the required waiting period of three days. Idaho doesn't have a waiting period.

Wedding Day planning isn't difficult when you can find the information you seek. If you don't find what you are seeking on this site please do not hesitate to ask.

TRIVIA: Tuesday is the “chosen day” for some religious couples deciding to marry on a weekday. Why? Because it’s considered doubly blessed. Tuesday is the third day of creation and in Scripture it’s repeated twice: “God saw how good it was.”

     


  Chaplain J. Douglas Prendergast
About J.Douglas Prendergast 
  • Ordained chaplain ministering to all faiths and the unaffiliated.
  • Honorable USAF veteran, stationed in the United Kingdom.
  • Career background includes TV and radio broadcasting.
  • Currently employed in management with a national retailer.
  • Volunteered with community theatre for over a decade.
  • Fundraised for American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
  • Campaigned with Washington United for Marriage supporting Referendum 74.
  • Served three full terms, 2015 - 2020, as elected Chair of an officially recognized (per Article VIII Spokane City Charter) Neighborhood Council.
  • Helped organize and promote free public concerts in neighborhood parks.
  • Actively involved as a local Block Watch Leader.
Life's events are not difficult to plan when you can find the information you seek. If you don't find what you are seeking on this site please do not hesitate to ask.
 

dba Crann Bethadh  ·  P.O. Box 9519  ·  Spokane, WA 99209  ·  doug@jdprendergast.vet  ·  509.255.3858


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