Do we have to write vows?

No, I have a library of vows that have been written over the years from which to choose. You can use the traditional “till death do us part” or a host of others. Often times by choosing less familiar vows, it will appear to your guests as if you have written your own vows. Unless this is particularly important to you, I always recommend that couples look at the vows in my library to see if there isn’t something that is just perfect they can use. I can also modify vows that you see in the library if you wish to add a phrase, eliminate a word or combine sentiments from two different vows.

Can you help us write our vows?

Absolutely, and the process of doing so can be quite fun. I work with couples in a variety of ways. Most couples, when writing their own vows do not want their partner to see or hear those vows until the wedding day. I will work with each of you, so that your vows are kept in confidence until the day you wish to share them with your partner. This is a very collaborative process. Many couples complete a worksheet that gives me an idea of what each wants to say to the other. I will write the first draft—and then the couple can edit or revise what I have written so they are comfortable with the words that have been chosen.

Do you have sample readings?

I do have a library of readings that are appropriate for weddings and I can assist you in finding that perfect poem, song lyric or passage from the bible that you wish to include in your ceremony.

Can you help us with other details like a photographer, flowers and the cake?

I am not a wedding planner but I can refer you to professionals with whom I have worked over the years, so that finding that perfect photographer or florist is easier. However, I do not assist in planning your wedding, only the ceremony of marriage.

My fiancé and I are from different religious backgrounds (or one is religious and the other is not) but we want a spiritual wedding. Can you do this?

Yes, in fact this is one reason why couples choose to have a Celebrant marry them. I have had a lot of experience in blending religious rituals so that that couple feels that their traditions have been honored in the context of their marriage ceremony without being overtly religious.

It is my job to find “your voice”. This is not my wedding, it is yours. We will work together to find the right balance of ritual, language and tradition so that your wedding ceremony is uniquely yours.

Can you suggest some unique rituals we can add to our ceremony?

Yes of course. Oftentimes couples want to include something that they have seen done at another wedding, and I am happy to accommodate them. There are traditional rituals like the “Unity Candle”, “Blending the Sand”, drinking wine from a single goblet. I have also done several weddings where we include a “hand fasting or tying the knot” celebration. Jumping the Broom, a time capsule, blessing of the rings, there a whole host of opportunities to bring a unique ceremony ritual to your wedding and we will explore these as we begin to design your ceremony.

Do we have to have a Rehearsal?

I require a rehearsal for all weddings with attendants (other than elopements). You do not want to wait until your wedding day to figure out who stands where, and who escorts whom. The rehearsal provides you and your fiancé and your wedding party with the opportunity to practice (and ask questions) about what they will be doing during your ceremony. In this way everyone is comfortable with what is going to happen the day of your wedding.

Do you have any restrictions regarding photography?

This is your wedding, your big day. I have no objection to use of flash photography or videography by a professional photographer during your ceremony. If you have a friend taking photos I completely understand. Please speak with them in advance about boundaries so that they are a complement to your ceremony not a distraction. I am happy to help you with this conversation.

Attendance at the rehearsal dinner and reception?

I am often asked to join the bridal party and their guests at the rehearsal dinner and/or reception. While I am honored to be asked to join in the festivities following the celebration of your marriage I make it a policy to never attend these events. (Thank you however for thinking of me as part of your family!)

What are your fees and how do we pay you?

We will agree upon fees and services in advance. Fees include travel time to and from the ceremony location for both the rehearsal and the wedding, time for script preparation. I require a 50% deposit to secure the date. Payment of the remaining fees will be expected at the rehearsal. I do not accept credit cards at this time. However, checks, money orders or cash are suitable forms of payment.

Reverend MaryAnn "Maggie" Anderson
Professional Wedding Celebrant
Licensed and Certified to Perform Marriages in the Commonwealth of Virginia

Licensed Officiant for the Commonwealth of Virginia

Member in Good Standing
National Association of Wedding Officiants

As Seen on The Knot

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