Pricing, Services & FAQ
If you are seeking a personable, respectable professional team who will expertly take care of your ceremony both in terms of the preparation and performance along with all the social aspects that accompany such a momentous occasion, our fees would range between $300 and $600, depending on the requested services.
We handle each quote individually and customizes each ceremony. We try to keep standard rates though our pricing varies slightly depending on date, time, location and whether or not a professional rehearsal is desired. Various options like Unity Traditions are included in your standard fees.
For your individual pricing please click the button below and complete the Quote Request Form. We will send you a no-obligation e-mail quote with plenty of materials to review. And, if technology just isn’t for you call us for a phone consultation. Either way, we will give you a simple, straight, quick answer with no hassle.
- You have the option of selecting from existing ceremony templates or having a personalized ceremony prepared.
- Under the personalized option, we will prepare for you an originally written ceremony based on either, 1) a simple Background Questionnaire that you complete, or 2) a Build-It-Yourself ceremony template. For those who choose to use them this way, these tools can not only help to bring out what you would like to share about yourselves in your ceremony but also give you the chance to appreciate one another and what is special about your relationship.
- As a part of the Questionnaire, you have the opportunity to provide personal background and details to share with your guests
- A copy of your finalized ceremony script will be e-mailed to you for your approval, or you may allow it to be a surprise. We will revise the ceremony as many times as desired, although couples are generally happy with the first draft.
- Ceremonies may last as long as you wish – tell us what you would like or I will provide guidance on appropriate length.
- Ceremonies may include all types of content as desired: Non-Religious, Christian, Non-Denominational, Interfaith, Multicultural, etc. – any variety as we will write it based on your personalities.
- We will include unity traditions and cultural customs to suit your wishes.
- If you like, we will add in your own vows or favorite texts.
- Languages: English, Spanish and bilingual
Frequently Asked Questions
Some of the below FAQ responses are only giving general information. Others however are giving detailed responses on our philosophy as a business owner and wedding officiant. Please read them as a way to get to know us and the quality of service that we would like to provide to you.
How do we get started?
We keep it very simple for my couples:
1) Learn about us / our team / our services: This is best done by reading our reviews, website text, personal profiles, FAQ and the materials that you will receive when you request a quote. After sending you our quote and materials we will also be happy to discuss our services over the phone. We prefer to do a phone meeting first if couples would like to meet at all (depending on their service option) so that we can easily look over the materials together and make notes while we talk.
2) Reserve my services: When you request a quote we will send you the details on how to do that. It can all be done electronically.
3) Share what type of ceremony you would like to have: How we will go about this is explained in our initial quote e-mail (if you haven’t noticed, we have pretty much wrapped up everything into what is provided on our website and what we send you when you request a quote!).
What is your role and authority as a wedding officiant?
There are a few items to understand about what we do as your Wedding Officiant. There are a lot of mixed conceptions about what Wedding Officiants are – are they like ministers, judges or Justices of the Peace? Are they emcees? The below will help to clarify our role in your wedding. If you need a simpler explanation feel free to call!
1) As your Officiant, we are willing to present more or less whatever you would like to share with your guests.
2) As your Wedding Officiant, we are neither evaluating your marriage readiness nor telling you what your marriage should be about.
3) As Wedding Officiants, if we sign your marriage license then we are acting as non-denominational ministers.
NOTE: Whether or not they hold other ordinations or have formal ministry experience outside of marriage ceremonies, our Officiants who sign marriage licenses are all ordained as non-denominational ministers. Though we can officiate / emcee ceremonies without this ordination, having it allows us to sign marriage licenses for eligible couples.
There is no specification as to what your religious beliefs may be. Any beliefs are acceptable. However, if both of you clearly feel within your hearts that your marriage is civil vs. religious, i.e. if someone were to ask you in a court of law, “Was your marriage religious or civil?” and your answer would be “Civil,” then I advise couples that they should, either before or after their ceremony, take vows before a judge to have their marriage recognized by the government. We do not recommend going to a Wedding Officiant who will bend the law to sign your license. This may have ramifications for your future legal marriage status.
NOTE: Contrary to how some Officiants may advertise themselves, there are no legal “Justices of the Peace” or other such authorities in Illinois. Unless they are current or retired judges, Wedding Officiants who sign licenses must be ministers, even if “non-denominational.” As such, no Wedding Officiant is legally eligible to solemnize a completely civil marriage. For business purposes or out of ignorance of the law, many sign illegally. We will go as far as legally permissible to accommodate each couple. Know that no matter what, we can still perform your ceremony. You may simply choose to pay an additional $15 for the judge to sign your license at the courthouse – a small price to pay in the long run.
If you have any questions on this information or on our role as your Wedding Officiant please get in touch!
Do you require pre-marital counseling?
In short, no.
Our service contract requires couples to agree that they have taken whatever steps they feel are valid to prepare for their marriage. However, is proof of counseling or counseling with us required? Not at all.
If counseling is requested, we can refer you to one of several qualified counselor who we have worked with in the past.
We do not want religious readings in our ceremony. Can you still sign our marriage license?
As far as legally signing your license, the requirement is that one or both of you considers this to be a marriage that is taking place on the grounds of your religious beliefs. There is no specification as to what those beliefs are, neither is there a need to include religious readings or anything of that nature. So, we can call the ceremony “non-religious” for the purpose of describing the content – that is, there are no scripture readings, etc. – but if either or both of you feels that your marriage is religious then that is sufficient. We may not know what your beliefs are, and we don’t need to. The real marriage is taking place within your hearts, and that’s where the definition of religious vs. civil comes into play.
If on the other hand both of you feel that this is a 100% civil marriage with no religious aspect at all then that is just slightly different in terms of how I would recommend handling it. In that case, we can certainly prepare / perform your ceremony and will be happy to, but for your protection you should have your license signed by the judge at the courthouse to insure the legal aspect of your marriage for the future. The signaturet of any wedding officiant who is not a judge will be noted as a “minister” and your marriage will be recorded as “religious” vs. “civil.” You can see how that is odd if the ceremony is completely civil in both of your minds.
We would not like a “religious” ceremony, but we would like to have God / religious tradition involved. Can you provide that?
If you would like to include religious or cultural components in your ceremony, if you would like God to be mentioned or some other sense of spirituality, or if for example you would like to have your ceremony performed by a person of faith because this is important to you at that moment of taking your vows then be certain that this can be accomplished. We have backgrounds in ministry along with other knowledge of spiritual traditions. We even have experience in public speaking, creative writing and artistic performance. In other words, we have tons of experience and can utilize all of it to bring out whatever content and mood you would like to share between yourselves and your guests at your wedding ceremony.
Whatever your preferences, we will be honored to work with you. Just let us know what you need!
My family would prefer that I am married by a religious official. Is that you?
As wedding officiants, some of us have experience / ordinations as religious officials and some of us do not. If you would like someone with official, institutional religious experience just ask!
On the other hand, if we are discussing whether or not your ceremony is actually considered “religious” then that is a different matter. If this topic is confusing to you just give me a call. We will be happy to help out as it can definitely be confusing!
Our professional and personal understanding is that we (and all other wedding officiants who are not acting as insitutional religious authorities) are eligible to perform what these days are called “non-denominational” religious ceremonies. These may be spiritual in nature and may refer to God, include religious readings, etc. They may even focus mainly on a particular tradition (e.g. Christianity) and include scripture readings and prayer. If your aim is to have a “spiritual” ceremony or to have God included then there is nothing wrong with having such a ceremony. It is much nicer than going to the courthouse!
We will be honored to stand with you as you share your sense of spirituality and seek blessings for your union and married life.
At the same time, while such ceremonies can be meaningful expressions of the commitment being made by the couple the marriages should not be understood after the ceremony by either the couple or their guests to have been consecrated or blessed by the authority of a particuliar religious institution or tradition beyond the American Marriage Ministries organization – the U.S. non-denominational religious institution that allows us to sign licenses for couples of all beliefs. It is important that this is understood so that our service to you is honestly performed.
What is the difference between of our various Officiants?
In terms of the quality of service that you will receive there is no difference, because: 1) we write the ceremonies for all of our staff, 2) we ave hand-picked and auditioned / trained all of our Officiants, and 3) we don’t work with anyone whose services will not live up to our xisting work reputation. We offer a diverse staff of officiants to meet the needs of the Chicagoland community.
What’s the difference between your company and other Officiants who are not part of a company?
With CWOS, you get the services of a team combined with the professional commitment of our carefully selected officiants. Thus, the other big distinction between working with our company and with an individual Officiant is that if something happens to your Officiant there is no real back-up plan. We will back up your ceremony to make sure that it still goes wonderfully.
The officiant that you select or is assigned to your ceremony has the script in hand in advance and we prepare and assign another Officiant as a backup. This rarely happens, so don’t start getting anxious, but life does have hiccups. If something is going to happen to your Officiant, better that you have an Officiant who has a backup plan already in place!
Do you provide our marriage license?
Generally speaking, your marriage license must be applied for in person by both of you. Couples sometimes ask us to get the marriage license for them, but unfortunately that is not possible. Please visit the website for your County Clerk’s office for information. Click here to visit the Cook County Clerk’s site with applicable info.
Click to visit other Illinois county clerks’ pages:
DuPage County Clerk
Kane County Clerk
Lake County Clerk
Will County Clerk
Winnebago County Clerk
McHenry County Clerk
What happens to the license after our ceremony?
After the ceremony, your officiant will complete the license and turn it in for you. This is a free service that we provide. You may also turn the license in yourself if you prefer.
Someone will need to contact the County Clerk’s office to order copies of your marriage certificate. They will not send them to you.
Do we need to have witnesses?
Illinois does not require witnesses to sign the marriage license. Some states such as Michigan do.
Do we (the couple) sign the license?
Illinois does not require couples to sign the marriage license. Some states such as Indiana do.