A. There are basically two types of people who use my services. The first type are those who cannot have a traditional wedding because of incarceration, hospitalization, or other problems that make attendance at a church difficult. The second type are those who realize that an expensive wedding can cause financial problems that lead to an expensive divorce. With the average wedding now costing over $25,000, some couples are taking the practical step of saving money by having a small wedding at a park, at the home of a friend, or at some other rent-free location. (see www.costofwedding.com or www.weddingtrade.com for sample wedding costs).
Q. Are the weddings you perform legal?
A. Absolutely. So long as you get a valid marriage license from the county, I can perform the solemnization service and record the license.
Q. Must I be a member of your church?
A. No. Paul taught that there is only one Church (I Cor. 1:12 & 10:17). My small congregation is simply a branch of the one Church, and I have no desire to pull members from other branches of the church.
Q. What city are you in?
A. Bakersfield, but I go to most places in Kern County and can travel anywhere in California.
Q. How much do you charge?
A. It depends on where the wedding is to be performed and how long you want the service to be. Generally, weddings at low security level jails, such as Lerdo Male Minimum, start at $200.
Q. Do you do gay marriages?
A. Yes! The unfair restrictions on marriages in California and the rest of the country have been lifted.
Q. Do you take credit cards?
A. Yes. Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.
Q. How long does the service last?
A. It depends on the vows you want. You can write your own vows or use some of the standard vows. I specialize in short ceremonies for people with special needs. If you want a long, fancy ceremony, you probably want someone else.
Q. Do you do weddings in odd places like in a hot air balloon, at the races, at a sporting event, in an airplane, or underwater?
Q. Do you do skydive weddings?
A. No, but you can get married on the plane and then jump out together. I don't jump.
Q. Can you do languages other than English?
A. I can do a short service in American Sign Language. I used to be a translator, but it has been many years. I have Spanish, Russian, and Polish interpreters readily available. Other than that, you can bring your own interpreter or I can help you find an interpreter.
Q. My fiancé is only 17; can you do the wedding with parental consent?
A. Yes, but only if you have obtained a valid license (which requires a court order in California).
Q. Do you do nude weddings?
A. You don't really want to see me naked, but you can wear whatever you like.
Q. Why would anyone want to be married in jail?
A. Most people don't want to be married while they are in jail because most people don't want to be in jail in the first place, but there are reasons to have a jail wedding. Please, consider these examples:
Cindy and Dave lived together for several years before Dave got picked up and sent to prison. He's in a prison that allows two day family visits (often called conjugal visits), but Cindy is not allowed such visits because she is not legally married to Dave.
Mary and Juan were arrested together on drug offenses. Juan was release from prison early, but Mary is still on the inside. When Mary goes to her parole interview, she learns that if she is found with Juan on the outside it will be a violation of her parole to associate with a known drug offender who is not her spouse.
Ashley and Jake are in love and they just want to get married even though Jake is in prison.
Q. Why would anyone want to be married in a hospital?
A. Does anyone really want to be in a hospital in the first place? Please, consider these examples of hospitalized people who want to be married:
Jane found herself in the hospital about to give birth to Mike's baby. They had planned to get married, but the wedding didn't come off before the baby started to come out. They want the baby's birth certificate to show that mom and dad were married.
Estella had been in the hospital for several weeks and her insurance was running out. Kevin had insurance through his employer that would cover Estella once they were married.
Courtney had terminal cancer and knew she was going to die soon. She wanted Chet, her long time love, to inherit everything she owned, but she didn't want to bother him with the burden of probate, so they decided to marry.