Why is a deposit required to book a wedding? And why is itnon-refundable?
First of all, it is to reserve and lock in your date and time. Without a deposit,another couple could request the same date and time and it alleviates suchconflicts.
Secondly, once hired, I begin to work on your vows and customizing thewedding according to your wants and needs. Do you work for free? Neither do I.
Thirdly, if you have a change in plans, it prevents Swag Weddings fromtaking a loss through both bypassing other weddings that could have beenbooked and spending time preparing for a wedding that ends up not happening.
Basically it is sound business practice on my end AND a wise choice to lockin your event on your end.
When is the deposit due?
Even with one's contract received, as the contract stipulates, a deposit isrequired to ensure you have booked your wedding. Even if you may not hire anofficiant until a couple of days before the wedding, it does not remove thecontractual requirement.
The contract specifically states "A non-refundable deposit of 50% ofthe cost of the ceremony must be provided at the time of booking..."
Plainly stated: no deposit, no wedding.
Your deposit (and balance at the wedding) can be made by cash credit card orby PayPal. Swag Weddings does not accept checks!
Do you conduct same-sex weddings?
I do not.
Under theterms of my ministerial ordination, I may not conduct same-sex weddings or risklosing my ordination. Also, according to my personal religious beliefsand convictions (protected under Article 1 of the US Constitution), marriage isa sacred event between a man and a woman - and no other combination.
PLEASE NOTE: I provide themed or traditional wedding officiating andpre-marital counseling only; I do not provide same sex wedding officiatingservices. That is NOT a service offered and therefore Swag Weddings reservesthe right to decline and/or refuse any requests to provide any other service(s)that are not offered or provided.
If you need or want a same-sex wedding, then Swag Weddings is not for you.There are other wedding officiants that will do them, so you do have otheroptions. I will not impose my beliefs upon you - and therefore offer civicweddings. Nevertheless, I will not compromise my personal faith beliefs &principles under any circumstances.
For more on Swag Weddings' Statement of Belief on Marriage, Gender, & Sexuality, please click this link.
How long have you been a wedding officiant?
As a duly ordained minister, I have been conducting weddings by requestsince 1997. However, it has only been since 2014 that I decided to start thisas a side-line venture d.b.a. Swag Weddings, and start doing them moreregularly.
Do you do traditional weddings?
Of course! But I specialize in themed weddings.
Do you do civic (non-religious) weddings?
Yes. Just because someone may espouse no particular faith, that should be noreason they may not be married. Swag Weddings is here to unite you in marriageif you're in love.
Many Christian ministries (including Christians themselves overall)believe the only valid "Christian" wedding is in a church. The Biblemakes no such stipulation. Biblically, marriages were mere legal contractsbetween families to wed their children to each other. There wasn't even anyceremony per se. Once the contract was drawn up and the dowry paid,the couple was already deemed betrothed, which was just as legally binding asbeing married.
The groom would prepare the home and then go and get his bride to bringher home. Sometimes there was a feast (modern wedding reception) to celebratethe union.
In terms of the history of the Church, as well as Western Civilization, state-licensure of marriages is very recent. For over 1,800 years, almost no marriages (if any) required state-licensure. A certificate of marriage or declaration of marriage or church approbation–or other such recognition–was all that was needed.
As for any religious ceremony requirements, the Bible is silent. Therequirements for licenses and wedding ceremonies are legal requirements addedby government and man-made tradition. While we must abide by governmentregulations, traditions can be discarded or changed. Therefore Swag Weddingsdoes not believe there must be a religious ceremony.
Will you do (Catholic / Jewish / ...) weddings?
As stated above, certain "required" ceremonies are man-maderequirements that are imposed by the traditions of yourreligious affiliation. Therefore, Swag Weddings will conduct a religious OR acivic wedding that may or may not be accepted by your religious organization.Nevertheless it is still a legal wedding. So that is ultimately a decision youmust make on your own.
Will you do a prison wedding (wedding for someone incarcerated)?
I will. You should be aware that such arrangements have to be made withthe prison warden in advance and my ordination title and name (Rev. Eugene J. Bolton) given to him as officiant, ratherthan using the Swag Wedddings name.
Couldn't we use ANY wedding officiant for a themed wedding?
You could, but I don't think the ceremony would be as good. Let meexplain why you shouldn't get just any wedding officiant if you want a themedwedding:
The richness of the experience that helps to make it memorable for you iswhether or not the ceremony is "real" or meaningful. To be so for athemed wedding, it takes an officiant that understands the theme andappreciates, if not participates in it.
I've seen Steampunk weddings where the officiant was just an ordinaryofficiant that neither dressed the part, nor adapted the language nor theceremony to accommodate Steampunk, aethetics, ideas, or themes. And I've heard of one wherea minister agreed to wear a "costume," but was not a participant inthe culture.
The ceremony should include more than just the clothes. The atmosphereand even the language and vocabulary of the ceremony and the wording of thevows should be congruent with the theme.
As a wedding officiant, Swag Weddings can bring that authenticity to yourvery important day. I not only understand, but am a participant in Steampunk,Dieselpunk, Vintage, Gatsby, Cosplay, Swing and Electro Swing cultures. Itmakes sense to choose Swag Weddings as your special themed wedding officiant.
Keep in mind that I also do traditional weddings - civic or Christian!
Can we do our own vows?
Of course! However, discuss them with me in advance, so we can fit themin with the ceremony. Either way, time permitted, we will work together to comeup with the vows that suit you and your event. I have several basic vows(religious and civic) to start from.
Do you require or do pre-marital counseling?
As a minister with degrees in psychology and counseling, I can and willdo pre-marital counseling. Some states (such as Tennessee) require a minimum of so manyhours pre-marital classes or counseling to receive a discount on the marriagelicense. However, it is not a requirement. I do, however, strongly encouragepre-marital counseling because marriage is one of the most difficult of allhuman relationships and without some preparation or pre-marital counseling, thelikelihood of divorce is proven to be greater than among those who do receiveit.
The State of Tennessee requires 4 hours for the discounted license. However, I personally believe that4 hours is inadequate to address all issues and recommend 6-8 hours, at onehour per week.
Of course, there are separate fees for pre-marital counseling ($25 per 1hour session), so I do not impose this as a requirement. I do, however,strongly encourage it to better your "odds" at marriage success.
Do you have a wedding chapel or other facility for use in weddings?
I do not. While I may suggest some public locations, the choice of thewedding venue/location is up to you.
What if I have other questions not answered here?
Copyright © 2015-2017 Swag Weddings. All rights reserved.
Website created, designed, & coded by Jason E. Bolton