Frequently Asked Questions
(There is nothing you need to know here, but read on if you are curious.)

Curtis Arboretum

Why am I a Wedding Officiant?

Weddings are a special event. They are a time when we pause, take a break from the tough times, the rough times we all experience in life. They are the time when two people take a deep breath, look each other in the eye,  and say “I love you, and I will love you for the rest of my life!” That’s a beautiful thing.  You may as well share it with someone who will let you do it the way you want.


What is a Wedding Officiant / Officiate?

An “Officiant” and an “Officiate” are the same thing, just slightly different words. It is a person who, “by the power vested in me by the State of Pennsylvania,” has the legal authority to marry couples. There are two categories of people who can do this in Pennsylvania: a Justice of the Peace, and an ordained minister. I am an ordained minister, though I choose to do civil, not religious ceremonies. For an explanation of why I’ve chosen that, see below.

Why do I perform a civil ceremony?

I am clear about the civil aspects of the marriage ceremony. It is straight forward and I can perform it well. Although I am an ordained minister, I am less clear about religious ceremonies. As a young man I grew disillusioned and disenchanted with the religion I had been raised in. Humility, love, peace, understanding were preached. Arrogance, anger, and hypocrisy is want I experienced. I lost faith and grew cynical of my religion and others a well. I grew to see them as more of a divisive force then an uplifting one.

I’ve tried to be a good man. I’ve tried to raise my two sons to always do the Right Thing, and to instill in them a sense of ethics and a strong moral compass. Not because they might burn in hell, but because the Right Thing is what human beings do when they seek happiness and peace of mind.

Years ago, through doing support work for various Native American issues, I had the good fortune of meeting some people whose culture, politics, religion, and spirituality  were genuine and were a part of their every day life. I participated in some ceremonies that have affected me deeply and have left me humbled and awed. I am not an Indian, and I have no interest in being one. But for whatever reason, I learned much from some who walked that path. Through them I’ve come to have more respect for religion and for spirituality. I have come to see how it can be a positive force when people seek to be closer to Christ, or Allah, or Buddha, Tunkashala, Wankan Tanka, or what ever path they follow. I still struggle with my cynicism and know I have a long road to walk before it doesn’t burden me any more.

For now, I just try and do the Right Thing in my life, and try to bring a sense of awe, reverence, and joy to Wedding Ceremonies that I am a part of.

What type of ceremony do I perform?

Pretty much what ever you want. I can marry you in my (or your) living room, just the two of you, or I can marry you in a large facility with all your family and friends. We can follow a pretty standard script, make up the whole ceremony before hand, or combine the two.

What will I look like?  What will I  wear?

I generally wear a nice blue suit,  starched white shirt, and appropriate tie.  I am 6' tall.  I think I am distinguished looking, but I 've never heard anyone else say that.

Where am I located?

My family and I live near Walnut Lane and Lincoln Drive in the Germantown section of Philadelphiaha, ZIP code 19144, near the Roxborough and Mount Airy sections of the city.

“Thank you for the beautiful setting and words for our wedding ceremony this past Sunday.  We will gladly supply raving references to anyone looking to get married in a quaint setting with an officiant who truly is a 'humble man.'

Please email if you want some ideas or some sample scripts.

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