What Services Do You Offer?
- We offer a number of Easy Wedding Packages, as well as Custom Wedding Packages where you can choose and Mix & Match Ala Carte Items. We are very flexible and our packages are designed to help ease the stress of planning for our couples. It can be difficult to coordinate all the details for your wedding ceremony from a distance, and we have made it easy and affordable for you to have the perfect wedding day. We will handle all details very efficiently by email and phone. Personal meetings are not required. No cookie-cutter weddings, here, either. Our Easy Wedding Packages are simply a framework. Everything we do for our couples is customized to their specific wishes, budget and vision.
Can You Help Us Find a Location? What About Hotels and Restaurants?
- Absolutely. We serve all areas of San Diego and are familiar with all San Diego Wedding Locations and venues, permit requirements and fees, as well as the best locations and times to have your wedding ceremony, depending on the time of year and area of the San Diego County you prefer. We also provide services to Big Bear Lake and Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties depending on our availability. You can also visit our Beautiful Locations page for ideas on San Diego beaches, coastal areas and wedding venues. We are also happy to recommend hotels and restaurants that are near your wedding location, as well, once you have officially reserved our services.
Can We Purchase One of Your Wedding Packages, Even Though We Have Our Own Minister / Officiant?
- Yes. If you have already retained your own officiant to perform the ceremony, you are still very welcome to purchase one of our Easy Wedding Packages. The fee for the package remains the same if you bring your own pastor, and a coordinator for the ceremony is always included.
Can We Purchase One of Your Wedding Packages, Even Though We Have Our Own Photographer?
- Yes. If you have already hired your own photographer, you can still purchase one of our Easy Wedding Packages. The fee for the package will be reduced to reflect the elimination of the photography portion of the wedding package.
How Many Guests Can We Have at Our Wedding?
- We have No Limit on the number of guests who can attend your wedding. The more the merrier! However, the number of guests will determine what locations will be suitable and if permits are required. All beaches, parks and public areas in San Diego have different rules and fees for weddings. All locations will require a permit if there is any set up of wedding equipment like arches, chairs, sound systems, etc. It can be a bit confusing, at times, and we are offer filing of permits for our couples, so feel free to call us if you have any questions at all. You can also visit our Beautiful Locations page for more information on San Diego beaches, coastal areas and wedding venues.
How Long Can We Stay at the Wedding Site?
- Wedding chairs, arches, sound systems and other wedding decor are set up and ready to go one half hour prior to your ceremony time, and you have the wedding site for one hour after your scheduled ceremony time, so no one feels rushed and there is plenty of time for photos after the ceremony.
Is It Possible to Add Ala Carte Items to Our San Diego Easy Wedding Package?
Can We Add More Bridal Flowers to Our Wedding Package?
- Sure! I personally design all the flowers for our couples. Since our wedding flowers are done in-house, we can easily add flowers for your attendants, parents, and grandparents, as well as centerpieces for the reception. Just ask me for a quote. If you have purchased a wedding package that includes a Bridal Bouquet, but you have decided to have an outside vendor make the additional flowers for your Maid of Honor, Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, etc., we will deduct the cost of the Bridal Bouquet from your wedding package so all the flowers are created by the same vendor. This will ensure that all your wedding flowers are consistent in quality, color and design.
Do You Have a Sound System to Play Music with Microphone Included So Guests Can Hear Our Ceremony and Vows?
- Absoutely. We offer couples small, yet powerful and unobtrusive battery-powered sound systems with a very unique microphone for your ceremony. It requires no electrical power so it can be set up at any location. We include a professional, qualified soundman to ensure that the sound is perfectly balanced at all times.The only way we can play music is with a full-sound system. We can provide traditional music, or you are welcome to bring your own music on iPod, cell phone or CD.
TIP: If your budget does not permit the addition of the sound system, and you are thinking about bringing a boom box or iPod dock for music instead, we would strongly suggest skipping that. Too hoakey and no one will be able to hear it.
Can You Help Us Find a Photographer?
- Yes! We have several professional wedding photographers that work for us. Rates are pre-negotiated with photographers so we are able to pass the discount on to our couples. If you have purchased a package that includes a photographer, once we confirm the date, time and location, and we have received a booking fee and contract to officially reserve the date, we will send you the list of photogs so you can review their websites and let us know 1st, 2nd and 3rd who you prefer. We will ascertain their availability and book them for you. We don't send the list out until a booking fee and contract is received. That way we can ensure that our photogs are always available for our couples and not booked with someone else. Right after your wedding, they will upload your images to a web gallery, so you and your friends and family can view them. Within two weeks after your wedding, they will send you with a DVD with the hi-res images so you can reproduce them at your local photo lab. A print release is also included so you will own all the rights to your images.
What About Recommendations On Videographers, Hair & Makeup, Live Musicians and a Wedding Cake?
- We have a number of trusted vendors that can provide outside services, which we are happy to share once your wedding date has been officially reserved.
Do You Perform Last-Minute and Short Notice Weddings?
- Yes, we have a very flexible schedule and are happy to be of service on short notice. Call me at (858) 273-2711 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can give you a better idea of our availability for your wedding date.
Do You Perform Vow Renewals and Renewal of Wedding Vows Ceremonies?
Do You Perform Same-Sex Wedding Ceremonies?
- Yes! We perform gay and lesbian unions, although, at this time, same-sex marriage is not legal in California, so there is no legal paperwork involved. However, we are still happy to be of service for your Commitment Ceremony sans paperwork. For couples living in Cali, a California Registered Domestic Partnership may be a legal alternative to consider. For more info, visit our sister site that is dedicated to same-sex couples at www.abeautifulceremony.us.
Do You Offer Military, Weekday or Off-Season Discounts?
- All our wedding packages fees are pre-negotiated with our vendors, so we are unable to offer military or off-season discounts on our wedding packages.
Can the Bride "Hide" from the Groom Before the Ceremony? What About a Wedding Party?
- Everything that we do for our couples is exactly like a real wedding.. no "un-weddings" here. The Bride is welcome to hide from the groom, walk down the aisle with her father, have flower girls, ring bearers, bridesmaids and groomsmen. We will provide a schedule for the arrival of groom, guests and the Bride so she is not seen until she begins her walk down the aisle, and will take care of getting everyone lined up and ready to go. Bridesmaids and groomsmen can either walk down together arm in arm, or the bridesmaids can walk alone, while the groomsmen stand with the groom at the head of the aisle.
Do You Provide the Marriage LIcense?
- No. We cannot issue the marriage license. The couple must appear together, with ID, in person, at any Cali County Clerk Recorder prior to the wedding date.
Where and When Do We Purchase Our Marriage LIcense?
- You must obtain your Marriage License from any County Clerk's office in the State of California. The license cannot come from another state. Licenses are issued on the same day and there is no waiting period. Count back 90 days from your wedding day and you can obtain your license anytime within that 90-day window. The marriage license can be picked up at any County in California and you can be married anywhere in California if it is a Public Marriage License. If you obtain a Confidential Marriage License, you can only be married in the county where the marriage license was obtained. See the Marriage License page for all the details on obtaining your Marriage License in San Diego County. All counties in California have the same rules for obtaining your license, however the fees and hours may differ from county to county. You can even download the Marriage License Application for San Diego and fill it out beforehand to save time. TIP: For couples coming from Arizona and may be concerned about be able to make a San Diego appointment, you could stop in El Centro on the way west and pick up the license there.
What If the Clerk's Office Is Closed and We Can't Purchase Our Marriage License?
- If you have reserved one of our wedding packages, and discover that the County's Clerk's office will be closed when you are here in San Diego, and you are unable to purchase your marriage license, don't worry! We work closely with several notaries who are able to issue a Confidential Marriage License in San Diego County, often on short notice. Once your wedding date is reserved, we are happy to provide you with their contact information.
Can We Retain You As Our Officiant Even If We Are Not Interested In a Wedding Package?
Are You Licensed to Perform Wedding Ceremonies?
- Yes, we are ordained ministers and San Diego wedding officiants in good standing, and are licensed to perform weddings anywhere in the State of California.
What Is Your Denomination or Affiliation?
- We serve as non-denominational wedding officiants, which allows us to provide the most flexible and complete service to each couple. We are comfortable in both religious and non-religious settings and welcome and accept all faiths and beliefs.
What Is Your Background?
- Since 2003, we have been providing Full-Service Wedding Packages for our lovely couples. We have been happily married for 10 years, and feel that this helps us immensely in coordinating and performing your ceremony in a sincere and heartfelt manner. We are truly honored to be part of one of the most special days of your lives, in any capacity, and are always completely at your service and easily reachable by phone and e-mail. I have a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island and Grant has a Bachelor's degree in Speech Communications from Long Beach State. We both possess a strong background in public speaking and performance, and are organized, well-spoken and personable... all skills that lend themselves well to being a wedding officiant and wedding ceremony coordinator.
How Would You Describe Yourself?
- We pride ourselves on being professional, warm, friendly and on time. We are very experienced and understand and respect the dynamics of families and friends that are involved when planning a wedding, and always keep the wishes of each couple as our priority. We are patient, sensitive and very good at smoothing out the little unexpected bumps that may occur, calmly and efficiently. We never hesitate to help out if things are running a little bit late on your big day... putting boutonnieres on the groomsmen, talking to your grandmother as I pin on her corsage, tying the rings on the ring bearer pillow... or just giving the bride a hug to reassure her that everything is going to be just wonderful!
What Types of Ceremonies Have You Performed?
- We have truly done it all. Large, formal affairs at 5-star resorts with 300 guests, to intimate elopements where it was just the bride and groom on the beach, and everything in between. We are always open to new ideas and are fine with unusual situations... for instance, when the bride and groom may have previously eloped and are already legally married, but want to have a formal wedding ceremony in front of their family and friends. This is sometimes the case for couples who are in the armed services. No worries... we great at keeping a secret! We love animals, so no problem if your dog is the ring bearer or you are having a dove release. We have performed short and sweet civils, serious religious ceremonies, interfaith weddings that combine the traditions of different faiths, ceremonies that include children, Hawaiian ceremonies and Celtic handfastings, just to name a few...and of course, the most popular... where the bride and groom want a lighthearted, customized ceremony that reflects their personalities with a touch of spirituality, grace and humor.
What Do You Say During the Ceremony?
- That is completely up to you. You can visit SanDiegoVows.com to choose a ceremony from our website so you will know exactly what will be said. We don't have any specific requirements on what needs to be said during the ceremony which ensures that the content of the ceremony will exactly the way you want it to be. We have all heard horror stories about officiants who felt compelled to use the couple's ceremony as a forum to express their own opinions or beliefs, much to the bride and groom's shock and disappointment. If you retain one of us as your officiant, you can be assured that there will be no surprises and your ceremony will be exactly the way you want is. We stick to the script that you have chosen and approved.
What Do You Usually Wear For the Ceremony?
- It is your big day and the focus should be on you. Our wardrobe when officiating varies, depending on the location and weather, however we always dress neatly and conservatively so as not to detract from the two of you. We do not wear ceremonial robes, albs or other religious clothing.We make every effort to adjust our wardrobe accordingly (i.e. a Hawaiian wedding, formal setting, beach wedding, etc.).
How Long Is the Wedding Ceremony?
- It's completely up to you. The average ceremony runs about 15-20 minutes, but will depend alot on what ceremony you choose and what you would like to include. You are always welcome to include readings done by friends or family members, special acts of celebration such as a Sand Ceremony or Rose Exchange, in which case, the ceremony would of course, be a bit longer. We very much about our couples and are happy to create a ceremony that really reflects the two of you.
Can We Write Our Own Vows?
- Absolutely. Your vows are your words of love and commitment to each other, and are one of the most important aspects of your ceremony.
Should We Memorize Our Vows?
- We discourage memorizing your vows as it can add unnecessary stress to your wedding day. If you write your own vows and they are more conversational (for instance, if there are a lot of "I love you's" or your vows talk about how you met, fell in love, etc.) then it is usually best to read them of index cards. If your vows are more traditional (I promise to love, honor and cherish...) then you would repeat them after the officiant. If you aren't sure how they should be presented, send me your vows prior to your ceremony so we have an opportunity to review them, at which time, we can make a recommendation.
We Both Have Children From Previous Relationships. Can We Include Our Children In the Ceremony?
- Of course. There are a number of ways to include your children in your wedding ceremony. The Family Sand Ceremony is a wonderful and fun way to include your children, without putting too much pressure on them or making them feel awkward. You can also incorporate vows that you say to your children, committing to love them as their parents, and even present them with a gift like a necklace, ring or bracelet. We are always happy to help you decide on the best way to incorporate them, based on their ages and personalities.
What If One of You Is Not Available to Officiate but We Would Like to Purchase One of Your Wedding Packages?
- We are happy to provide you with a list of officiants who are similar to ourselves in personality and approach. We have several colleagues, both men and women, who may be a good fit for you.
Will Your Travel to Our Location?
- Yes. If our availability permits, we will travel to wherever you are holding your wedding ceremony.
Do You Require Or Offer Pre-Marital Counseling?
- We are not licensed counselors and do not offer, nor do we require that you attend pre-marital counseling or marriage classes.
Are There Any Specific Things We Should Be Aware Of for Our San Diego Beach Wedding?
- Alcohol and smoking are prohibited at the beaches and parks in San Diego. Smoking is permitted on the sidewalk, streets and parking lots, only.
- Silk rose petals are NOT allowed and are considered litter. Please do not bring these to the wedding, as fines may be incurred.
- Real rose petals are allowed, but must be purchased from us which includes cleanup required per City Ordinance. Outside rose petals are not permitted.
- June, July and August are the busiest months at the beaches and coastal parks in San Diego, and parking can be difficult. Most locations offer free street parking, as well as paid parking. Limo buses and shuttles are a good choice for transporting guests during this time of year, if budget permits. If not, just make sure to let your guests know to add extra travel time to accommodate the parking situation.
- Please know that the wedding locations are public areas. There will be beachgoers here and there, but they are always respectful.
- Receptions, catering, sandwiches, BBQ's, cupcakes, wedding cake, etc. are not permitted at the wedding site.
- Outside decorations are not permitted on the chairs, arches and canopies, or in the aisle. Guest books, favors, etc. should be saved for the reception.
- Flip flops, sandals and flat shoes are the best choice is your wedding is in the sand. For the bride whose dress is altered for high heels, flip flops with a thicker wedge sole that is the same height as the heels are suggested.