One of Chicago's 5-Star wedding officiants devoting herself full-time making YOU her #1 priority, as an open and affirming wedding officiant; no need to look any further for the one and only perfect fit Reverend in Oak Brook, Lombard, Arlington Heights, Itasca, Carol Stream, Crystal Lake, Yorkville, Elburn, and Plano.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are your qualifications/credentials and how many ceremonies have you officiated to date? And where can I read reviews about your business?
I have credentials and am in good standing with several ministries, and can provide proof of ordination upon request. I have performed several ceremonies in established churches. As of January 21, 2017, I've had the privilege of presiding over 461 ceremonies.
Reviews about me and my services can be read at three different places: WeddingWire , YelpLink, and FacebookLink.
2. How far in advance should we book our ceremony date? What is the process to get things rolling for booking our ceremony date?
You know that old saying, "The early bird gets the worm?" Well, if your heart is set on honoring me with being your officiant, it's always best to book your date with me as soon as you've booked your venue. Sometimes that may not be soon enough depending on my schedule.
If you wish to book your wedding date, then a $100 non-refundable deposit is required to be paid along with completing and returning a signed contract. Once these two items are received, then your wedding date is secured. The balance (minus the deposit) is due one day prior to your wedding day. Full payment is required for elopement ceremonies held at A Perfect Fit Rev's Wedding Room. Forms of payment accepted: Chase QuickPay, PayPal, personal check, certified check, money order or Cashier’s check.
NOTE: My availability for your wedding date is not guaranteed until I have received both a completed/signed contract and deposit or full payment. Thank you for your understanding.
3. How do we obtain our marriage license?
In ILLINOIS, most counties require the following when you go to get your license:
The license cannot be more than 60 days old and no less than one day old. Each county may have somewhat different requirements, so it’s best if you visit the issuing county’s website in which you are to be married to find out their exact requirements in greater detail.
In INDIANA, most counties require the following when you go to get your license:
The license cannot be more than 60 days old. While the process for applying for a license varies county to county, generally, if both or either of you is a resident of Indiana, you must apply for the license in the county of residence of one of you. Once license is issued, you may marry anywhere in the state of Indiana. If neither of you is a resident, but you’re planning on marrying in Indiana, you must apply for the license in the county where the marriage will occur. Each county may have somewhat different requirements, so it’s best if you visit the issuing county’s website to find out their exact requirements in greater detail.
In MICHIGAN, most counties require the following when you go to get your license:
There is a THREE (3) DAY WAITING PERIOD from the day of application. The license is valid for 33 days from the first day after the date of application. The license may be picked up at the office where you applied on or after the third day unless that day is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. In that case, the license may be picked up on the first working day after the weekend or holiday. Be prepared to provide proper identification. If both or either of you is a resident of Michigan, you must apply for the license in the county of residence of one of you. Once license is issued, you may marry anywhere in the state of Michigan. If neither of you is a resident, but you’re planning on marrying in Michigan, you must apply for the license in the county where the marriage will occur. Each county may have somewhat different requirements, so it’s best if you visit the issuing county’s website to find out their exact requirements in greater detail.
4. Whose responsibility is it to return the marriage license to the county clerk’s office?
It is the officiant's responsibility to deliver the marriage license to the county clerk’s office in which it was issued. If the couple chooses to take this responsibility on themselves, so they may purchase their marriage certificate as soon as possible, then they will be required to sign a waiver releasing the officiant of any and all responsibility in returning the marriage license to the respective county clerk's office.
5. In the event that you would be unable to perform the ceremony due to an “emergency,” what is your backup plan?
To date, I have never been late to or missed a ceremony. In the highly unlikely event that I’d be unable to perform your ceremony due to being late by 15 minutes or more from the scheduled start time of the ceremony, or due to an "emergency," all fees paid will be refunded. My first backup officiant that I would rely on would be my associate, Rev. Mylene de Almeida Lima. See her bio at the bottom of 'The Reverends' page. If she is not available, I have a list of an additional 10+ colleagues I depend on as backups. As long as I’m not incapacitated, all reasonable efforts will be made on my part to find a suitable alternate officiant (this doesn’t guarantee an alternate officiant), and it must be understood that I have no control over the alternate officiant’s asking price. You may find an alternate officiant on your own, if you choose.
6. What if we have to cancel or postpone our ceremony?
Should you need to CANCEL the ceremony for any reason up to and including one day before the rehearsal date, or contracted date of service when there is no scheduled rehearsal, all fees paid up to that point will be refunded with the exclusion of the $100 non-refundable deposit.
Should you need to POSTPONE the ceremony for any reason to a later date and time, all fees paid up to that point will carry over to the new ceremony date with no change in the original total cost of the ceremony, except for an additional $50 change fee. A new contract will be drawn up reflecting the new ceremony date, time, total cost and, if applicable, the new rehearsal date and time. New contract must be received by me to secure new ceremony date. If I cannot accommodate your new ceremony date, all fees paid up to that point will be refunded with the exclusion of the $100 non-refundable deposit; it will be your responsibility to retain another officiant for your ceremony. You must inform me of the cancellation or postponement of your ceremony in writing as soon as you know and by no later than one (1) day prior to the rehearsal date, or ceremony date when there is no rehearsal scheduled.
7. Do you have any restrictions as to the type of ceremony you officiate? And can we write our own vows?
There are no restrictions as to the type of ceremony you desire. I am a non-denominational minister. I offer many script samples of four different types: spiritual, religious, semi-religious and non-religious. An interfaith ceremony can be created using the different samples. Also, you are welcome to provide your own ceremony script, if you have one.
Yes. In fact, I encourage you to write your own vows. If you need help with writing them, I’ll provide a document with tips on writing your own vows. I’ll even proofread them, if asked.
8. What are the steps in creating our ceremony script? And how long does the ceremony last?
After I have received the contract and deposit payment, I'll send you a questionnaire that will get us started on creating your ceremony script and planning the events of your ceremony. Once the questionnaire is returned to me, all sample ceremony scripts and, if applicable, wedding tradition documents you will have chosen to review will be sent to you via email attachments.
You have full reign as to the contents of your ceremony script. You’d begin by reading through the sample scripts and piecing together all the sections that best reflect the two of you as a couple. You may further personalize any of the wording by tweaking wherever you desire, even include wording, readings, blessings or prayers that you don’t find in the samples using your own favorites. The final draft is done only when you will have reached complete satisfaction. Revisions may be made all the way up until the day before your ceremony date. I’m always available to help in every way and give you guidance along the planning route.
On average, a ceremony will last between 15-20 minutes. The length of time for your ceremony will depend on what you decide to include.
9. What if we want to include our ‘love story’? And can we have family members and/or friends participate in the ceremony?
If you want to share your 'love story' during your ceremony, which may include how you first met, the proposal, an amusing date, etc., you would provide me with the information you'd like to include; then I would either use your exact words, or minimally rework it so it flows nicely.
Yes. Family members and/or friends are always welcome to participate in your ceremony in any way you desire, whether it's reading, singing, playing an instrument, etc. This is something I always greatly encourage.
10. How many ceremonies do you schedule on one day?
Depending on the day of the year, I may have one and upwards to four ceremonies booked on one day. Being on time to the ceremony and, if applicable, rehearsal is my top priority, when I plan my schedule.
11. What time do you arrive on the day of the wedding?
In most cases, I arrive no later than 30 minutes before the ceremony is scheduled to begin. For elopement ceremonies, I'm usually there no less than 15 minutes beforehand. In my contract, I have 15 minutes for all ceremonies; but as I stated, I'm normally there anywhere from a half hour up to an hour or two ahead of time due to the cushion I provide myself between ceremonies.
12. What if we want to retain you exclusively for our wedding day because it will help minimize our stress?
If you want to retain me exclusively for your wedding day due to any number of reasons, as long as I don't have anything already scheduled on the day of your planned event, for an additional cost I'd be willing to accommodate your request. The non-refundable deposit is $250 to hold your ceremony date for this service. If interested, please contact me for additional details.
13. What are the restrictions for the elopement ceremony at your location?
The following restrictions apply:
NOTE: Location is in officiant's office in the basement; therefore, all attendees must be physically able to navigate stairs.
14. If we require you to attend a rehearsal and we don’t have a coordinator, would you oversee and coordinate the event?
Yes. From start to finish, every aspect of the ceremony will be covered during the rehearsal, but it won’t be read word for word. (That will be left for your wedding day!) The rehearsal will conclude only when you and everyone in attendance are completely comfortable, satisfied and understand what yours and their participation will entail during the ceremony with no more remaining questions or uncertainties. The rehearsal can last anywhere between a half hour up to an hour depending on the size of your wedding party.
If you choose not to have a rehearsal, then on the day of your ceremony, I’ll arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the start time and go over with everyone participating what their part entails until they’re comfortable and all questions have been answered. If you don’t want to be seen by each other before the ceremony, then I’ll meet with each of you separately to run through the ceremony script making sure you know what to do and when. Also, I’ll coordinate the cues for the song selections being played during the ceremony with the DJ/musician(s).
I'm very adept at running mini-rehearsals within the 30 minutes of arriving early on the ceremony day. I've done some with bridal parties as large as 25 members with no more or less hiccups than ceremonies that have had formal rehearsals.
15. If invited, do you attend rehearsal dinners and/or reception dinners?
As much as I would be honored to attend the rehearsal or reception dinner, I would have to respectfully decline.
16. What is your attire for the ceremony?
I normally wear a pantsuit, or blouse and skirt/slacks, or a dress. The colors may include black, navy blue, gray and/or hunter green but are not limited to these colors. During December around the holidays, for Valentine’s Day or Sweetest Day, I have a red, satiny jacket I can wear with black skirt/slacks, if it matches your color theme.
17. What other services do you offer?
I offer bi-lingual ceremonies in English-Spanish, English-Portuguese and English-Hungarian. Besides English, ceremonies may also be performed in all Spanish, Portuguese or Hungarian, if preferred.
Other services that I'm delighted to offer are baptisms, welcoming and baby naming/blessing ceremonies, and any other blessings of homes, yachts, new businesses, etc. to name a few. Funeral and memorial services are offered as well.
18. Why did you become an officiant?
I truly enjoy having fun, and nothing makes me happier than bringing boatloads of joy into other people's lives! And what better way than taking a trip with the couple on their journey to their wedding day!!! The best part is that I'm invited to participate in a huge way and helping to make it one of the most joyfully dreamy, poignant days they will ever experience, as people gather in the name of love witnessing their leap of faith into a lifelong commitment by marrying the love of their life!