Elizabeth Phaire, Master Life-Cycle Celebrant® & Wedding Officiant
Harrison, NY 10528
Harrison, NY 10528
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Questions & Answers
What makes you different from other local wedding officiants? Why should someone hire you? My services are very, very personalized. I talk with my clients, listen to their ideas and wishes, provide suggestions; and tailor the ceremony to suit their beliefs, tastes, and reflect their personality. My job is to help the couple to express what they want to express, and create the kind of experience they want to have for their wedding ceremony. So for those couples who are "spiritual but not religious", creative, or eclectic, or who want something simple but still unique and personal, I am the perfect person to work with. Also, I am youthful, which is a different kind of person than people usually imagine an Officiant to be. I bring a fresh, contemporary feeling to the ceremonies I officiate, yet they are beautifully structured so that even traditional parents and grandparents appreciate the ceremony. .
What are your standard payment terms? I require a 50% deposit upon signing the wedding officiating contract, which can be paid via check or cash. The remaining 50% is paid in cash at the rehearsal, or before the ceremony on the ceremony day. I provide a receipt for both payments, for your records..
What is your customer satisfication cancellation policy? I do not have one, because I do my utmost to deliver the services I promise, and my clients are satified. I cannot account for a client's unusual demands.
What is your event cancellation policy? I require a 50% deposit upon signing the wedding officiating contract. That deposit is non-refundable in the event of a cancellation..
How far are you willing to travel? Is there a travel fee? I am willing to travel to other states if necessary. There is a travel fee, and it is based on how far I have to travel and whether I need to stay in a hotel, etc..
How many wedding do you officiate a year? About 50.
What kind of pre-wedding counseling is required, if any? There is none required by law in the State of New York. .
How long after the ceremony do you file for the official marriage license? You and your fiance(e) must get your marriage license prior to the ceremony. In New York State the marriage license is valid for 60 days, effective the date you got your license. So within that 60 days, you have to state your wish to be husband and wife in front of an authorized clergy person or public official, and at least one other witness (this is what you would need me for). This can be done in any kind of ceremony format you wish. Also, you must wait a full 24 hours after getting your license before you can have a ceremony. On the day of your wedding ceremony we would sign the license with your witness(es)-- usually before the ceremony begins, because afterwards you will be busy-- and I usually mail out the signed license on the next business day after the wedding. You can mail the license yourself if you wish. In about 2 weeks you should get a Certificate of Marriage in the mail - this is proof that your marriage is on file at the clerk's office. .
What documents do I need to bring to our first meeting? None, just a pad and paper to write notes, unless there is something -- like a reading or cultural tradition that you want to show me. .
Will you marry couples of different faiths or previous divorce? Absolutely. I serve those couples who cannot or do not want to get married in traditional houses of worship. I have no judgments about their religious choices, or whether they have had previous marriages..
How long does the ceremony usually last? The average ceremony is 1/2 hour long. However it can be as short as 10 minutes or as long as an hour, depending on what you want to do..
Do you normally attend the reception? No, I usually stay for up to 1/2 hour after the ceremony. Sometimes we have to sign the marriage license after the ceremony, and you may want to take pictures with me. I also have a glass of sparkling water, an hors'doeuvres or two, and say hi to the guests..
Do you have a back up officiant on call, in case of an emergency? Yes, that is written into the contract that we would sign. I provide a name and contact number of the director of the Celebrant USA Foundation of which I am a member. She would contact the other Celebrant members, and find a replacement. Thankfully, this has never happened..
Will you allow us to write our own vows? Yes, and I can provide you with vows samples to use as a jumping board, and a guide to writing your own vows, if you need..
Can we read or hear your ceremony before our wedding day? Absolutely. After I write your first draft, I will e-mail it to you, and you can make any changes you like. I would personalize the ceremony to reflect your values and tastes. As such, you have the ultimate authority about the ceremony content..
In which states and communities are you licensed to officiate ceremonies? I am licensed to Officiate in the New York, Connecticut, Florida and Illinois. As far as the other States, I'm not sure, I have not had the need to check. If you are from out of state, I can check to see if my credentials are valid in that State..