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    Wedding Planning Tips from Your Officiant

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    Planning a wedding is EXCITING and EXHAUSTING.  Hopefully, these tips will make things a little easier for you as you plan your ceremony.


    If you live in California you can get your Marriage License at ANY County Clerk’s Office in the State.  That license can be used to get married in ANY county in the State.  For example, if you live in San Diego and get your license there, you can us that license to get married in San Francisco.

    On average it takes two to three weeks after the wedding for your marriage license to get back to the clerk’s office you obtained it from and for them to record it; at which point you can go down and pay for a copy.  You can also go online to that clerk’s office and order and pay for a copy and once it is recorded they will mail it to you.


    A typical wedding ceremony is between 15-30 minutes. People don’t want to drive for four hours to a wedding and have a five minute  ceremony; they also don’t want an hour and five minute ceremony. Fifteen to thirty minutes allows them to fully engage in and enjoy the uniting of the couple in marriage.  

    That time frame includes the processional and recessional of the bridal party.

    There is a general framework for a wedding ceremony:

    Processional (bridal party gets into place)

    Entrance of Bride

    Giving of Bride

    Welcome of Guests

    Reading or Prayer

    Personal Message or Vows written by couple

    Traditional Vows

    Exchange of Rings

    Symbolic Ceremony Ceremony (Sand, Wine, Tying the Knot, Hand-Fasting, Planting a Tree, etc.), or another Reading.

    Declaration of Marriage:


    Introduction of Bride and Groom


    To personalize a ceremony, I suggest that the couple do write a personal message to each other that they can read during the wedding, or write their own wedding vows, or have the officiant tell the story of their relationship. 


    When it comes to your VENDORS for your wedding, ‘FIT’ is very important.  If you feel comfortable with the people you are working with, your wedding day will be much less stressful.

    That is especially true of your OFFICIANT who is at the very center of the most important part of the day – the wedding itself- and can help you relax and enjoy those moments.

    Your officiant should provide you with RESOURCES – samples of wedding ceremonies, readings, symbolic ceremonies, etc., to help You get started on thinking about your ceremony.

    For a wedding along the Central Coast a fee of between $300-$500 is reasonable.  Price varies deepening on a variety of factors:  Time of year, day of the week, travel distance to venue, need/desire for a rehearsal, involvement of a wedding planner/coordinator, etc.


    Congratulations on your engagement and upcoming wedding.  I am sure that your wedding day will be everything you have hoped for.

    I wish you the very best in your future together. 

    Rick Comstock, Officiant

    Avow Ceremony and Services

    EMAIL: avowceremony@gmail.com

    WEBSITE: avowceremony.com

    PHONE: 805-550-1371

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