Encircled Life Ceremonies


I have put together some commonly asked questions to give you more information about my services.

What is a Life-Cycle Celebrant?

Celebrants create and perform personalized ceremonies that are based on the client’s beliefs, philosophy, and needs. Sadly, important transitions and milestones are often ignored or glossed over. I have been trained and certified by the Celebrant Foundation & Institute gaining knowledge on the theory and structure of rituals and specific training for different types of ritual. So my job as a Life-Cycle Celebrant is to meet one-on-one with the family, individual or couple and creatively craft a one-of-a-kind ceremony celebrating their marriage, their coming of age, their new baby, their new house or the life of their loved one. All of life’s transitions are worth celebrating, marking and sharing with family and community.

How is a Life-Cycle Celebrant different from other Officiants?
Professional Life-Cycle Celebrants are ceremony officiants who have undergone many months of specialized training through an internationally recognized institute to gain the knowledge and skills in the background and history of ritual, ceremony and traditions in many cultures and religions. We are ceremony specialists who make each ceremony unique, individualized, personal events. As trained experts on ceremony and ritual, certified celebrants seamlessly work with all religious, secular, philosophical and spiritual belief systems, collaborating with you and your family or group to create your milestone rather than relying on a template.
How do Celebrant ceremonies differ from other ceremonies?
The key difference is that Celebrant ceremonies are co-created with you where you share your story and the elements that matter to you. Every ceremony is unique to the honoree, or the honorees family. Every ceremony is researched, written, and edited until the ceremony fully reflects your personality, beliefs, values and traditions while weaving in your personal story and history.
Do you work with other Officiants?
I would be honored to co-create a ceremony with you that includes members of faith communities important to you. First, and foremost, you are my client with full approval rights over the ceremony script. It is important that anyone else participating in the ceremony understands this fully so that there is no confusion.
Are you legaly able to perform a marriage?
As an ordained inter-faith minister I have been certified and authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to perform the Rites of Marriage, and recognized as a legal officiant in Maryland, and the District of Columbia. This authority is recognized by most states. While it is your responsibility to get the marriage license, I will file the official certificate of marriage within 2 business days with the county clerk of court. Please contact me for further information if you wish for me to officiate your union outside of the Washington Metropolitan area.
Do you require pre-marriage counseling or classes?
I neither offer, nor require any pre-marriage counseling. I would however encourage any couple to discuss their wants and desires for a life-long commitment with someone experienced in counseling couples before sealing their love. If you are interested in those services, please contact me and I can provide some references.
In what geographic areas will you perform ceremonies?
Any place may become a sacred space. I am based in Annandale, Virginia, but I travel throughout the Washington Metropolitan area. I do not charge travel fees within 50 miles, or one hour, of Annandale, VA. After we meet and your ceremony location is confirmed, I will be happy to quote you a travel fee if applicable.
How much do you charge for your services?
The work of a Celebrant is different from situation to situation, so I prefer to discuss fees after we have had a chance to speak and I get to know what your specific vision for your ceremony is. For weddings and funerals, I offer a range of services from $800 to $1,500, and for elopements, short-notice weddings, and committal ceremonies my fees range from $300 to $600. I look forward to reviewing that with you at our initial complimentary consultation. For all other ceremonies, I will be able to offer you a quote at our initial complimentary consultation.
What does the Celebrant fee cover?

Each ceremony is unique, so the services I offer may differ depending on the nature of the ceremony, but there are some core services in my fees which will include, where appropriate:

    • A free, complimentary one-on-one meeting to determine if we have a rapport and to discuss your ideas and inspirations for your ceremony.
    • Unlimited Consultations
    • A family, or couples questionnaire
    • In-depth personal interviews with the client and their family and friends
    • Unlimited ceremony script consultations, edits, and updates
    • Research and resource materials such as poetry, readings, and music suggestions, etc.
    • Suggestions for Ritual Elements
    • Coordination with all ceremony participants (e.g., musicians, speakers)
    • Travel within the Washington Metropolitan area
    • Attendance at a Wedding Rehearsal
    • Arrival at the venue 30 minutes in advance of the ceremony
    • Providing que sheets to venue staff and musicians as needed
    • Officiating at the ceremony
    • Filing the official certificate of marriage with the county clerk’s office
    • A keepsake copy of the ceremony sent to the client
How do you accept payment?
With your approval, I will provide a contract for services for us both to sign and a 50%, non-refundable payment by check, cash, or money order is due at that time. The remainder of my fee for weddings will be due at the rehearsal and for all other services on the date of, and prior to, the ceremony
What if you can't make it to the ceremony?
If in the event of an emergency that would prevent me from officiating on the date of your ceremony, please know that I am part of a broad and supportive community of Certified Life-Cycle Celebrants. I can assure you that someone fully trained and qualified will stand in for me and provide exactly the ceremony you are expecting.
What if we cancel or reschedule the ceremony?
If you must reschedule your ceremony, I will do everything I can to accommodate your new date. If I cannot accommodate the new date, I will endeavor to find a replacement from my community of Certified-Life-Cycle celebrants to officiate. In the unfortunate event you must cancel your ceremony, while your deposit is non-refundable, I will be available to console you, buy you a cup of coffee, and help you through that transition as well.