Do you have a questions for me about my officiating services, your wedding plans, or interest in our other wedding services like simple photography? Please contact me and let me know what you are thinking and wanting to do for your special day! I will always be happy to answer any of your questions, even if I do not officiate your ceremony. If you need an answer to a question that you are not able to find on this page, you can use the “Keyword Search” form in the right hand column.
Q: What are your wedding officiating fees?
A: According to The Knot, the median price for a wedding officiant in 2011 was $238, with 21% of couples paying more than $300 and here along the Gulf Coast the typical website search will show you beach rates from $200 to $400.
My wedding officiating fees are more reasonable, because they keep me involved in my small group church ministry as pastor of West Mobile Bible Fellowship.
Here are my wedding officiating fees by general locations and times (for Wedding Chapel prices go here) and they include filing the marriage license and taking any photos that you may want using your camera.
Biloxi – Dauphin Island – Gulf Shores – Pensacola…
Mobile, Dauphin Island, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Perdido Key, Fort Morgan, Fairhope, Daphne, Baldwin County areas, Pensacola, Pensacola Beach, Biloxi, Mississippi (see below for the Emerald Coast beaches of Fort Walton, Destin).
Monday - Thursday | $150.00
Friday - Sunday | $200.00
Navarre Beach – Fort Walton Beach – Destin… (map)
For areas west of Gulf Breeze, Florida and along the Emerald Coast.
Monday - Thursday | $200.00
Friday - Sunday | $250.00
* The following holiday’s are treated as a Weekend day when it comes to fees: New Year’s Eve/Day, Valentine Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Halloween Eve/Day, Thanksgiving Eve/Day, Christmas Eve/Day.
CHECK MY AVAILABILITY…
You can check to see if I’m available to officiate your wedding by going to my Availability Form page.
Q: Do you require a deposit ?
A: No. I do not require any deposits, but I simply ask that if you need to cancel you will email me that you have had a change in plans, so I can have a change of plans, too. It’s no problem on my end.
Q: Do you file the marriage license?
A: Yes, unless you prefer to do it yourself. Usually the clerk at the courthouse will say, Hand the license to the minister. The filing of your marriage license is a customary courtesy for the minister to take care of after the ceremony, unless you need to keep it with you for traveling purposes or simply prefer to return yourself, then I’ll sign it when I arrive for the ceremony.
Q: What do you provide as a wedding officant?
A: First and foremost, I provide the peace of mind and assurance that I will be there and provide the officiating service, as an ordained vocational pastor, which will make your wedding ceremony legal, dignified, and relaxed. The officiating fee is for my time, and there is certainly no extra fees from me for adding anything like a sand ceremony or whatever you may may want to include. I will even be happy to take a few photos with your camera while I’m there, no cost.
Q: When do we pay you?
A: Most couples pay me after I arrive and when they also hand me the marriage license. Immediately after the ceremony is fine, too. I’m OK with cash, check, or if you need to use a credit card I have a PayPal link at my Online Payment page. If you prefer to write a check please make it payable to “Steve Durkac Weddings.”
Q: Do you require a tip, too?
A: No. I realize that other officiants ask or hint about giving a tip in addition to the fee, but I do not.
Q: Do you officiate formal church or hall weddings?
A: Yes, and I simply book them through the process of booking me for a beach wedding.
Q: Do you wear a coat and tie?
A: For formal weddings at a church or hall, but not at the beach or outdoor ceremony. I have officiating hundreds of formal weddings in various settings, with simply a solid color beach-style shirt, so if you want me to wear my coat and tie, please ask that upfront before you book me.
Q: Do you set-up any kind of wedding arch?
A: I do not provide any kind of wedding arch, but you are welcome to bring your own or rent one. I just don’t provide it myself because of the extra time required to set-up and fight with the beach winds. Plus, if I did, I could not be be flexible in location, because you would have to come to my established beach spot for the wedding. The wind is usually strong at the beach and it can become a pain, unless you have a way to securely tie it down.
Q: What do you wear for a beach wedding?
A: I usually wear a solid color beach shirt or sometimes I wear a pattern style beach shirt and dark slacks. If you have a special color request, just ask me. Although, I usually don’t wear a coat and tie on the beach.
Q: What about size of my wedding guest or wedding party?
A: Wedding party size or number of guests, from just the couple to 100 plus guests, are fine with me and have no bearing on my honorariums…unless you want me to wear a tie.
Q: What about Vow Renewals?
A: My vow renewal ceremony is identical to my wedding ceremony, worded slightly different, but the same effort, time, and words. I do not need to see your previous Certificate of Marriage. I will provide you with a Keepsake Vow Renewal Certificate. Couples who have used me for their Vow Renewal service have remarked that it certainly was more than expected and perfect. Visit the testimonial page for more information.
Q: Are you OK with same-sex ceremonies?
A: While our society is rapidly changing its foundations in regard to defining marriage, it is important to note that I am Southern Baptist and I do affirm the Baptist Faith and Message, West Mobile Bible Fellowship‘s Doctrinal Statement and position Statement on Marriage and Sexuality.
Although same-sex unions are not legal in Alabama, I periodically get inquiries on officiating ceremonies for same gender couples and when I do I will gladly offer a name of someone in our area who has advertised their non-restrictive willingness to oversee same-sex commitment ceremonies.
I believe all people, regardless of sexual orientation, have civil rights and are equally children of the human family. I do not condone prejudice, accusations, or abuse against homosexuals, and advocate respect and non-discrimination, while upholding my personal religious convictions and organizational affiliations that do prevent me from officiating any same sex union ceremonies, including vow renewals, commitment, and marriage.
Q: What if it rains the day of my beach wedding?
A: Normally rain comes to the beach in flashes and short periods of time. However, there are times when we get long periods of rains, and on those days, if we can’t get a break in the rain, most hotels and condo’s allow plan B’s to move it inside, but you would have to check with your location.
There are 2 good locations with public gazebos that are ideal for holding the ceremony under to avoid the rain. One is just west of the corner of Hwy 59 and Beach Blvd. and the other is across the Orange Beach Perdido bridge at the Florida Point Park.
Q: What about hurricanes?
A: Normally the hotels and condo’s will cancel reservations and evacuate all guests. The good news is that we get a few days warning on hurricanes, so watch the weather reports. In the past I have had weddings rescheduled and moved ahead in time to beat the hurricane.Usually when a hurricane is heading toward South Alabama, my family and I evacuate early with my wife’s company. We would just need to communicate if one is in the Gulf and your wedding day is nearing.
Q: What if I need to cancel?
A: No problem. All I ask is that I you call or email me. I won’t ask why or stay awake all night wondering how I am going to feed our pet y vow renewal
Q: Can I return the marriage license afterwards?
A: Military couples need to take a copy of the signed marriage license back the base, so they usually return by mail. There is no law against the couple returning it back to the courthouse and if you wish to, just tell me. Then, in about two weeks, you will receive the official Certificate of Marriage in the mail from the county clerk. Some counties require a separate order to be placed in order to receive your Certificate of Marriage. TheCertificate of Marriage is what you will need to change your name on documents.
Q: What area of the beach are we allowed to use for our wedding?
A: All public areas of the beach are available to be used for performing a wedding. If you are staying at a beach side condo or hotel, you are allowed to use those private areas of the beach. Visit the At Gulf Shores, Alabama page to learn more. In 2012, the city of Gulf Shores started requiring wedding permits for some areas and during certain times of the year.
Q: What if we want to have our own vows ?
A: I have standard modified traditional vows or will welcome the use of your own personalized vows. That is your personal choice.
Q: What is is your ceremony like?
A: Please visit my Ceremony Overview page to get an idea of the flow of my traditional ceremony. I will add other features at the request of couples, such as special music, poems, scripture readings, unity candles, sand ceremony, stone throwing, some unique ethnic features, children inclusions, prayer of blended families, and various other things.
Q: Do you require pre-marital counseling ?
A: No. My pre-marital counseling services are optional and offered separate according to relationship challenges. If you are interested, I offer you both a Love Language assessment test at no cost which will help you understand how to best love your mate after the wedding. Just ask me about it.
Q: What are your pre-marital counseling fees ?
A: Again, an honorarium, which has generally been $35.00 for an hour and a half of time in-person or over the phone. (I should note that I offer the pre-marital coaching service even if I do not officiate the wedding.)
Q: Can we meet you in advance , even if we are not interested in pre-marital coaching?
A: Yes. If you are near or in Mobile, Alabama. Just know that the beach is about an hour and half drive for me. So it is the equivalent of a half days’ work for me. We certainly can talk over the phone as often as you may have questions.
Q: What about attending the wedding rehearsal?
A: Please visit my Rehearsal Coordinating page to learn about no-cost help. Scheduling is the biggest challenge for me when it comes to wedding rehearsals. Often times I have a wedding scheduled, an event schedule, or family plans. If I can’t make your wedding rehearsal, I will gladly be available by phone to answer any questions or to point out the issues that would involve me at the rehearsal. During the ceremony I will coach the couple along in the ceremony, but here are some issues to think about:
- Bride’s entrance. If someone is walking the bride down, I just need to know if they want or are willing for me to say “Who gives this bride away.” And if someone is walking down the bride, they need to know to stop about 6 to 10 feet before more, in order to give the groom enough walking space to actually go and get his bride.
- Vows. If there is no preference, the majority of couples go with traditional vows with the bride and groom merely answer “I do.” But you can write your own or have the “Dr. Seuss Vows.”
- Vows. Also, you both will need to decide how you want to stand during the vows. You can remain standing facing the minister, turn to face each other, or slight turn toward each other but yet still toward the minister. Also, will you hold hands during the vows?
- Exit. After the minister pronounces you husband and wife and introduces you both as such, you will just need to know where or if you are going to exit or have friends and family come up to greet you in the front or or in the back.
Q: What are the Alabama laws for license, etc?
A: You must purchase your marriage license at any Alabama county courthouse, in order to be married in Alabama. The license is good for 30 days, only. To learn more, please visit my Marriage License Information page or click on this link: www.usmarriagelaws.com