Chapel San Sebastian

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              Central Texas Crisis Chaplains
                                  (A NON-PROFIT 501 C 3 Corp.)

 The information contained herein is under federal copyright and may not be reproduced nor
 used in any form for publication, for verbal communication or in written form of any method
 without the specific and written permission of Chaplain Larry Todd.

        I‟m Chaplain Larry Todd and I appreciate your contact to our web site
regarding your wedding. I am an ordained, independent chaplain associated with
Austin Wedding Chaplains. That is a consortium of chaplains, ministers and
pastors who want to help others. We are not employees of Austin Wedding
Chaplains or Central Texas Crisis Chaplains or Chaplain Fellowship Ministries or
any church or any religious organization. Each of us is independent of the other
and we operate separately from the group.

        I officiate weddings for the fun and excitement and the thrill of meeting
and helping people. My entire fee goes to our charitable projects. I am truly
blessed to be able to do this and not be dependant upon the income from
weddings. My business ventures allow me great freedom to serve as a chaplain.

        I - Congratulations! You made a very important decision and all of our
Chaplains wish you every success and a lifetime of happiness and health.

        II - I‟m particular about the weddings I officiate. If I feel I‟m not the
right person for your wedding, I will advise you immediately. Conversely, if you
don‟t think I‟m your officiant, then simply tell me. No problem! . I‟m selective
and work to make YOUR wedding the best as I possibly can.

        III - Your wedding day is special and it is my honor to be considered
to be a part of it. Like you, I want it to be special and perfect. I work toward that
goal. No day is more special than YOUR wedding day. And every ceremony is
unique and special. Each wedding I officiate is different and each person is
different. I take it very seriously and I anticipate the same from the couple. It
is serious business. If you don’t wish to take it seriously, then you need not
read any more of this information. Sorry, but this is important!!!!
        IV- I rarely officiate civil weddings. I use brief prayer(s) and we gather
in a holy and respectful mode, but with fun and flavor. I am an ordained
professional Chaplain. You may hire an Internet minister or someone who may
not have officiated many weddings and you get what you pay for. More on that
later…. but experience and dedication counts!

        V     – I dislike “preaching” or stern “how-to-live-your-lives” talk as an
officiant. I just don‟t do that. It is all a positive and fun experience. Hopefully,
there is some motivation and assure you the serious part of the ceremony is

Here‟s how I work: It is your wedding and you deserve a creative and
personalized ceremony, as you want it. I can do a quick, plain service or I can
perform an elaborate religious based and/or spiritual service with numerous poems
prayers and comments. Or, we can do something “in between.” Weddings can be
contemporary, traditional religious, spiritual, and unique. However, if you don‟t
believe in God, then I shouldn‟t do your wedding. I use prayer and note to you
and the audience that this wedding is conducted in view of our heavenly father. It
is spiritual rather than religion specific. I do not find a lot of personal comfort in
most organized religions. But, I will defend their right to practice their religion

All the words I use in the service are positive. It should be a special and
wonderful memorable experience. Civil weddings are ceremonies without
prayer and generally do not reference God or a Supreme Creator. I rarely officiate
civil weddings. However, that is a choice by folks and I respect and defend their
right of selection.

As an ordained chaplain, I respond to all faiths and to those without faith and a lot
of folks in between. My personal faith is kept apart and separate from my
chaplaincy practice. I dislike labels and I don‟t discuss religion. I am not bound
by any religion. Spirituality yes, but religion is a personal matter. I wear a
clergy collar and sometimes I wear a black robe in the ceremony. For the service,
I always wear a stole. Photos @

The wedding has a spiritual base and there are brief prayers. On behalf of God, as
his servant, I declare the location to be holy and hallowed ground. If someone
has a problem in being married in the name of God, our creator, then I recommend
you find another officiant. I do not preach nor enter into a sermon for the
ceremony. I customize the narrative to fit YOUR needs. YOUR God may be
different that mine, but we are all working toward the same result. I‟ve done
Buddhist weddings, Baptist weddings, Catholic weddings and mostly all faiths
and spiritual weddings. You will be pronounced husband and wife in the name of
the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I dislike religious labels, as I am all faiths or
multi-faith based. I love traditional ceremonies, but I customize YOUR service to
be a contemporary and memorable event. Please remember that God
and religion are not the same….far from it!!

I have found that a few officiants either change their mind after committing to a
wedding or they get a better deal or they have conflicts with the couple. I know of
a wedding where the officiant changed his mind two hours before the service.
My word to you is my bond. I hope you feel the same way.

Generally, we meet at a Star Bucks and start your planning. Bring a notebook and
take notes. It is best that the both bride and groom to be present. (Rare
exceptions are military or out of town residences.)

We start the planning right there. Again, it is YOUR wedding. If for any reason,
you aren‟t happy with me, just say so and I‟ll offer up another one of our
Chaplains for your consideration. You need not explain. Additionally, if you are
in communication with another officiate, and then go with that one. I don‟t do
auditions. We need to make a decision and move forward. YOUR CALL!

I don’t like to do a wedding without first meeting the couple. (The exception is
deployed military or if one of the couple lives out-of-town or another officiate
fails to show up.) I don‟t counsel, but I must ensure that the bride and the groom
and I understand what is being planned and then accept the details of the
ceremony. I do have a pre nuptial self-counseling test that is free upon YOUR

I officiate official and legal weddings, vow renewals, special ceremonies, and
funerals. I do not perform same sex commitment ceremonies, but I‟m not
judgmental either. It just isn‟t my deal. I defend their right of choice.
The bottom line is I want to make this fun and as easy as possible for you. I don‟t
do counseling, however I can refer you to a certified counselor for any pre
marriage session. I am a trained counselor, but I don‟t preach and I don‟t tell you
how to run your life. That isn‟t my role. Also, I am not a wedding planner or
coordinator. Wedding planners and coordinators are pre and post ceremony
coordinators. Wedding planners and coordinators do just that. Plan and
coordinate. Most wedding planners are very good. My job, however is to
officiate the wedding as professionally as possible and then handle the filing of
your license. Additionally, I work toward stress free situations!

The Business Side - I wish I could officiate weddings free. But, there is a
business side to weddings. There is no charge for our initial meeting, but we need
to make the decision at that time. Effective January 1, 2007 I require a non-
refundable down payment, which is applied to the basic fee. However if you
cancel - the reservation fee is a non-refundable donation. The down payment
amount is up to you. I do have a simply written contract we can use if you are
worried. I like to work on a handshake and verbal agreement.

As to the fee, I personally take no money. Your payment is made to Central
Texas Crisis Chaplains and that money goes to help veterans, police officers,
firefighters or emergency service workers. And, your payment is tax deductible
as we are a non-profit, 501 C 3 organization. It might be your first tax
deduction as a married couple. We have several programs to help folks in need.
A few are listed at the end of this writing. And, we don‟t solicit you for additional
money after the wedding or anytime in the future. We don‟t reveal your name to
any solicitors of any type. But, your marriage license is public record from the
county clerk‟s office.

I have a set fee for the entire scenario and I have a reduced fee for a no rehearsal
ceremony. Those fees are very reasonable, but lower than most and higher than
some. There are Internet “ministers” who can do your wedding for $39.95. That
is fine, but the quality of the service is important. It is the focal point of your
event. Fees for a customized and personalized service costs up to $800 for some
officiants. I am much less expensive and I do a better job than many.

I hate to mention this, kindly ensure your check will not be returned to me due to
insufficient checks. IF you use cash as your donation, I can provide you a receipt
for your records and it is considered a donation not unlike other charities. Cash
works really well for this small amount. Sorry, but even clergy often get hot
checks. It is all a charitable donation. It isn’t my money. The County Attorney
thru our attorney who works pro bono handles hot checks promptly. We do
execute formal charges including court costs and related fees. And, insufficient-
checks are copied and provided to the credit bureau and better business bureau.
Please, no money orders and checks only from banks in Travis, Hays or
Williamson counties.

What do you get from me?

I am a long time professional and my rates are below what many charge and
more than some. Be sure we discuss the fee and you understand what is
expected. Same thing applies with your physician and other professionals
with whom you deal.

Plan I (includes rehearsal- Initial consultation and planning, Consultation
and planning between meeting and ceremony. Creative, personalized and
customized narrative. Rehearsal and coordination. Officiate the wedding
service. Travel to the wedding site. Validate and file your license.

Plan II (no rehearsal) – Consultation and planning from initial meeting to
ceremony. A personalized and customized narrative for YOUR service.
Officiate the wedding service. Travel to the wedding site. Conduct the
ceremony. Validate and file your license.

I generally have invested from a minimum of six hours to a maximum of ten
hours in each wedding service. That includes initial consultation, preparation
of narrative, ceremony, filing of the license and any communication necessary
and travel.

        The following information is provided to you to help you get started in
your many pre wedding tasks. Some of the comments herein may sound a little
harsh. But, after all the weddings I have officiated, I have learned the pros and

Ceremony – Of all your wedding festivities, please ask yourself what is the most
important part of the whole event? If you answer the party, that is fine, but you
need another officiate. The ceremony is obviously the highlight of the event. It is
the reason to have a wedding and then the party and fun.

Addressing the Officiate – You may call me Chaplain Larry or just plain Larry if
you desire. I‟m informal. However some officiates prefer their title such as
Pastor, Bishop, Doctor, Minister, etc. If in doubt, just ask „em. Again, as for me I
don‟t get hung up on labels. Chaplain, or Chaplain Larry or Larry. Please, no
“mister” and no “sir.” <Grin> I‟m very informal. Just relax. Thanks!

State law requires the bride and the groom to be of sound mind. That means
sober and attentative. If either one is intoxicated or stoned, I walk away. Sorry,
but that is the way it is for me. I dislike mentioning of this, but it is easy for some
folks to get smashed prior to the wedding. I have had it happen and it isn‟t a
pleasant occurrence. I had a couple attempt to give me an out of state license to
perform the “official wedding” service. Can‟t do it. Not legal. A vow renewal
yes, but it must be so stated. I don‟t write the state laws, but I do adhere to them.

Counseling – I am a trained counselor, but I do not practice counseling of any
type. I‟ll give an opinion rather freely, but you can find a certified, licensed
counselor or I can help you locate one. I do have a rather good pre nuptial test that
I can provide for you free via e-mail. Also, there are many books on marriage at
the half price bookstore. Most are unused. <Grin>

I firmly believe in continuing counseling throughout a marriage. That will help
keep it strong and safe.

One should always ask about commitment. What commitments have been kept in
the past? Now, you are preparing the biggest and most important commitment of
your life.I recommend non religious counseling as there are things about each
other you may not know or find irritating. Practical Application of Intimate
Relaisonp Skills is a program that can build strong relationships.
www.PAIRS.COM may help you prevent marital difficulties which often lead to

Narrative – I write a customized and personalized narrative for each wedding.
Obviously, each couple is different. I don‟t just read the ceremony like some
uncaring person. I personalize the narrative with serious business and fun
business. We can be creative. We have prayer, define marriage, and offer family
commitment, an exchange of vows, the blessing of the rings and some things in
between. On the average, my service generally last about 26 to 30 minutes.
(Without special presentations that you include)
All of the words in the narrative accentuate the positive and encourage rather than
criticize. I treat the bride and groom as equals with each other. There are NO
NEGATIVE comments. My comments are considered contemporary mixed
with ―traditional lite.‖

Couple – I work with the couple and not relatives or guests. YOU make decisions
and inform me. NOT someone whom I don‟t know. Many well-intended parents
tend to want to help. While that is deeply appreciated, I will be there for the bride
and groom. I will not change any aspect of the service without the expressed
approval of the bride and/or groom. No exceptions. Common sense prevails,
however. Changes, additions or deletions need to be told to me by the groom or
the bride, unless prior arrangements have been made. Again, common sense.

Already Married – This presents a serious problem. Texas law says one must
have a marriage license to have an official wedding. Otherwise, it is a vow
renewal if the couple is married. I will not stand before an audience and perform a
ceremony when the couple is already married and not so state to the audience. I
simply do not lie. And, I would consider that a bold face, outright lie. Please
don‟t ask me to do that.

License – Texas law requires a marriage license prior to the ceremony. Fees vary
from county to county. I can’t perform your wedding without a Texas license.
I must collect your valid license prior to the service.

One should get the license at the county clerk‟s office in the county of their
residence, but you may get it in any Texas County. Once the license is issued,
the wedding may be conducted in any Texas County. The license must be 72
hours old from date of issue and not more than 30 days beyond that date to be
valid. I will take the license and my fee at the rehearsal or prior to the
ceremony. I will certify the license and file it for you the next business day after
the ceremony. If it is Travis or Williamson County, I will do it in person.
Generally, it takes about twenty to thirty days to get the license mailed back to
you. However, some may shorten that time frame.
IF you need a copy sooner, I can fill out a photocopy for you at no charge. If you
need to get a certified copy, which can be done the next working day after the
ceremony, there is a fee at the tax office for that service. That can be used for
getting the spouse on insurance, name changes, obtaining identification cards, or
similar needs. Just let me know. Many companies and institutions accept the
photocopy I can provide for you. And, I keep a copy in my office for a year.

      Section 2.206 of the family code states:

A) - The person who conducts a marriage ceremony shall record on the license
the date and county on which the ceremony is performed and the person‟s name
subscribed on the license and return the license to the county clerk who issued it
not later than the 30th day after the ceremony is conducted.

(B) - A person who fails to comply with this section commits an offense. An
offense under this section is a misdemeanor punished by a fine of not less than
$200.oo and not more than $500.oo.

The person who conducts the marriage ceremony who hands the license back
to the applicants for the return to the clerk’s office is not in compliance with
state law. (family code)

A ceremony consists of: “a legal marriage license being signed by a licensed
agent of the state of Texas. Individuals presenting said license must present said
license without duress and must not be under the influence of mind altering

A marriage license is a permanent record and the original is then mailed back to
the couple by the county clerk‟s office. I maintain a copy for a year. Additional
copies of the certified document may be obtained from the county clerk‟s office. I
will file the license, but I have neither responsibility nor authority over the
county‟s handling of the document.

Effective 1 September 2008, the state marriage license fee increased, except for
couples that participate in a new marriage class. Couples who take an eight-hour
class get a certificate good for one year that will allow them to bypass the state
marriage license fee. It will not exempt them from county fees, which are up to
an additional 12 dollars. You can check with the county clerk‟s office to
determine the amount of the fee. Travis County is $71.oo without the classes.

Austin American Statesman, “Starting Sept 1, 2008 the state’s portion of the
marriage license fee doubles from $30 to $60 except for couples who participate
in a new marriage class. Couples who take an eight-hour class get a certificate
good for one year that will allow them to bypass the state marriage license fee. It
will NOT exempt them from county fees, which are up to an additional $12. The
state pays for the marriage classes, which may be taught by clergy members,
mental health professionals or community organizations.

Military – If you wish to waive the 72-hour rule, there are certain requirements
that can be explained by the county clerk‟s office. I will adhere to the rulings and
requirements of the state law. An out of state license is not valid in Texas,
military or civilian. A Texas marriage license is mandatory for the wedding.

Rehearsal – If you can do the wedding without my participation in a rehearsal,
you can save some money. Clearly, there are times when a rehearsal is necessary.
That is your call!! I‟m trying to be flexible. However, it isn‟t my desire to line
up the processional and talk about who holds their arm just right or debate the
position of the flower girl‟s basket. My role is to perform the ceremony in the
eyes of our creator and within the law. Please… I‟m not being pious, pompous or
a party pooper… but I have exhausted most of my patience in some of those
things. <Grin> I want to help, but I‟m not going to command, direct and push to
lead the rehearsal. I‟ll help and smile, but not get all worked up. I do not have
tolerance for those who don‟t listen or who would rather party and/or be a
comedian during the rehearsal. So…we must focus on the wedding!!!!

I will give only one hour of my time to a rehearsal. Sorry. With the schedule I‟m
now following, that is all the time I can allow. With Austin traffic, it often
requires nearly an hour to arrive at the location. Thus, I‟ve invested about three
hours total time counting my trip back to the office.

A rehearsal should not require more than an hour. No stress…but cooperation is
mandatory. I do not say anything about limited and common sense consumption
of alcoholic beverages. But, if a person is intoxicated, he or she must be removed.
Remember, this rehearsal is conducted so everyone will know his or her part and it
should be a fun time. And, one should stay healthy that evening in order to
function the next day.

We can have fun, however. Again a wedding is very serious business. Fun is
great, but those who tend to disrupt, joke and talk interrupting the rehearsal - I
have no patience. Thus it can turn into a disorganized and unfortunate event. If
you want to take the rehearsal seriously and if the group takes the time seriously,
I‟ll help. If not, there is a problem that could reflect on the actual ceremony.

Please advise your wedding party participants that they must listen and take
the rehearsal seriously. Cell phones off, attention span on and listen up.
Anything less is rude and unacceptable. But, it is YOUR wedding and thus
YOUR wedding party. We are there to practice and not party.

I remember Darrell Royal talking about practice. ―If you can’t do it
at practice, how can you do it at game time?‖

I did a very expensive wedding and the rehearsal was scheduled for Friday
evening at 6:00 p.m. Starting at 7:05 is inexcusable. Be advised traffic can be a
hindrance, but if I’m on time—everyone can be on time. Also, I‟ve found that
many participants don‟t want to listen to the rehearsal. I can‟t force them to do so,
but the next day when they come up to me and ask me a question ten minutes
before the actual wedding, I tell them the answer cost $25.oo per question. (not
really.) But, if you plan a rehearsal, tell your participants to be on time and to
listen up. I don‟t work with drunks, rude folks, or non-participating people. We
are there for a reason and we need to rehearse. Party later and not on my time.

Rehearsal Dinners/Wedding Dinners – I do not attend those events, but I
appreciate the consideration of being invited. It isn‟t anything negative, but I have
a tight schedule and I must decline those gracious offers. However, I like to stay
around for a short time after the wedding to meet folks. I want to share a drink
with the group and wish happiness to the bride and groom. Then, I simply fade
out of the picture. I enjoy meeting families and friends.

It is also imperative for you to know that following cocktails, I do not engage in
religious debate with your guests. Nor do I explain why I wear a clergy collar or
why I‟m not Catholic or Baptist or whatever. YOUR wedding isn‟t the place and
the fee doesn‟t include pro and con discussions and debates about religion, sin or
married life. I promise I‟ll be courteous, but not argumentative and no discussions
on theology.

Pre Ceremony Cocktail Hour – That is your business, but I recommend against
it. It lubricates the vocal chords of some in the audience and you may be exposed
to their talking, shouting or unruly behavior. Use caution! I have experienced
shouts and hoots from the audience. Not only is that rude, it is sophomoric
behavior and unacceptable. Your call, however as I‟m not a policeman. I will not
attempt to discourage an open bar prior to the service. It is YOUR wedding.

Time Line - Some folks like to write a time line for all of their ceremony
participants. It is a good idea to write this “operational plan” complete with
addresses, important cell phone numbers and details. It isn‟t that difficult to do
and helps others. Just begin by writing the start times…etc. Keep it business like.
The time line should include the rehearsal, the wedding and the reception. Start
with the time on the left hand column and work it from there. It is easier and more
important than you think. Make copies for participants and put the in the upper
left hand corner of the page one of the documents. Keep it current.

Wedding – I will arrive about an hour prior to the ceremony. I will visit with the
bride and then the groom 10 minutes before the service. I want to reduce stress,
check for last minutes changes, help the couple relax, and to ensure we are in
compliance with state law which requires the bride and groom to be of “sound
mind.” <grin> It is also a courtesy. Our goal is to relax, listen to the words, listen
to the ceremony and listen to each other. Have fun, but recognize the seriousness
of the event. Absolutely no alcoholic beverages may be served during the
ceremony. No exceptions! I will not “police” the audience. If Aunt Martha has a
glass of wine in her hands - I‟m not going to say anything. Once again, common

Showtime Nears - About five minutes before the ceremony, I will address your
guests. My goal is for them to relax, be comfortable and enjoy the wedding. I‟ll
make announcements (cell phones, reception, etc) and advise them of our actual
start time. I will encourage them to have fun and enjoy this very special day. At
that time, they will be advised where to go after the ceremony.

The ceremony is serious business. There will be no disturbances. I‟m not
talking about a baby crying or an airplane-passing overhead. I‟m talking about
intentional disruptive behavior. It can happen at the best of events. I will not
tolerate comedians during the service. Groomsmen talking, an audience member
making gestures, or similar occurrences. Yes, it happens and sometimes too
often. This is especially true when some moron‟s inhabitations are lubricated with
adult beverages. I‟m sorry to mention this, but I‟m telling you the real world
scenarios. I am not against alcoholic beverages, but there is a place and a time for
them. The wedding service is not that time. Remember, I declare the location
holy and hallowed ground. I will not stop the ceremony, but the embarrassment
will always be remembered by your guests.

Outside Participants - You may have some one do a reading, state a poem, sing a
song, do a tap dance, stand on their head or participate in the ceremony. That is
great, but make sure that person can be heard and seen and won‟t freeze up. I can
assure you that in many cases, it fails. Having some participant doesn‟t always
work well. Sometimes it is more of a disaster rather than a contributing factor.
Now, having said that…we must use amplification if you have a reader or singer.
Get a quality public address system that works. Again, I use only a clip on mike.
And, make sure your participant won‟t upstage you. I‟ve seen it happen!!!

Pictures – It is the choice of the bride and groom as to whether or not to allow
photographs to be taken during the actual ceremony. I have no objections, be it
in a church or outside -- that is the choice of the couple. Some clergy will not
allow photos or recordings during the ceremony. Pictures are a lasting memory. It
is your choice. I‟ve never had a professional nor amateur photographer interrupt
anything. However I strongly recommend you don‟t spend too long in getting
pictures after the ceremony. Recently, a bride and groom took nearly an hour to
get “after wedding” photos. When they joined the group for dinner, they were
surprised that most of their guest had left. The guests simply tired of waiting for
the bride and groom.

Some folks like to get many photos prior to the service. Great idea. However,
when the bride and groom get pictures before the actual service, something is lost
in the actual ceremony of the moment when bride‟s walk down the aisle. I don‟t
recommend advance photos of the bride and groom together at all. Individual
pictures before the wedding…fine. But not the bride and groom together. It spoils
part of the excitement and anticipation of the bride‟s arrival.

Music – Music can add greatly to the ceremony. I encourage music as you desire,
but just let me know what is planned. If you use music inside the formal
ceremony, I will need to make the introduction. Processional and recessional
music is most appropriate. Also, I‟d begin some music about 15 minutes prior to
the ceremony with some type of pleasant music that will be enjoyed by the
attendees while they are awaiting the ceremony. Also, music following the
recessional for the crowd to enjoy as they mingle prior to leaving.
Check out and talk to RJ about your music needs.
He is one of the best. Of course there are others, but RJ is an expert and he does
more for the wedding than just music. I strongly recommend him. I don‟t know
about fees, but that is between you and your music person. Another professional
for consideration is Stephen Lee and his wife at
Wonderful and professional services. Each of the above listed web sites offer great
advice and they are most professional.

Strings are wonderful if it is in your budget. A single violinist or harp or guitarist
can be very well done and adds to the flavor of the wedding.

Programs – I will provide you an “order of service” for your program.
Remember that folks will keep the program as a souvenir of your ceremony or
they will discard it at the wedding site. They are nice and people like them. They
can be simple or elaborate. One couple did their program on a fan that helped
each participate stir a small breeze. The program is a good tool for thanking your
guests for attendance and thanking your wedding party for participating.

Sound - I speak rather loudly and will work to enunciate and be heard in the back
rows of the location. However, you may wish to consider a sound system
dependant on the size of the crowd. I do not like to hold a microphone, as I
must have my hands free. If a microphone were used, it would be a wireless
microphone that clips on. A mike on a stand is an eyesore and obstructs view of
the alter and doesn‟t look good in the photos. Now, the question of hearing the
bride and groom and any participants arises. That is you your call. Generally, we
just need to speak with increased volume. Don‟t yell…but enunciate. If absolutely
and positively necessary, I can hold a microphone in one hand. <Grin> (I
promised to be flexible)

Often, the wireless microphone fails or is static to beyond usefulness. Depending
on someone else‟s equipment or manipulation of that gear concerns me. Be sure
you hire a professional IF you hire an audio person. Again, I‟m pretty loud. I can
be heard for a long way. Most of the wedding DJs are professional and can handle
sound appropriately and timely. If you have participants who are to speak during
the ceremony, be sure and let the sound operator know that. They too have to be
heard. There is no way I can unhook the wireless microphone from underneath
my clothing and hand it off to some other participant.

Illness - If you feel ill, try to let me know. I‟ll be watching for that. Faint forward
so I can catch you! Keep a handkerchief on your person in case of tears. Brides
should wrap two handkerchiefs around the base of the bouquet. One for
perspiration of your hand and the flowers and the other to use for tears or your
perspiration. Grooms, keep one in your jacket on the inside where you can retrieve
it without doing an acrobatic act. The groomsmen should also carry useable
handkerchiefs. No Kleenex as it seems to become moist and turn to lint. August
outdoor weddings often require cold bottled water and a wet washcloth close by.
Use deodorant. (Sorry.. )

Venues – I have officiated weddings at most local area venues. There is only one
commercial venue that I refuse to visit. I will advise you early on should you
select that particular one. The problem is the owner attempts to dictate the service
and is overly bearing on guests, rude and charges too much money. It just isn‟t
worth the consternation I develop at that location. There are many great locations
that are wonderful in central Texas. Those venues provide great service with
excellent food and a good location. They work hard to make your day special.
They are nice too! The venue is your call, but my officiating there is my call.

I’ve done weddings at these venues: Vista on Seward‟s Hill, Green Pastures,
Four Seasons Hotel, Winfield Inn, Oasis, Lone Star River Boat, Mansion on
Judges Hill, Nature‟s Point, Forest Creek County Club, Kali Kate, Riverbend‟s
Smith Chapel, Great Hills Country Club, Barr Manson, Star Hill Ranch, Lakeway,
Shoreline Grill, Austin 71, Paige House, Chapel Dulcinea, Tuscan Hall, Elk‟s
Lodge, Caswell House, State Capitol Building, State Capitol grounds, Village
Glenn, Horseshoe Bay, Laguna Gloria, Vintage Villas, Riverplace Country Club,
Colo Vista Country Club, Lakeway Inn, Balcones Country Club, Carmelo‟s
Restaurant, Scholtz Historical Garten, Mayfield Park, Mount Bonnell, Angel
Springs, Rough Hollow Yacht Club, Bastrop State Park, Buster‟s Bar-B-Que,
Plantation House, River Place Country Club, Omni Hotel, Hyatt Hotel, San
Michele, Marriott Hotel, Chapel at Camp Mabry, Travis County Rodeo Arena,
Avery Ranch Golf Club, One World Theatre, Trios Estates, Austin Club, Old
Town, House on the Hill, Creekside Pavilion, Page House, Bastrop State Park,
Villa Antonia, Stephen F. Austin Hotel, Driskill Hotel, Angel Springs,
Commodore Perry boat, Buster‟s Bar B Que, Umlauf Gardens, Carmelo‟s Italian
Restaurant and numerous private homes. I declined a wedding at Hippie Hollow.
I have an opinion of each one of those. Most are good while some are very good
and three or four are superior. There is one that I will always decline due to the
unprofessional staff and lack of interest in servicing what they sell. As Popeye
says, “It is what it is.”

Plan B – If you have an outdoor wedding, you must have an alternative location in
case of bad weather. Yes, it happens and that can be a real problem. Some venues
offer an indoor opportunity, but you need to have a plan. Why let all your
planning be ruined by an unknown and unpredictable weather situation? It isn‟t
my fault that it rains! <Grin> Unbearable heat can also ruin the event. I have had
bride‟s fainting and groomsmen fainting. Hot weather and hangovers don‟t mix.

Insurance – Some couples like to purchase insurance for their wedding.
Unforutnaly, things do happen. Maybe a guest becomes plastered and has a car
wreck later? The possibility of a lawsuit exists. What is someone steals from your
gifts or personal itmes? What happens when someone spills a glass of red wine on
your wedding gown? American Academy of Wedding Professionals advise that
wedding insurance is available through The Fireman‟s Fund Insurance Company
at a minimal cost. You can check with your insurance agent. Also, check with
your venue to determine their insurance.

Planners and Coordinators - Most of those folks are professional and do a great
job in serving as a wedding coordinator/planner. I respect their hard work and
dedication. Their experience is great IF they know what they are doing. Please
know, however that I deal directly with the bride and groom on ALL matters
concerning the service. And, we‟ll depend on the coordinator to get us started on
time and ensure the line up is accurate per your requests. However, I will conduct
the service.

Communion – That is a tricky issue. Many say communion can be part of the
wedding service, which then makes the ceremony a worship service. Many say
that all should be offered to participate in communion, as it is not an act to be
celebrating alone. Although, seems to me that is the choice of the bride and
groom. Remember, not all guest will wish to participate for various reasons. It
also requires time. I recommend no communion during the wedding, but it is your
call. A private communion right after the wedding works well. Again, your call.

Special Things – Be sure to tell me of any special needs or unusual
circumstances. I did a wedding whereby the bride‟s father was in a wheelchair.
She didn‟t tell me and when they started down the aisle, the wheelchair wouldn‟t
fit. It disrupted the entire ceremony. Plan ..plan…and then plan some more. I did
another wedding with very heavy security. It is nice when I know when and why
some folks are wearing guns, dark glasses, and earphone walkie-talkies. I did a
wedding whereby the bride‟s father is blind. We worked it out beautifully and the
service was smooth. He experienced walking his daughter down the aisle.

Inform Your Chaplain – I need to be aware of changes. Ten minutes before the
service might be too late. I always attempt flexibility, but recently I arrived for a
wedding and the venue had been changed. I had not been advised and had a long
drive to the new location. Stay in communication. I had a wedding whereby the
bride decided her mother would give her away rather than her father. Not a
problem, but it was a surprise to me and could have caused her embarrassment
when I spoke of the father presenting his daughter. Another Bride had frequent
fainting spells. Had I known in advance I might have watched for symptoms and
prevented her head injury caused when she hit the ground. One bride advised me
that she couldn‟t stand or long periods of time. We had the bride and groom sit in
chairs near the alter. It was fine. Still another bride moved the ceremony time up
an hour. I had not been informed.

Collections - There will be no collection of monies during the service. I‟ve had
that occur and that is not allowed. Period! Don‟t ask. I had a wedding whereby
a man in the audience was passing a bowl to collect money. I have no idea where
the money went, but it was disruptive of the ceremony. That isn‟t appropriate
during the service

Ceremony Start Time – We should attempt to begin the ceremony on time as the
guests are waiting. However, don‟t rush. That often causes mistakes and stress.
Just strive for being on time. Starting five or ten minutes after the appointed hour
isn‟t a big deal. Fifteen minutes late or later is considered poor manners and rude.
I did one wedding that was over an hour late in the start time. Some guests were
angry and left. Others were not amused. Still others began to indulge in alcoholic
beverages or lengthy cell phone conversations.

Weather – I do not control the weather. Sorry. I have no influence on the weather
situation. If weather prevents the wedding or if the weather interferes or if the
weather isn‟t to the liking of someone, I take no responsibility for that. I‟ve had a
bride become very upset at me for the weather. I didn‟t cause bad weather just
like I didn‟t cause her poor attitude and rude behavior. I am not in charge of the
weather! <grin>

Attire – In Today‟s laid-back society, some folks don‟t dress formally or dress up
anymore. The wedding ceremony is the most important day in the life of the
couple and that calls for “dress up.” But, that is your call. You can always notify
your guests of the recommended dress by noting that information on your
invitations. “Dress – Informal, or business attire, or formal wear requested.

Confidentiality – Our communication (s) is confidential and I don‟t sell your
name, address, phone number or anything else to anybody, anywhere, at anytime.
Some clergy are finding a small profit in providing those lists to vendors and
hucksters. I do not reveal your name or address to anyone. Again, not from me –
ever! However, when you get a marriage license, your name is then public record.
Themed Weddings – Those can be fun and exciting. One I officiated had a
gangster theme, another a roaring twenties theme, and still another a Hawaiian
theme. I can even accommodate the theme within my service. However, we
should remember that the wedding ceremony is serious business. Be sure we
discuss your theme. I have some flexibility there. I did one wedding with a
Hawaiian theme and it was beautiful. But, not all concepts work. Lets be sure
and talk about it.

Have Fun – In the time of Jesus, the wedding feast usually lasted about seven
days at the home of the bride‟s parents. HIS first miracle was performed at a
wedding when the host ran out of wine and Jesus turned six, 20-gallon pots of
water into the finest wine ever served. I believe Jesus loved weddings and
wanted everyone to enjoy them as He did. It is a special day for the Bride and
Groom. It is their day and everyone should respect that. Anything less is

Children and wedding ceremonies don‟t often mix. So…bring something for
them to do. At the reception or dinner, how about a kids‟ table with coloring
books, games and maybe a TV set to keep them occupied. They will be kids.
They have their own minds. I have had children disrupt the service. One seven
year old was supposed to be the ring bearer. He stopped half way down the aisle
and urinated before presenting the rings to the alter. Another did a dance on the
alter while I was administering the vows. Remember, I do not stop the service nor
do I mess with the unsupervised children. That isn‟t my responsibility so I
encourage you to designate an area for children or keep them from disrupting the
service. I don‟t stop the ceremony. Not even for rain. If a child is the ring bearer
be sure you are aware of potential loss. Being unable to locate the rings and the
possibility that the kids will depart the wedding party for another location always
exists. They are children….so be it. Those times can really be fun. And, often
those disasters make the wedding hilarious.

Children can unintentionally ruin a ceremony. It requires grace and forethought to
advise your guest that children should be not in attendance at a formal ceremony.
It is against the rules of etiquette to word an invitation to exclude chidlren, but we
must find a logical solution. Just don‟t include their names when addressing the
invitation. Then, spread the word that children are invited. Supply a baby-sitting
service at a home or near the wedding site. Kids get bored or tired and they need
something to do. A wedding isn‟t that something.

Invitations – This is clearly out of my area, but I can tell you that one must ensure
the guest count as closely as possible. Guest that fail to show up can create over
spending and cause heartbreak for the couple. Yes, it is rude on the part of the
guests, but you might consider telephoning those who have failed to respond.
Some couples send out an early post card advising the guest to “save the date.”
Later, the couple mailed a formal invitation to the ceremony. If you have a
wedding planner or good friend helping you, assign phone duty if necessary to
check on those who have failed to respond by ignoring or forgetting your request
for an RSVP. I know one bride who put a deadline on the RSVP part of the

invitation. Another bride wrote, “we must know the specific number of guest for
our caterer.” I know it is painful, but communication is vital. And, yes it is rude
for the guest to fail to respond, but it is realistic. Good luck!!!

Don’t let the wedding ruin a good marriage! - I‟ve seen it happen. You can
purchase glitz and plastic and drinks and food and decorations and all the other
things to glorify the ceremony. But the actual service the most important part of
your wedding.

In Travis County alone, there are more than 178,000 marriage licenses issued
annually. The most expensive wedding I officiated was about $300,000.oo for the
evening. I‟m told that toward the end of the evening, police were called and four
folks were taken to jail. I did another wedding that same weekend and the amount
spent was less than a $500. It was an outdoor event at a picnic grounds and the
family had a great time and fun family reunion. I had a fine time too.

I‟m simply encouraging you to eliminate the stress and use your money as you
desire, but debt and financial trouble can be the start of trouble within a

Stress – There is too much to say. Manage it. Some folks eliminate it and others
fail to reduce or manage it. But, stress can hurt the ceremony and the entire event.
Early planning helps, but stress often slips in on us. I lead you through each step
of the ceremony. Don‟t anticipate my comments or directive during the event.
Just relax and enjoy each other. I will lead you through every step every
movement and every part of the service.

Formal Dress - This isn‟t my problem, but I‟ve seen many groomsmen get out
their formal wear to discover (FIVE minutes before the wedding begins) that the
shoes, shirt or pants don‟t fit. Come on guys..grow up and check it out. Try the
attire on before leaving the rental shop.
A little Girl’s Dream – Young girls dream of being a bride from the time they are
about three years old. Most of these young women dream and hope the big day
will be perfect. Little boys may dream of a motorcycle or a touchdown, but girls
want their wedding day to be the event of their life. I understand that and work
toward that goal. It is that simple.

Bridezilla’s TV Show – Really! I don‟t work well with disruptive and
sophomoric behavior. I just don‟t have time. That TV show is interesting and so
is I Love Lucy, the Three Stooges, and Saturday Night Live. Get real. (Ok, I‟ll
admit it - I‟ve watched the show too. <grin>.

Bridezillas – I had one bridezilla and the result was not a happy event. It isn‟t
my fault she lost the license in her stuff and the band didn‟t show and the cake
fell. The delay was caused by the lack of a marriage license. Sorry, I can‟t break
the law. I must have the license prior to the ceremony. There can‟t be any
exceptions… be sure and bring it.

Unusual things – A few couples do unusual things at the wedding to enhance the
memorable experience. For example, one couple had a group photo of all the
audience and wedding party right after the ceremony. Another couple had the
photographer‟s company set up for portraits of the various guests. Another
couple had a video camera a set up whereby guest could speak and be recorded
giving a best wishes comment to the couple. Another couple had their photo taken
with each guests and mailed that to them later. One couple invited the photo
booth vendor to be present so all could get a CD of their visit.

Those things are great. You can do research on your computer and discover new
ideas and concepts. Your guests will love the participation.

Chaplain – Remember that I am here for you. If there are any issues,
considerations, or changes I need to know. I‟ll be there and help. Just
communicate. I do declare the location of the ceremony to be holy and hallowed
ground and we gather in the name of our creator. I do not allow members of the
wedding party nor the audience to chatter or make remarks during the ceremony.
Yes, that has happened! This is serious business. The ceremony is NOT the
place for jokes. Comedians are not welcome during the service! We can have fun,
but the service is not the place for show offs to reflect their juvenile and
sophomoric personalities. Save that for later. Again, I‟m not the moron police

E Mail – While we are flexible with the service, sending me e-mail on the day of
the wedding and expecting changes is not logical. I may or may not get the
information, as I don‟t live by e-mail. Cell phones are faster and better. But, any
changes on the day of the wedding could present a slight “issue.” Just remember
planning prevents those situations.

Successful Marriage - Again, I‟m not going to practice counseling. A recent
television news program named four things that contribute to marriage failures.
They include decisions to be made about:

   Children – Do you plan to have children? Have you discussed it?
   Money - Separate bank accounts or joint? Who is in charge of the money?
   Religion – Has it been discussed and an agreement reached? Are you sure?
   Sex – What are the expectations?

Pre Marital Counseling - There are many more questions and things to discuss
before your wedding. But, as I stated I do not practice counseling. There are
some very fine professional counselors in Austin that can be most helpful to you
in decision-making. Also, the bookstores and libraries have many great helpful
publications regarding relationships. Many churches offer counselors and some
are fully trained, certified and licensed. Some are not!! There are many good
books at the half price bookstore and most are unused. (Grin)

If you wish, I have an exercise for pre marriages and I would be pleased to send it
to you via e-mail upon request. There are some good questions in the documents
and a part that you can fill out to answer questions for yourself. A chaplain in
Louisiana wrote it. There is no charge for that. Some folks like it – others don‟t.

I strongly encourage pre marital and continuing counseling during your marriage.
It is always good for couples to learn.

From Periscope as published in Newsweek Magazine.

The Price of Marriage

       In “One Perfect Day,” Rebecca Mead examines how the bridal industry has
turned the wedding into a shopping expedition. She noted that we live in a
consumerist society and the bride has become a consumer of bridal products. The
bridal industry has filled a vacuum of authority that used to be important to how
weddings are conducted. Many ministers hate to do weddings. That is because
the bride wants to change the vows or put flowers where they don‟t belong, and
often add things that are awkward and unacceptable.

       Are we leaching all the meaning out of a wedding? Yes. As a culture we‟re
losing sight of what a wedding is really about. Matching your chair tiebacks to the
lining of your Save the Date envelopes is not going to prepare you for marriage.
The brand of wine will be forgotten in a few days and the flowers will fade.

 “We must remember why were are having a wedding. The actual
ceremony should be the highlight and the most important part of the
entire event. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have fun and enjoy.”
---Chaplain Larry Todd

“Working for God on this earth doesn’t pay much, but HIS retirement benefits
in the afterlife are out of this world.” -----Chaplain Larry

“The divorce was mainly caused by my getting hooked and addicted to
the secular Hollywood lifestyle and drifting from God,” Carlos Ray
Norris Jr. in New Man Magazine. Also known as Chuck Norris Walker – Texas

Again, thank you for choosing Austin Wedding Chaplains. We appreciate your
interest in helping us to help veterans, police officers and firefighters. We also
have a program to provide clothing for under assisted children of deployed
soldiers. Another program provides toiletry items for traveling veterans, and we
assist fire fighters, police officers and deputies in various programs.

OUR Charitable Work - We have many projects underway to help those who are
in need. We work as police/fire chaplains and serve some folks who can‟t get help
thru organized charitable organizations.

For example: Clothing for children of deployed soldiers. Good items for children
whose parents are members of the Army and the allotment check just doesn‟t
cover expenses. Beanie Babies for Easter Baskets for police officers and
sheriff‟s deputies to distribute in to kids times of trauma. About 500 new ones
distributed last Easter. Microwavable meals for traveling homeless veterans who
are visiting the VA doctor. Toiletry items for a personal hygiene bag for poor
people who have little or nothing. Bibles for police officers, firefighters and

On-the-scene support when necessary and when called upon. We support
various programs or needs as pointed out by the Sheriff‟s office or Police
Department. We do not give cash money, but we do provide clothing and food as
appropriate to those who need items.

Chaplain Larry Todd, IHS, Cell phone is (512) 627-1774 24/7

       Ordained Chaplain, Chapel San Sebastian
       Ordained Master Chaplain, Chaplain Fellowship Ministries
       CEO, Central Texas Crisis Chaplains
       Doctorate of Divinity, Chaplain Studies - 2007
       Stephen Minister and Instructor, Stephen Ministry
       Police and Fire Chaplain
       Austin Crime Commission member
       Texas Chaplain‟s Association member
       Crisis Management Chaplain Consultant
       President‟s Volunteer Service Award – 2008
       Board member, Texas Housing Alliance
       Member American Academy of Wedding Professionals
       Board member Chaplain Fellowship Ministries
       Licensed Life insurance Agent

        As a chaplain, I believe there is a God who is bigger and more than
anything we can imagine. As to specific religions, I find things in each religion
that I like and often use. It is comparable to a visit to the cafeteria. Go through
the line of religion, pick what you like and don‟t worry about the rest of it. Use
the great things you find helpful and then move forward. But, don‟t judge the
things you don‟t select. Others might find those things very appetizing.

      Some folks are hung up on labels and specifics. Why? It is a waste of time
to debate religion. That is too personal of a matter to argue. Rarely is anything
accomplished in those discussions that often become heated.

 Advice from the Apache Indians
 ―Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves
 often of what brought you together. Give the highest priority to the
 tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves.
 When frustration, difficulty and fear assail your relationship – as they
 threaten all relationships at one time or another – remember to focus
 on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong.
 In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of
 the sun in your lives – remembering that even if you lose sight of it for
 a moment, the sun is still there. And if each of you takes responsibility
 for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by
 abundance and delight.              ----Source “Blessing of the Apaches”

A Hopi Prayer
Hold on to what is good - even if it’s a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe - even if it’s a tree that stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do - even if it’s a long way form here.
Hold on to your life - even it’s easier to let go.
Hold on to my hand - even when I’ve gone away from you.

      What do we believe?
      Here is what Chaplain Scott Johnson said:

      We believe in a Supreme Being … a creator who is known by many names
and seen through many images throughout all cultures and throughout all time.
Thus creator is a teacher, savior, and spirit shared by all living things; thereby,
connecting us to each other.

      In the existence of sacred writings, teachings, places and beings … all of
which serve, in part, to highlight our commonalities and embrace our differences
without judgment.

      The Soul is our first connection to the Creator. It is from the Creator and
therefore knows the Creator. It is our cave and a sacred place of mystery that
informs us about life.

      Nature offers another connection to the Creator. It is the Creator‟s work and
the only direct material expression of the Supreme Being. The creator‟s energy
and consciousness is used to make everything in the universe.

       The Spirit is the banquet of life. The Spirit is the essence or future of the life
one lives. It is our means of transcending time and space and is our supreme
expression. Each day, the Spirit changes ever so slightly according to what we put
in it.

      Within us there is a path, a way that we must find. Our mutual reverence to
our Supreme Being should serve to light the path of each other‟s journey.

                                                                                     26 This is an outstanding site! Free newsletters. (a fun filler for guests) And punch in marriage (frequent free newsletters)
Events category on Craigslist - a free gift to you. - a very bright musician for consideration

Fact: There are 44,000 weddings each weekend ….
The average cost of a wedding is over $22,000…

         It was recently announced that Jenna Bush, daughter of the President of
The United States was married. Had she married at the White House, it would
have been the first in 36 years. The last White House wedding was Tricia Nixon's
wedding to Edward Cox in 1971, and unlike most of her predecessors, who
married in the splendor of the East Room, Tricia preferred the natural, lush
surroundings of the Rose Garden and her father, the president, agreed until the big
day. It rained. By 4 o clock, when the wedding was to begin, it was pouring. The
White House staff would not set up the chairs because they didn‟t want to dry
them off.

        The guests were waiting and the President of the United States was in a
tizzy. Finally, in an act of desperation, he called the Air Force, who informed him
that the skies would clear at exactly 4:30. The chairs were hastily set up and the
bride and groom hurried up the aisle. The minister recited the Lord's Prayer, then
the vows, pronounced them man and wife, said one more prayer and then the
benediction. Somewhere in between, the groom placed a wedding band on his
wife‟s finger. They turned and ran down the aisle.

        The skies opened up and everyone, including heads of state and
dignitaries, made an undignified dash to the White House. The sad part is the
ceremony was uneventful and the beautiful Rose Garden, decorated with the most
luxurious topiaries and fresh flowers you've ever seen, was wasted on a ten-minute
ceremony. Don't let this happen to you! Plan your wedding wisely. Many times
brides get hung up on the beauty of an outdoor wedding, when the weather can
wreck havoc on their dreams.

      Never plan an outdoor wedding without having a viable contingency
plan. ---American Academy Wedding Planners –

   Also, remember that YOU are the hosts of YOUR own wedding. It is the first
party you give as Husband and Wife. The people you invited are YOUR guests.

  I‟m not a wedding planner nor shall I attempt to plan your event. I will plan,
write, and officiate the marriage service, however. I will help in every way I can.
One wedding planner wrote some very pertinent information that I shall include

   Ms. Deborah McCoy is a highly respected wedding planner, author of several
books and frequent writer of magazine articles. She has written many things
including tips on your wedding.

   She says to be sure and budget wisely. Don‟t get caught up in the excitement
and over spend. She adds that one of her clients did just that and her new husband
wrote a hot check. He landed in jail and they had a poor few first weeks of their

  She also encourages you to educate yourself about weddings. Study the Internet,
go to the library and do research. Weddings are a time of happiness, joy, family
togetherness and inclusion of friends. Some couples get so uptight that they
don‟t enjoy the big day.

 My advice is to plan, plan and then plan some more and don‟t hesitate to
delegate some of the tasks. People like to help .. Especially when asked politely.

  Again, she says many couples get the ―Wedding-Day-Daze Syndrome‖ They
are simply unaware that their guest have to wait an hour to get a drink, long waits
for the meal and a long and boring speech followed by endless toasts…etc. The
bride and groom were also unaware that their guests were about to leave.

 It is easy to be caught up in themselves, writes Ms. McCoy, and their multi-
dollar expensive wedding is a disaster for guest.

 She recommends a “Guardian” be appointed to run things for the day. Find
someone to oversee the event. Someone who is intelligent to recognize trouble and
who knows he bride and groom well enough to know how they might think. Enjoy
your wedding day daze knowing the guardian will take care of business, she notes.

Counseling: I‟m not practicing any counseling nor do I plan to do so in the
immediate future.

John Gottman‟s advice by Sheri & Bob Stritof, By
the way, Sheri and Bob produce a periodic electronic newsletter on marriage and
relationships. It is superior.

Four things that can kill a marriage should be avoided:

Unwillingness to meet a spouse’s requests.

Qualities of a successful marriage:

Realistic expectations
Sense of humor
Know how to handle conflict
Enjoy one another
Have FUN together

                          From ―The Knot‖

If your reception is held away from the wedding site, print the map on your
invitation. Bring extra maps to give out at the wedding.

Take photos along the way of planning. IE: Selecting the dress, meeting the
minister, planning sessions and the like.

Hire a ―day of‖ coordinator. A bride can‟t do it all….especially on Wedding
Here’s a tip. For an elegant, but less costly wedding. Have a cocktail
reception instead of a sit down dinner. Set it for a Thursday or Friday
night or a Sunday afternoon. Plenty of cocktail tables and finger food
buffets. – Harriet Rose Katz, wedding specialist and event planner. New York
City and co editor of Where to Seat Aunt Edna and 500 Other Great Wedding Tips

                          My pet peeves:

Folks who don‟t listen during rehearsal. They are too busy showing off or
attempting to give advise on this - their first or second wedding. Amateurs who
debate the professional. Be assured, the bride and groom do have the final
decision.   Always.
Crying babies during the actual service. Babies dislike weddings.

Unsupervised children running around during the ceremony.

People who talk during a service. How disrespectful to everyone. Happens a lot.
This is especially true of groomsmen.

Alcoholic beverages being consumed during the service is unacceptable. This is
not only disrespectful to the bride and groom .. but to the service. Remember, I
declare Holy Ground. THAT IS SERIOUS BUSINESS…

Those who ask me for spiritual advise as soon as I complete the service. Do they
ask a doctor in the audience about their aches and pains? Or ask an attorney about
their legal problems? Neither the place nor the time..

Wireless microphones that don‟t work or have static due to mechanical problems.

Men who refuse to be seated at an outdoor wedding as they prefer to stand up at
the back of the back row of chairs. They are generally talkative or rude. Sit down
and either enjoy it or bear it or leave. <Grin>

Late starts of the wedding. Again, a few minutes is fine, but past fifteen minutes
of the announced start time us rude and unacceptable behavior.

     This communication does not constitute a commitment for officiating services; but is
presented as a guide for consideration. – Chaplain Larry.


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