Frequently Asked Questions
What locations do you serve?
Tampa, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Anna Maria Island, Sarasota, Longboat Key, Lido Beach, Siesta Key, Venice Beach, and Englewood.
How long does the ceremony take?
The actual wedding ceremony lasts about 15-20 minutes depending on how much the couple customize it by adding special vows, readings, poems, etc., and how simple or elaborate the processional and recessional is. Overall I spend no more than 1 hour with each couple from beginning to end, including the bigger packages.
What about Sunset Wedding requests?
The gulf coast has some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world and there is no doubt that exchanging your wedding vows at this time of day will be both beautiful and breathtaking. If you are having professional photographs at the ceremony, check with your photographer on what time they recommend your ceremony to start. Otherwise, I recommend starting your ceremony 40-60 minutes prior to sunset.
Will there be other people on the beach or do you have a secluded area or private beach for our wedding?
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a completely private area on Florida's public beaches. If you are staying at a rental home, hotel, or resort you can have some privacy. However, there are certain times of the day and year when the beaches are less crowded. Also, if you choose a morning wedding, you will probably not encounter that many people on the beach. I do know of certain beaches that will give you some privacy so please ask me when we start planning your ceremony.
What happens if it rains?
Weather is one of those things we have no control over and there are certain times of the year where rain is more prevalent in Florida. It is the couple's responsibility to arrange a back-up plan in case of inclement weather. If you are staying at a hotel or rental home, check to see if there are places on the property you can hold your ceremony in the event of bad weather. No refunds will be given due to inclement weather; however, you do have the option of a one-time rescheduling of your ceremony. Inclement weather includes, but is not limited to rain, the threat of lightening, anticipated thunderstorms or dangerous weather condition. If you are planning a reception your ceremony can be moved to that location or I can postpone your ceremony until the next available day, subject to availability.
What happens if you get sick?
In the event that I am unable to perform the ceremony for any reason, I will make every effort to find a qualified substitute replacement. I have a group of experienced associates that are available in the event of an emergency. In the unlikely event that a replacement cannot be found, Weddings by Christina will make a full refund of any monies paid by the Couple.
May I bring my own music?
You are welcome to provide your own CD player or ipod and bring special music to be played during the ceremony. It's important to note that music played on a CD player on the beach or other outdoor venue does not always lend itself to good sound quality and volume. Factors such as the surf, birds, beachgoers, etc. may interfere with the volume and quality of the music. Weddings by Christina is not responsible for the outcome of music played this way. If music is important to you you want to consider hiring a live musician or a renting a professional Sound system. Contact me for details.
Do we have to memorize our vows?
No you can write your own vows but come wedding day, I 'feed them to you one phrase at a time'.
What is the proper etiquette regarding inviting my Officiant to join us for dinner?
It is proper to extend an invitation to your Officiant and their spouse. And although our Officiants appreciate the generous invitations they receive, their response will depend upon their schedules.
What time does the Officiate arrive on our "Big Day"?
We arrive 15-30 minutes or so before the ceremony. In every case you should give your Officiate an on site phone number.
Is a gratuity required?
Your Officiant is providing a service, just like your photographer or limo driver and, although a gratuity is not required, you may express your gratitude to your Officiant who provided you with attentive personal service and a beautiful, memorable ceremony. Some couples may send a thank you card and include a picture taken during the ceremony or of the couple themselves. It is also great to refer a friend. Some couples do all of the above. This is a personal decision.
Is a rehearsal necessary?
As a rule, a rehearsal is recommended for a well-orchestrated ceremony. You only have one chance to make it flow well, for everything to run smoothly and for it to turn out beautifully. You want to make this special day as perfect as it can be. A rehearsal will also ease some of the stress and unknown factors that you, your parents and/or your bridal party may have. When we conduct your rehearsal, every detail of the processional, ceremony, and recessional will be addressed.
I have a "Guide to Conducting Your Own Rehearsal" which is available for free and comes in a PDF format. You may request this Guide on the Inquiry Form .
Is the rehearsal cost included in the price of the ceremony?
Attendance and Coordination of your rehearsal is held on a separate day and, therefore, requires additional time and travel. A Rehearsal may be added to the other packages for a separate fee of $125/hr.
What is the secret to planning a meaningful ceremony?
One secret is to choose a perfect setting that gives you the ‘right’ feeling and can accommodate the number of guests that you wish to invite. Another is to select a professional wedding Officiant and other Wedding Professionals (i.e. photographer, videographer, DJ, etc.) with whom you are comfortable and one that will work with you to create a personalized ceremony of your dreams.
What is the advantage of booking an Officiant from Weddings by Christina?
All of us at Weddings by Christina bring a warm, caring, personable and professional presence that will provide you with a ceremony that includes all the aspects that you desire. You will receive our personal attention to every detail of your ceremony, including all contacts made prior to your ceremony, the ceremony script composition and any follow-up that is required.
What is included in the ceremony?
The standard ceremony is composed of the seating of parents and grandparents, processional, greeting or introduction, presentation of the bride, exchange of vows, exchange of rings, closing words/benediction, pronouncement, presentation of couple and recessional. Ceremony enhancements such as the Sand Ceremony, Hands of the Bride & Groom, etc. may be added. See my Ceremony Enhancements page for more details.
What are some of the ceremony options available to us?
In order for you to have the wedding ceremony you have always dreamed of, we have ceremony enhancements available to you which may include prayers, readings (either a scripture reading or perhaps a love poem), exchange of promises, guest participation of vows, affirmation of vows, blessing of rings, unity candle lighting, sand or ceremony, hand ceremony, the rose ceremony, wine ceremony, remembrances, closing blessing or prayer, as well as many others. Perhaps you have a family tradition or something that you would like included. We welcome your input. See if one of our Ceremony Enhancements is what you are looking for to help make your ceremony as unique as you are.
May we write our own vows?
Of course you may and we encourage your personal input. Your personal input also adds even more uniqueness to your ceremony.
Do we have to memorize our vows?
Not unless you want to. You may read your vows from a hand-held card or repeat them after the Officiant. The Officiant will say the vows in short phrases so that you may repeat them easily. Of course the option is always there to memorize them, if that is your desire.
May our family or friends participate in the wedding even if they are not part of the bridal party?
Yes, your family and friends are most welcome to participate in the wedding by reading a scripture, reciting a poem or the like, by saying a prayer, singing or playing a musical instrument or in whatever way you would like them included. This is your ceremony and it should be personalized as you choose.
May we add our personal touches to the content of the ceremony?
Yes. Our goal is for the ceremony to reflect you, the bride and groom, as well as your relationship, traditions, and feelings. Your personal touches are always encougaged and welcomed without any additional cost.
What is the process in choosing the script for our ceremony?
Once you have booked your wedding, I will provide you with sample ceremonies to choose from. A final draft will be provided for you to insure that everything is as you want it. Be assured that you will have final approval of the script.
What if we want a very simple ceremony?
Our "Sweet & Simple" package provides you with a simple yet beautiful ceremony. You may choose from our pre-written scripts. You may write your own vows if you wish and may include ceremony enhancements if you choose.
May our children be included in the ceremony?
We encourage children to be included whenever possible. They are an important part of the new family that is being created and it makes them feel so much more a part by including them in the ceremony.
What are some of the ceremony options available to us to include our children?
A meaningful way to include children is by adding any of the following to your ceremony: family unity candle, sand ceremony, the family support ceremony, the medallion ceremony and/or the ribbon ceremony. All of these ceremonies are created to include children.
Do we get to meet our Officiant before our rehearsal or wedding day?
If you live locally, you may certainly meet your Officiant before your wedding day. The phone number of the Officiant is furnished when services are agreed upon and you may call and set up an appointment…or, if you prefer, you may speak with the Officiant prior to booking their services. We want you to be comfortable with your decision to book one of our Officiants.
May photographs be taken during the ceremony?
Yes, photographs may be taken. The only rule is for the photographer (whether a professional or a friend) not to be intrusive during the ceremony. Professional photography is a service that we can assist you with. Ask for details.
What if we would like consulting or wedding day coordinating services, can Weddings by Christina assist us?
Absoulutely! We offer planning and coordination services to address your wedding related questions and concerns and we also have wedding day coordinators to give you and your family a stress-free, enjoyable and memorable wedding day by taking care of ‘all the little details’ and making sure that everything runs smoothly. Consultants and coordinators are really a ‘very affordable necessity’.
Can you provide us with the names of reputable service vendors that we might need for our wedding day?
Yes, we work with many professionals in the area. Please contact us for recommendations.
Is there any additional charge for getting married during a Holiday?
There is an additional charge of $100.00 for weddings performed during certain holidays; i.e. Thanksgiving, Dec. 24th, Dec. 25th, Jan. 1st etc.
Can you send me a brochure via regular mail?
It is my goal to provide affordable prices while maintaining the highest standards of personal service so, my "brochure" is my website. A printed representation could not compare to the amount of information, photos and descriptions on my website. Once your reservation has been made and deposit received, I will send you sample ceremonies and vows via U.S. Mail or E-mail.
When should we book our Officiant?
The sooner you book, the better. Some months are busier than others. We suggest you book your Officiant as soon as you have your wedding date determined and ceremony site reserved.
What are your officiating fees?
The fee would depend upon what packages and services you require and the location of your ceremony. Fees and Services may be found on my Packages page.
How do we book Weddings by Christina to conduct our wedding ceremony?
Submit an Inquiry Form or contact our office by phone or email. We can set up a no-obligation appointment by phone or in person to get acquainted and to go over the details of your wedding.
How much of a deposit is required to secure our date and time?
You can secure the date by signing an agreement and furnishing a 50% deposit. The balance is due 14 days prior to the ceremony if paying by check. Cash and Money Order payments may be made the day of the wedding.