Do you supply the Marriage License?
This is a great question!
In Wisconsin, where I have performed the majority of my ceremonies, the couple is responsible for applying for and obtaining the marriage license.
As of July 1, 2022, the laws regarding marriage license application has become less stringent.
I still suggest you visit the County Clerk's website with questions about documentation, hours, and fees.
Who files the license? When do I get it back?
In Wisconsin, the officiant is responsible for returning the license within three days following the ceremony. This does not mean that you cannot, but it is something I prefer to handle given the fines I could incur. Now that Wisconsin has changed the filing to any county in the state, I will most likely file the license in Waupaca county the following business day as I live within walking distance of the Register of Deeds. Once the license is filed, which takes about 15 minutes once the Register has it in their hands, you are able to obtain a copy (or copies which I always suggest) in any county in Wisconsin. This process also takes about 15 minutes. You also have the option to mail a form with payment to any Register of Deeds in Wisconsin. The difference is time frame, 15 minutes vs a week.
We aren't religious, is that okay? Or we'd really like these Bible verses and prayers, is that okay?
Yes on both counts! While in my personal life I am a member of the ELCA church, my professional life is writing YOUR ceremony to reflect YOUR personal life. Are you a practicing Atheist? Awesome! Tell me about how you met! Are you from a Catholic and Baptist background? That's interesting, tell me more! The ceremonies I write aren't about me, they are about you, whomever you happen to be and whatever you happen to practice.
Do you offer or require premarital counseling?
I do not on both counts. I am not qualified to provide that service. If it is something you are seeking there are many online services including Best Self which offers a 13-week guided relationship journals that aren't limited to new couples.
Where do you come up with these really strange questions?
I'm just that good. Kidding. Mostly. One of my favorite jobs in college was Victoria's Secret. Besides loving my discount and my team, I learned the importance of an open ended question. Nearly 75% of the time the response to, "Are you looking for anything in particular?" will be, "No." Which didn't help anyone if the answer was really, "I've never been sized and I don't even know what I'm doing but I'm nervous about asking."
My questions evolved over years of finding out how to get to know people in a short period of time. Does that mean that my questions are perfect for each of my couples? Nope. They help me start the ball rolling. When we have an easy dialog using a script of questions won't be entirely necessary, but it helps us get there. Will I still ask every couple what song comes to mind when they think of each other? Yes, because it's not a standard question and it makes you think, and even if you can't think of an immediate answer you'll have a response that helps me get to know you better as individuals and as a couple.
We don't feel like we gave you anything that will help!
You don't have to answer every question I pose "perfectly." There is no wrong answer, there is YOUR answer which is what I'm seeking. If I don't think I have enough of a sense of you as individuals and as a couple I'll ask different questions and follow up. It's my job to know what I need and how to get it. And not to throw my shoulder out patting myself on the back, but I'm pretty darn good at it! If I wasn't I wouldn't have been able to keep this up as long as I have and I certainly wouldn't have the passion for each ceremony that I do.