Credentials · Elopements · Marriage LIcense · Minister/Officiant · Vendors · What I don't know

What is a “Non-Denominational Officiant?”

Simple answer: someone who went online and got ordained just to be able to marry people. Not necessarily a pastor of a church.

In the State of Georgia, there are only two types of people who can marry a couple: Judges and Clergy. We do not have “Justice of the Peace” here in the State of Georgia.  If someone claims to be a Justice of the Peace, they are not legally able to marry a couple in the State of Georgia.

Just a silly picture of me standing next to a carriage.  I just love the arrow pointing to me!  Oh wait, it's pointing to the crosswalk!
Just a silly picture of me
standing next to a carriage.
I just love the arrow pointing to me!
Oh wait, it’s pointing to the crosswalk!

“Clergy” can be any religious figure: pastor, chaplain, rabbi, preacher, imam, sangha, priest, bishop, maybe even prophet.  Nearly all the time, a clergy person has had religious training and schooling.  For example, in order to be a Lutheran Pastor, I had to have a Bachelors Degree prior to entering seminary (which is an additional 4 year program).  Making it a total 8 years of educational instruction after high school.

In order to be a “non-denominational officiant” it takes about 20 minutes and some money,  then in the eyes of the State of Georgia it qualifies them to be a person who is considered “clergy.”  Those persons often call themselves Reverend, because technically they are.  I too am a Reverend, yet it took me more than 20 minutes.

I’ve heard of many people going online to get ordained to marry couples, celebrities often do that in order to marry a celebrity couple.  Am I opposed to these non-demoninational wedding officiants?  Only when they pretend to be a pastor or religious leader, maybe wearing clergy collar and attire, or when they don’t even believe in God and only do this for the money (I doubt they go to worship services anywhere).

How do you know if your wedding officiant has a religious educational background, such as myself, or went online?  Simple: ask them.

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Couples I've married · Elopements · Outdoor Location · Weddings

Congrats to Sergio and Danielle! #justmarried @savannahido @visitsavannah @savannahwedpros #savannah #wedding #SavannahWedding #RevSchulte #AWeddingForTwo #ElopeInSavannah #AWeddingWithRevSchulte

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Couples I've married · Elopements · Minister/Officiant · SC

Last minute elopement on Fripp Island, SC

This couple was fantastic!!  Here’a photo I took with my phone on the way back up to their home, today about noon.  There has been no color correction or color editing on the photo.  Congrats to M. and L.

Fripp Island, SC
Bed and Breakfast Weddings and Elopements · Elopements

Savannah Weddings at a B and B can be fantastic!

Forsyth Park Inn

Angie and Paul were married a year ago on Jan. 1, 2009 with their families standing near them as they wed at the beautiful Forsyth Park Inn in Savannah, GA.  It was and is such a romantic setting for their nuptials.

The Inn Keeper, Lori Blass, is fantastic!!  She and her staff are absolutely on target when it comes to taking care of their guests!  Over the years I have done many weddings/elopements there and they are always wonderful!  I just love working with Jessica, she is sooo good, and Jerry, he  does such a wonderful job!

Forsyth Park Inn

Years ago, another wedding which took place there was of this English couple, Steve and Janet.  They traveled from England with their daughter, Joanna.  Ever since their ceremony we have kept in contact, via emails, phone calls, and visits!  And with being on Facebook, it is even better!!

I could go on with many more stories of couples I’ve married there over the years, but I’ll stop… for now!

Happy Anniversary to Angie and Paul, I look forward to our lunch tomorrow!

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Couples I've married · Elopements · Minister/Officiant · New Year's Eve · Outdoor Location

A New Year’s Eve Wedding: Once in a blue moon!

At 7pm this evening the church phone rang (it’s a cell phone now).  There’s a bride on the phone saying, “can you marry us this evening? The minister we had didn’t show up!”  I said I could be there by 8pm.

Once before a couple had called, saying that wanted to get married on New Year’s Eve.  I went to River Street and waited, and waited. I called, they said they were about to leave, was the refrain I believed.  I waited over an hour and no one ever showed up! So I left.  I figured the same sort of thing would happen this evening.

So tonight, after Jodie called, I was saying to myself, “sure they will show up.”

To my surprise the handsome groom was waiting in the lobby of the Marshal House Inn and the very stunning and beautiful bride appeared a few minutes later.  They made such a wonderful couple!

They were okay with getting married in the noisy lobby, however I suggested we go to the square around the corner.  Once we arrived at the square, I pointed out a few places they could stand and they chose one.  While walking to that spot, I asked them if either one was a Robert Redford fan?  They said they were.  I mentioned that part of the the film he had just finished filming in Savannah was shot at a house on this square. They were excited!

We walked over to the large historic entrance to the Owens Thomas House, stood outside the gate and had the very romantic ceremony under the full blue moon!

Congrats to Ken and Jodie!!

Couples I've married · Elopements · Mandy Moore and Ryan Adams

Savannah Wedding: Is it true that I married Mandy Moore and Ryan Adams?

Yep!  And they were a fantastic couple.

Yet, I had no idea who they were when I married them.  Clueless!!  It wasn’t until I got home that i knew they were celebrities. They were so down to earth, so excited about getting married.  I’m glad that I had the opportunity to meet both of them.

You may have read a few things I’ve said about their ceremony while surfing the net.  I have since stopped talking about the details of their ceremony  Why?  Ryan called me about a week after the ceremony and asked me not to say any more. So I haven’t.

Over the years, I’ve married lots of couples who’ve asked me not to say anything to anyone.  And I haven’t.

Even though it was way after the fact when Ryan asked me not to say anything, this is the most I’ve said since then, and it ain’t much!

Blessings!

Beach · Elopements · Outdoor Location · Weather

What’s the weather like for our outdoor Savannah weddings? Do you think it will rain?

I’ve had that question asked lots of times over the years.

we arrived by boat to the ceremony

For the most part, we don’t get too much rain.  And, when it does, it is rare that it lasts for all day.  Recently I had a wedding/elopement on a Sunday at 5pm.  Everyone wanted the ceremony outside, yet the forecast was rain, rain, rain.  Off and on all day I would check the weather on the web (including my phone), looking at the radar and satellite images, and putting them in motion/animate.  It stopped raining at 4:10pm and the sun came out about 15 minutes later!  Yet, earlier that morning it was forecasted to rain all day!

Now the question, is it too wet outside for a wedding?  It depends on you.  In order to make an informed decision, here are some thoughts.

  • Can the chairs be dried off in time?
  • Will the musicians play under the still dripping oak trees?
  • Will you, the bride, get your hair wet from the dripping trees.
  • The ground is wet, whether it is a sidewalk, bricks, or grass, even though the rain stopped.  If the bottom of your long dress gets wet while you walk in, is that okay?

The last point above really is just about the most important question.  Do you mind if your dress gets wet?  Is having your ceremony outside worth getting the bottom of the dress dirty and wet?

I’ve had weddings outside where the guests used umbrellas, as did the bride and groom (under one) as did I.  And I’ve had weddings where the couple had reserved a tent as a “just in case it rains” back up.

With online weather sites so readily  available it is pretty easy to find out the weather as far as 10 days in advance.  But with that said, the weather changes here, often.  And it can be raining on the islands, but not downtown.  I have seen it several times in the years I’ve lived here where it was raining in Savannah, just not downtown!  We have strange weather here.

One last note, it is rare where I’ve had a wedding rained out.  More times than not, the bride didn’t want to get the bottom of her dress wet, or her shoes.  Of the weddings I’ve had moved indoors because of the weather, 90 percent of them could have still happened outside.

Finally. You’ve heard that it is good luck for a couple when it rains on their wedding day.  Well, you’ve heard the phrase “we’ve going to tie the knot.”  When a rope is tied in a knot and it gets wet, it is nearly impossible untie it because the rope has expanded with the water it absorbed.

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