Hello, my name is Michael Craft, I am the pastor of The Alpine Chapel and I am excited that you have considered me to officiate your wedding and be a part of the most important day of your life!
To perhaps save you some time in reading all of the following, I will summarize quickly what most people need to know; I can only officiate a wedding if there is premarital counseling done by either myself, or a pastor that I interview. That probably counts me out. I never agree to a date until the counseling has been completed. If you are still interested, please keep reading…
I want to congratulate you and help you in any way that I’m able. I am a Christian pastor, and although the church I lead is ‘inter-denominational’, I am ordained with the Calvary Chapel association. My Christian beliefs are the core of who I am. Due to this, I want to make very clear what you will get if you ask me to officiate your wedding.
I always seek to know the couple and meet them way before they get to the altar. If the couple attends our church regularly, and call me their pastor, I will perform the ceremony at no charge, but will ask the couple to go through premarital counseling with me. This is a great way for me to get to know the couple even better, as well as better prepare them for many of the struggles and challenges that married couples face. With divorce being so prevalent in our culture today, premarital counseling is something I insist upon if I am to officiate. It will give the couple a strong foundation, based on Scripture, on which to build their new family upon. If the couple doesn’t live nearby and do not call me their pastor, but want me to officiate their wedding, I will ask if they have a church home and a pastor. I will still require that they go to Christian premarital counseling with their pastor or a Christian counselor of their choice near where they live. I will require them to give that person’s contact information to me so that I may speak with them. In this case, when approved premarital counseling has been completed, the cost for my services is $250. All additional costs, if they were required (to cover gas to and from – if the wedding is taking place outside of Telluride, to cover hotel if needed, or any other traveling expenses, such as air-fare etc…), will need to be paid two weeks prior to the wedding.
Please understand: I cannot accept a date until I have confirmed that premarital counseling has been completed.
There are hundreds of people who will officiate a wedding, and not require premarital counseling. I understand this. I’m simply not comfortable being one of those people. My heart is to make you feel comfortable and secure and offer myself as a spiritual mentor for the most important time in your life, or at the very least make sure that you have one. If you do not want that, I am probably not the officiant for you.
The cost and rules for a wedding apply to vow renewals as well.
If you’re still interested, please answer the following and return your answers to me at your earliest convenience. Your answers will determine whether or not I am able to officiate your wedding.
- What are your full names (maiden name, and middle names)?
- What is the date you are hoping for to get married?
- Are you and your fiancé both Christians?
- If so, what church do you attend regularly?
- What is your pastor’s name, and his contact information (email, church website, phone)?
- Please have whoever is doing your premarital counseling contact Pastor Michael Craft at: firstname.lastname@example.org (please note: a date cannot be secured until this has been completed)
- Why are you seeking a ‘Christian’ marriage?
- What time and place are you wanting your wedding to take place?
- How many guests are you expecting?
- How many people are in your wedding party?
- Are there any rituals you’d like to incorporate in your wedding? (Unity candle? Communion? Special readings? Songs? Special prayer by a relative or visiting pastor? Foot-washing? Unity chord? Something else? There is no right or wrong answer, we just don’t want to forget something that you might be looking forward to.)
- Will you have children at your wedding and/or in your wedding?
- Will you have other people participating in your wedding? (Often, couples already know who they want to participate in their ceremony. Their mothers want to be included or you want to present flowers to important people. Maybe your aunts or uncles or other relatives of friends are going to perform readings, songs, or prayers. This helps me to decide what should be included in the ceremony I write for you. Maybe, if you already have children, you will be exchanging vows with them? Maybe your cousin or best friend will be singing? If so, what specific songs will be sung, and when would you like them in the ceremony? I want to help the ceremony to flow well and these answers are taking into consideration.)
- Would you like to write your own vows? (Some couples most definitely do. Other couples most definitely do NOT. There are options here you may not be aware of. In many Christian ceremonies the couple repeats the vows after the pastor. Some people want to read the vows they’ve personally written to each other, while other couples know that they will be repeating after the pastor very traditional vows… or even repeating vows that they’ve written that the pastor reads. You see, there’s LOTS of options. You should know there is no right or wrong way to do this. It’s what YOU want.)
- Will you be exchanging rings? If so, what are they made of ? (gold, silver, wood, metal, etc. This seems like a very crazy question. But, it’s not. Some people get tattoo’s. Sometimes brides will receive a ring but the groom won’t. Some rings are made of different materials. Before the rings are exchanged, I like to talk about their meaning, and the “precious” substance they’re made of.)
- Will your father, or someone else be giving you away or presenting you in marriage?
- If there are songs, what are the names of the songs?
- Is there ANY other thing you’d like to request?
Please return your answers to:
*All monies are considered a donation and after covering costs, such as cleaning, are ultimately designated towards our missions giving.