Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What advice do you have for a beach themed wedding?
A: Most bridal couples are coming from out of state to have their dream weddings on the beach. Events along the Florida Gulf coast are popular for the convenience of location, travel time, and the more relaxed atmosphere of the beach environment. Sandals, bare feet or flip flops are recommended in lieu of heels. Beach breezes should be considered. Veils blow in the wind and may interfere with the photos you would like to have of your ceremony. Beach goers and breezes can mask the voice of the officiant, making it impossible for your guests to hear the ceremony. A microphone is highly recommended for wedding events with more than 20 guests. You can have smaller parties move in close to hear the officiant, but this becomes a nightmare for your photographer, who has been hired to get the best photo shots of your event. Please ask your family members to stay where the other guests are gathered to get their personal photos. Friends and family that walk completely around the ceremony site for photos also create a nightmare for a paid photographer that is trying to get the best shots for you. Silk flower petals used in flower girl baskets are not eco-friendly for beach events. A breeze may carry the petals into the water, where they could be mistaken for food by turtles and fish. Dried or fresh floral toss (lavender, rose petals, etc.) is an excellent and eco friendly alternative to birdseed or bubbles on the beach. Hydrate well before your event, and bring bottled water.
Q: How do I know that your company will be there for us?
A: Members of our company have worked in various fields of the wedding industry dating back to 1985. Since shifting our focus to providing officiation services in 2008, we have been called on numerous occasions to step in for other officiants who were unable to perform the tasks they were hired to do for other wedding companies. Couples or event companies found themselves scrambling at the last minute to find someone to do their wedding. We were that "someone" that they found, and many of their comments can be seen on our "Testimonials" page. Our company has a staff of officiants so that if an unexpected emergency arises for one of us, we are still able to cover the needs of our clients.
Q: What type of services do you offer?
A: We offer 3 types of Plans for bridal couples to consider. The first is a Sugar Beach Elopement, for those looking for something short and sweet. The second is a Basic Plan, which includes the services of an Officiant and a choice of 3 ceremonies with options to customize. This Plan is suitable for simple ceremonies, vow renewals, and elopements. The ceremony time averages between 8-10 minutes and there are no meetings beforehand. We also offer a personalized and coordinated Classic Plan, which includes the services of an Officiant, unlimited phone calls, unlimited emails, planning, rewriting, revision, and everything personalized. The ceremony time averages between 20 –30 minutes, and a pre ceremony meeting can be arranged. A Sand Ceremony can be added to either plan for an additional $35. A Shell Blessings Ceremony for you and your guests to participate in is also available for an additional $35. The Unity Candle ceremony is a tricky endeavor in outdoor events, with the mild breezes that are fairly constant. We will incorporate the candle ceremony if requested, but make no guarantees on success. We offer the sand ceremony as an alternative to consider for your outdoor event
Q: Are you flexible in the wording used throughout the ceremony, including the vows?
A: Yes we are, and no two ceremonies are alike. With the Basic Plan, we offer a choice of 3 different ceremonies, with the ability to customize the vows and the ring exchange. You may also add your personal vows into the Basic Plan. An opening prayer is offered at no additional expense. A full example of the Basic Plan is shown on our site. With the Classic Custom Plan, we collaborate with the couple so that their traditions and wishes are incorporated to create a totally custom ceremony from start to finish. A sand ceremony and / or shell blessings may be added to both plans to complete a truly unique and beautiful event.
Q: Can I have a Basic ceremony and include my own vows or some minor additions?
A: Yes you may. We strive to keep the rate for this plan economical, with choices that are simple and stress free for our bridal couples. Personal vows, or getting creative with the Basic Plan is encouraged, as long as the ceremony is not drastically altered. If you want significant changes to the Basic Plan, we suggest an upgrade to the Classic Plan.
Q: If I choose a ceremony in the Basic Plan and I like parts from another ceremony in the Plan, can we make a hybrid from the two?
A: Of course we can! If it can be cut and pasted, it can be done. We want you to have a ceremony that reflects who the two of you are, and encourage you to be creative in the selections of your ceremony.
Q: How does the Classic Plan work?
A: The Classic Plan is quite extensive. An 81 page package of choices is sent to the couple for review. The entire wedding ceremony is broken into separate components with the package that is sent to the couples. There are multiple choices available for each component to custom create a ceremony from start to finish.
Q: How long is the ceremony?
A: A ceremony can range from 8 minutes to 60 minutes, depending on the Plan that is chosen or the number of components that are selected. Our most popular request is the Basic Plan, since we allow a limited amount of changes and creativity within a ceremony that runs about 8-10 minutes. You can certainly get a lot of creativity and innovation into a 20 to 25 minute Classic Custom plan, and we've had couples choose options for events that have lasted an hour. Anything longer than 20 -25 minutes would be too lengthy for most folks. You will want to get to the post-ceremony party, after all! Once we write your ceremony for the Classic Custom plan, the Officiant will give you a good idea of what to expect in terms of time.
Q: Do you offer services that can include children or family members in the ceremony?
A: We offer a variation of the Sand Ceremony that is worded to include children involved in the couple’s lives. It is the perfect opportunity to acknowledge and include them in a beautiful way. We also offer Shell Blessings, which is a special ceremony for everyone present to share in at the water’s edge. It represents a wonderful sendoff of love and good wishes for the newlywed couple.
Q: Are you willing to perform a rehearsal ceremony?
A: Yes, if you have a wedding party with more than 4 attendants we highly recommend a rehearsal. The fee is an additional $100. We can offer suggestions at the event, for those choosing not to go with the expense of an Officiant at the rehearsal. We have provided an entire page of tips for a DIY rehearsal.
Q: Do we come to you, or do you come to us?
A: We come to you. We perform ceremonies on the beach, in city and state parks, in couple's homes, and other arranged sites within Bay County. Contact us if you need suggestions for locations.
Q: Do you perform last minute weddings?
A: Yes, and have had to step in for other Officiants that were hired more times than we would like to remember. Please choose your person carefully and check credentials!!! Our staff members have been requested to step in for quite a few “emergency” last minute situations, when other Officiants have cancelled, did not show, or were unable to attend for multitude of reasons. We have also performed numerous elopements for vacationing couples.
Q: What happens if it rains at the time of our outdoor ceremony?
A: We are flexible on the location when circumstances involve inclement weather. It is the responsibility of the bridal couple to have a back up plan, and we highly recommend at least having one in mind … just in case. Of course we will try to work with our couples on moving the time, or the date if our schedule allows.
Q: We just want a cheap quick wedding. Can you do that?
A: We offer a 10% military discount for active duty and retirees on the Basic Plan. We offer an elopement special if you are flexible with date and time assignements. Hiring an Officiant or an ordained Minister, is the most cost-effective expenditure of your special day! For that reason, we rarely discount our services any further. The fees are already competitive. Many hours are spent to make sure that the ceremony is written exactly how you want prior to the ceremony, and includes the time spent on the phone, by email, or in person.
Q: Who should I notify if my marriage means a name change and/or address change?
If your marriage means a change in name and/or address, remember to make the following important notifications:
- Your state’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles- Division of Driver’s license
- Your nearest Social Security Office
- Your Supervisor of Elections
- Your Military Reserve Commanding Office (if applicable)
- Beneficiaries or joint owners on many of these documents: bank accounts, insurance policies, employment benefits, etc.
Q: Aren't Spiritual and Religious ceremonies the same?
A: The ceremonies offered in the Basic Plan are spiritual in nature, with limited options to incorporate religion. If you prefer to have a religious ceremony, the Classic Plan is the perfect option. Often the rules of different religious faiths get in the way of the true spirit and essence of faith. Many couples believe that a spiritual marriage should be about two people becoming one; to them, this is the purest definition of a “soul mate.” This concept can be found in a number of religions and lifestyles, including Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. Here are four examples:
* “A man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one body.” - the Bible (Genesis 2:24) The first example of marriage was Adam and Eve.
* “Just as we are a mystery to ourselves, each other person is also a mystery to us,” and therefore, “pledge to seek to understand yourselves, and each other.” - An excerpt from a vow taken during a Buddhist ceremony
* “And among His Signs is this that He created for you spouses of your own kind, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy for one another: verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.” According to the Qur’an 30:21
* "Let us take the first step to provide for our household a nourishing and pure diet, avoiding those foods injurious to healthy living.
Let us take the second step to develop physical, mental, and spiritual powers.
Let us take the third step to increase our wealth by righteous means and proper use.
Let us take the fourth step to acquire knowledge, happiness, and harmony by mutual love and trust.
Let us take the fifth step so that we are blessed with strong, virtuous, and heroic children.
Let us take the sixth step for self-restraint and longevity.
Finally, let us take the seventh step and be true companions and remain lifelong partners by this wedlock."- A traditional Hindu wedding ritual called the Seven Steps, or Saptha Padhi.
The type of Officiant should reflect the type of ceremony you choose. A Notary is suitable to perform non denominational, spiritual, multicultural, and civil or non religious ceremonies. Pastors and Ministers are Officiants who have religious education and training so that they are able to incorporate your traditions into the ceremony. Florida Nuptials has a staff of Notaries, non-denominational Ministers, and a Pastor on call. The rates do vary and are subject to availability. Our Officiants have participated in numerous types of wedding events throughout the West Florida Coastal region since 2008.
Florida Nuptials- Panama City Beach Officiants
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