WEDDING OFFICIANT2018-06-12T07:42:07+00:00
Who is the Artist and where has he performed before?2018-07-30T17:20:23+00:00

In 2008 Michael Venske was cast at the Tony Award-winning Guthrie Theater and decided to pursue performing full-time. Venske started self-producing sketch comedy shows which, in turn, honed his comedy chops thus leading to a gig with the Actors Theater of Minnesota where he originated a role in the Twin Cities’ premiere of the long-running “Bye Bye Liver.” It was around this time that Michael realized the work that drives him isn’t entertainment for entertainment’s sake.

Michael believes time is our most valuable resource and, as such, he spends his on projects that help the greater good. He’s recorded voiceovers for the world-renowned Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, taught de-escalation techniques in an effort to help eliminate the use of force for individuals in mental health crises, appeared in videos for HIV awareness with the University of Minnesota, twice toured environmental comedy shows across America with the National Theatre for Children, performed throughout the St. Croix Valley with The (Alzheimer’s) Remember Project, and has worked with First Witness Child Advocacy Center teaching law enforcement how to conduct forensic interviews with victims of childhood sexual abuse.

In 2012 Venske entered the solo theatre world as writer/performer in Thumbs Up which premiered in Washington, D.C., as part of the Capital Fringe Festival where the DC Theatre Scene said, “…the improv-trained Venske is at his best, unafraid to bust a move or pull out a silly dialect. His intensity is impressive, and each short scene ends on a poignant or fun note.”

Venske’s performed in hospitals, jails, libraries, school cafeterias, and even on a balcony in China.  His work proves to be thought-provoking and engaging with recurring themes surrounding relationships, cultures, and societal issues with bright pops of comedic overtones. Venske is dedicated to producing new work that creates a dialogue delving into the underlying nature of the human experience with a focus on the balance between humor and sincerity.

While Venske planned on touring for a third time with the National Theatre for Children, his world was turned upside down when he was offered a job teaching in China. For three years Michael taught English to primary and middle school students in Zibo, Shandong, China. Pieces of Michael’s experience living abroad are published in a coffee table book, A Different Perspective: Expat Life, which explores the unique viewpoints expats have and how their adventures shape their perceptions of home.

Michael received his training at, and is a former company member of, America’s oldest satirical comedy theater, Brave New Workshop.

He makes his home in Minneapolis with a handful of dying plants. In his spare time Michael can be found listening to his grandparent’s vintage Hawaiian records and sipping scotch in front of a fireplace crafting his next story.

I’m excited about doing this in my space! What is the next step?2018-07-30T17:19:45+00:00
  • Email OR send a message via the Contact page
  • We find a date and time together.
  • Artist provides bio, images, synopsis, and language to include on invites.
How much does it cost to host a house show?2018-07-30T17:18:26+00:00

Hosting a private evening of entertainment doesn’t have to cost a Host anything. All shows are donation-based, however, there is a flat fee if desired.

  • Option 1 – Suggested Donation
    • Invited guests contribute an aforementioned $10 – $20 donation at the door. The donations attendees give pay the show forward and allow the Artist to continue sharing the work with other communities. House show donations average $20/person. No one should be turned away if they are unable to give though.
  • Option 2 – Flat Fee – $400
    • Want to provide a memorable and engaging evening for your guests without asking them to pay out-of-pocket? Ask friends and family to come for free by providing the Artist with a flat fee.
Are kids welcome?2018-07-30T17:10:02+00:00

For over 10 years the Artist has been working with children on stage, in the classroom, and knows what’s age-appropriate. While the content in the show isn’t crude or tasteless, this show isn’t suitable for children.

I want to host a house show! How do I plan the event?2018-07-30T17:09:34+00:00

Here are the steps to making a show happen in your home:

    • We agree on a date and time.
    • Artist provides bio, images, synopsis, and language to include on invites.
    • You invite friends & family with Artist-provided info.
      • Include in Invites:
        • Suggested Donation Info: “In order to bring the Artist to our home, a suggested donation between $10-$20 needs to be made at the beginning of the evening.”
        • Refreshments: Will you offer food/beer/wine, or should guests should bring a dish to share/BYOB.
          • Potlucks are awesome!
        • Ask for RSVPs: People who RSVP are more likely to be in attendance. This also provides Host and Artist an audience estimate.
    • A week before the event: Artist contacts Host to confirm date, time, audience size, answer questions, and shares exact wording of an intro/outro script.
    • Clean the space (or don’t). Entirely up to you!
    • Sit back, enjoy the show, and all the praise you’re about to receive for thinking of hosting such an awesome event!
Are there discussions after the show?2018-07-30T17:08:01+00:00

Post-show discussions are optional, however, greatly enhance the evening for all attendees and are often the most magical moments of the event.

After the performance, in an engaging facilitated conversation between the Artist and audience, relevant themes are discussed and how they relate to the audiences’ lives. This empowers everyone in the space to ask questions, share stories, and dive deeper into the show’s message. Post-show dialogues provide the audience a fantastic way to become more involved in the evening.

What if I don’t want strangers in my space?2018-07-30T17:07:26+00:00

Remember this is a private event no different than a backyard birthday or anniversary party. Share invites only among those you know, trust, and enjoy. The Artist’s Event Page will list the performance as a “Private House Show,” though your address will never be displayed or shared.

What if I don’t have 60 friends?2018-07-30T17:06:57+00:00

Consider co-hosting the event with a friend. Each co-host will invite people from their respective friend circles to increase overall attendance.

How many people should be invited?2018-07-30T17:06:17+00:00

A minimum of 20 – 30 adults is required for the performance. In order to ensure a minimum of 20 – 30 adults, Hosts typically invite twice as many friends and family to the event. Example: If you want 30 people to attend, invite 60.

Two reasons for the minimum attendance policy:

  • The evening won’t have the same electrifying energy necessary to create an entertaining experience for all attendees.
  • In a donation-based performance model, 20 or more adults contributing donations and purchasing merchandise is what makes the night financially viable for the Artist.
Who brings the audience?2018-07-30T17:05:49+00:00

Your main responsibility as Host is to assemble an audience of individuals looking to share in an experience they can’t get anywhere else.

Can I still host a show even if I don’t have a big house?2018-07-30T17:05:20+00:00

Yes! You don’t need a palatial estate or seating for 100. Cozy is perfect!

What if I don’t have enough chairs?2018-07-30T17:04:13+00:00

Floor seating with pillows, cushions, and blankets work splendidly.

What are the space requirements?2018-07-30T17:01:53+00:00

The performance space must allow at least a 5’ x 5’ area for the Artist to perform. Additionally, there must be a way for the Artist to enter and exit the space. If there is less space, the Artist will work within those limits.

Invited guests must be able to gather in the same space together and be seated for the duration of the 60 minute show. Everyone should be seated directly in front of the performance space. Tables should be removed as they’re bulky and break-up energy.

Living rooms, backyards, decks, driveways and garages all work as perfect spaces to host the event.

Lastly, the space isn’t as important as the people who fill it.

What’s the order of events for the evening?2018-07-30T17:00:59+00:00

The following is an example of an event. Times can be adjusted.

  • 5PM – Artist arrives, meets Host, discusses evening, sets-up
  • 6PM – guests arrive, mingle, eat, & relax
  • 7PM – show begins
  • 8PM – show ends
  • 8PM – 8:30PM – post-show discussion (optional) / mingling
  • 8:30PM – guests leave
  • 9PM – Artist packs-up & leaves
Why perform in private homes?2018-07-30T17:00:31+00:00

Traditional performance spaces can be intimidating and expensive. Venturing to a new part of town, a dinner out, parking, and the price of a ticket quickly creates a $100+ evening. Experiencing theatre doesn’t need to cost a day’s wages.

Theatre is an immediate and transformative art form that brings people together. By performing in an intimate private space, guests are comfortable and able to experience an exclusive event that engages and opens everyone to discussion.

What is a house show?2018-07-30T16:59:53+00:00

A house show is an intimate and unique evening of live theatre and conversation among friends and family in a private residence. With a house show everyone always has the best seat in the house!

Are you religious?2018-02-17T17:38:31+00:00

I was raised in a Lutheran church that has been my family’s spiritual home for over 80 years.

My grandparents, Marion and Gordon, were married in that church. It’s where my dad and aunt’s were baptized and confirmed. My parents were married there too. This is the same church where my brother and I were baptized, received holy communion and were later confirmed. Where we went to Sunday School and Vacation Bible School and ushered and cleaned and sang in the choirs and played in the worship band…And most recently, where I delivered my grandfather’s eulogy.

However, I wouldn’t say I’m “religious.” I identify as a Unitarian Universalist and would call myself generally “spiritual” versus “religious.”

I believe the relationship you have (or don’t) with a Supreme Being/God/the Loving Mystery/Holy Wow/etc is personal and private. Just like my relationship with the Holy Wow is personal and private.

If you’d like to mention your faith or beliefs, good! If you prefer not to, good! My purpose is to share your story in a meaningful, memorable way.

Do you get the marriage license?2017-09-23T22:46:52+00:00

Nope. That’s on you, person-getting-married. Don’t forget to bring these things. You’ll need ’em when you apply for your marriage license. Also, note how long the license is valid.

What information do we need for our marriage license?2017-09-16T14:10:51+00:00

In Minnesota, as per MN § 517.08:

  • Full legal names
  • Dates of birth
  • Places of birth
  • Social security numbers (if one has been issued)
  • Current ages
  • Current address to include the county where that address is located
  • Any previous marriage information (i.e., date of divorce, county, and state where it took place, name of court, date of death); no divorce documents are required
  • Legal name after marriage
  • Address after marriage

In Wisconsin, as per WI § 765.09:

  • Photo ID, such as a driver’s license, state ID card, Passport, etc.
  • Proof of residency for the past 30 days. Application must be made in the county where either the bride or groom is a resident. If both parties live outside of Wisconsin, you must apply in the county where the ceremony will take place.
  • Social security numbers (if one has been issued)
  • Certified copy of birth certificates.
  • If previously married; death certificate, divorce judgement papers (a six-month waiting period is required after your divorce before you can apply for a marriage license) or court annulment certificate.
  • If you are under the age of 18, a consent form must be signed by both parents or legal guardian.
  • Application must be made between 5 and 30 days prior to the wedding (not more than 30 days before, and not less than 5 days before).
  • Fee: $100.00
  • Both of the parties must make application in person.
  •  Bride and groom should be prepared to let the County Clerk’s Office know the date of the wedding ceremony, what county they will be married in, what municipality (city, village or township), name of the officiant, officiant mailing address and telephone number.
How long is the marriage license valid?2017-09-16T13:54:03+00:00

In Minnesota: 6 months.

In Wisconsin: 30 days.

Does Minnesota or Wisconsin recognize Common Law marriages?2017-09-16T13:46:01+00:00


(Minnesota abolished common law marriages in 1941.)

Do we need a blood test before we get married?2017-09-16T13:41:24+00:00

No. Blood tests or physicals are not required.

Who prepares the marriage certificate?2017-09-16T13:31:27+00:00

One of the honors of officiating a wedding is preparing, signing, and delivering the marriage certificate to the county registrar’s office. In Minnesota the marriage certificate needs to be filed within 5 days; in Wisconsin, filed within three days.

(MN § 517.10)

(WI§ 765.19)

If your credentials are in Minnesota, how can you officiate weddings in Wisconsin?2017-09-16T13:40:02+00:00

Letters of Sponsorship are no longer required effective April 25, 2014, with the enactment and publication 2013 Wisconsin Act 372. As such, under WI § 765.15 there is no requirement for an officiating person to file credentials within the state of Wisconsin.

And, if you’re curious, the Wisconsin Attorney General says this:

“Ministers or clergy ordained or appointed through the internet may solemnize marriages if they meet the requirements of § 765.15 or § 765.17. The statute does not permit, and the Constitution of the United States may prohibit, inquiry into the method of ordination or appointment.”

How many witnesses do we need?2017-09-16T12:46:37+00:00

In Minnesota: you need the signatures of at least two witnesses and they have to be at least 16 years old. (MN § 517.10)

In Wisconsin: you need the signatures of at least two adult witnesses. (WI § 765.16(1m))

Do you charge for mileage?2018-01-21T15:33:59+00:00

If your wedding is outside of the Twin Cities metro area, yes. The fee is comparable to the 54.5¢ per mile federal mileage guidelines. Called a “mileage fee” you’re actually compensating for the most valuable resource: time.

If your ceremony site is super far away and the mileage fee starts adding up, know three things:

  1. No one else can share your story the way I will. I am the best at what I do.
  2. Everything is negotiable.
  3. I’m totally worth it.
Where do you perform ceremonies?2017-09-16T12:16:58+00:00

Anywhere in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Yes, the entire states! This includes: backyards, wedding halls, Masonic Temples, lake fronts, carnival rides, boats… The list is endless! Succinctly: wherever you and your partner feel most comfortable.

What are your credentials?2017-09-16T12:13:22+00:00

In accordance with § 517.05, I’ve been a legally ordained minister in Minnesota since 2007 with Universal Ministries. My ordination papers are on file at the St. Louis County registrar’s office.

While I was baptized and confirmed in an Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, I identify as a Unitarian Universalist.

How much does a marriage license cost?2017-09-16T12:11:32+00:00

A marriage license costs $115.00 and is due at time of application… Unless you’ve taken 12 hours or more of pre-marital classes. If you and your partner have participated in at least 12 hours of pre-marital counseling the cost is $40, due at the time of application, in addition to a dated and notarized Educator’s Statement. (MN § 517.08)

Do we need to sign a contract?2017-09-25T22:21:22+00:00

Yes. This way everyone’s on the same page regarding date, time, location, rehearsals, middle names, favorite colors…

Can we meet before we decide you’re the officiant we want?2017-09-15T22:22:09+00:00

I’d love that! Let me buy you a cup of coffee or a slice of pie.

Can we write our own ceremony?2017-09-15T22:16:57+00:00

Of course! I’m happy to help and guide you, but above all the ceremony needs to resonate with you.

Can we customize our ceremony?2017-09-15T22:06:07+00:00

Yes, please!

How many different ceremonies do you have?2017-09-15T22:00:48+00:00

Every ceremony is different because every couple is different. Each ceremony is crafted based on interactions with the couple and the couples’ reflections on their story.

Are there any hidden charges?2017-09-15T22:01:58+00:00


Your Story

  • $500 deposit required
  • Fully customized ceremony sharing your story
  • No travel fee within 100 miles of Minneapolis
  • Unlimited phone calls, emails or texts
  • Unlimited meetings (in person or Skype)
  • Signing & filing of Marriage Certificate
  • Must provide 2 witnesses
  • Rehearsal

Standard & Vow Renewal

  • $225 deposit required
  • Fully customized ceremony
  • No travel fee within 30 miles of Minneapolis
  • Unlimited phone calls, emails or texts
  • Up to 4 meetings (in person or Skype)
  • Signing & filing of Marriage Certificate
  • Must provide 2 witnesses
  • No Rehearsal


  • $100 deposit required
  • Choice between 2 ceremonies
  • No travel fee within 30 miles of Minneapolis
  • Unlimited phone calls, emails or texts
  • Signing & filing of Marriage Certificate
  • Must provide 2 witnesses
  • No Readings
  • No Rehearsal

Sign Marriage License

  • $50 deposit required
  • No travel fee < 30 miles of Minneapolis, MN
  • Does not include exchange of rings or vows
  • Signing & filing of Marriage Certificate
  • Must provide 2 witnesses
  • No Rehearsal

Travel Pricing

  • > 100m – lodging day of
  • > 200m – lodging night before & of
  • Beyond MN / WI – Airfare, Lodging, Vehicle Rental

Add Ons

  • Rehearsal
  • Holiday Ceremony:
  • New Year’s Eve & Day
  • Memorial Day & Fourth of July
  • Labor Day & Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Eve & Day