WEDDING SERVICES2019-06-19T13:54:04-06:00
If we wanted to get you a gift, can you point us in the right direction?2019-06-18T06:59:57-06:00

Head toward Scotland.

We have kids from previous marriages, can they be actively involved?2019-06-18T06:56:51-06:00

Yes, that’s a great idea. Let’s all get together and do something fun to get to know each other.

Is it cool to send you the deposit on Venmo?2019-06-18T06:55:10-06:00

It’s so cool it’s ACES! Here are the deets for Venmo: @michaelvenske .

A friend of mine mentioned that she photographed a wedding you officiated and said you are awesome. Wondering what your rate is and if you are interested.2019-06-18T06:39:34-06:00

Awe, your friend is too kind! I’m always interested in learning a new couple’s story. Rates vary. Let’s get a beverage face-to-face so I may better understand what you’re looking for and how I might be able to help.

We would love to see some examples of some ceremonies. Will you send us some?2019-06-18T06:32:59-06:00


We want to do a rehearsal on our own, can you help?2019-06-18T06:32:15-06:00


Will you wear a rainbow bowtie?2019-06-18T06:31:52-06:00


Our first plan fell through and now we’re scrambling. Can you do something personal in a short amount of time?2019-06-18T06:31:22-06:00


My job location is far from home. Is there any way we can meet this Saturday early in the morning?2019-06-18T06:30:25-06:00

Perhaps not this Saturday, but we can look at a future Saturday.

Will you email us the questions you asked during our meeting in case we want to discuss more?2019-06-18T06:29:08-06:00


Will you confirm meeting times with us?2019-06-18T06:28:40-06:00


Is there anything you need from us for the 1st meeting?2019-06-18T06:25:39-06:00

I always like to know the names of both individuals. It’s also nice if the couple shares their favorite photo or brings along a save-the-date card.

There isn’t anything you need to bring except your questions and ideas.

Where do we meet? At an office?2019-06-18T06:23:09-06:00

We can meet anywhere. The best spots offer food, beverage, parking, and the ability to have an open-heart conversation at a dull roar.

What do I need to do to book the date?2019-06-18T06:21:04-06:00

Ensure the date is available on the calendar, you both want to work with me, and the deposit to hold the date has been sent.

Can we just talk to you about wedding ceremony stuff and have it be chill?2019-06-18T06:19:10-06:00


We really have no idea what we’re doing with this, so any insight you can provide would be awesome!2019-06-18T06:17:56-06:00

Since 2008 I’ve been officiating weddings. I’m looking forward to sharing those insights with you soon!

Texting is much easier. Will you text us?2019-06-18T06:16:44-06:00

Yes. Thank you for sharing your preferred method of communication.

The (future) in-laws are paying. How can they get you the dolladolla bills ?2019-06-18T06:16:03-06:00

I accept cash, check, cashier’s check, Venmo, Paypal, Apple Pay, and in some circumstances trade services.

Just checking on prices and info about your services for officiating.2019-06-18T06:13:55-06:00

I’ll breakdown services and prices in person at the end of our initial consult.

Do you have this date available?2019-06-18T06:07:37-06:00

We are doing a very small ceremony in Stillwater. Only 7 guests will be attending. We are looking for a short but memorable ceremony. Can you help?2019-06-18T06:03:01-06:00

Yes, I can be of service.

Are there any good coffee houses we could meet at?2019-06-18T06:02:14-06:00

Yes. What are your favorites? Let’s compare lists!

Where are you located?2019-06-18T06:01:41-06:00

In the Minneapolis-St.Paul metropolitan area.

Which nights are you available within the next week or two after 6?2019-06-18T06:00:22-06:00

Thursday evenings are dedicated couple meeting times. If Thursday doesn’t work, we can find a day that works for everyone.

Do you carry your own microphones and speakers for the service?2019-06-18T05:58:58-06:00

I can provide microphones and speakers if necessary.

Are you willing to attend our rehearsal?2019-06-18T05:58:20-06:00

If it’d make you feel better, sure.

We’re looking for someone who can perform the ceremony, and guide us through that whole process, that we’ll be excited to stand up there with on our wedding day.2019-06-18T05:56:57-06:00

Hi, I’m a professional wedding officiant. Have we met? We should. Let’s talk.

Would you have any free time tomorrow or Wednesday to chat? Or early next week?2019-06-18T05:55:28-06:00

Short notice doesn’t work well for me. Scheduling meetings weeks in advance works best. If it’s not feasible to schedule so far in advance, let me know what works best for you.

We would definitely love to move forward with booking you. So what’s the next step?2019-06-18T05:53:28-06:00

Let’s get two dates on the calendar as soon as possible. If you’d like to ensure your ceremony date is safe, a non-refundable deposit is required.

Will you send us a quote?2019-06-18T05:50:15-06:00

After an initial meeting I will be able to provide a quote.

We’re looking to get married far away. What’s your travel policy?2019-06-18T05:49:10-06:00

Ceremony location > 200 miles away?

  • Add private lodging for the evening before & day of the ceremony

Beyond MN / WI?

  • Add airfare, private lodging, and ground transport

Mileage Rate

  • 58¢/mile roundtrip
What’s your process?2019-06-18T05:41:50-06:00

A couple meets with me in person (preferred) for 60 – 90 minutes.

    • This initial conversation is totally free with no obligation.
    • This is a time to ask questions, share a bit about your relationship, and get to know how I work.

The couple decides they want/don’t want to hire me to officiate their wedding.

    • A rate is agreed upon.
    • Hugs and handshakes are exchanged.
    • Two* future 90 – 120 meetings are scheduled. (* =  sometimes more meetings are necessary)
    • A deposit saves the couple’s date so no other couple can book officiant.

Meetings are held at locations of the couple’s choosing. 

    • A circle of trust is established.
    • Drinks and dinner are usually involved.

A rough draft ceremony is shared.

    • Feedback is incorporated.
    • A rehearsal may occur.

Then it’s time to get married!

Are you an LGBTQIA-friendly officiant?2019-06-18T05:09:03-06:00

Yes, with references available upon request.

My fiancé and I are looking to do a quick elopement for insurance purposes, will you marry us at our house?2019-06-18T05:07:54-06:00


How do you keep all of the couples straight??2019-06-18T05:06:22-06:00

Each couple is charged with its own special type of magic.

When are you free for dinner or drink or brunch?2019-06-18T05:03:52-06:00

The sooner we get dates on the calendar the better.

Will you share with us the ceremony you wrote?2019-06-18T05:03:03-06:00

Of course! 

Would you mind calling my partner? (I’m super busy at work!)2019-06-18T05:02:01-06:00

Talking with your partner is an honor. I’d love to give ’em a call. Sorry to hear you’re so swamped!

Do you have a phone number I could text you on?2019-06-18T04:59:50-06:00

Sure do! I’ll share mine if you share yours.

Are you religious?2018-02-17T17:38:31-06:00

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?2017-09-23T22:46:52-06:00

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?2017-09-16T14:10:51-06:00

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?2017-09-16T13:54:03-06:00

In Minnesota: 6 months.

In Wisconsin: 30 days.

Does Minnesota or Wisconsin recognize Common Law marriages?2017-09-16T13:46:01-06:00


(Minnesota abolished common law marriages in 1941.)

Do we need a blood test before we get married?2017-09-16T13:41:24-06:00

No. Blood tests or physicals are not required.

Who prepares the marriage certificate?2017-09-16T13:31:27-06:00

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?2017-09-16T13:40:02-06:00

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?2017-09-16T12:46:37-06:00

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?2018-01-21T15:33:59-06:00

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?2017-09-16T12:16:58-06:00

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?2019-06-18T01:01:14-06:00

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?2017-09-16T12:11:32-06:00

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?2017-09-25T22:21:22-06:00

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?2017-09-15T22:22:09-06:00

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

Can we write our own ceremony?2017-09-15T22:16:57-06:00

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?2017-09-15T22:06:07-06:00

Yes, please!

How many different ceremonies do you have?2017-09-15T22:00:48-06:00

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?2018-09-16T11:31:34-06:00


There are hidden discounts though if you know the password. I’m not joking.