Fees, Policies, FAQ
Please review all of the terms in this page that apply to your ceremony. I DO Weddings by Sheri hopes you will have a wonderful experience with me. The rules are to protect the customer and service provider. Although most weddings go off without a hitch, luck favors the prepared!
Frequently Ask Questions
1.In which states and communities are you licensed to officiate ceremonies?
I am commissioned in the whole state of Florida to perform ceremonies or solemnize vows and to notarize documents. I will go to any state or country to perform a non-legal ceremony such as a vow renewal, commitment ceremony or divorce ceremony as long as travel fees and accommodations are paid for.
2.Can we read or hear your ceremony before our wedding day?
Absolutely! I usually include up to 3 ceremonies (after your deposit has been paid) to choose from based on the information you give me regarding the type of ceremony you want, your personality or beliefs. I also supply additional vows, readings, and unity choices if applicable. You also get a final copy on or before the wedding day as a keepsake. Express Ceremonies excluded.
3.Will you allow us to write our own vows?
Yes. I ask all clients if they would like or feel comfortable saying a few words one to another. In some cases I encourage members of the family or bridal party to participate in a short reading if they are comfortable doing so. It breaks up the ceremony and adds additional meaning to it. This is totally up to you and based on your comfort level. Remember I will be there to help you no matter what you choose.
4.Do you have a back up officiant on call, in case of an emergency?
Yes, I have 1 male and 1 female. My female officiant is Spanish speaking. I also regularly refer clients to other officiants in their area if budget due to distance is a concern or I am not available. Please be advised you will be subject to their fees as my fees are still lower than most officiants.
5.Do you normally attend the reception?
ONLY upon invitation of my couple and based upon my availability.
6.How long does the ceremony usually last?
You have a choice of the length of ceremony, again based on your individual taste, comfort level, budget and needs. I have ceremonies from 5 minutes to 45 minutes. I am available to do longer ceremonies. Premium ceremony price applies as minimum price point.
7.Will you marry couples of different faiths or previous divorce?
Absolutely. I am not hindered by my client’s beliefs. I will marry you as long as you have a legal wedding license and I believe you are doing it for love. I will not perform ceremonies for persons looking solely to get papers as it is a big problem in Florida. These arrangements usually end in divorce and/or broken homes and bitterness. I have talked to enough people on a daily basis getting divorced. My goal is to help balance the scale. I will also perform ceremonies for those that have already been legally married, vow renewals, commitment ceremonies, including same sex ceremonies. I do not judge you based on how many times you have been married or even if you are expecting. I am here to help you have a wonderful wedding ceremony.
8.What documents do I need to bring to our first meeting?
Always bring, your valid state id or passport. Your marriage license, if you have it at that time, your wedding survey, any ideas or questions, the love of your life, your deposit and a positive attitude.
9.How long after the ceremony do you file for the official marriage license?
No later than three calendar days after the ceremony. (The state allows up to 10 calendar days after the wedding). I also email the couple a scanned copy for use if you are trying to add your spouse on health benefits usually within 48 hrs of the ceremony. Most companies only give a 30-31 day window for Qualified Status Changes. *also referred to as Life Events or Mid Year changes.
10.What kind of pre-wedding counseling is required, if any?
There is no pre-wedding counseling required, however I am a big advocate of it. I can only suggest you do it. It is your marriage, your commitment, your decision. I am not licensed to provide it, but have access to an extensive list of providers that are accepted and approved by the courts right here on my website. In the state of Florida, they only require a four hour course. However there are providers that offer a series of classes that may extend for several weeks. Find what fits best for you. Taking a pre-marital course also allows you to get a marriage license without waiting for three days if you are a resident of Florida and discounts the cost of the license by about $32. More on Pre marriage courses.
11.How many weddings do you officiate a year?
I officiate wedding ceremonies in addition to working from home promoting books and authors. I average around 30 or so a year; this year will surpass that number. As my business grows, so will the number of ceremonies, however, I will not book so many as to lose the quality that should be given to each couple. I do not book more than two a day if travel is involved. Express Elopers ceremonies are the exception because they are usually very quick. I am always open to referral business.
12.How far are you willing to travel? Is there a travel fee?
I can only perform legal wedding ceremonies in Florida. So I can go as far as is feasible for both the customer and myself within this state. For non legal ceremonies, (vow renewals, ceremonial weddings,commitment ceremonies, etc) as far as my client needs me and is willing to pay.Weddings outside of the Metro Orlando area may have travel fees if I must travel 25 miles or more. I will usually only travel up to 100 miles to do a wedding in the state of Florida. Incidentals apply.
13.What is your event cancellation policy?
No money back policy for cancellation of ceremonies within 8 weeks or 2 months of the requested service if said cancellation is initiated by the customer, for any reason. Cancelled ceremonies from 9 weeks prior is subject to a cancellation penalty of ½ of amount paid not including the deposit. Full money back if I cancel and cannot find a replacement officiant.(Refund to be issued within 14 business days of cancellation if requesting money order or within 5 business days if by PayPal- Paypal fees are not refunded).Deposit is non refundable. The amount available to be refunded is any amount paid in addition to the deposit only. Unless supplies were purchased.
14.What is your customer satisfaction cancellation policy?
TBD. If you are married at the end of the ceremony or a ceremony has been performed, my obligation has been fulfilled.
15.What are your standard payment terms?
Credit cards are accepted thru Paypal invoicing or PayPal Now only in USD (fees are the responsibility of client} for any and all fees incurred, services requested and/or received from I DO Weddings by Sheri for your ceremony, no later than 48 hours prior to start of ceremony. Checks are never accepted. cash, money order, cashier’s check, are also accepted, but not preferred. Gratuity is always appreciated and is accepted in cash
16.What makes you different from other local wedding officiants? Why should someone hire you?
I love performing weddings, talking to my couples and sharing in the excitement of a romance that is ready to take that important step. I am easy going and let the customer stay in control of their ceremony. I give my couples the opportunity to create a personalized memorable ceremony and not just listen to a bunch of words that have no meaning to them. This process is more time consuming than just reading whatever I want for the customer , but the outcome is lovely and the couple comes away happy. I am flexible and helpful and many times go the extra mile to help with making their day as special as it can be. I offer alternative solutions to alleviate stress about budgets, and like to keep things simple, fun, yet professional. Your day and your decision to make a life long commitment to another is important to me. I will not take your day lightly because when you come to me for services it will hopefully last for a lifetime. My heart goes into each ceremony I perform. And Last, but certainly not least, My prices are extremely affordable for the quality of service and expertise you are provided.
16.What is your availability?
I am available currently everyday to perform weddings. To ensure you get the day you want please book as soon as you have your date set. I am booked months to years in advance for weddings and would love to be a part of your day. Ceremonies requested and /or started between 9pm EST-7am EST are subject to a $100.00 non refundable convenience fee.
FEES AND POLICIES:
Deposits: Are non refundable…No exceptions. Deposits start at $100.00 plus the Paypal fee
Holiday Ceremonies: additional $50 to choice of ceremony. Express ceremonies are not available for Holidays unless a special is running.(ie: Valentines Day 2010)
Late Fees: To help me keep my prices reasonable and affordable it is necessary for my time to be respected as well as the time of your guests. Any start time later than 15 minutes than time booked will result in a $50 per 15 minutes late fee charge. I will not start the ceremony until the fee is paid. Refusal of payment will immediately terminate my services for your event and void any refund of monies paid. You may change your start time up to 48 hrs prior to the ceremony date if I am not booked immediately after or before your ceremony. You may also pay a refundable late fee of $50 up front that will cover you for 1 additional hour of time if you believe you or your guests will be late. If your ceremony starts on time you will be refunded the $50 through Paypal within 24 hrs of your ceremony.
Cost of your Ceremony: My Ceremonies costs start at $150.00(USD). Please review the Ceremony page for price options. You are paying for a total time of up to 2 hours of my time to perform your ceremony, including arrival and departure, in addition to preparation time. This is usually inclusive of arriving up to 60 minutes early and leaving up to 30 minutes after the ceremony and getting license signed. Express ceremonies are a max of 15 minutes onsite. If travel time is extensive then that will be factored into the overall cost. The fees paid also cover the cost of doing this business: advertisement, website, domain upkeep, travel, in person consultations, emails, text messages, phone calls, the time it takes preparing the ceremony, editing it to fit your day, social media networking, the filing of your marriage license, and the associated postage and supplies for the filing of the license and indirect yet expected costs of dry cleaning, travel expenses, car maintenance (just to name a few things). Prices subject to change. With the average cost of ceremonies now between $500-$800 Nationwide. My prices are very economical and therefore non negotiable. If my prices are not in your price range please find a service provider who is.
If you are paying a discounted rate for any part of my services, or a charge is being waived, you void any and all refunds of money paid. This is non negotiable.
Non-Ceremony Option: This is not a ceremony. Its the basic legal words and the signing and notarizing of your marriage license. I will not dress up in a suit or robe or anything that costs me money to dry clean. This can be done sitting down. It is a brief 5-7 minutes meeting. This option has strict limitations.
Duties for your Dollars: Please do not expect me to do manual labor, such as setting up chairs, arches, helping dress you or your guests or bridal party. Nor will I provide food/refreshments, serve or seat your guests, cover any of your wedding costs, or waive any contracted fees for service. I will not do informal rehearsals for free right before the wedding or help you line up your wedding party or any such act as fitting for a wedding coordinator or planner if I am not paid and under contract to do so. Any pictures taken are also not available for free. They are for sale to you and your wedding guests and used at my discretion for the purpose of marketing my business. I may share watermarked ones for free for you to use on social media.
Contract:Refusal to sign a contract or return it does not negate any of the items listed in the contract. Acceptance of me performing the ceremony, verbally, by text, or by email, doing a rehearsal, signing the license and/or taking pictures binds you to all rules set forth in the contract including payment. If full payment is not made by the agreed upon due date prior to your first event, you are not booked and I am not under contract to show up. Please read your contract. If you have questions please ask. I have no hidden fees. During and after the consultation I restate, verify and verbally ask that you understand the costs of my services and reinforce that information in writing with emails, a separate Paypal invoice and receipt and quote to use for your records. Please be mindful that changes to what was originally agreed upon,(ie: changes to venue location, additional ceremony options, day of the week, and time changes) can result in additional fees being incurred.
Payment Plans: Please understand that I offer payment plan options as a courtesy and am under no obligation to do so. I understand that you may have many expenses when planning a wedding. If your wedding is several months away, then it is a good way to keep your budget manageable. I work out a payment schedule and present it to you by email to inform you when the payments will be due. Acceptance of the scheduled payments is binding. You may pay off the balance early. You may not skip or reschedule payments then ask to pay the payment in full inside of the normal required due dates (30 days prior to ceremony for non -Florida residents or 14 days prior to ceremony for Florida residents). Any rescheduled or missed payment dates are subject to a $25 late fee penalty for each late or missed payment. Late and missed payments are considered a breach of contract resulting in nullifying my requirement to show up at your event and nullifies any refund what so ever on any paid monies. Failure to pay timely also reverses any discounts applied and only payment for the full current priced services will be accepted if you wish to still use my services.
Booked: Contract signed and returned and all monies received and paid in full
Reserved: This is covered by your non-refundable deposit. This simply holds your date and time and does not allow me to schedule anyone else during your time. The time scheduled usually is 1-2 hours prior to and 1-2 hours after the start time of your ceremony depending on the location and services requested. Reserving your date means I will refuse other ceremony requests during that 3-4 hour period surrounding your start time. Making it impossible to recover any lost income due to the time being unavailable to other clients should you change your mind.
Clergy: I am now an ordained marriage minister. Please note I have had no theological training. I do not have my own church congregation or my own church where I can perform the ceremonies. I am also a notary. I will and do perform religious ceremonies that I feel comfortable performing and have no issues with providing prayers or religious readings during the wedding ceremony that are within my scope of knowledge. I will marry you and your soon to be spouse if all legal paperwork and my requirements for service have been met, paid for and booked. I will also perform civil, secular, spiritual, same sex weddings, and non recognized ceremonies such as vow renewals, divorce ceremonies and commitment ceremonies.
Rehearsals: Start at $100 for 1 hr of time and may include a minimal travel fee depending on location. We should be able to go thru the entire ceremony at minimum 2 times.This includes lining up, processional, and recessional. (everyone needs to be on time) If time permits or I feel that there is cause for additional practice, then I will request more than 2 trial runs during the same session. Your wedding is important and you have done a lot of planning, so it is important that all of the key members of your bridal party know their role with confidence.
Refunds: Cancelled ceremonies 45 days in advance of booked ceremony date are eligible for 50% of the cost of ceremony minus the deposit amount. (Deposits are usually $100) (Deposits for Holiday ceremonies are $150). Refunds are paid by PayPal, money order or cashier’s check only within 14 business days of cancellation.
Coordination: is no longer offered as a stand alone service. Please hire a licensed professional to assist with your wedding planning and day of needs. I do offer a one time 30 minute session included with one of the ceremony options to primarily assist destination couples and first time couples find vendors and suggest options for issues or questions they may have regarding their day.
Courtesy: Please remember at all times that we are in a business relationship and I expect to be treated professionally and friendly at all times leading up to and during your event. If you have concerns please relay your concerns to me directly so I have the opportunity to work with you towards a resolution. I will maintain a professional, yet friendly demeanor as well. I truly enjoy performing weddings and getting to know my couples. I am not in this just for the money. This is my sole source of income and not just something I do on the side like many officiants. Just like you would not expect to work for someone that does not pay you. the same courtesy applies to my business. I thank you in advance for any gifts or tokens of appreciation and future referrals received. Your day should be spectacular, meaningful and enjoyable for you and your guests.
Payment: Acceptable forms of Currency- US DOLLARS ONLY Acceptable forms of payment- CASH, CREDIT, CASHIER’S CHECK, MONEY ORDER, PAY PAL. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL CHECKS BE ACCEPTED. THIS IS NON NEGOTIABLE. You are responsible for the Paypal fees of 4.88 and up per transaction. If you have agreed to a payment plan, all payments must be made timely Remember, a $25 late fee will be incurred for missed payments and will be seen as a breach of contract and nullify my obligation to show up to your event and any money paid will not be refunded.
Gratuity/Gifts– Is not charged on any of my services but is always welcomed and extremely appreciated in the form of cash. I also love cake, so cake, cupcakes, cake pops, gift certificates to Sweets, Gigis or cupcake shoppes are also appreciated. Gift cards for Amazon, Xbox or Xbox Live memberships, Google Play and Barnes and Nobles are accepted and appreciated.
Vendor Disclaimer: As always it is your responsibility and decision to work with the vendor of your choice. I DO Weddings by Sheri will not be held liable for, mediate disagreements or become involved with any dispute you may have with the vendor you choose. Submission or suggestion of vendors for you to choose from also does not guarantee or endorse their availability, quality, prices or service to you. I do not get paid by any vendor to refer or push their services.
I DO Weddings by Sheri/ Sly Thomson Photography Disclaimer/Non-Liability Statement
Photography is available upon request and subject to contract, photographer waiver and prices in addition to your ceremony prices.
I am an amateur photographer, not a professional photographer. Please view pictures on my site to get an idea of the type and quality of pictures you will receive.
I DO Weddings by Sheri/Sly Thomson Photography reserves the right to use any and all pictures (taken by me, persons employed by me or volunteering to photograph weddings, events or background) for promotion of my business, website, and abilities without permission or compensation to the parties.
I DO Weddings by Sheri/ Sly Thomson Photography retain all intellectual rights to photos taken.
*Consideration will be given if the client(s)/customer(s) requests that their images not be used online.
TIMING: Please allow a minimum of 4 weeks for processing pictures and uploading them to the online gallery. Passwords will be assigned and you will be notified by email, text or phone upon completion of upload and/ or cd. Expect much longer process time in the height of wedding season June-October and January – March. Because I do most weddings and photography on the weekends I can be booked solid with weddings, photography appointments, bridal and vendor consults for weeks at a time.. Please understand this may increase your overall processing time. I will give your pictures the appropriate amount of time necessary to do my best work.
Sneak Peek Pictures-I will try to release a few sneak peek pics of your event within a few days of your event to share across social media and with friends. Real Wedding couples will see a Wedding Element Collage- 3-5 pics. You will be emailed the same or can copy it from social media. Most sneak peek pics will be duplicated. One without my logo for personal use and one will have my logo to share on social media. Please post logo’d or watermarked pictures across the internet to avoid your pictures being used maliciously or for free by others trying to sell them or claim as their own.
Photography Release is available upon request and included now in all instances that photography service is booked.
Permission to Print is also available upon request if your local Walgreen, CVS or photo-lab requires you to present a document granting you the right to make copies, print or create personalized items of your event. Please email me (if I have photographed your event) and I will send one within 48 hrs of your request by email. If you purchase a cd or usb of pictures, I will include one in the package I send.
Photography Fees, Photo Costs and Options
The photography fee pays for blocks of time on location to take pictures (when applicable-outside of performing ceremony) and/or additional person employed to photograph event. Cost of each photo or photo package covers cost of digital photo, packaging, and in post work editing, the supplies, programs and equipment purchase and maintenance of said supplies, equipment and programs used for taking and preparing your photos. Most photos will be available to review online and you will be assigned a password for your event. Intimate weddings will receive the photos by email and dropbox.
Intimate Picture Packages to add with your ceremony
$300 for pictures taken within an hour before and after your intimate or destination wedding ceremony 30-60 people or less- S/H additional if added to your intimate wedding ceremony
Add a few pictures to your elopement option
$175 for 15 photos
Photography Only Options great for small weddings
$450 for 2 hours ceremony only includes travel up to 30 miles
$600 for 3 hours on site of photography includes travel up to 30 miles
$850 for 4 hours on site photography includes 1 hour engagement shoot and travel up to 25 miles
high resolution pictures emailed by dropbox or for an additional 9.99 usb mailed
- Travel fees, accommodations and incidentals apply to locations outside of Orlando or events lasting 4 hours or longer in addition to cost of pictures
- Incidentals include Food, tolls, travel, airfare or gas, parking, event location entrance fees, suitable hotel accommodations, and any other unusual expense that is incurred in direct relation (ie: timing, travel, etc) to making your photographed event a success.
- Tax, Gratuity, Shipping, Handling, Processing and Postage are in addition to cost of pictures.
- *Shipping and Processing is $5.99 domestically for standard USPS mail for each usb
Pricing Culture: My pricing for ceremonies and photography are purposefully set at a price point that is considered affordable and lower than most industry standards to avoid unnecessary haggling. Lower pricing does not indicate lower quality. I try to charge no more than what I would be willing to pay for comparable service. This is my only source of income so I cannot afford to negotiate pricing. I by no means live a lavish lifestyle. The prices you see are the prices for the service offered. Prices and rules are subject to change.
Wedding content information provided on this site is used for recreational and inspirational ideas for planning your events. You shall not duplicate or copy the website, you shall not copy or duplicate or benchmark or create any derivative of the name I DO Weddings by Sheri for means of professional sales or business or to confuse visitors into thinking you are me or my business.
Blog Post Liability Statement:
Any information on any post shared on this website is to be taken at your own risk. I DO Weddings by Sheri, Sheri Thomson, Sly Thomson Photography or weddingsbooksnwine or weddingsbooksnwine.com are not liable or to be held responsible for any unfavorable, detrimental or damaging information provided on any post or page of this or related or linked to websites, products, offers or services. Once you have visited this page you are held to and bound by all rules and liability statements.
*All information shared on the Wedding Day Fit posts is not a substitute for your health needs or the care for or from a licensed healthcare provider. Please always refer to your own doctors and practitioners for health advice before starting any fitness, health, weight loss or nutrition plans. I DO Weddings by Sheri and any website links posted or suggested are not held liable for the accuracy of the content posted therein and are not in any way liable for incorrect or harmful information. By clicking links or following content information found on this site and any linked content, you are doing so at your own risk and are fully accepting the outcome of such be it good or bad. You are also solely responsible for following any terms of condition set forth on the linked sites whether you have read this statement or not.
Submitting your wedding to Real Weddings:
Currently I am only accepting weddings that I have performed. You will receive a separate questionnaire to fill out to provide content and give credit to the vendors you used and want to give credit to. Starting in June 2014 Real Weddings posts will be done within 6 months of the wedding. This way content and inspiration will be fresh.
Discounts: I do offer a 10% discount for active military personnel and military vets. Proof of military employment or past military employment must be shown to get the discount. Discount applies to booked ceremony price only.
Referrals: I also offer a 5-10% referral gift up to 30.00 to anyone that sends me a couple that books a ceremony or photography with me. Vendors are welcome to enter into a in-kind referral agreement.
FTC Affiliate Statement: Some blogs I post offering products and sales from major retailers and wedding suppliers are affiliate marketing. These posts usually have affiliate links that may compensate me a small percentage if you click on them and make a purchase. Advertisements on the sides of pages and posts are also affiliate links. Posts that are solely offering a product or service for the purpose of affiliate marketing are usually marked with a pink flower icon and a short FTC statement at the bottom. *Promotions are usually affiliate offers. Links and pictures in these posts if clicked on will take you to offers. If you make purchases after clicking on the offer, I may be compensated a small percentage.
Thank you for the opportunity to help you have a special day!
Sheri Thomson I DO Weddings by Sheri PO BOX 780395 Orlando Florida 32878 407-375-3258