Frequently Asked Questions
How long have your Arbor Vine officiants been performing ceremonies?
Arbor Vine was established in 2011 by Reverend Laura Wester. Over the years, she has recruited other officiants, so some are more experienced than others, but all are dedicated professionals. We understand that most couples have not planned a wedding before; no worries, we are here to help!
Where are you located, and where do you perform ceremonies?
We are in Boise, Idaho. As we add more officiants to our team, we will expand the number of counties to which we travel. Currently, we serve Southwest Idaho and parts of Eastern Oregon. Because we are a Mobile Ministry, we travel to your venue of choice.
Which Church are you ordained through, and where is it located?
All Arbor Vine Officiants became ordained through Universal Life Church based in Seattle, WA, which means that we are non-denominational. We do not have a "brick and mortar" church location in Boise; we are a Mobile Ministry.
Do you perform same-gender weddings?
Yes, Love is Love.
We don't want a ceremony; can you sign the Marriage License without performing one?
No. Please understand that this is not a refusal on our part but a legal issue. So that your union is legally recognized, your marriage must be "solemnized" by an empowered party, which means a ceremony must be observed and officiated by a recognized authority under the law. When an Arbor Vine Ceremony Officiant signs the marriage license, we are certifying that the rites of matrimony between the couple were solemnized "in the presence of." The "rites of matrimony" means a short ceremony, and the law interprets "in the presence of" to mean the couple, the Officiant, and the witnesses (where required) must be physically present without the use of any electronic means such as Skype, telephone, or other video communication. The marriage ceremony itself can be short and sweet. Legally the Officiant only needs to ask the couple a Statement of Intent; this is commonly known as the "I do's" (do you want to be married to one another).
How long is a typical ceremony?
Our wedding and vow renewal ceremonies are about 15 minutes long. The number of people in your wedding party and additional components such as Readings and Unity Ceremonies can add to the length of the ceremony.
How much time will you allocate for our ceremony?
It depends on the type of ceremony. Elopements are informal and small, usually just the Officiant, the couple, and maybe a couple of witnesses. Your Officiant will schedule about 15 minutes for your elopement, arriving 5-10 minutes before the scheduled ceremony time and allowing 15 minutes for the ceremony itself. Classic Wedding ceremonies take longer because you are gathering more people together. Your Officiant will typically plan 2 hours for your celebration, arriving 30 minutes before the scheduled ceremony time to start the paperwork and allowing up to 1.5 hours in anticipation of unforeseen delays. Vow Renewal times vary depending on the gathering you've planned. Your Officiant will arrive 15 minutes and, based on your needs, will schedule 30 to 60 minutes for your ceremony. Rehearsals help calm everyone's nerves for the big day. Your Officiant will arrive a few minutes early and plan 60 minutes for the Rehearsal. Please make sure everyone is prompt; this will allow you to practice all of the marriage ceremony components a couple of times.
We want our ceremony to feel more personal; do you allow modifications to your prewritten ceremonies?
Absolutely. During your consultation is when you and the Arbor Vine Officiant will get to know each other. This way, we can craft a ceremony that fits your personalities, values, and your relationship.
We come from different religious backgrounds and want to incorporate both into the ceremony; do you do that?
Yes. We consider that as part of the services we provide. We want your ceremony to be as unique as the two of you.
We want a formal religious wedding ceremony; do you do that?
Yes, we can. However, if you have a specific religion in mind, we recommend getting in touch with clergy from that religion. All our wedding officiants are ordained, but we are non-denominational clergy who perform religious and secular ceremonies.
We don't want to mention God, religion, or anything spiritual in our ceremony; is that okay?
Yes. Our officiants are non-denominational clergy and will work with you to create a custom ceremony that is personal to you and your beliefs.
We want to involve our children in the ceremony; do you do that?
Yes! We have ceremony options specifically written for blended families.
We want to use Arbor Vine for our ceremony; how do we book your services?
During your consultation, your Officiant will gather the information that will allow them to create a Quote and Service Agreement — accepting the Quote and Service Agreement books your Officiant.
What are your rates?
Our rates depend on the type and location of each ceremony but typically start at $175 for the Boise-Meridian area.
Do you charge separate travel fees?
We enjoy traveling here in Idaho and to parts of Oregon, but yes, the final price for ceremonies requiring your Officiant to commute more than 45 minutes, one-way, from their home, will factor in a Travel Fee. When Arbor Vine facilitates the Rehearsal for events requiring one-way travel times more than two hours (distances greater than 100 miles one-way), your Officiant needs lodging. Also, note that if you have selected a venue with an entrance fee, parking charges, or does not have free parking available requiring your Officiant to use metered or a parking garage, you are responsible for covering those fees.
We need to change our ceremony time or ceremony date due to COVID or other extenuating circumstances; what can you do for us?
COVID has challenged everyone! We work hard to accommodate changes, regardless of the reasons. Please understand we cannot guarantee our availability for a date or time change but will work with you to find the best solution.
Does the Arbor Vine Officiant attend the Rehearsal?
Yes. Part of the services we provide with a custom, more formal ceremony is facilitating the Rehearsal. We will include it in the initial agreement to ensure officiant availability.
Does Arbor Vine allow photography during the ceremony?
Yes. We work with your photographer and videographer to make sure they can get the perfect shots of your ceremony.
We have a friend that wants to perform our ceremony for us. Is that legal?
Only if your friend is an Ordained Minister or another allowed person as designated under your state's laws. We recommend that you do your research and make sure you feel comfortable with whichever option you choose.
We are legally married, but we didn't tell anyone. Can you still do our ceremony?
Yes. We refer to that as a vow renewal. However, your guests will not know the difference between this type of Vow Renewal Ceremony and a Traditional Wedding Ceremony unless you want them to.
We don't want a big wedding, but the courthouse feels impersonal. What do you suggest?
Because we are a mobile ministry, we have much flexibility. Please contact us, and we will help you discover what works best for you.
Does the Officiant stay for the reception?
You may invite your Officiant to stay for the reception. Please extend a formal invitation to them directly, and they will let you know if they can attend the reception.
What is the protocol for tipping our Arbor Vine Officiant?
Thank you! Gratuities are never expected but are greatly appreciated; we recommend placing payment in a Thank You card for your Arbor Vine Officiant.
I have more questions but don't see them in your FAQ.
Please use the Contact Us form, and we will gladly answer your additional questions. We look forward to working with you!