Frequently Asked Questions

How long have you been performing ceremonies?

We have been in business since 2011.  Some of our officiants are more experienced than others, but all are dedicated professionals who understand that most couples have never planned a wedding before.  We are here to help you to remember that this day is a celebration and you are meant to have fun!


Where do you perform ceremonies?

Our service area is always growing as we add more fabulous officiants to our team. Currently, we serve Southwest Idaho and parts of Eastern Oregon.


Which Church are you ordained through, and where is it located?

All of our officiants are non-denominational ministers ordained through the Universal Life Church based in Seattle, WA. We do not have a "brick and mortar church location in Boise; we are strictly a ceremony ministry.

Do you perform same-gender weddings?

Yes! We are happy to marry any couple who wants to tie the knot.

We don't want a ceremony; can you sign the Marriage Certificate without 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 ceremony must be "solemnized" by an empowered party, which means it must be observed and officiated by a recognized authority under the law.  Arbor Vine Ceremony Officiants sign the marriage license certifying that the rites of matrimony between the couple were solemnized "in the presence of."  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 good news is, the marriage ceremony itself can be short and sweet.  Legally the Officiant only needs to ask the couple as 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?

Typically 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 typically informal ceremonies with few guests; usually just the officiant, the couple, and maybe a couple of witnesses. Your officiant will schedule about 30 minutes for your elopement; arriving 10 minutes before the scheduled ceremony time and allowing 20 minutes for the ceremony itself.  Classic Wedding ceremonies take longer because you are gathering more people together.  Your officiant will typically schedule 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 15 minutes before the rehearsal time and schedule 60 minutes for the rehearsal.  Please make sure everyone is prompt so that you can run through all of the components of the ceremony a couple of times.

Can we personalize our celebration?

Yes – we encourage it! Your officiant will ask you questions and get to know you so they can draft a ceremony that is reflective of your personalities, beliefs, and relationship. After the draft is complete, your officiant will email you a copy for you to edit if you wish to do so. We want your ceremony to be just right, and are happy to work with you on the draft until it’s perfect.


My fiancé and I come from two different religious backgrounds. Are you able to help us?

Absolutely.  Creating a customized ceremony for you that blends your religious traditions while remaining true to both is what we do best.


We would like to have a religious wedding ceremony, are you able to do that?

Yes, all of our wedding officiants are ordained, non-denominational ministers who perform both religious and secular ceremonies.

I don’t want to mention God, religion, or anything spiritual in my ceremony. Is that okay?

Definitely! While our wedding officiants are non-denominational ministers, we are happy to work with you to create a custom ceremony that is authentic to you and your beliefs, whatever they may be.


Can we involve our children in the ceremony?

Of course! We have options designed explicitly for blended families.

How do we book you?

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.  Please notify your officiant within ten days if you decide not to use Arbor Vine for your celebration agreement so that we can cancel it and make your officiant available for another couple who may want to get married on the same date.


How much do you charge?

Our rates depend on the type and location of each ceremony but typically start at $100 for the Boise-Meridian area.  Please see our pricing page for more information.


Do you charge separate travel fees?

We love to travel! 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 greater than two hours (distances greater than 100 miles one-way), lodging is needed for the Officiant.  Also, note that if you have selected a venue that does not offer free parking, or requires and entrance fee you are responsible for covering those fees.


What if I have to change my start time or ceremony date?

While we try to be as flexible as possible in accommodating changes, we cannot guarantee our availability for a date or time change. Please let us know as soon as possible if you plan to change your wedding date or time so we can try to find a solution for you.


Will you come to our wedding rehearsal?

Yes, the rehearsal must be included in the initial agreement to ensure officiant availability.


Do you allow pictures during the ceremony?

Yes, of course! We have heard that some ministers can be touchy about when and how pictures are taken during the ceremony, but all of our wedding officiants are happy to work with your other vendors. Your photographer and videographer can shoot whenever and however they would like.


My friend wants to marry us. Is that legal?

Only if your friend is an Ordained Minister or another allowed person as designated under your state’s laws. We would encourage you to hire a professional wedding officiant; we perform several weddings every year for couples who had a friend realize they weren’t up to the task and “chicken out” a week before their wedding. We are happy to help with these types of circumstances as long as we have availability. You should do your research and make sure you feel comfortable taking a chance using any non-professional vendor for your wedding – any wedding pro will tell you it’s not as easy as it looks!


We’re already legally married (but no one knows). Can you still perform a ceremony?

Yes, we do vow renewal ceremonies for many couples each year. No one will know the difference between this type of Vow Renewal Ceremony and a Traditional Wedding Ceremony unless you choose to tell them!


We want to get married but don’t want to do a big wedding, or go to the courthouse. What are our options?

We have several options available depending on where you would like to be married, from in-home ceremonies to outdoor elopements. Please contact us and let us know you are interested in something simple, and we can help with a few ideas!


Do you stay for the reception?

Each of our couples chooses whether to invite their officiant and spouse/guest to the reception; it is certainly not required. If you would like to ask your officiant to the dinner, please extend a formal invitation to them directly, and they will let you know if it’s possible for them to stay.


I know we tip other vendors, but what about the officiant?

Gratuities are never expected but are always appreciated.


What if I have another question you haven’t answered here?

That’s an easy one! Email us using the contact us form, and we will be happy to answer any question you may have. We look forward to hearing from you!