Q: "MOST IMPORTANT: HOW DO WE GET A MARRIAGE LICENSE?"
Getting Married in New Jersey?
Here's the information: Click here: NJ MARRIAGE LICENSE
Getting Married in New York City?
Here's the information: Click here: NYC MARRIAGE LICENSE
Getting Married in New York State? NY STATE MARRIAGE LICENSE
Q: "WE NEED YOUR FULL NAME AND ADDRESS FOR OUR MARRIAGE LICENSE APPLICATION.
Minister Mitchell S. Maged
2345 East Ashfield Court
Toms River, New Jersey 08755
Q: "WHAT IS YOUR FEE? HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE?"
I know for a lot of people that this is the first question. Please don't select an officiant just on price. You will most likely choose a wedding gown because you love it, not because it's the cheapest.
IN NEW JERSEY: My local full service wedding ceremony fee starts at $500 for weddings in the Monmouth, Ocean and Burlington County areas.
All other parts of New Jersey, my fee starts at $600. Of course, ceremonies that take place in Sussex County or Cape May may demand the higher fee.
If your wedding is longer than a 2 hour drive (From Toms River, NJ), I may request overnight accommodations. Do not panic. I do not raid the mini-bar or order 'in room movies'.
There is never an extra add-on free for things during your ceremony nor any "travel charges". I have an extra charge for my attendance at your rehearsal.
OTHER PLACES: In NYC, Long Island, Westchester, Rockland and Orange Counties, Eastern Pennsylvania and Destination Weddings.... Please call for a quote. (I have a valid passport!)
Q: "WHAT IS INCLUDED? ARE THERE EXTRA CHARGES? HIDDEN FEES?"
I never, ever have extra charges (ie,mileage charges, travel or parking). I never add on any charge for anything you'd like to include in your ceremony. (Except skydiving. I'm kidding. There is no way am I jumping out of a plane. ) When we set a price you'll know exactly what I charge. Just ask. Included are unlimited phone calls and emails. Of course if you feel more comfortable with additional meetings they can certainly be arranged, no extra charge. I'm also available for a chat on Skype or Facetime.
Q: DO YOU ACCEPT TIPS?
Like any other service provider (Maître D' ,waitress, valet, etc.) tipping is not required but always gratefully accepted.
Q: "DO YOU OFFER A LESS EXPENSIVE ALTERNATIVE TO A FULL SERVICE? WE JUST WANT A QUICK CEREMONY." or "WE WANT TO ELOPE BUT NOT TRAVEL, CAN YOU COME TO OUR HOUSE? OUR BACKYARD?"
Yes! Based on availability, I offer a "Show Up" service; an elegantly performed elopement service anywhere you choose. There is no preparation for these services, it's a standard and simple 10-15 minute ceremony. All you need is a license, two witnesses and a location! My fee for this simple elopement wedding (up to 20 guests) is $300 - $350 (depending on distance and availability.)
Q: WHAT KINDS OF WEDDINGS DO YOU PERFORM?
Civil- A civil ceremony is a ceremony that does not include any religious aspects. It speaks to the couple’s commitment to enter the partnership of marriage without mentioning any religious beliefs.
Religious- A religious ceremony can be traditional, depending on your faith, or include just a few aspects from your religion. Whether you are observant or non- observant, a religious ceremony is still an option.
Spiritual- A spiritual ceremony does not subscribe to one specific religion, but rather incorporates elements from several religions that are more spiritual and less conforming.
Same Sex- Same sex couples can now legally marry. These ceremonies can be civil, religious, spiritual, renewal of vows, or interfaith. You may start the process and apply online at your local town clerk.
Renewal of Vows - A renewal of vows ceremony is a beautiful way for couples to rededicate themselves to one another.
Interfaith - I excel at creating an atmosphere where religious traditions can be presented and neither side is offended. An interfaith ceremony blends traditions, cultures, or religious aspects to make everyone feel celebrated and included.
Q: "CAN YOU MARRY US THIS WEEKEND? THIS AFTERNOON? NEXT MONTH?"
Definitely, Maybe, Kinda, Sorta. There will always be couples with last minute plans. If your plans are flexible, mine can be too! Call me and I'll do my very best to help. All you need is a license and 2 witnesses. I can also marry you during the week or on a weeknight. I've married couple in diners, in restaurants, and even across their kitchen tables.
Q: "DO YOU ACCEPT CREDIT CARDS"?
Yes, I do accept cash, personal checks and credit cards (Visa, Amex, Discover). I do not accept chickens, goats or any other poultry or cattle as payment.
Q: "WHAT SHOULD WE BRING TO THE MEETING:"
I highly recommend that you bring a note pad and questions. So many times we forget the questions we wanted to ask. And, don't forget to bring the guy who proposed to you. He's important too. Also, if you'd like to hire me, please bring along your checkbook or a credit card. There is never any pressure to make a decision.
Q: "CAN WE CALL YOU?"
Yes, of course. I keep "office hours" from 12 noon to 9:00 pm 365 days a year. If I'm not available, PLEASE leave a message. I will call you back as soon as possible. Usually within a few hours. You can also text me at 201-410-6834.
Q: "WHY ARE YOU SO CHEAP"? or "WHY ARE YOU SO EXPENSIVE"?
The truth is: It’s a matter of trust and confidence with the person you hire. Not price. Do you want the cheapest minister to be a part of the most important day of your life? Would you like to remember your wedding ceremony because it was perfect, or because it was awful?
My mother taught me: "Always buy the best. You'll never be disappointed".
I believe that the bottom line is trust, recommendations and experience. I celebrate the best wedding celebrations possible. My goal is to make you comfortable, relaxed and a little less stressed, and to put everyone in the mood to party!
(More questions and answers below)
Q: HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD WE MEET YOU?"
I usually book wedding ceremonies at least 9-12 months in advance, but if I'm available, I may be able to marry you this weekend! My calendar for 2019 is filling up quickly and I'm currently booking some weddings for 2020. & 2021.
Please, be sure to call me while you're in the early stages of your wedding planning. I hate to say "I'm already booked.".
To be sure that I'm available I suggest that you contact me as soon as you've selected the venue where your ceremony will take place. Some couples book me up to a year (or more) in advance.
Q: "WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING?"
You may be surprised that this is my full time job. This is not a hobby. This is not something I do "on the side". I chose this 20+ years ago. This is my life's calling, my joy! I'm a minister year round performing weddings, funerals, new home blessings, etc. I work every day preparing ceremonies, meeting people and venues.
I'm available 7 days a week to talk to you. I try to return all phone calls within 12-24 hours. My office is open from Noon to 9:00 P.M. 7 days a week.
Q: "HOW DO WE PAY YOU?"
I ask for a deposit of 50% of my fee when you decide to hire me. I accept a personal check, credit card, or cash. The balance is due on or before the day of the wedding. I ask that on your wedding day your balance is paid in full (before the ceremony). I hate to chase after people during cocktail hour. If this is a last minute ceremony, I ask that payment be made in full (cash or credit card) at the ceremony.
Q: "WHAT IS YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS?"
Q: "DO WE NEED TO DO ANYTHING WITH THE LICENSE?"
Don't forget to bring it to the ceremony! Don't write on or alter your license once the Registrar clerk has issued it! Nothing. Just don't. After the ceremony I will mail the license to the town where the ceremony was performed. I'll give you a copy (the pink copy), and I keep the blue copy for my permanent records.
Q: "WHAT IF YOU GET SICK?"
I would have to be VERY sick to miss a wedding. (Knock on wood. I've NEVER been that sick). In the event of a dire emergency I work closely with two other ministers. I will be able to find someone great to perform the ceremony we have constructed together. In fact, if they have an emergency situations, other ministers often rely on me to help them. You will never be left at the altar.
Q: "WHAT IS PRE-CANA? DO WE NEED TO ATTEND IT?"
Pre-Cana is a series of classes required by the Catholic Church. You only need Pre-Cana if you are being married within the Catholic Church by a priest. I do not require any pre-wedding counseling or preparations.
Q: "DO YOU PERFORM OF SAME SEX WEDDINGS?"
Heck Yes! I do! New Jersey has passed a Civil Union law that allows same sex partners to have the same rights and benefits as those who enter into marriage. As of February 19, 2007, you can obtain a civil union license with the registrar in either partner's hometown. I can perform a legal ceremony and file all the necessary paperwork with the state. As a matter of fact, I have a page on this website (and a page on Facebook) dedicated to my serving the LGBT community.
Q: "IS A REHEARSAL REALLY NECESSARY?"
Couples have different feelings on this issue. Some couples find that a rehearsal is necessary and feel it is an important 'part of the process'. Some brides take comfort in knowing just what will happen. My opinion: If it makes YOU happy, I'm happy. Some couples choose to rehearse, but do it without the minister/officiant. (If the rehearsal is held on a day separate from the wedding, I do charge a small additional fee.) We can discuss your options when we meet.
Q: "WHERE ARE YOU WILLING TO GO TO PERFORM A CEREMONY?"
Anywhere! Over the past 20+ years I haven't found a place I was unwilling to go. I think of the 'unusual locations' as an adventure! Check out my photos and you'll see some of the wild places I've been. Including; Yankee Stadium, Boats, Private Yachts, Hot air Balloons, standing on a frozen lake, parks, zoos, Central Park, backyards, diners and Times Square! (I am NOT a big fan of roller-coasters.) I find that celebrating your marriage ceremony in a location that 'means something to you' will make it more personal. I'm a very 'mobile minister'.
Q: "HOW LONG WILL OUR CEREMONY LAST?"
Usually, ceremonies last 20-25 minutes. It all depends on you. Wedding venues schedule ceremonies for 30 minutes. Remember, they work for YOU. If you want a longer ceremony, they should be able to delay your cocktail hour until YOU are ready. You are the boss. Your ceremony can be as long or as short as you want it to be.
Q: "WHAT DO YOU USUALLY WEAR DURING THE CEREMONY?"
I generally wear a plain black minister’s robe, the clerical (clergy) collar, or a black suit. I can change my attire to suit your preferences. At times couples have asked me to wear a monk’s robe for a medieval themed wedding, and a Hawaiian shirt and lei for a bar-b-q wedding, I was Obi-Wan Kenobi for a "Star Wars Theme wedding. I also dressed as a nun for a Halloween Wedding. Beach weddings are fun but, trust me, you do NOT want to see me in a bathing suit!
Just tell me what is important to you and you will get exactly what you want. And don't try to sneak a peek under the robe.
Q: "DO YOU NEED TO MEET WITH US BEFORE THE CEREMONY?"
Unless it's a last minute elopement - Yes, please! It's an important part of creating the ceremony to fit your dreams. I like to say that "I never marry strangers". I find that constructing the ceremony together is a joyful and wonderful meeting. We laugh, we cry, and you'll know EXACTLY what will be said at your wedding ceremony.
If distance is a problem, we can 'meet' over the phone, via SKYPE or through emails. Email me for further information about SKYPE conferences.
Q: "CAN WE WRITE OUR OWN VOWS?"
Yes, you can customize your ceremony as you would like. I am also always available to help you with any details. I've had many couples share their personal vows during the ceremony. I'll give you some tips about writing your personal vows when we meet. (You don't have to be a great author to say what's in your heart.)
Q: "WHAT IS A UNITY CANDLE CEREMONY?"
A Unity Candle consists of one large pedestal candle that sits in between two smaller taper candles. During the ceremony the mother's of the Bride and Groom, or any other loved ones will light the two taper candles signifying your current family. You and your future spouse will take the taper candles and light the pedestal candle together, signifying your new family. (Note: I do not recommend candles when the ceremony is held outside).
Q: "WHAT IS THE ROSE CEREMONY?"
A Rose Ceremony is an older tradition where the bride and groom, after taking their vows, exchange a single red rose to each other. (see the sample on my Sample Readings page) It symbolizes their first gift to each other as husband and wife as well as an expression of their love for one another.
A portion of your ceremony can be added to include giving your mothers a rose as a gesture of your love and appreciation as well.
Q: "WHAT IS THE SAND CEREMONY?"
A Sand Ceremony is actually an ancient Hawaiian Tradition that most recently has been used in place of a Unity Candle, especially in beach or outdoor weddings where candles will go out. It holds a similar meaning as the Unity Candle. Two small containers of sand are combined into one large container by the Bride and Groom, unifying the two.
Q: "CAN WE INCLUDE A POEM, A SONG OR READING DURING OUR CEREMONY?"
"CAN WE HAVE ONE OF OUR FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBERS READ?"
Yes, you can add poems, readings or stories. I can also make suggests. I've been doing this a long time and have an extensive library to draw on. Please don't ask me to sing.
You can also have a family member read a poem or a bible passage. I'm very flexible when it comes to creating your ceremony - after all, it's your day!
Q: "HOW DO I GET A COPY OF MY MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE?"
The New Jersey license comes in 4 parts - one for the county, one for the state, one for you, and one for me, the officiant. After the license has been signed, you will receive your pink copy of the license to keep for your records. This pink copy is a receipt and not a legal document. I will keep my copy (the blue one) on permanent file. Within 5 days of your ceremony I mail the appropriate copies of the marriage license to the town clerk where ceremony was performed.
Approximately 10-14 days after your ceremony, you will need to contact the Town Registrar ( in the town where the ceremony takes place ) to get the actual certified copy of your marriage license. NEW JERSEY WILL NOT AUTOMATICALLY MAIL YOU YOUR LICENSE! (New York will. )