Newlywed Letter:

Brian and Marie Swonger


It is always a pleasure to hear how my couples are enjoying their married lives together. Here is a note from a Brian and Marie Swonger, who I married in Idaho, but will hopefully be making a trip to Oregon soon!

It is hard to say that I am finally married and coming up on my one year anniversary with the love of my life. I was looking forward to becoming Mrs. Brian Swonger. We had a lot of ups and downs when it came to planning our wedding. We had most everything ready and planned for the upcoming nuptials, the only thing we were missing was the most important thing, someone to marry us.

We were looking on Google for a Pastor to marry us and we came across the name Pastor Sandi. We called and set up a meeting with her. We had a family emergency so we couldn't make our meeting. With all the stuff going on we still needed someone to perform the ceremony. By now it had been a couple weeks and we figured that she was already booked that day. We called anyway and to our excitement she was not booked. It was meant to be for her to be in our lives. We finally had the long awaited meeting and we just fell in love with Sandi. After leaving the meeting we felt so good about everything.

Our wedding day was coming closer and closer. Things went perfect. You may kiss your bride... Thought I would never hear those words. When they finally came I was so happy. We have had a wonderful almost first year. We have had our ups and downs, I am guessing like any other couple would. Trying to figure out life with another person and not just worrying about one person is a change. I believe we have become much stronger of a couple after we got married. We are planning a trip to the Oregon Coast for our anniversary. Going to the same places we went when first married. I love looking at our wedding photos and looking at what Pastor Sandi read during our wedding. It just makes me go back to that day. I am just waiting for the day that we get to call Pastor Sandi up and let her know when we are having babies and she can come back baptize our children. I know she will do a great job with that just like she did at our wedding.

Brian & Marie Swonger

Choosing And Working With Your Oregon Wedding Officiant

Seven points to think about


Your big day is approaching. Congratulations in advance on your engagement! While you're mulling over the dozens of choices and decisions you need to make well before your wedding day, you should take some time to research, choose, and meet with your wedding officiant. Your officiant will, after all, be just as important as the caterer, entertainment, and wedding location. And without him or her, your marriage can't be legalized!

Don't wait until the last minute to choose your officiant. You want to have time to ask around for recommendations, and find the person who you will feel comfortable in handling your ceremony. Use an Internet search engine to locate an officiant in your area. Most clergy will have a web site that you can check for specifics about how they handle ceremonies, as well as things they can or can't do--such as performing marriages in churches, or performing same-sex marriages.

Most Oregon wedding officiants offer a free, no-obligation meeting to discuss your ceremony. This gives him or her a chance to meet you and your partner well ahead of time, both in order to get to know you, and to get an idea of what kind of ceremony you want to have. Following is a list of seven things you'll want to cover at that initial meeting:

One. Wedding Location. Wedding officiants tend to work in specific geographical settings. Make sure right off the bat that your prospective person can travel to your planned wedding location.

Two. Legal issues. This goes hand-in-hand with the wedding location mentioned above. Is your prospective officiant legally qualified to perform a marriage in your chosen location? Ask to see a current license and/or ordination documents.

Three. Ceremonial elements. Are there any problems with things you've already decided you would like included in your ceremony, such as inter-faith elements or traditions? Will you want children involved in the ceremony, and, if so, does the prospective person work well with children?

Four. Personality. The wedding officiant is one person you and your partner should definitely "click with" from the outset. Does your prospective choice have the right mix of humor, delivery style, and creativity that ensures that you'll get the ceremony you're looking for? This is a crucial item!

Five. Background and experience. Is the officiant connected to a specific church or faith? How long has she or he been performing wedding ceremonies? Does he or she offer a list of past clients as references?

Six. Fee and payment policy. Don't forget that you are employing this person to deliver a satisfactory experience for you, your partner, and your invited guests. Before you agree upon a fee, be sure that all parties know what elements are covered in the fee. For example, will you expect the officiant to oversee the wedding rehearsal, and attend the rehearsal dinner? When will the minister want to be paid; is a check okay, or is cash required?

Seven. Backup. Does your prospective officiant work with a backup, in case they are ill or involved in an accident? Weddings are difficult to quickly reschedule, no matter what you've seen in the movies.

Once you've agreed to work together, get a working agreement in writing. This might seem overly formalized, but a written agreement will simply let you, your partner, and the wedding officiant have a shared understanding of the wedding date, specific items you want in your ceremony, a payment schedule for the officiant, and other items you worked out during your initial meeting. It acts as a safety net for all concerned.


You can reach Pastor Sandi by email

directly by telephone

(208) 724-5462

or through Facebook.

Thanks for visiting!