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Questions & Answers

Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?

I’ve done over 100 weddings and absolutely love the premarital counseling I do with most couples. Couples describe it is a lot more fun than they thought it would be and invaluable in their preparation for marriage.

What do you like most about your job?

Helping couples grow in their communication, conflict resolution, stress management, financial concerns, sexual expectations, spiritual and social compatibility, etc. from a faith-based framework is undoubtedly the best and most rewarding part of my job.

What questions do couples most commonly ask you? What’s your answer?

“What will we do in counseling?” I help them understand that we first assess the relationship to identify both strength and growth areas then we dive right in – especially to the growth areas. I provide anywhere from 6-10 weeks of counseling and wedding planning during our 60-75 minute sessions, usually held in my office in Centennial.

If you were getting married, what do you wish you knew about being a wedding officiant? Any inside secrets to share?

I would probably ask about credentials, licensing and/or ordination. In other words, “Are you for real?” Colorado’s laws regarding those who can counsel and perform weddings are pretty loose, so I would make sure whoever helps you with these things is licensed, ordained and has a lot of experience. Your wedding day shouldn’t be left up to chance!

Do you have a favorite wedding story?

Usually the most memorable wedding stories are when things go wrong… the groom actually did forget the rings, someone got sick or fainted, the wind kept blowing out the unity candle. But one of my favorite weddings was at Arrowhead Golf Course when a group of deer wandered into the wedding right in the middle of the ceremony. Since the wedding party was facing forward where I was, they were puzzled by all the commotion going on behind them. When the deer got into the trays of wedding mints at the gift table, I had to have everyone stop and turn around so they could enjoy the good laugh we were all having! Thankfully Bambi and friends let us get on with it, but it provided a memory we’ll all never forget. I could also share several more serious stories about couples who really grew through our premarital counseling times… the proverbial “lightbulbs” went on and they gradually became more and more confident in their relationship.

What do you wish couples knew about you or your profession?

Something I try to make sure is clear up front is always that a wedding officiant is not a wedding coordinator. I’m not that guy on the walkie-talkie discussing place settings and limousines. I am “in charge” of the ceremony itself… from the processional to the recessional. Obviously I also do counseling before wedding day, but on wedding day there is usually a friend, family member or professional wedding coordinator who handles a lot of the details.

What advice do you have for couples looking to hire a provider like you?

Meet with me – or the prospective officiant – first and have a cup of coffee, get a feel for the person and imagine him/her speaking on your wedding day. I always want people to feel that we’re friends instead of me just being a “hired gun” marrying them with no real relationship. I think people can tell on your wedding day whether you just hired the cheapest person to get ‘er done… or whether you’ve built an authentic relationship with the minister.

How did you get into ministry?

Initially through athletics. I played baseball overseas with an organization that used athletics as a platform for sharing the Gospel message. Later I went on staff with this same organization and eventually became a pastor in the church environment.

Describe the most common reasons couples work with you.

Premarital counseling
Wedding planning
Wedding rehearsal
Wedding ceremony
Follow-up counseling

What important information should couples have thought through before seeking you out?

In my profile I mention that I am a Christian and faith-based in my counseling and wedding ceremony. If couples would rather not have “God” or “Jesus” a part of this process, I’m probably not the right guy to do it. By no means do I overwhelm the couple or the guests with “preaching,” but I do mention God and Jesus, I do refer to Bible passages and I do believe that having a strong spiritual connection is a powerful factor in successful marriages.

If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.

Rehearsal and wedding ceremony only = $300. Premarital counseling, rehearsal and wedding ceremony = $600. ** These fees do not include special situations such as out-of-town weddings, travel or overnight expenses. For example, if couple is getting married in Breckenridge and would like me to do the rehearsal the evening before, it makes sense for me to stay the night rather than return to Denver. This lodging fee would be above the fees for the wedding itself.

Tell us about a recent wedding ceremony you did that you are particularly proud of.

“Proud” is probably not the word I would choose, but I would say that I made an on-the-spot decision that was the right one to make. I had a young boy (11 or 12) pass out as he was standing during the ceremony. He hit the wooden floor of the chapel pretty hard and there was nobody who didn’t notice. Thankfully a man immediately stepped forward and cradled the boy in his arms and took him out… but I felt it needed to be addressed – and not with a funny comment. We instead paused the ceremony right then and I led those gathered in a brief prayer for the boy. We resumed and all went well. I found that more people commented on the composure shown by the entire wedding party than anything else.

Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?

In doing counseling and weddings, I believe the best continuing education is experience. As mentioned, I’ve now done over 100 weddings and in each one I learn something new. While I thought I’d never hear of a new or novel idea to incorporate during ceremonies, I hear them all the time!  I also completed my PhD in Homiletics in 2011.  Homiletics is a fancy word for preaching – which means, among other things, that I’m comfortable speaking in front of others!

What kind of assessment tools do you use in your premarital counseling?  Are they reliable?

The Prepare/Enrich assessment material I use in premarital counseling has been around for 30 years, has been used to assess over 3 million couples, and is the #1 relationship inventory and couples assessment tool in the world.