Q: I need your address for the marriage application.
My mailing address is:
Reverend Joseph Schmidt
34 Gatehouse Road
Bedminster, NJ 07921
Q: Do I need to do anything with my marriage license?
Don't forget to bring the marriage license to the ceremony! Don't write on or alter your marriage license once the registrar clerk has issued it! Once the ceremony is completed, I will file the license, give you the pink copy, and keep a copy for my permanent records.
Q: After the ceremony, how do I get an official copy of my marriage certificate?
As your wedding officiant, I will mail your marriage license to the local Registrar in the town where you were married. You will need to contact the Registrar of Vital Statistics in the town in which you were married for copies. I will provide you with that contact person's name and phone number. They will let you know what information they need to send you a copy of your certificate and what the fee is.
Q: How about a "just show up wedding" referred by Local Registrars?
I am registered with many municipal registrars throughout New Jersey. I offer a simple and easy wedding ceremony. You will need a marriage license, 2 witnesses and an appointment. You can call me at 201-424-5143 and I am usually available with very little advance notice. These weddings are performed at your chosen location and last approximately 10-15 minutes. The fee for this service is between $150 and $250 - depending on my travel time.
Q: Can you perform a Civil Union for same-sex partners?
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.
Q: What is Pre-Cana? Do I 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.
Q: What happens if you cannot perform my ceremony due to an emergency?
I work closely with six other Ministers, so in the event of a dire emergency, I will be able to find someone available with experience and a personality that will suit your style, that will be able to perform your ceremony. In fact, in their emergency situations, other ministers often rely on me. In my years of performing weddings, I very rarely have had an emergency situation that prevented me from officiating a wedding.
Q: How long will the ceremony last?
Most ceremonies last approximately 20-30 minutes but the length depends on what wedding rituals you want in your ceremony. Of course, if you have multiple readings or poems, a Unity Candle, etc. your ceremony will be longer. Your ceremony can be as long or short as you want it to be.
Q: When will you arrive for the ceremony?
Depending on my schedule, I will arrive 60-90 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. This is done so that I can take care of all pre-ceremony set-up with the venue host or wedding planner. During this time, your witnesses will need to sign the marriage license.
Q: What do you wear during the ceremony?
I generally wear a black judge's robe over a suit, but I can change my attire to suit your preferences. My attire has no religious affiliation to it.
Q: Can I write my own wedding vows/ceremony?
You can customize your ceremony as you would like. I am also always available to help you with any details and provide you with a diverse selection of material to choose from for your ceremony. I've had many couples share their personal vows during the ceremony.
Q: What is a Unity Candle?
A Unity Candle consists of one large pedestal candle that sits in between two smaller taper candles. During the ceremony the Mothers of the Bride and Groom, or any other loved ones will light the two taper candles signifying your current family. You and your fiancé will take the taper candles and light the pedestal candle together, signifying your new family. The ceremony can have a religious or non-religious meaning. There are different meanings for the Unity Candles.
Q: What is a 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. It symbolizes their first gift to each other as husband and wife as well as an expression of their love for one another. A section can be added to include your mothers each receiving a rose as well.
Q: What is a Sand Ceremony?
A Sand Ceremony is a Hawaiian Tradition that can be used in place of a Unity Candle, especially in beach weddings or outdoor weddings where candles are often difficult to use. 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: What are the fees for your services?
Fees include all of the following services and generally run between $300-$500 (depending on time, travel, etc)
Creating the ceremony
Performing the wedding ceremony
The official filing the marriage license with the local municipality
Q: Where have you performed wedding ceremonies?
As a minister, I have performed countless ceremonies throughout NJ, NY and PA.
Some of my “regular” wedding venues include:
Bridgewater Manor, Bridgewater, NJ
Madison Hotel, Morristown, NJ
Bernards Inn, Bernardsville NJ
Grand Colonial, Clinton, NJ
Palace, Somerset, NJ
Old Mill Inn, Basking Ridge, NJ
Liberty House, Jersey City, NJ
Martinsville Inn, Bridgewater, NJ
Primivera Regency, Stirling, NJ
Holly Hedge Estate, New Hope, NJ
Imperia, Somerset, NJ