Here is a bride’s interview with Penny with Reynolds Treasures.
This should answer many of your questions.
I have been performing weddings for over 6 years. I started out doing it part time for friends and friends of friends, but in May 2011, I took a leap of faith and opened Reynolds Treasures. It has been one of the best decisions in my life! I no longer work for a living, but do something I truly love!
What types of wedding ceremonies do you perform?
Let me begin my answer with my personal beliefs. I view the vows of marriage as a personal choice made between 2 people. I honor and respect the couple’s traditions and needs without judgment and look past any differences in race, creed, situation or circumstance. That being said, I perform many types of weddings. As an ordained minister, I can perform a religious ceremony. As a notary, I can perform a civil wedding. Every ceremony is personalized to each couple to highlight what is heartfelt and important to them. Most couples choose a spiritual (also called semi-religious) ceremony format. Although the state of South Carolina does not recognize gay marriages, I will perform same sex weddings and mixed race weddings. People are people, and love is love. View the Charleston City Paper Gay Marriage Issue (featuring me)!!
What makes you different from other ministers/officiants in the area?
The main difference is personality. I want to take the time to get to know couples and make sure we are the right fit. A couple in search of a very formal officiant/minister that only performs one wedding ceremony and inserts their names, is not going to be a good fit for me. I believe weddings are a joyous occasion, and I am going to be smiling and having fun! I want to ceremony to reflect the couple’s personality and captures the love they share, with a personalized wedding ceremony. I am going to help the couple find a WOW factor to remember for years! I am not saying all other officiants/ministers are formal and stuffy, I am just saying that is not me. Couples tell me that they hired me because of my personality, passion, and positive reviews from previous couples.
Speaking of your testimonials, you have many on your website, Facebook, as well as weddings sites like WeddingWire, Onewed, and TheKnot. But could a couple personally talk to one of your previous couples?
Absolutely! I can provide the contact information of several newlyweds that had a weddings similar to what the couple is planning. Since I take the time to get to know my couples, I stay in contact with them after the wedding!
How long is the wedding ceremony?
Each ceremony is personalized to the couple. Average time is 20-30 minutes, depending on what the couple chooses to include in their ceremony. The length of the ceremony depends on many variables such as: will someone read a poem or sing a song; how many people in the wedding party, specialty ceremonies, etc. Couple’s are not charged based on the length of the wedding ceremony.
What do you wear during the ceremony?
I give couples a choice of my attire. I can wear a clergy robe, professional business, or business casual. Some brides do not want anyone wearing white or black at their wedding. If that is the case I will coordinate to the wedding colors.
Where do you perform wedding ceremonies?
I am willing to travel anywhere. Common locations include parks, gardens, beaches, plantations, churches, chapels, reception halls and private homes. I will travel to Greenville, SC without travel fee 3-4 times a year since I have family in the area.
What happens if you cannot perform a wedding ceremony due to an emergency?
Every one of your vendors should have a contingency plan! As we all know, life happens! Once I have been booked by the contract, I am bound to perform the ceremony. However, in the event of an emergency, I will contact a qualified replacement to perform your wedding ceremony. I stress “I will” because too often I am contacted by a bride saying her officiant/minister cancelled out on her with a week’s notice. I have it in my contract that it is my responsibility to find another officiant! In fact, in their emergency situations, other ministers often rely on me.
Do you require premarital counseling?
No, I do not require premarital counseling.
When is a rehearsal necessary and who should attend?
If the guest list is above 25, I usually recommend the rehearsal, especially if there is a wedding party and a guest seating area. The immediate family of the bride and groom that will be escorted and occupying the front row as well as the wedding party should attend. This way everyone can familiarize themselves with the wedding site and know their responsibilities for the ceremony. Optional vendors include the photographer, DJ/musicians, and Officiant/minister. The vendors are optional because they know weddings and when they arrive on the wedding day early, can make adjustments as needed. Often, couples do not hire a wedding planner, and want me to direct the rehearsal. By going over what each person needs to do, and practicing it, the wedding party is more at ease knowing what to expect. See my wedding packages for more information.
I really like that you care so much about your couples, not only on their wedding day, but continue the relationship! What packages or services do you offer?
I have designed several wedding packages to meet the needs of destination brides, or the bride’s that do not want to be overwhelmed with all the details. Every package can be customized! I, also, have many levels of officiant services to accommodate any size wedding.
This sounds wonderful! What is the process to hire you?
LOL. “process” makes it sound so involved and difficult! Simply contact me (email, phone, text, Facebook…) and we can schedule a phone chat or meeting to make sure we are a good fit. This is your wedding day! If we are not a good fit, I will be happy to refer you to another officiant/minister that will be a better fit! Once we determine that we are a good match, we will discuss your wedding vision and how we can work together. We will discuss the contract and when the 50% deposit is received, I will reserve your date on the calendar. We will then start developing of your personalized ceremony on your timeline.
What forms of payment to you take? Credit cards? Payment Plans?
I accept all major credit cards and debit cards as well as Paypal. Credit cards and Paypal will be charged a 2.5% processing fee. I also accept checks, money orders, and cash. I offer payment plans only in unique situations, and it has to be paid in full prior to the wedding.
Do you require a deposit to reserve the date?
I require a 50% deposit to reserve the date and time. The balance is due 1 week prior to the ceremony, as stated in my contract. I had a couple of awkward moments where the bride forgot the money at rehearsal (or there wasn’t a rehearsal) and then when we are signing the marriage license, I have had to ask for the balance. The bride doesn’t usually carry a purse, and the groom doesn’t have a checkbook…. Awkward. The couple feels bad and out of place, and so do I. In all cases, I received the balance within a week. However, I decided that I didn’t want to put the couple through the awkward moment. So now I require the balance 1 week prior, so no one has to worry about it!
Is it proper to tip the minister/officiant?
You are not required to tip any wedding vendor. However, if you feel any of the wedding vendors have gone above your expectations, you can give them a tip. I donate my tips to charity. The best compliment is a written testimonial with praise of my service. Here is more information on tipping.
Do you work with other wedding vendors?
The wedding industry is unique, in which we all have the bride and groom interests at heart. Wedding vendors love what they do (or should!). I have worked with many vendors over the years, and always welcome meeting new ones! If you need me to recommend a vendor, I can do that as well. When ordering one of my wedding packages, I have preferred vendors I work with that have proven themselves to consistently provide excellent service and quality.
“everything for our destination wedding”
Penny from Reynold’s Treasures was WONDERFUL! She took care of everything for our destination wedding in Charleston, SC. My bouquet was beautiful & the pictures came out great. Penny was very professional & offered an elopement package that was within our tight budget. Thank you, Penny! Dawn and Mark 2/14/13
More information available on wedding coordination and planning.