Elopement and Signing Services

Frequently Asked Questions

PLEASE NOTE: All deposits are NON-REFUNDABLE.
1. What are your fees?
Our prices start at $150 for a simple elopement. Other prices can be found on this page.

We also offer a complete custom-written ceremony, starting at $599. This is the most personal, original, and creative ceremony, completely written just for you, and may include a number of special elements, such as a Unity Candle Ceremony, a Sand Ceremony, a Wine Ceremony, a Handfasting, or a Family Blending. The Custom Ceremony often requires an extended interview or interviews, and is followed by many hours of writing.

Other factors which may effect your ceremony fees: the style and length of your wedding ceremony, whether you require a rehearsal, the number of guests and attendants you are planning to have, the number of vendors (photographers, videographers, wedding planners, musicians, singers) we have to manage during the ceremony, and travel distance and time, etc. The number of guests does not directly effect costs; the complexity of ceremony elements and the number of members of your bridal party does, however. The larger and more elaborate your wedding as a whole, the more costs you will incur. This is why the “elopement” price is not offered to wedding groups with guest-lists larger than 10.

All travel is calculated via Mapquest or Yahoo! Maps at $1.00 per mile, round-trip. Yes, we offer discounts to Active Duty Military. Discounts do NOT apply to travel charges.
Please note: We no longer take checks on the day of the wedding. Cash only — to be paid to your officiant prior to your ceremony, along with your marriage license. Thank you for complying.
Check our availability for your wedding date.
2. Do you perform commitment ceremonies, holy unions, or affirmation ceremonies?
No. We can only perform ceremonies recognized by state law for those who bring us a valid state marriage license. This is not possible in the case of commitment ceremonies, holy unions, or affirmation ceremonies. (Of course, we are happy to perform Vow Renewals for those already legally married.)

3. Does this mean you do not perform gay or lesbian ceremonies?
This was a hard choice that we had to make when we started this ministry. However, aside from the legal aspect of this issue, our religious beliefs do not allow us to perform these ceremonies. We also do not perform commitment ceremonies or affirmation ceremonies for straight couples that cannot legally wed or choose not to do so. However, we are not here to judge you, your partner, or anyone else. We treat everyone with equal love and respect, regardless of age, race, creed, or sexual preference. We are all children of God, created in His image. Because of this, everyone will be extended the same hand of friendship, love, and compassion here, at our house, and at our ministry, New Covenant Ministries & Fellowship. As far as your heart choices, those are between you and God. If you like, we can refer you to a celebrant who can fill your needs. Or you can visit Colorado Commitment Ceremonies, which is owned by Rev. Nancy Cronk, a dear friend of mine. Her site is is loaded with resources. We also have a local friend, David Rister, who now does perform commitment and same-sex unions. Please email us for details. We wish you all the happiness and love in the world.

4. Who will perform our ceremony?
Chadwick Moore OCP will perform your ceremony, depending on availability. If you have a preference for a gentleman minister, please state your request and we will try to accommodate you.

5. What are your qualifications to perform weddings?
We are ordained non-denominational ministers, ordained clergy persons, and/or Notaries Public. You can read about our ordinations and commissions here. Please note: There is no office of Justice of the Peace in the State of South Carolina. This office does not exist here. Only ministers, judges, and notaries can perform weddings in this state. If someone is claiming to be a Justice of the Peace, he or she is inflating the truth, and is, in fact, a Notary Public.
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6. How do we reserve a date with you?
Because our clients have requested it, we have now begun accepting reservations online, as well as e-checks and all major credit cards through PayPal.
We have a simple three-step process, by which you may:
Check our availability for the date of your wedding.
Reserve the date of your wedding and select your ceremony format.
Pay your initial deposit, which will hold your date.
You will receive confirmation emails at each step of this process. After we receive your deposit, we can then decide when we will meet for your consultation, if it is feasible. (This may not be possible for out-of-town couples.)
If you are unsure about making a reservation, we will be happy to meet with you for a free consultation. Please call us at803-710-0098 and set an appointment to meet with us. Leave a message if we are not available. We will return your call as soon as possible. If your wedding is very soon, or if you want to elope, be sure to say that in your message so that we will not delay in returning your call. Be advised that we now charge a retainer fee (a 50% non-refundable deposit) to hold your date.

7. When do we get to meet you? What do we bring, other than the deposit?
Hopefully, we will meet within a day or two of your first call to us. We will arrange a meeting in a nearby coffee shop (we no longer have an office). We will explain how everything works, answer questions, discuss ceremony options, and discuss our contract. You don’t need to bring anything special, unless you’ve already got ideas about what kind of vows or ceremony you want. Your deposit is due at the time of the signing of the contract.

8. Can we write our own vows?
Absolutely. This is your ceremony. It should reflect your feelings for each other, your shared commitment, your love. If you desire more traditional vows, that’s wonderful. But if you’re inspired to wax poetic, then you should do so. We encourage our couples to write as much or as little of their ceremony as they want to. This will make the ceremony more personal and meaningful to you. (It will also save you money with your New Covenant Weddings Officiant.)

9. Will you give us a sample?
We will provide you with numerous samples, not only to select from, but to jump-start your imagination if you choose to write your own vows, after you have reserved your date with us and paid your deposit. (Sorry, we can no longer email samples to couples who have not reserved a date with us.)

10. What other things can we include in our ceremony?
There are countless rituals and ceremonies that can be included in your custom wedding ceremony to make it more meaningful and unique. Look for Sand Ceremonies, Wine Ceremonies, Handfasting, Candle Ceremonies, Glass Breaking, and other services we perform.
11. Do you provide other services?
We certainly do! New Covenant Weddings is the marriage ministry division of New Covenant Ministries & Fellowship, a church and education ministry, operating in North Charleston. We provide small group Bible Studies on various topics, as well as Book Studies; marriage and family counseling (Rev. Dr. Weydert is a Certified Pastoral Member of the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling, and holds a Doctorate in Pastoral Psychology from the Trinity Institute of Christian Counseling, an accredited institution); christening, baby dedications, child and adult baptism; small group worship services; memorial services and funerals; grief counseling; funerals; home visitation; hospital and nursing home visitation; prison ministry; pro-life pregnancy counseling; post-abortion counseling; and much, much more. We are available 24/7 for prayer-line. Anyone is welcome to call with a prayer need. Our financial resources are very low, but our spiritual resources are limitless. We want to help you, and we want to serve you for the Lord. If you are interested in starting a small group study in your home, call Rev. Weydert at803-710-0098 or email us. We love working with couples that we have married!

 

12. How far in advance should I book with you?
We have found this to be a problem with many couples. So many people wait until the last minute to look for an officiant. It is imperative that you begin to look for your wedding officiant as soon as you have set the date of your wedding. If you do not have a church, or do not wish to have a church wedding (and thus do not have a built-in officiant), then you must “shop” for your officiant. Visiting with an officiant should not be an afterthought, something you think about once you’ve got the flowers and the tuxedos ordered. Your ceremony is the central event of your wedding day. Don’t let it be the least important thing on your list. Check our availability for your wedding date and make your reservation as soon as possible.

13. What do I look for when seeking an officiant?
There must be a relationship between an officiant and an engaged couple. You have to relate to each other. You must feel that your officiant is someone that shares your views, or will, at least, set aside his or her views while serving you. You must feel comfortable in his or her presence. Is he giving you his undivided attention? Can you easily communicate your ideas with each other? Will he or she listen to your ideas and desires for your ceremony, or does he have his own agenda? What is her experience and training? How many weddings has he done? Can she give you references? Remember that your ceremony officiant may have another job — like running a ministry, a church, or even a mobile notary practice. His time is valuable, just as is that of all the other professionals you are hiring.

14. But what about last-minute requests? We want to get married this weekend! (Or tomorrow! Or this evening! Now!)
Congratulations! Your excitement is contagious, and we want to accommodate you in any way we can! We are happy to perform any last-minute, short-notice, surprise, weekend, holiday, even late-evening wedding that we are available to do. Call us at 803-710-0098 do not use our online reservations for rush service, and we’ll do everything we can to meet with you ASAP! Keep in mind that the shorter the notice, the less custom-written and personalized the ceremony. (You may want to ask about our Special Packages, such as “Classic Elopement” which is very economical.) Also, RUSH, evening rates and holiday rates may apply. (Between 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., a $25 surcharge will apply. If you require a spontaneous, middle-of-the-night ceremony, an additional 50% will apply.) Please, please! Remember to bring your marriage license and photo ID! YES, someone DID forget this and stalled the entire elopement! Don’t let this happen to you!
Please note: We no longer take checks on the day of the wedding. Cash only — to be paid to your officiant prior to your ceremony, along with your marriage license. Thank you for complying.

15. Where can you perform weddings?
We can perform your wedding at any location. (For just the two of you, we prefer to meet at the nearby lakeside park.) At the beach, in a beautiful, lush garden, in your backyard, in your home, in a fabulous hotel, in a cottage, at a bed & breakfast, even in a church! There are many extraordinarily beautiful locations in Charleston, especially in Historic Downtown — we have Southern Charm with tropical climate. The possibilities are endless, limited only by your imagination.

If you have a dream, we will do everything in our power to make it come true!

Note: We do not feel comfortable jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, nor are we certified divers, sorry! 🙂

16. What about legalities? What do we need? What do you do?
You need to acquire a South Carolina marriage license, and present it to your Officiant. The instructions are here. Your Officiant needs only a willing Groom and Bride, a place to stand, some vows, and a pen with which to sign the license. Really. It’s very simple here in South Carolina. Neither blood test nor witnesses are required. Follow the simple directions above. Present us with your marriage license on the day of your ceremony. We perform the ceremony. You both sign the license, your Officiant signs the license, and he or she gives you a copy. You go on your honeymoon. We take care of the paperwork from there.
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17. We want a non-religious wedding. Can you do that?
Yes, we are happy to honor your request and provide you with a lovely Civil Ceremony. It may be as simple or lavish as you desire. Do not think that because a ceremony is a Civil Ceremony that it must be cold and dry. On the contrary, we have created some beautiful, romantic, elegant Civil Ceremonies which were very loving, tender, even spiritual, and yet were completely non-religious. Please, do not hesitate to ask if this is what you desire.

18. What will you wear to our wedding?
We always wear very conservative attire to weddings, a suit of black, gray or navy as appropriate. A ministerial robe may be available.

19. Must we have counseling before we marry?
We do not require our couples to have counseling, but we do recommend it. Rev. Dr. Weydert can provide you with excellent pre-marital or marriage counseling. The costs involved are minimal: A one-time fee of $120 for the couple covers your initial clinical diagnostic profile and setup, and the rest is on a donation basis. For more information, visit our ministry counseling page.

20. How do you handle rehearsals?
We handle rehearsals quickly and efficiently. It usually does not take more than 1 hour to 90 minutes the day before the ceremony, depending on the number of attendants that you have. Please ensure that all of your attendants arrive on time. Keep in mind that the rehearsal DOES affect the costs of your wedding. The larger your wedding party, the more complex the rehearsal; therefore, this has an impact on your fees. (If you have a difficult-to-manage veil, or some other item that will require maneuvering and practice, please bring it with you so that we can work with it.)

20. Do you accept credit cards? Personal checks?
Yes, in fact, we do accept major credit cards and e-checks through PayPal. You may pay your initial deposit and make payments on your account here at the website. We will also accept personal checks for your initial deposit. Please, remember that any deposit paid to us is non-refundable. Your balance is due 2 weeks before the date of your wedding, and can be paid via PayPal, also. Any balances left for the day of the wedding must be paid in cash only. Payments made on the day of the ceremony should be paid to the officiant prior to the ceremony, and should be enclosed with the marriage license.
Please note: We no longer take checks on the day of the wedding. Cash only — to be paid to your officiant prior to your ceremony, along with your marriage license. Thank you for complying.