Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are your qualifications and experience to perform weddings?

All of Lyssabeth’s wedding officiants are licensed to perform weddings through the Universal Life Church-an interfaith and nondenominational ministry. Because the ULC embraces diversity of beliefs, it allows us to perform a wide variety of ceremonies–from the very secular to the very religious. As Maureen has added officiants to her staff, she has sought out individuals who are well-spoken, creative, energetic and calm in the midst of chaos! For the experience and qualifications of each officiant, see the About Our Officiants page of our website.

2. Where does the name “Lyssabeth” come from?

“Lyssabeth” is the hybrid name of Maureen’s two daughter’s Bethany and Alyssa. Now in their 20’s, they seemed to have turned out a-okay, so Maureen decided if she named the business after them, she might get lucky and achieve the same success. So far, it’s working–Lyssabeth’s is in its eighth year of operation and continues to flourish!

3. Will you perform ceremonies for same-sex couples?

Of course! Oregon recognizes legal domestic partnerships and if a gay or lesbian couple would like to celebrate their union with a ceremony of commitment, then the same resources are available to them.

4. Do you perform weddings outdoors or in unusual locations?

Since creativity and the expression of your personal values and interests are the name of the game, we will work with you to provide a memorable and “uniquely you” wedding ceremony experience. That includes your location. We’ve performed ceremonies on Jeep trails, at the beach, in a hot air balloon, on a mountainside, on a houseboat and even at a baseball field. While there are some venues where we wouldn’t be able to help we’d certainly be able to accommodate many requests.

5. What do I need to do to legally change my last name after we are married?

After completion of the ceremony (or as part of it) the bride, groom and the officiant will sign the marriage license. The officiant will then return it to the County Clerk and Recorder. (Officiants are obligated to file this document firsthand or by mail). The Clerk and Recorder will then certify the document, record the marriage, and return the marriage certificate to you in the mail. You will need copies of this document for changing your name on credit cards, bank accounts, etc. You will need the original for your driver’s license, passport and social security card. Also, if you are to be included in your spouse’s health insurance plan, do not assume that this is automatic; you will need to enroll and produce evidence of the marriage (either the original or a copy) before you will be covered. Lyssabeth’s offers a change-of-name kit free to all brides who book a Premium Custom ceremony ($9.95 to those who book any other ceremony level).

6. How much advance notice do you need in order to book a wedding?

It depends. Because we are a group of officiants, chances are good that you will be able to find one of us having availability–even if you are giving very short notice. If you are seeking a Premium Custom ceremony, we suggest booking at least six months in advance so that we can get to know you, although we can make it happen with less time than that. Just remember that we cannot hold your date and time without the deposit. Most couples book with us anywhere from six to 12 months in advance, and we try to be flexible in accommodating you.

7. How long is the ceremony?

A Classic or Premium Custom Ceremony can range from 15 minutes to 40 minutes, depending on the number of components added. You can get a lot of creativity and innovation into a 20 to 25 minute ceremony! Anything longer than that would be too lengthy for most folks. You will want to get to the post-ceremony party, after all! Once we write your ceremony, your officiant will give you a good idea of what to expect in terms of time.

8. What do you wear?
Whatever you want us to wear! It’s all about what you want to reflect. For many weddings, we will wear a robe (you can choose from a selection of robes with or without religious connotations). If you do not wish us to wear a robe, then we will wear appropriate, subdued wedding attire, or anything else you’d like.

9. Do I have to have witnesses?

Two witnesses of legal age are mandatory in the state of Oregon.

10. Do you charge travel fees?

When we suggest an officiant match for your Classic Custom or Premium Custom ceremony, we take the following into consideration: your preference (of course!) availability, and location. We do not charge per mile travel fees for travel of under 100 round-trip miles from the officiant’s home to the ceremony site. Beyond that, we charge $.50 per mile. We make every effort to match you with the officiant closest to your site. If there are travel fees incurred, you will know the exact amount before you commit to booking us.

Note: the above applies to customized ceremonies only. Elopement ceremonies are only offered within 30 round-trip miles of the officiant’s home office and Basics within 50 round trip miles. If you’re interested in the Elopement or Basic, then contact us to determine if we offer those ceremony levels in your area.

11. So, no travel fees–are there any other additional charges?

Besides the special pricing for outlying areas noted in # 10, the only extra charge you might incur is if your ceremony does not start on time. We allow a 15 minute grace period (10 minutes for elopements) after which we do charge additionally for each 15-minute increment of time that is delayed ($25 for each 15 minutes or portion thereof). While this rarely happens, you will want to consider your time choice carefully when booking with us. Be sure your site coordinator is aware of this, as well. Being timely is what allows us to keep our prices reasonable!

If you chose to split your payment to us (i.e. make a minimum $100 deposit with the balance due two weeks before your wedding) then we charge an additional $10 processing fee.

The only other fee you might incur is the rare occurence where your ceremony is in a location that has an admission fee (eg. a state or national park, a botanic garden, etc.) or if there are unusual costs incured by the officiant to acccess your location (eg. a ski lift ticket)

12. Can I write my own wedding vows?

Yes–for the Classic and Premium Custom ceremonies. For the Premium, we will work with you to craft your vows, if you like. For the Classic Custom, we will be happy to insert your own personal words into the ceremony, as long as you supply them to us. As long as they are of similar length to the vows from Lyssabeth’s own selections and are used as a substitute for the ones we offer, then we will not count your own personal vows toward your three Classic Custom additions.

13. If I chose a Classic Custom ceremony and I like parts of one choice for a component in my ceremony and parts from another, can we make a hybrid from the two?

Of course! If we can “cut and paste” it, it can be done!

14. Can I have a Basic or Elopement ceremony and include my own vows or some minor additions?

We encourage you to have us perform the Basic or Elopement Ceremony as they are written. The reason that the price for these ceremonies is so low is that we can perform them without making changes. If, however, you have written your own vows and they are of similar length to the ones in the ceremony, you can email them to your officiant and ask to substitute them for our pre-written vows. If you want to add anything else to your ceremony, please contact us for special pricing.

15. I don’t fit completely into any of your ceremony service levels. I’m in between two. Do I have to upgrade to get all the things I want even if the higher level contains things that I don’t want?

No. Call Maureen and tell her the elements you want included and she’ll quote you a price that is between the two levels.

16. What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept major credit cards through Google Checkout. You may also pay in cash or check, but remember that the date is not guaranteed until payment is received. Paying by credit card with Google Checkout ensures that you are placed on the officiant’s calendar right away. We can also accept credit card payments directly over the phone, if you prefer.

17. Do you have a location in which you perform ceremonies?

We do not have a location, but will be happy to marry you anywhere–at a park, your home or any other place of your choosing. Call us if you want some suggestions for locations.

18. Do you stay for the reception?

Although we appreciate the invitation, we generally do not stay for the reception. This helps us to keep our costs down.

19. I don’t feel I need everything that comes with a Premium Custom Ceremony, but I really want my officiant present at my rehearsal and only the Premium package includes that. Is there any way to add a rehearsal to another level of ceremony?

Yes. You may add a rehearsal to a Basic Ceremony for an additional $100 and to a Classic Custom Ceremony for an additional $125.

20. Do you have a location in which you perform ceremonies?

We do not have a location, but will be happy to marry you anywhere–at a park, your home or any other place of your choosing. Call us if you want some suggestions for locations.

21. There are so many of you and we want our officiant to get to know us personally! Will I still get personalized service?

Absolutely! The reason there are so many of us is that the demand has grown for the creativity, humor and uniqueness that Lyssabeth’s officiants bring to each ceremony. Each officiant is chosen by Lyssabeth’s owner Maureen Thomson personally and embodies the Lyssabeth’s philosophy of excellence, acceptance of all beliefs and ensuring that every nuance of your ceremony is reflective of your love and values. And although we are a group, you will form a relationship solely with your officiant (although rest assured that we do fill in as backup to one another in the unlikely event of an emergency).