Phoenix Wedding Pastor Blog

Marriage quote by Bruce Forsyth

487855_10200486002020962_1569916355_nThe secret to a happy marriage is if you can be at peace with someone within four walls, if you are content because the one you love is near to you, either upstairs or downstairs, or in the same room, and you feel that warmth that you don’t find very often, then that is what love is all about.


How to obtain arizona wedding license? (maricopa county wedding license)

randy wedding licenese

If you are both 18 years or older, you can get a marriage license.

If you are under 18, you must either have a notarized parental consent form or have your parents accompany you, present the proper identification, and sign the parental consent form in front of the clerk issuing your license

If you are age 16 – 17 identification and one of the following documents showing proof of age is needed: certified copy of birth certificate; current driver’s license; state or military I.D. card; or current passport.

If you are age 15 or under, you must also have a court order to get a marriage license.

The fee for a marriage license is $76 payable by cash or check with a driver license, bank guarantee card or credit card. There is an extra charge for a certified copy, which is required if the bride wishes to change her name at Social Security and MVD. If you are purchasing a license at the Justice Courts, they accept checks, money orders, or cashiers checks.

No blood test is required to obtain a marriage license. Copies of previous divorce decrees are not required.

You may be required to provide proof of age to obtain a marriage license.

You will receive your marriage license at the time you apply for it, so you can be married on the same day.

There are locations in various parts of town that make it convenient for you to obtain a marriage license.

The marriage license is valid for one year, and can only be used within the State of Arizona.

Marriages may be performed by a member of the clergy, a judge, a magistrate, a clerk of the circuit court, or a clerk or clerk-treasurer of a city or town.

Baby Blessing (aka christening and dedication)

steph1 stephany_parents steph2 randy christening

I have had the honor of performing hundreds of wedding ceremonies over the past 25 years. It never gets old and I never take it for granted. However, there is one thing I happen to enjoy even more than weddings, and that is dedicating babies (aka christening or blessings). Especially if I had the privilege of marrying the couple as well.

Typically, I ask the couple a few questions about their commitment to the child, I ask the friends and family if they are “all in” in helping the couple raise the little one. Then I humbly ask God to bless the little one and the parents as they combat the world for the sake of the child. It’s often sweet, emotional, and inspiring. I LOVE it.

There are many different passages of the Bible one can use, but the passage in Mark (10:13-16) tends to be my favorite.

If I can help you and your family with this, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d love to help!

10 Things a Couple Should Discuss Before the Wedding (by Debra K. Fileta)


This is an amazing article with tons of wisdom for any and all engaged couples.  For even more insight, buy her book.  It’s an easy read with tons of help for anyone thinking about getting married.

The epidemic of extravagant weddings is seeping into our culture in an unmistakable way. Turn on the TV at any given time and you will find a plethora of shows centered on the concept of achieving the so-called perfect wedding.

The wedding planning process includes finding the perfect dress, landing the perfect reception hall, making sure you’ve got the right flowers, food, cake, music, wedding party, DJ, photographer, centerpieces, invitations, ceremony, rings, shoes and more. While there is no doubt that there is value in celebrating such a sacred day, is it possible that in our celebration- sometimes we miss the focus?

When it comes to wedding planning, there is a tendency to focus on the minor details while neglecting the main point; planning the wedding, while neglecting to plan the marriage.

Far beyond planning the particulars of a wedding day, the time of engagement is a really sacred time. It’s a chance to get to the bottom of who you are and reflect on the person you want to become. It’s an opportunity to connect with and continue getting to know the heart of the precious partner God has placed in your life.

It’s a time to begin working, preparing and planning for the marriage you hope to build. 

As you reflect on some of the most important aspects of planning a marriage, here are some must-have conversations before you walk down the aisle:

1. Past: When it comes to planning for a marriage it’s crucial to talk about your past, because the past has a role in shaping the present. Whether your past is tainted with pain, or filled with hope- you need to get real with where you come from. Past relationships, family history, and significant experiences (both positive and negative) that have shaped you are just some of the things that need to be discussed as you look back- so that you can join together in moving forward.

2. Family: What role will your family play in your life once you are married? How will visits, holidays, and special occasions impact your relationship with one another? Will you start your own traditions, or continue those of your family of origin? What role will our family have when it comes to our life and decision making? Combining two people from two separate families into one is something that many people take lightly. But it’s a topic that can cause much strain and stress if not tackled in part before you say I do.

3. Sex: Our views of sex and sexuality are shaped long before we commit to marriage. It’s crucial to get comfortable with this topic of conversation, because it’s one that you’ll carry on for the rest of your married life. What are your views of sex, and how have they been shaped? What is your past sexual history and how might that impact your relationship? What expectations do you have and are you on the same page? Understanding your sexual views and knowing your partner’s is a valuable part of preparing for intimacy.

4. Secrets: I get a lot of questions from people wondering when is the right time to share “secrets”- the parts of your life that you rarely share with others. There is no better time to share these intimate things than now, as you look ahead at marriage. From family secrets, to personal choices, from health problems to mental health concerns, this is the time to share things big and small, paving the way for honesty and openness as the foundation of your relationship.

5. Expectations: Because expectations are such a deep-seated part of who we are, we don’t often think about them. But talking about these things gives us a chance to bring them to the surface in a constructive way.  What are your views on work, family, and marriage roles? How will you accomplish the cooking, the cleaning and the chores? This is just skimming the surface of the things we may expect going into marriage, and it’s an important conversation to have.

6. Money: It’s amazing how such a seemingly benign topic before marriage, can become such a trigger after. Too many couples get caught in the trap of financial stress and struggles because they didn’t take the time to discuss the finances How do you feel about combining money? What are your spending habits? Do you have any debt and how are you going to pay it off? What are your views on saving, tithing, and giving? Getting on the same page when it comes to money will save you so much strain as you soon become one.

7. Faith: When it comes to genuine faith, it’s a part of you that should be oozing out of your life long before marriage. But just as important as it is to retain our individual relationship with God, it’s important to connect in our faith experiences as we look toward marriage. Discussions about prayer life, reading God’s word, spiritual roles, theological beliefs, and denominational preferences are all things that need to be considered and discussed as you move forward.

8. Children: Above and beyond dreaming about baby names, there is so much more to the topic of family planning before marriage. How many children do you hope to have? What happens if you aren’t able to get pregnant? How were you parented, and what are your personal views on parenting? Who will take care of the children, and what are your views on day-care, schooling, and the like. There are many important aspects to this topic that would be beneficial to take the time to discuss and work through.

9. Boundaries: Essentially, boundaries are your views on what is okay and what is not okay when it comes to your relationship and marriage. What do boundaries look like with friends of the opposite sex, past boyfriends/girlfriends, and even family members. How will we protect our time, guard our emotions, and prevent our bodies from negative interactions with others?

10. Struggles: One thing I know about marriage, is that it magnifies everything. Your strengths…and your weaknesses. Before you enter the pressure-cooker of marriage, you need to get real with your bad-habits and hang-ups here and now. Do you have a tendency to express anger through rage? Do you struggle with any addictive behaviors? Are there any areas in your life that you need to expose and address before you move forward toward marriage? Take the time to talk frankly and honestly about your struggles, and make the time to work toward hope and healing.

The season before marriage is a rich and joyous time in a couple’s life. Don’t allow the pressure of creating the “perfect wedding” to keep you from focusing on what really matters. Plan your wedding, but most importantly, plan your marriage- because a healthy marriage is something worth truly celebrating.

Debra K. Fileta is a Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in Relationship and Marital issues. She, her husband and two children live in Hershey, PA. She is the author of the new book True Love Dates (Zondervan, 2013), challenging young men and women to do dating in a way that is psychologically sound, emotionally healthy and spiritually grounded. Visit and follow her on Twitter to get your dating questions answered and to learn more.

Wedding Pastor, Wedding Minister, Wedding Officiant In Phoenix, AZ


How does a wedding pastor or wedding minister or wedding officiant differ in Arizona than other states?  If someone is looking to travel to Arizona to get married, what would you want to look for in choosing that person to actually marry you?

  1. Someone who has embraces technology to communicate with you over email, FaceTime, Skype, and Facebook the months and days before arriving in AZ
  2. Someone who has worked at all the venues in town so they can help you know what to expect at that particular venue.  Each venue and wedding director is different.
  3. Someone who doesn’t make you feel like you’re “bugging” them with questions and asking for advice.
  4. Someone who is willing to go the extra mile for you to make your day perfect.
  5. Someone who is going to respect your church background (or your lack of church background).  

Top 10 Things to Look For in a Wedding Pastor

The wedding pastor (or wedding minister or wedding officiant) is the one “vendor” who needs to be much more than a vendor to you and your partner.  He or she is going to provide very personal advise for your marriage and stand with you while you exchange your most intimate vows to each other.

So with that said, here are the top ten things you need to look for in a wedding pastor:

  1. Kind and gracious
  2. Warm and nurturing
  3. Competent public speaker
  4. Experienced in wedding ceremonies
  5. A “real pastor” not an Internet ordained “minister”
  6. Successful in his or her own marriage
  7. Open to your ideas
  8. Has many of his or her own ideas for you to choose from
  9. Will not make the ceremony about him or her
  10. Will make time for you to discuss your marriage not just your wedding

Pre Marriage Advisement

My responsibility as the wedding pastor is to prepare the couple for the wedding ceremony and the marriage. It’s easy for the couple to forget or even neglect the attention needed for being married. Even if a couple is cohabiting before the wedding, they must be prepared for the fact that their relationship is going to change. For this reason, i never charge extra money for time spent with the couple to discuss their relationship. I want to remove all possible excuses to not meeting with me.

I have found that the majority of couples are not willing or able to give me more than one session. With that in mind, I try to convince them to take a personality test for me and give me an hour to go over the test together. Pound for pound, there’s nothing i can do more for them in one hour than provide insight from a test such as the Taylor Johnson Temp test. It’s cheap, easy, fast, and informative.

I love preparing couples for their wedding day. I enjoy even more preparing couples to last a lifetime together.

PreMarriage Tests



One of the tools I use the most often in helping couples prepare for marriage is the Taylor Johnson Temperament test.  For very little money, a couple can determine how well they know each other PLUS know how compatible they are together.  I have administered this test over 200 times and I am yet to find someone who didn’t glean something to help their relationship.

There is no reason to be nervous about the results either.  No one fails the test.  The only bad that can come from it is not doing it.