Copyright © 2020 Alan and Heidi | Vibrant Skye

Elopements & Officiating your Ceremony

Imagine being with the person you love in a stunning location having a fun, romantic and intimate elopement or wedding ceremony. You are surrounded by nature, whether it is the gorgeous sunset with your toes in the sand on a California beach or the majestic Big Bear mountains with a green forest of pine trees and a stunning lake backdrop. Perhaps it is the amazing Joshua Tree National Park with it’s unique boulders, trees and in springtime, a surprise patch of wildflowers. This is a “no stress” adventure with Alan and Heidi as your guides as well as your internationally award-winning, creative photographer and your amazing ordained wedding officiant. 

As a husband and wife team that have been involved with elopements and weddings for over 15 years, they can help with planning every step of your adventure, from where to stay, complete marriage license information, help you find hair and make up, and finding the perfect adventure spot for your elopement or micro wedding.

Heidi will feel like your “cool” aunt and will craft a wonderful, unique, custom ceremony that is not long and boring but fun, romantic and fits the two of you. Alan is like having your favorite uncle that is in charge of creating all of the memories of your day with his epic realizm style. He is there to document your story, to let you be yourselves and to help you remember just how you felt that day! 

We will have an awesome ceremony with just the four of us or with some of your close friends and family. In nature, we will respect the beauty and leave it as we found it. Then you both can have a wonderful, romantic, natural and fun photo shoot with Alan. Even if you’re typically camera shy, Alan is there to help calm your nerves, make you laugh and help you have spectacular photography that you will remember forever.

Alan and Heidi work closely as a team, Heidi reads your ceremony to Alan the night before so he knows where all the good stuff is! Heidi makes sure to get out of the “kiss” picture so you don’t have a weird third head in your photo! They work together seamlessly on the most important day of your lives. The most important gift that Alan and Heidi share with you is their secrets to still being madly in love after almost 21 years together. You would be sharing your day with two people that are best friends, hold hands every day, love nature and want to create a unique and wonderful wedding day just for you. 

Elopement Packages & Options

So, what exactly is an Elopement?

It’s a wedding distilled down to the good stuff! With just the two of you, your officiant and photographer, and up to ten of your closest family and friends in an absolutely beautiful location. It is romantic, fun, intimate and without all the stress and cost of a wedding.

It is not – set ups, arbor or arch, an aisle, petals on the ground, sound amplification, candles, chairs (we can make exceptions for the disabled or the elderly), etc. We’re not at a venue but in nature and the decorations listed above could require expensive permits.

We love destination elopements – tell us what you’re dreaming of!

  • Extraordinary Elopement

  • $ 2,995
  • For the ultimate
    California elopement!

    Any location within the entire state of California!

    Unlimited elopement planning help and advice

    Assistance in choosing & writing your vows

    Customized ceremony with your personal “Love Story”

    Elopement with up to 20 guests*

    Bouquet & boutonnière*

    Your choice of sparkling wine or sparkling cider
    plus a dessert for couple to celebrate with

    5 hour photography coverage

    Edited, high-resolution images with usage rights

    16×24 canvas print of your choice

    Photo book with selected images from your day

    Password-protected online gallery with sharing

    An emailed copy of your ceremony & vows

    Certified mailing of your marriage license

    Guidance on changing your last name

    Monday – Thursday
    Add $400 for Holiday or Friday – Sunday events

    *Contingent on government ordinances, seasonal flowers, some exclusions may apply, contact us for details

  • Unforgettable Elopement

  • $ 1,495
  • Almost everything you’ll need to
    run away & get married!

    Unlimited elopement planning help and advice

    Assistance in choosing & writing your vows

    Elopement ceremony with up to 12 guests

    Bouquet & boutonnière*

    Your choice of sparkling wine, sparkling cider
    or dessert to celebrate with

    3 hour photography coverage

    Edited, high-rez images with usage rights

    12×16 canvas print of your choice

    Password-protected online gallery with sharing

    An emailed copy of your ceremony & vows

    Certified mailing of your marriage license

    Guidance on changing your last name

    No travel charge for most Southern California locations

    Monday – Thursday
    Add $300 for Holiday or Friday – Sunday events

    *Seasonal flowers, some exclusions may apply, contact us for details

  • Intimate Elopement

  • $ 795
  • An elopement ceremony matched
    with gorgeous photography

    Unlimited elopement planning help and advice

    Assistance in choosing & writing your vows

    Elopement ceremony with up to 10 guests

    1-1/2 hour photography coverage

    Edited, high-resolution images with usage rights

    Password-protected online gallery with sharing

    An emailed copy of your ceremony & vows

    Certified mailing of your marriage license

    Guidance on changing your last name

    No travel charge for most Southern California locations

    Monday – Thursday
    Add $200 for Holiday or Friday – Sunday events

Please note – We are happy to customize our service so you get exactly what you’re looking for – if you don’t see what you want,  just ask!

Wedding Ceremonies

What is an Intimate Wedding?

An intimate wedding is generally more than 10 guests or at a venue. *Depending on the location, you can have your bridal party, your venue decorated with flowers everywhere, DJ, dance floor, and all the other amazing things that make a wedding so much fun!

It can also be the two of you and an intimate amount of guests celebrating your love in nature. Alan and Heidi can create a package for your wedding photography and/or wedding officiating that is customized for what you need.

*Depending on location, number of guests, decorations, DJ, etc. could be limited, require permits, or prohibited.

  • Fully Customized Ceremony

  • $ 575
  • Meeting/videochat to discuss your elopement options

    Assistance in choosing & writing your vows

    Crafting your Love Story to share with your guests

    Wedding ceremony with up to 200 guests

    A digital copy of your ceremony & vows

    Certified mailing of your marriage license

    Follow up on how to change your name

    No travel charge for most Southern California locations

  • Wedding Ceremony

  • $ 425
  • Meeting/videochat to discuss your wedding ceremony

    Assistance in choosing & writing your vows

    A digital copy of your ceremony & vows

    Certified mailing of your marriage license

    Follow up on how to change your name

    No travel charge for most Southern California locations

A marriage license is required, but not included. You must purchase a marriage license from a California County Clerk. Tax, travel & shipping fees where applicable. Discounts cannot be combined. Prices effective 6/2020, subject to change and availability.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are your qualifications?

I am an ordained Minister through the Universal Life Church and, I was a wedding planner for many years. I performed my very first wedding as an ordained wedding officiant in 2016.  I’m a professional writer, I have been in theatre for 30 years and I have been married to the love of my life for 20 years.

What types of ceremonies do you perform?

My ceremonies are inclusive and LGBTQ friendly! They include a range of wedding and elopement ceremonies from romantic, spiritual, interfaith ceremonies, non-religious ceremonies to non-denominational, Pagan, Agnostic, Earth-based, and Unitarian couples, vow renewals, and more. I have officiated hundreds of weddings: Simple, Elegant, Spiritual, Intimate, Fun or Over the Top and all unique!

How far in advance should we book our Wedding Officiant?

If you want choices, consider meeting with, and making a commitment to an Officiant as soon as you know your wedding date and have booked your venue. The details of your wedding ceremony can always be worked out closer to your wedding. I have couples who have booked me as far out as two years, especially for Destination Weddings with guests coming from other states and countries. With that being said, if we have availability, we can also perform a simple ceremony with little or no notice.

Why Choose an Experienced Wedding Officiant?

Sometimes our couples tell us horror stories about how uncomfortable their close friend’s wedding ceremony was.  The reason?  They chose a friend or family member or an officiant with little experience.  We’ve heard things like:

  • “My cousin said that their friend copied and pasted a ceremony off the web. It was so obvious, the ceremony was boring and impersonal.”
  • “The guy acted like he had never done this before…”  “He didn’t make any sense.  It was long and rambling.  We were so lost.”
  • “The ceremony was only three minutes long!  My sister was so upset!  If felt like she didn’t even get married.”
What happens if you are unable to perform our wedding?

Emergencies do arise in every profession, and an officiant is not exempt.  If by some reason (hasn’t happened yet) I am unable to perform your wedding, I have other officiants that I am associated with, that I love and I also have my husband and son that are wedding professionals that are ordained and can perform my ceremony if needed. 

Do you require a contract?

You will be asked to approve and sign an online contract that confirms the booking details and provides all pertinent information regarding the event. This protects everyone concerned.

How do we reserve you for our big day?

A non-refundable, but transferable, 50% retainer fee is required at the time of booking. This reserves me for your date. You can pay online with a debit or credit card, check, cash or Zelle.

When is the final balance due?

Your remaining balance is due two weeks before the wedding date.

How long do your ceremonies last?

Your wedding ceremony is created just for you and the processions, readings, music, and unity ceremonies really dictate how long the ceremony will be.  My ceremonies are never longer than 30 minutes, most are 17-25 minutes. 

How do we apply for our marriage license?

To obtain your California Marriage License, you must go to any California County Clerk’s Office together with valid photo identification Monday-Friday. Many Counties will allow you to fill out your application online and set an appointment. 

Once you have the license, take care of it and keep it safe. Be sure to bring the license to the wedding ceremony. After the ceremony I will be sure that the witnesses sign it. I will then complete the form with my credential information and sign it as well. It is the officiant’s legal obligation to submit the license back to the same County Clerk where it was issued, within ten days. .

Do you offer any discounts?

I offer discounts if either of you is Active Military or First Responders. 

Do you travel?

Definitely!!! My husband is an amazing wedding photographer and we have done destination weddings and elopements all over the Pacific Northwest and many other  parts of the country.  I am able to perform weddings in 40 states.

Do we need a witness for our ceremony?

Yes, you need at least one witness for your ceremony but you can have two, and they should be over 18 and be able to see and write well enough for a legal document. However, California also has a confidential marriage license which does not require any witnesses.

What about the Rehearsal?

The truth is that I almost never go to rehearsals. It’s really just for the couple and the wedding party to know where to stand and who to walk with. The officiant just stands at the altar and watches, so there is really nothing to rehearse. Usually, the actual wedding ceremony isn’t rehearsed (it’s a surprise), although you should practice the kiss, you should hold it for 3 seconds so your photographer gets a good photo! If you or your coodinator really needs me to be there and I am available, my fee for attending is $175.

What if our wedding is cancelled, postponed or rescheduled?

Since the reservation fee reserves your wedding date and time for you only, the initial deposit is always transferable. If you reschedule your wedding to a date and time that we are available, we will apply the deposit to the new agreement. If you cancel your wedding altogether, there is no balance due beyond the initial deposit.

Can you recommend a good photographer?

Okay, I may be biased but I think my husband, Alan Merrigan, is amazing. He is friendly, an international award-winning wedding photographer, and always makes sure my couples have fun and he captures all of their favorite memories of their wedding day! There is no requirement that we work together but I share your ceremony with him and I make sure he can get the best photos during your ceremony!

Alan & Heidi fun beach ceremony

"A Perfect Elopement!"

I called Heidi to inquire about an elopement in just 2 weeks notice and she did not disappoint! I could tell from the moment she answered the phone that she had undeniable spunk and was a down to earth sweetheart. I’m so thrilled we DID NOT go the City Hall route and hired her and Alan. She followed up prior to the ceremony, showed up early, and everything was perfect!

Kimberly & Uttam - Married April 29
Alan & Heidi fun ceremony

"Rev. Heidi was nothing short of amazing!"

From the day that we booked her to our wedding date she was always there for us. She would send us emails, text messages, and sometimes a phone call to see if we were doing well or had any questions for her. We can definitely say that she has become part of the family because she showed us that she cared for us from the very beginning. Our ceremony was very short, which we wanted, and she even included this ribbon ceremony which was very cool. I definitely recommend her to anyone that is looking to have her as an Officiant for their wedding.

Karla & Paolo - Married on August 18th
Alan & Heidi lesbian couple elopement

"They are incredibly good at what they do!"

THANK YOU cannot begin to describe how awesomely supportive and terrific Alan and Heidi were during the whole adventure of making our dream day a reality. From our first meeting to discuss our grand ideas, up until our ceremony, they supported us endlessly and offered their full and honest advice about any little detail, no matter how big or small. They are a perfect team!

Melissa & Elizabeth - Married August 23
Alan & Heidi couple kissing mountains

"We couldn’t have done it without them!"

Choosing Heidi and her photographer husband Alan was the best choice for our elopement! We couldn’t have done it without them and we sincerely thank them for being so passionate and thoughtful in every step of the process. They went out of their way to help us find a beautiful ceremony spot, and made our day truly unique. We were blessed to have them both for our elopement!

Jun & Yennifer - Married December 14

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