What types of ceremonies do you perform?
I have been part of almost every style of ceremony that you can think of: traditional, alternative, inter-faith, non-denominational, religious, spiritual, civil.
Whatever your faith, culture or beliefs, I will work with you to create a ceremony that is meaningful to you. I can also participate in a ceremony with more than one minister to incorporate different spiritual traditions into the same ceremony.
I will also perform Vows Renewals, Same-sex wedding ceremonies, and more.
What if I'm divorced? What if one (or both) of us have children?
I welcome all loving couples, whether this is the first time they have been married... or the last time! Life happens... and I am glad to celebrate that you have found love again.
If you have young children, you are forming a new blended family with its own special joys and challenges. I offer the option to include your children in the ceremony with a special Family Vow, where all the members of the family promise to care for each other.
Children of any age can be included as part of the bridal party - flower girl, ring bearer, bridesmaid, maid of honor, best man, or usher.
What qualifications do you have?
Lois Henrickson (Lytingale) participated in hundreds of weddings in various locations with her late husband, Rev. Chad O'Shea, for over 30 years. Ordained by American Wedding Ministries in 2012, she is carrying on his tradition of beautiful wedding celebrations, using the service they co-wrote, along with her extensive knowledge and an open heart.
As a musician, Lytingale earned a B.S. in Music Education from the University of Connecticut, majoring in voice. She has experience in many styles of music, including folk acoustic, musical theatre, rock bands, classical, and choirs. She served as Music Director at Unity Center from 1983 until 2015, where she played keyboard, sang, led the band & choir, composed, and organized shows. She is Accompanist for Womansong and co-teaches Sing for Joy Voice Classes.
What happens if you cannot perform my ceremony due to an emergency?
Once I have agreed to perform your ceremony, I consider this a sacred trust. In the event of an emergency, I will provide contact information for several other ministers in our area to perform your ceremony. To date, we have never had an emergency situation prevent us from officiating a wedding.
We don't belong to a church but we want to get married in one. What do you suggest?
If a particular church appeals to you, just call their office and ask, or visit their website. Some traditional churches will only rent their churches to their members, or may require that you use their spiritual leader to officiate, or have other rules. However, Unity churches, Quaker Friends, Unitarian, and Congregational UCC churches are usually open to alternatives and willing to rent their churches to non-members.
Of course, I also recommend my former church: Unity in Mills River, a beautiful facility on 21 acres, located 5 minutes from the Asheville airport. You do not need to be a member to be married there. Call the office to determine dates of availability and cost: 828.891.8700
What do you wear during the ceremony?
Please tell me your preferences for attire! I want to blend with the level of formality or informality you choose. Whether you will be married in a designer gown or Hawaiian shirt & flip-flops, the choice is yours! I usually wear a suit or dress, and I am happy to match my attire to suit your preferences. I strive to make the wedding a joyous occasion and to blend in with your preferences.
How long is the ceremony?
Most ceremonies are between 15 to 30 minutes, depending on what the couple chooses to include in the ceremony.
The length of the ceremony is up to you. The length depends on many variables including: amount of music during the cermony, how many extra readings are included, and how many people are in the bridal party to process in and out. You are not charged based on the length of your ceremony.
Where do you perform ceremonies?
I can officiate your wedding at whatever type of site you choose, including a church, reception venue, your home or backyard, Bed & Breakfast parlor, hotel, park, outdoor site, restaurant, on a beach, in a barn, hot air balloon, biker bar, Blue Ridge Parkway overlook, cliff by the ocean, by a waterfall, or wherever! (Yes, we've done weddings at all those places except the hot air balloon - but I'm game if you are!)
I strongly recommend you have a rain alternative for any outdoor wedding.
I will travel anywhere. I live near the Asheville airport, but we have performed weddings from coast to coast... from California to Nags Head NC. If you will pay travel costs and if my calendar permits, I will be there to help you have a great ceremony.
Do you require premarital counseling?
No, premarital counseling is not required. You and your partner are adults and your choices in such matters are strictly your own.
However, I am available if you choose to have premarital counseling to help you clarify your common goals, identify any issues, and set intentions and processes for a successful marriage. I can also recommend other counselors.
What other services do you provide?
Listening & Clarification Appointments
We want you to perform a ceremony for us. What happens next?
Contact me by phone at 828.606-6749
or by email lytingale(at)gmail.com.
I will answer any questions that you have about my services, check my calendar for availability, then gather information about you and your ceremony.
If you like, I can set up an in-person consultation with you to talk in depth about your ceremony.
What is the process for getting a marriage license?
Please see our License page for important details about a North Carolina marriage license. Basically, both bride and groom go to the Register of Deeds office in any county, with ID and cash or check. You do NOT have to get your license in the same county where you will be married.
You must have two witnesses to sign your marriage certificate at the ceremony.
Is a rehearsal necessary?
Most couples find that an actual rehearsal is not necessary. Not having a rehearsal keeps the cost down for you since I do not have to travel twice to the wedding location.
I am knowledgeable and prepared. I will arrive early to the wedding site, and can easily give simple instructions about the processional to the bridal party. I can answer many other questions you may have about ceremony procedures during the advance planning.
Some couples choose to rehearse, but without the officiant since the minister knows her part, to familiarize the wedding party with the wedding site and their part in the ceremony.
If you have a very large and complex wedding, or you just feel more comfortable with a full rehearsal, I am willing to attend a rehearsal for an extra fee.
What is your fee?
Please see our Rates page. If you have any further questions, let's talk!
Is it proper to tip the minister or musician?
It is not necessary to tip the minister or musician above their usual fee.
However, if you feel you have received wonderful service and an amazing ceremony and you wish to express your gratitude, feel free to do so.
When do we pay for your services?
We ask that you pay a non-refundable deposit of at least $50 to reserve your wedding date.
The balance can be paid at anytime before the wedding or on your wedding day just before the service. We find it more convenient for everyone to complete the "business" stuff just before the service - the two witnesses you choose will sign the marriage license, and payment by the best man or groom - while everyone is still in "preparation mode," rather than afterwards when you are posing for pictures and starting your reception.
Can we use a credit card or Paypal to make a deposit for our wedding?
I prefer cash or check. However, to make it convenient for you, you can use Paypal (You can use a credit card on Paypal). Click the button below for Paypal payment: email@example.com
Do we need a Wedding Planner?
It all depends on the size and scope of your wedding dreams, how much time you have until the wedding date, and your budget.
Weddings come in many flavors and styles! We have participated in quick weddings with the office staff as witnesses.... to a 2-day affair complete with golf tournament at the Grove Park Inn... and everything in between. I will assist you in creating a memorable, meaningful ceremony that flows easily and suits your personal style.
A simple, express wedding requires very little planning or even advance time.... a license, a minister, 2 witnesses, and go out to a restaurant to celebrate afterwards.
Most people plan their own wedding with the help of mothers, friends, and the wealth of information on internet. You choose how simple or complex your wedding will be. We encourage you to stay within your own comfort zone and budget... to remember that this Best Day is first and foremost about the love you share and the new family you are creating. And then you have a party!
If you are way too busy to arrange everything or you are planning a world-class dream wedding, then the services of a wedding planner may be a good investment for you. I am willing to work with a Wedding Planner of your choice.
Here's a link to a helpful Easy Planning Guide.
Do I get flowers for the minister or musician?
It's your choice.
The minister is a very visible part of the wedding party, so it's nice to provide a matching boutonniere for the minister.
A corsage or boutonniere for the musician is entirely optional, but often appreciated.
Does the Minister attend the Reception?
It is customary to invite the Officiant/Minister to the Reception. The Officiant should RSVP.
I will often attend the Reception (alone), unless other commitments require me to leave right after the ceremony.