Frequently Asked Questions

We are not very religious or practicing. That OK?

Yes. That makes you like 97% of the couples Rev. Phil marries.

The ceremony can be as religious (or not) as you want it to be. Rev. Phil is a real minister but he wants the ceremony to reflect you (not him).

The emphasis of the ceremony is your love – especially Rev. Phil sharing your love story. Watch videos.

A complete script in advance – very rare – will prove it’s just the way you want it to be.

We are of different faiths. That OK?

Yes. Rev. Phil will make sure both families feel respected and included.

In, say, a Catholic/Jewish wedding we will play Ave Maria (when doing flowers for mothers, perhaps) and the breaking of the glass.

But the emphasis of the ceremony is your love – especially Rev. Phil sharing your love story. Watch videos.

A complete script in advance – very rare – will prove it’s fair and balanced.

This also means you only need one officiant – sparing you the expense and coordination of one officiant from each faith.

We have a child. That OK?

Yes! So glad you brought your son or daughter into the world.

Rev. Phil has ideas, depending on the age, to include your child(ren) in the ceremony.

Children can never have too many adults who love and care for them. The ceremony makes that official.

We’re not interested / don’t have time to do pre-marital counseling. That OK?

Yes. Pre-marital counseling is not required for Rev. Phil to marry you.

When you meet him, he will offer — at his cost — the best pre-marital counseling book he knows. You’re under no obligation to buy it. Frankly, very few couples do.

If you’re not available, do you have a team of ministers you can refer us to?

Yes!

If Rev. Phil is not available, he has a team of wedding ministers who do weddings in his style (for he trained them)! He knows their calendars so he knows who is open for your wedding.

Your search for an officiant who is available for your wedding is over!

Do you have a place we can get married at?

No.

Rev. Phil does have a list of chapels – with a map and links – that anyone can get married at.

If you’re doing a very small wedding (a few, if any guests), he has suggestions on places to get married at for free – in Chicago and in the suburbs.

How far do you travel to do weddings?

Rev. Phil will travel anywhere in the greater Chicago area (Zion to Joliet, Elburn to Chicago and surrounding) that you are getting married at.

For non-peak times, he will travel into southern Wisconsin, as far west as Galena, as far south as Starved Rock State Park or into NW Indiana

How soon should we book you?

As soon as you have a signed contract with the ceremony location. Rev. Phil’s calendar fills up quickly – especially for the most popular days of the week, the most popular dates. He does everything on a first come, first served basis.

Whether you have a ceremony that is engaging and fun (or same-as-everyone-else’s and boring) is all based on the officiant. So, don’t wait long.

Are you a real minister?

Yes. Rev. Phil has a Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield. He was a pastor. Now, he only does weddings – about 100 a year. It’s his career – and his passion.

What do you wear at weddings? Do we have a choice?

Yes.

 

He can wear his clerical collar – so he looks like a minister. Over 90% of couples choose this – to show families that they got a real minister to officiate.

 

 

Or he can wear a suit and tie.

 

What forms of payment do you take?

All kinds:

  • Electronic checks – like Chase QuickPay or Zelle
  • Paper checks
  • Credit cards – Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
  • PayPal

Because of the 3% fee – which Rev. Phil pays – he prefers the first two.

Do you have payment plans?

Yes.

Rev. Phil requires a deposit – so he knows that you really want him.

But he is very flexible about how much and when the payments are made.

Typically, the last payment is due 60 days before your wedding – the soonest you can get your marriage license. (Sometimes, he’ll do it a month out.)

Do we tip you?

No.

It’s never expected – but always appreciated.

If you’re tipping the DJ or musicians, the wedding coordinator, etc., it’s appropriate to tip the officiant. Recognize that he leaves soon after the ceremony. So, you can’t wait until the end of the night like everyone else.

Do we need to invite you to the reception, the rehearsal dinner?

No.

You can if you want to. Most couples do not.

Rev. Phil has found that couples with a church background tend to invite him. To others, he’s just another vendor. OK either way.

One request — if you do invite him to the reception please do not seat him at the vendors’ table. They are all still working. Rev. Phil is not. Therefore, he spends a lot of the evening by himself.

What is your voice like? Can we see you in action?

Rev. Phil has often been told that he has “a voice for radio.” He feels that he has the face for it too

Watch videos of Rev. Phil in action – sharing couples’ love stories, at weddings. You’ll laugh.

Why would you even consider an officiant if you don’t know what they sound like, if you can’t see videos of them at a wedding?

What do we call you?

He usually goes by “Reverend Phil”. Just Phil is OK. Please don’t call him late for dinner.   You can from his photos that rarely happens.

Do you do funerals?

Yes.

Obviously, we have to work around weddings that were planned long ago.

Rev. Phil personalizes them too.

Do you do renewal of vows?

Yes!

Love to do them. Done them with guests and just with the couple.

See more at the renewal of vows page on my web site.

Epic Wedding Ceremony!

It is no secret your guests are looking forward to the reception but it is so important to invest in the ceremony. I mean, this IS the Wedding! The reception is the after party. This is the moment you will remember for the rest of your lives.

I have never gotten so many compliments in my life and it was about the ceremony! There was not a dry eye in the crowd and everyone was laughing at one point of another.

Yes, Rev. Phil is more expensive but soooo worth it and he is willing to work out a payment plan with you which makes it very do-able even on a limited budget like mine. Believe me, this is definitely an investment you are going to want to make, and yes, it is more than the average, but it is so worth it!!!”

Melissa & Mike, Orchard Ridge Farm, Rockton from a 5-star WeddingWire review

Rev. Phil Landers, M.Div:

is a full time wedding officiant. It’s all he does. He has married over 1400 couples!
is the 1st Chicago officiant inducted into The Knot Hall of Fame!
has won WeddingWire Couples’ Choice award for 9 years in a row!
is a real minister. He has a Master of Divinity degree and been a pastor. He has been married for 34 years.

 

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