Meet your Wedding Officiant, Paul Costanzo:
Congratulations on your engagement! So you're planning a wedding celebration. A venue, a ceremony, a photographer, a DJ, a limo, a dress, a tux, a caterer, a cake, flowers, invitations and........... deciding on who is all going to be there. DEEP BREATH. You've got this. OK, but back to the ceremony. THAT is my profession – my passion – my purpose. Oh, and I certainly know that the Wedding Ceremony is all about YOU – not me – as I am somewhat the director of a short performance with the two of you in the leading roles with me gently leading you through the ceremony. Your wedding day is a day of respect and dignity where family and friends gather out of the love that they have for you – and sometimes for the love that they have for your parents as well. You want the ceremony to be presented with poise in the structure – and with your consent – adding bit of charm and levity and personality magically sprinkled into the celebration. Talk about smiles and misty eyes – especially in that front row about 10 feet from the two of you. I have worked with wedding couples since the 1990s and have officiated over 1500 weddings with no two being the same – well, because of the differences in choices in the creative process (oh, do I have ideas and suggestions) and most of all because everyone is different. And whether you get married at Miller Park or your own decorated back yard the effort will be the same. The three of us will carefully choose the ingredients that will make the ceremony memorable. The energy that I have for what I can do is limitless yet I know when to put on the brakes and temper that enthusiasm.
Once you inquire about your wedding date I will check my schedule and if available I will ask for one visit so that I can hear your thoughts on the type of ceremony you would like and give you suggestions that best fit that direction (traditional – spiritual – contemporary). These meetings are typically an hour. I would very much like to hear how you met – what you do that keeps the relationship ticking – and whatever you would like to share so that I might incorporate some ideas into your personal ceremony. I take all sorts of notes and if you choose to have me officiate I will create a contract to secure my services and then send you a Ceremony Template based on that one meeting to get you started with the personal ceremony. I will continue then to assist all the way to your wedding day by email or phone calls. The ceremony will be created by the THREE of us – it's a team effort. I promise you that it will be done properly and presented in a way that you will be proud to present to all of your guests. Please see memoriesbycostanzo.com for more information and great photos.
Standard Wedding Package at your location:
This is the most commonly requested service. It includes the initial face-to-face visit with my couple with the suggestions and ideas followed by the creation of the initial Ceremony Template and continued assistance along the way (telephone, text and email) until your wedding day when I will officiate your ceremony. It will also be my responsibility to file your license with the proper authorities upon the conclusion of your celebration day.
All this for $250 complete.
Modest travel fee may apply.
Express Wedding Ceremony at your location:
This is simple and basic. No initial meeting. No planning. If you choose something “outside of the courthouse” and into your home, apartment, yard or park I would meet you for something a bit more informal for a service fee between $100 and $150. It will still have personality. I would still encourage a bit of involvement (maybe a reading that I would bring – or that you would choose beforehand) and you're always welcome to create your own promises or I would use standard vows for this service. This basically costs the same as in the courthouse but this way you're with a few friends (you'll need at least 2 adults as witnesses) – and this way it's so much more personal.
Modest travel fee may apply.
Standard Wedding Ceremony Rehearsal at your location:
There are several reasons that you might request my presence at a wedding ceremony rehearsal – especially if you are having a structured Wedding Party. Some families come from different directions of geography and lifestyles and it's nice to have someone (me) who has been prepped by my couple with names of parents and family members (along with my 20+ years of doing this). Oh, and there is sometimes “drama” (it's normal – it's there at times) and with the confidential whispers by my couples I can make sure it's a zippity-doo-dah Disney Wedding (don't ask). But it may feel comforting in knowing that I'll be your “voice” in both that transition as well as orchestrating the procession and the presentation of your personal ceremony – the way WE created it. The choreography is important to present what we spent time on creating. Once you meet with me in our one visit you'll understand more of what I'm saying.
Wedding Ceremony Rehearsal Fee - $95.
Modest travel fee may apply.
Wedding Vow Renewal Ceremony at your location:
This is special. VERY special. This is a time to REALLY celebrate!! Maybe it's your 10 year or 25 year or 50 year Wedding Anniversary. It's time to consider doing something for yourselves and those you love. It's a time to renew your Wedding Vows. You did what you said you would do when you made those promises on your wedding day and now it's time to gather those who have been special along your happy road of travel. A celebration of your Wedding Vow Renewal is almost as important to your family and friends as it is for you. You've led by example. Your original commitment is still as meaningful and sincere as it was back then and now it's time to share a few words to the one you love – again. I can help you create a personal Wedding Vow Renewal ceremony. No, it doesn't need to be long in time (usually 10-15 minutes) but it's the content of the ceremony that has most meaning. Imagine each of you being escorted to a place at your venue, your home or a park by one of your children – or grand-children. Maybe the inclusion of light music. Maybe a Unity Candle. Oh, so many ways to express this delicately and respectfully. Maybe a reading by a family member or friend. Maybe THEY choose the one that best fits how they feel about your accomplishment. And here's another idea. Maybe you're thinking of doing this for YOUR parents – and maybe as a surprise. They don't need a script. Only a smile and those who love them – surrounding them as they once again repeat similar vows from a day long ago. I have so many tender suggestions for this service and when you think about it – THIS service resonates with a powerful meaning of love and accomplishment.
Wedding Vow Renewal Ceremony Fee - $150.
Modest travel fee may apply.
Baptismal Services at your location:
Baptism is a significant religious ceremony that welcomes a new member into a faith community. Many Christian denominations celebrate the rite of Baptism. It is commonly found in Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant sects. Baptism, however, has also been adopted and celebrated by people of religious faiths outside of the Christian tradition. As a devout Christian and an Ordained Minister of the Universal Life Church (since 2009) I consider it an honor to be asked to perform a Christian Baptism. It's most special when one of my wedding couples reconnect with me with exciting news of the birth of a new child and ask me to again be a part of their lives with a personally created Baptism. Here again, it's respectful and the inclusion of a reading or two by family members or friends along with the Holy Water and Holy Oils make this an integrated celebration.
Baptismal Services Fee - $150.
Modest travel fee may apply.
Celebration of Life Tribute Prayer Services (Funeral Services):
Life is a gift. But there is conclusion and a time where we celebrate the life of a departed loved one. I have created Celebration of Life Tribute Prayer Services for as many years (since 2009) as I have officiated weddings. I have worked for many of the local Funeral Homes when families have chosen a non-denominational minister such as myself to present a personal tribute in a compassionate tone rather than complete and somewhat generic prayer by a member of a more popular order. Although it's short notice – usually 5 days – I work with a surviving close family member by talking with them and by sending them a list of questions about the deceased so that I can get to know the person enough to properly and respectfully share stories about them in between prayer. It's a perfect blend of both and at times it's so uplifting that wide eyed family members and guests open up and vocally add to the “celebration” of the person they knew and loved. It's personalized. It's individual. It's respectful. The fee is normally handled through the Funeral Home and you are welcome to suggest my services.
Customary Celebration of Life Prayer Service Fee - $150-$175.
Modest travel fee may apply.
Wedding Photography (after the ceremony):
As mentioned in my opening page, I have done all sorts of professional photography since the 1990s and would be happy to provide you with an hour of structured family and/or wedding party photography for a minimal cost. I can properly set up each blend of family members – from both sides – and incorporate children or friends as well. This service is such a reasonable option for those on a limited budget (or those just being smart with their hard earned money). Images presented on Flash Drive as well as a letter of Full Copyrights. Please see Paul Costanzo Photography on FACEBOOK for samples of my work throughout the years.
Wedding Photography (one hour / after the ceremony) - $175.
Note: Arrangements can be made for a longer period of service time.
“Backdrop Photography” at your reception:
Many people hire a company to bring a Photo Booth to their reception. Here is a unique idea. I would bring my 10 foot by 10 foot backdrop to your reception and provide up to 90 minutes of professional photography for your guests in between the ceremony and dinner while you're both finishing the remaining structured photography with your photographer and/or while you're mingling with your families and friends DURING the reception. This polished activity works nicely while your guests are having beverages waiting for the dinner to begin. I would encourage everyone to have me take an elegant portrait along with “creative/fun” types of portraits with props that you gather from The Dollar Store. This has worked very nicely in the past where guests are less apprehensive approaching the “officiant” who is also a professional “photographer”. Your DJ could make constant reminders of this FREE feature that was provided by the Wedding Couple. The results are far nicer than those expensive Photo Booths in that several people can actually STAND for the photo rather than squeeze into a booth. Please see Paul Costanzo Photography on FACEBOOK and scroll to “Backdrop Photography” for some elegant examples of what can be done in this method of photography. Here again, the cost is so minimal (because I'm already there at your venue). I would encourage my Wedding Couple to have a few portraits taken with this backdrop as well. Images presented on Flash Drive as well as a letter of Full Copyrights.
“Backdrop Photography” (90 minutes / after the ceremony until the dinner) - $175.
Note: Arrangements can be made for a longer period of service time.
And so I've been asked ~~~~~
Q) Where can we have our wedding ceremony?
A) I've officiated wedding ceremonies at Miller Park, on a boat on Lake Michigan, at a Country Club, at a hotel, on the shores of Punta Cana, Door County, in chapels, on a golf course, in a rustic barn, at Boerner Botanical, at The Domes, at a park and in a private home or apartment. I own a car. I'll meet you there. The choice is yours!
Q) Can we write our own vows?
A) WOW. Yes. Please do. I encourage it. Some do this while others prefer the “traditional” vows. And then some do the LISTEN/REPEAT of “traditional” and add one short personal phrase of their own afterwards. Once again, the choice is yours!
Q) Is pre-marital counseling required?
A) In a word, NO. I feel that some ministers who require premarital counseling do so for the purpose of indoctrinating the couple in the theology of their church. As an inter-denominational minister, I will marry couples of ANY faith – or no faith at all.
Q) Do you marry those who have been divorced?
A) Yes. I am happy to perform the ceremony of anyone who has a marriage license. My purpose is to SERVE you – and not JUDGE you. I often had other pastors – from Catholic Priests to conservative fundamentalists refer their couples to me when their own church did not “allow” them to perform the ceremony.
Q) Do you officiate Non-Religious wedding ceremonies?
A) Yes. Of course. It seems like 95% of the ceremonies that I am asked to officiate are of the contemporary nature with a minimal religious tone. However, if you have obviously chosen not to be married (or not “allowed” to be married) in a “House of God” you may wish to integrate your ceremony with a touch of scripture or that religious tone for a variety of reasons. It's YOUR wedding day and YOU may wish a slight infusion of some sort of religion. And let me whisper this one ~~~ your parents may have wished that you would have been married in a church as they were all those years ago and maybe we can show a touch of gentle respect with a Unity Candle involving them or one scripture reading (followed by a contemporary creative one) and maybe even The Lord's Prayer towards the end. Again, the choice is yours!
Q) How far will you travel?
A) Time permitting, I will travel as far as needed. I would simply ask for a modest travel fee. If it's an overnight arrangement with the rehearsal being the night before at a venue of a longer distance we would easily work things out in a mutual manner.
Q) How will you dress?
A) I usually wear the attire that fits the wedding and its venue. Sometimes a suit and sometimes a sport coat with the dress shirt and tie. I earlier mentioned that I've officiated over 1500 weddings and I can count the times on one hand where I wore the clerical collar – but it's available. Oh, and I once officiated a Halloween Wedding at John Hawk's Pub/Milwaukee dressed as a STAR WARS Jedi Master (you can see pictures from that wedding at Paul Costanzo Photography on FACEBOOK). Yep, complete with Light Saber. You've GOT to see what the bride and groom wore that day – and the costumes of so many of the guests, including Beetlejuice!! They encouraged me to do this – and I loved it.
Q) Would you be able to stay for dinner & present a blessing before the meal?
A) Again, time permitting – and it would be an honor if I could do this for you.
Q) Will you perform same sex wedding ceremonies?
A) Yes. Of course. I have done so many times – no difference with the creativity.
What people are saying.......
We first met Paul at a Bridal Show in the fall of 2018. He was inviting from the start. We got to talking with him and started realized he was exactly what we were looking for in an officiant for our wedding, and booked him. After some back and forth via email (a LOT of different wedding planning was all happening at the same time, which he understood) we set up a meeting with him to go over all the wants and desires for our wedding. We met and discussed. He asked us questions we hadn't even thought about. Gave us suggestions and we gave him some requirements as well to my our wedding ceremony just perfect.
Prior to our wedding, Paul would always check in with us via email. Also sending us basically a breakdown of how it was going to go.
At our rehearsal, he took great care of us. As most people have to be told what to do and where to stand, he was patient and kind.
The Day of our wedding was just perfect! Some of our guests even told us after how awesome our ceremony was and that had everything to with Paul!
Jason & Katy (Stuedemann) Liberto
Where do I even begin? Paul was amazing at helping us plan our wedding ceremony. He was great from start to end. He met with us in the beginning to really get to know us. He helped us pick out some readings that everyone absolutely loved. He even included some of our personal life in our ceremony like our dog Milo . Every one enjoyed him and he was so helpful through out the whole process. I would DEFINTLEY recommend him to anyone. Paul is quite comical also which made everything easier also!
Kyle & Kassie (Kraemer) Hawkins
Take me back to the BEST DAY! Thank you Paul for making our wedding SO memorable. Everything about the ceremony was perfect! We really couldn't have asked for a better one. Working with Paul to plan out the ceremony timeline was easy and FUN! Paul is so experienced that he provides great suggestions on how to leave a lasting impression on your guests.
He was so helpful in giving us key moments to include but keeping it unique and fitting to us!
Paul was such a great communicator and always on top of emailing and responding to any questions in a timely manner.
We had our wedding in Door County and Paul traveled to be a part of our special day! He was flexible in his schedule and was able to accommodate the 2 night length of stay at our hotel. We really appreciated his flexibility and making it possible to travel.
I'd highly suggest having Paul be your officiant. You will have fun and it will be a memorable experience for all!
Jessica Lange & Sam Shookman
Paul was an absolute dream to work with! Very fun, helpful and easy going. He was hired to be the officiant and photographer, but he was so much more! He was a coordinator, entertainer and comedian. Our guests were very impressed with him and we received many, many compliments. Also, the photographs were beautiful. He gets an A+++ in our book!
Rosalie (Laketa) and Mark Gresl
I highly recommend Paul Costanzo. A few years ago I was attending a longtime friends (neighbor) son's wedding down at the War Memorial. There was something special that day that struck a cord with me. When the ceremony was over I said to the Mother of the Groom "That if my daughter gets married someday I want this guy to perform her wedding." A couple of years later my daughter got engaged. So right away I go back to ask my neighbor the name of the gentleman who officiated her son's Wedding. I find out he lives on my mail route. So I thought I would write him a letter, put a stamp on it and place it in his mailbox. But there was going to be a big favor I needed to ask. My daughter lived in Iowa and I was going to need him to travel 11 hours round trip and to arrive the night before to help with rehearsal. There was no hesitation he said "Yes"! I was beyond excited to share the news with my daughter. When my daughter and son-in-law came into town he took the time to sit down with then to get to know them. They absolutely "Loved" him! He also involved family members into the ceremony. He lets you make it your own "Special Day"
Anna Mass / Mother-of-the-Bride
Ashley (Mass) & Mike Bunkers
From the moment we met Paul we knew we needed to book our date!! Paul was so nice and funny, he listened to us and did exactly what we wanted, he threw in a few things of his own that he likes to do which was a great surprise. Everybody who was at our ceremony just loved him! We couldn’t of been happier... Thank you so much Paul!!
Melissa (Gillessen) and Joe Gutowski
Paul was a great addition to our big day. He was very helpful beforehand with planning and ideas and was available through the whole process for any questions or suggestions. He asked questions about us to be able to make our ceremony more personal. We wanted a short and fun ceremony and that is what we got! Highly recommended!
Leanna Small and Kevin Amborn
Paul came highly recommended and we feel so fortunate to have had Paul officiate our wedding. He surpassed our expectations in every way, delivering a perfectly customized ceremony. We received SO many compliments on how wonderful our ceremony was. Paul is professional, funny, easy to work and get a long with. I highly recommend him you will not be disappointed!! Thank you again, Paul!
Kim Keller and Curtis Macik
On September 29th 2018 I married my best friend the love of my life. Not only was it the perfect day but we had the most perfect wedding officiant in addition photographer. Paul made it so much fun from rehearsal to the day we said I do. Hes personable and became our friend. Things that a bride and groom don't think of or have to worry about on their special day Paul did. Not a worry in the world because of Paul. I cant thank you enough for making our day the most memorable not only for us but our guests.
♡♡♡ Sincerely Tracy and Krista (Bohlman) Bazen
We highly recommend Paul. Paul was personal, kind, knowledgeable, fun and patient. Paul was recommended by Tuscan Hall. My husband and I do not have a church affiliation so we had no idea who to have perform our ceremony. I don’t want to seem biased but it was the best and most personal ceremony I have ever attended.
Kimberly Poston and Michael Senczyszyn
While planning a wedding can be extremely stressful and you want to make sure everything is perfect. My husband and I knew we made the right choice in having Paul officiate our wedding for us this past April. He was extremely personable and our guests LOVED him! Leading up to the big day, he was extremely supportive, offered ideas on how to make our big day perfect for us and even brought a photo backdrop for a photo booth in the lobby! We had the perfect day and couldn’t thank Paul enough for all of his help!
Lauren Grabske & Kip Kadlec
"Simply put, Paul was perfect! We can say with all honestly that our wedding day would not have been the same without Paul. From him fully customizing our wedding ceremony with every unique detail, to snapping once in a lifetime photos with his “Backdrop Photography”, Paul goes above and beyond what you would expect from an officiant. Recently Paul performed a funeral service for Sarah’s grandfather and is also officiating Sarah’s brother’s wedding this summer. After simply one day, Paul became an extension of our family and is now our “go-to” man for all celebrations of life."
Sarah Becker & Nick Schrandt
We decided on an intimate, relaxed yet lovely wedding at the Pfister Hotel. Paul Costanzo was the perfect officiant. Although there were only four of us in attendance, the ceremony he performed was beautiful and he made our wedding day as special as we hoped it would be.
Kathy Donovan & Peggi Reich
Paul’s officiating was absolutely amazing! He was so easy going, but also not afraid to speak his mind in order to share his knowledge with us - so appreciated. He took the extra time to truly get to know us with multiple laid back meetings, making the planning truly fun. Taking that time allowed him to write a beautiful ceremony about us. In addition to all this, he traveled all the way to Blair, WI without hesitation. We asked him to stay through the reception to put his photography skills to use, and we are so glad we did - with gorgeous pictures to prove it! We received so many compliments on what a wonderful ceremony it was. He just did such a good job with helping us put our story all together, directing our rehearsal and made us prepared for what we should be doing at the ceremony. We are so thankful for him being apart of our day and you will be too!
Sara Anderson & Matt Stromski
"Paul is a friendly and outgoing guy that made our guests and us feel comfortable. He made us feel confident in writing and creating our ceremony. He was very willing to give us suggestions and do as much or little of it as we wanted. Our ceremony was wonderful and we had so many compliments! Thank you so much Paul!"
Kaity Aceto & Kody Kolata
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Recommended by 100% of couples
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Jordan Catapano · Married on 12/12/2020
One of a kind wedding experience
Paul was above and beyond anything we could have possibly expected or asked for in our wedding. Through all the chaos that surrounded our wedding, Paul from the first time we met was able to bring us back down to earth and make the process exciting again. He took the time to get to know us both as individuals and as a couple. He wanted to actually understand who we were as people and not just as “customers”. His communication was absolutely spot on, his suggestions helped us have a ceremony we never would have thought of ourselves, and was insistent that we are happy with every aspect of our ceremony. The real testament to how incredible Paul is was the day of our ceremony. We had a crisis to end all crises which caused over an hour delay for our ceremony. Without hesitating, Paul made the necessary calls to clear his schedule for the evening to make sure we could still move forward with our wedding. Paul not is only a top-notch officiant, but he is an all around outstanding person. Anyone that has the pleasure of working with Paul Costanzo will remember the experience for many many years to come. I personally guarantee it.Sent on 12/15/2020
New Beginnings Wedding Ceremonies's reply:Very kind words, Jordan. Your wedding day may have been challenging but once we got started and when you and Savannah shared personal promises to one another in front of those who love you there wasn't a dry eye. "Happily Ever After" is what they say. Thank you. Paul.
Kristen Winter · Married on 12/12/2020
Excellent officiant. Would definitely recommend.
Paul was a better officiant than we could have imagined. Very professional. Our ceremony went very well and we couldn’t have been happier with his service.Sent on 12/31/2020
Jamie · Married on 10/10/2020
Paul is the greatest!
I was looking for an officiant that did non-traditional ceremonies, specifically nothing religious. I turned to WeddingWire for recommendations on officiants because the prices that I was provided before were outrageous. That is when I came across Paul. Everything about working with Paul from my initial encounter to the wedding day was perfect! Paul has this quirky personality that aligned so perfectly with mine. He is also extremely professional and passionate about really making sure the ceremony is what the bride and the groom want. During our first consult, he took the time to know about my husband and I as a couple. What our personalities were like and what drew us together. He provided us with different ceremony ideas and readings and provided an overview on how he likes to run things. At the rehearsal, he really helped to keep everything on track and wanted to make sure the party was aligned with my vision. The ceremony itself was perfect in every single way. Paul connected with the guests. Kept the ceremony short (which is what we wanted). One last thing that really wowed me with Paul is that he knew where to position himself when doing everything. When the couple is officially announced as husband/wife and told to give each other the official kiss, I have seen so many pictures with the officiant standing there in the background. Paul moved himself from the background which helped my photographer to get a perfect picture of our first husband/wife kiss. It's the little things that Paul is aware of and cares about that truly make him the best possible officiant. Anytime anyone ever asks for a recommendation, Paul has my full vote of confidence!Sent on 10/21/2020
New Beginnings Wedding Ceremonies's reply:Thank you, Jamie, for sharing such a glowing review. Yes - it's my passion now in life. I realize that once the 3 of us put this special ceremony together it would resonate thanks to everyone's involvement. And yes - I know when to "slip away" and let your photographers do their thing because I also did that for years and the ceremony is all about the TWO OF YOU - not me. Paul.