Arwen Freer, Minister

Yes, you can have your ceremony your way! Whether your ceremony is big or small; whether it is simple or elaborate, whether it is traditional, alternative, themed, or even costumed, I would love to craft a ceremony to match your vision.

I believe that love is love, and, for me, there is no higher calling than joining together people who are committed to loving each other; and I believe everyone should be able to have a ceremony that reflects their own style and interests. Every relationship is unique, so I customize every ceremony script to match the individuals' understanding of love and commitment, within their chosen beliefs.

  • Are you looking for a blend of two or more different faiths or cultural traditions? I’ll be glad to work with you on a balanced ceremony including them all.
  • Are you looking for a ceremony with quotes from your favorite author or fandom? I speak geek, and can even sneak it into traditional-looking ceremonies.
  • Full-on cosplay? I’m happy to dress the part.
  • LGBTQIA, BDSM, FLR, or whichever letter(s) you identify with, you are all welcome here!
  • Are you atheist and determined to keep religion out of your ceremony? No problem, there are a ton of secular options.
  • Have no idea what you want, but you know you don’t want your ceremony to look like all the others you’ve been to? I’m here to help you figure out what does call to your hearts.

I respect and welcome everyone, regardless of your faith, orientation, or life choices. I have a Christian background, but chose to be ordained through an interfaith ministry so I could have the privilege of working with couples from every faith, orientation, identity, background, and walk of life. Please feel like you can ask for whatever you want for your ceremony; it probably won’t be the strangest thing I’ve heard, and if it is, I’ll probably want to do it even more. As long as it’s legal, let’s get started!

I am based in Jacksonville, FL, but I’m willing to travel. I can perform weddings in FL, GA, and several other states. I have won Best of the Year awards from Thumbtack and The Knot, and the Couple’s Choice Award from WeddingWire, all based on reviews from couples I have married. I love every minute of working with people to create their perfect ceremony. I hope I will have the opportunity to show you why people love working with me too!

Please visit my website, FreerWeddings, for a list of my current packages with pricing, so you can see what will fit your style and budget. While you’re there, click over to my Contact page to book a free consultation by phone.

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How I cater to Offbeat Brides

When I was looking for a non-traditional, or at least open-minded officiant for my own wedding, it came to my attention just how difficult it could be to find one. My first consideration for every wedding decision and tradition was, “if it’s not fun, I’m not doing it." That alone was enough to make the officiant search a challenging one. I faced an armada of officiants with cookie-cutter scripts, and requirements for lots of counseling and planning sessions we didn’t want or have time for. It became clear to me that there was a need for a different kind of officiant. That’s when I felt my calling to become ordained and step into wedding ministry. I committed myself to being the kind of officiant that I wanted to work with when I was a bride: someone willing to listen to what I wanted, not try to push me into anything I didn’t want, and someone who wouldn’t make me feel judged for my choices.

What I can promise you is an open-mind, a patient ear, professionalism, experience, creativity, and kindness. It is my goal to help you feel comfortable, confident, excited, and prepared for your big day, and to deliver a ceremony that exalts your relationship in the way that is most meaningful for you. And, if like me, fun is an important part of the process for you, I can promise that too!

“…We had a surprise wedding disguised as a masquerade fancy cocktail housewarming. We also wanted our wedding script to be individualized and unique…Arwen was very open minded, excited, involved, and beyond accommodating. Her choice of words was enchanted, endearing and beyond anything we could have imagined…” – Heidi

See the full review and more at WeddingWire

Examples of my work

  • Heidi and Doug wanted to surprise their friends and family. So when they bought a house together, they invited everyone to a masquerade themed house warming. At some point, Doug proposed, and Heidi one-upped him by not only accepting, but calling out “is there an officiant in the house?”, prompting me to jump up and marry them on the spot. In addition to including a lot of great geeky references throughout the ceremony, one thing Doug challenged me to do was write a metaphor story comparing their relationship to how Luke Skywalker had to grow through his training with Yoda to become his best self. The couple and the guests loved the results, and Heidi shared with me that they plan on re-reading the ceremony script every year on their anniversary.
  • Keerthy and Maruthy had planned to travel back home to India to have a big traditional Hindu wedding. But due to complications, they found out last minute that they would not be able to travel. They contacted me to see if I could do a ceremony for them, at the same time and day that they would have been getting married India. Talking with them, it was clear they weren’t expecting anything beyond a secular elopement ceremony, and they felt grateful to be having even that much on such short notice, but I knew I could offer much more than that. I quickly researched Hindu wedding ceremonies and came up with a set of vows that held all the same promises they would have been exchanging back home. The couple was amazed that I was able and willing to do that, and they deeply appreciated how the ceremony honored their faith on their wedding day.
  • Rachel and Matt planned a big traditional church wedding, but wanted a lot of their favorite things hidden in it. Their list included Hank Aaron, Tolkien, Guy Fieri, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and “something about elephants”; and they left it up to me to find quotes for each. They also wanted to including a little Christian scripture, and a unity planting. While I came to think of this as the “kitchen sink” ceremony, a term the bride found hilarious, I managed to weave all of those varied interests into a single ceremony with a traditional Christian feel, and they loved it.
  • Tom and Nate contacted me, and one of the first things they told me was that all their straight friends were asking them, “What happens at gay weddings?” They laughed and admitted they’d had to answer, “We have no idea, we’ve never been to one either,” and they asked if I could tell them. My answer was, “The same things that happen at all other weddings.” They told me that they hadn’t been to many weddings and so they still had no idea what to do. I walked them through the basics and we discussed different options that fit their personalities and interests. They chose to have a fairly traditional ceremony, but I custom crafted a sand blending that would include Tom’s children adding shells to the top of the sand as their blessing to the couple. Tom and Nate were thankful for the guidance along the way, and they loved that their ceremony was exactly what they never knew they’d always wanted.

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