A number of years ago, right after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore, Mike Walter had to step in at the last minute to officiate a wedding. The couple, Christine and Michael, couldn’t legally get married because their municipal office had been closed from the storm and they weren’t able to get a license. Still, they wanted to have a ceremony and at the last minute, at Lisa Truesdale’s urging, Mike stepped in to run it. He found that his years of MCing and public speaking came in handy and he was very comfortable in the role of officiant.
After the ceremony he thought, “that was cool. Maybe I ought to get my certificate to do those legally.” And since the best way to do that is to become a “minister” Mike got himself ordained at The Universal Life Church (and for $35 you can too!)
Since then Mike has begun performing Wedding Ceremonies for some good friends. He works very closely with them, interviewing the bride and groom separately and using their own words to personalize the ceremony. He also encourages couples to write their own vows. “I’ve seen tons of ceremonies as the DJ and sometimes I sit back there waiting to hit the recessional song and I can lip sync with the officiant because the ceremony is so cookie-cutter. Those aren’t the kinds of ceremonies I want to do.”
Inspired by his own wedding ceremony which a good friend of his, Randy Bartlett (a DJ from California) officiated, Mike wants each ceremony to be memorable. “Randy worked closely with Kelly and me. He had some funny lines (especially poking fun at my Mets). And not that a ceremony is a stand-up routine but laughter can help break the tension in the room. People are understandably nervous but if you can make them smile and laugh, you can relax everyone. That’s what Randy did so well and that’s what I hope to bring to my ceremonies. Personalization, honesty and hopefully a little humor.”
The price to have Mike officiate your wedding is $600. This includes the sound equipment and music for prelude, processional and recessional.