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  • Is a wedding rehearsal necessary?
    Yes, a wedding rehearsal is absolutely necessary before your actual wedding ceremony even if it is only for 15-30 minutes. Making sure everyone knows how to enter (slowly with the gentlemen giving their arm to the bridesmaids if they are walking together), where to stand, and how to exit is extremely helpful so that the wedding ceremony occurs smoothly. Note that it is not necessarily critical to have the officiant at the rehearsal; a good wedding coordinator can instruct the wedding party how to enter, stand, and exit. The professional wedding officiant handles the rest! Traditionally, wedding rehearsals have been held the day before the wedding but recently many couples are having their rehearsal on the day of the ceremony. This does seem to result in the wedding party taking the rehearsal more seriously as the event is soon to happen.
  • Can I have a friend or family member officiate my wedding?
    Having a friend or family member officiate your wedding is allowed (if they get legally certified) and may be a nice touch, however, you may wish to think carefully about turning over your once in a lifetime love story experience to someone if they are inexperienced in officiating a wedding. Your wedding officiant is your “master of ceremonies” for the entire wedding ceremony. Having someone who is experienced, personable, and confident leading you and your fiance can provide a tremendous sense of peace especially for the bride through a time which is often an exciting but also nervous, emotional experience. And should unexpected challenges pop up, which sometimes occur in the midst of wedding ceremonies, having someone with experience and confidence handling your ceremony can help put the bride and groom at ease and result in your guests being completely unaware that a problem even existed on your special day.
  • How early should a wedding officiant arrive at the wedding ceremony?
    A wedding officiant should arrive at least 45 minutes prior to the start of the wedding ceremony; an hour is ideal. While the officiant has very little to do during this time (other than get a microphone on), having the officiant present far in advance of the wedding ceremony allows the bride and groom to relax, granting them a sense of peace during a busy, nervous moment in their lives. Professional officiants arrive early for their bride and groom and sometimes help either one relax before their beautiful ceremony begins.
  • Is premarital counseling neccesary or helpful?
    Premarital counseling (or premarriage counseling) can be incredibly beneficial in helping a new couple get off to a great start in their marriage. Top counselors are licensed (i.e., Licensed Professional Counselors), experienced (at least 5 years in premarriage counseling), and are personable/easy to relate to. Experienced premarriage counselors will help you understand yourself and the personal you are marrying better so that you can head off any problems more easily. Additionally, one should learn how to communicate better with their future spouse as well as talk through critical issues (children and parenting, sex and intimacy, financial issues, spiritual issues, husband/wife roles, in-laws, friends, boundaries, etc.) prior to getting married. Typically, a minimum of 8 hours of premarriage counseling is recommended and, in the State of Texas, the couple can receive a sizable discount off of their marriage license if their premarriage counselor is certified by the TwoGether in Texas program. In San Antonio Texas, a couple who completes premarriage counseling through a certified counselor will receive a certificate which they can then turn into the Bexar county courthouse for their discounted marriage license.
  • What is the usual order in a wedding ceremony?
    While the couple getting married is welcome to craft their own personalized wedding ceremony, most wedding ceremonies follow a traditional order that includes: ​ - The Entrance (grandparents, parents, groom, bridal party, bride) - The Welcome (by the officiant) - The Giving Away of the Bride (traditionally by the father of the bride) - The Intent to be Married (the “I do’s”) - Optional Readings (scripture, poetry) - Optional Message/Sermon by the Officiant (personal words of wisdom to the couple) - The Exchange of Vows (traditional or personalized) - The Exchange of Rings - The Declaration of Marriage (“I now pronounce you husband and wife”) - The Welcome (“I present to you for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Jackson”) ​ Some wedding officiants will also offer some pre-ceremony instructions to the guests (“The couple has hired professional photographers to record today’s ceremony so please turn off all electronic devices and refrain from taking photographs during the ceremony. Thank you!”). Additionally, a post-ceremony announcement can be helpful. (“The bride and groom welcome you to enjoy cocktail hour in the pavillion while the family and wedding party returns for a few photographs.”) ​ Regardless of where you choose to have your wedding in the San Antonio, Texas area, make sure you choose a professional wedding officiant who will personalize your love story and provide the level of detail to your wedding ceremony that the two of you desire.
  • What are some interesting aspects to add to my wedding ceremony?
    Experienced wedding officiants are familiar with a variety of interesting additions to personalize wedding ceremonies for their brides and grooms, making their customized ceremony particularly memorable. This may include a wine box, unity candle, cross ceremony, sand ceremony, presentation of roses to the parents, or other unique ideas on their wedding day. Speak to your wedding officiant to learn if they have officiated these aspects before and how comfortable they are with incorporating what you want in your personalized wedding ceremony. Some of these aspects can be particularly beautiful in the gorgeous outdoor venues in the San Antonio, New Braunfels, and the Texas Hill Country area.
  • How much do wedding officiants cost in the San Antonio, New Braunfels, Texas Hill Country area?
    The cost of a wedding officiant in the San Antonio, New Braunfels, Texas Hill Country area varies but typically ranges between $300 to $600 depending upon the officiant’s level of professional experience, how well the officiant is willing to personalize the ceremony by meeting with the couple virtually, in person, or over the phone at least once far in advance of the wedding ceremony, and how professional the wedding officiant is (which can often be determined by his/her responsiveness to emails/calls/texts, website, presentation when communicating with you, and overall organization). This level of professionalism can vary in the San Antonio, Texas area among wedding officiants so be aware when choosing someone to create a beautiful, custom ceremony for your special day.
  • What questions should I ask a potential wedding officiant when interviewing him/her?
    The number one aspect you want to ascertain when interviewing a wedding officiant is how comfortable, personable, and confident is he/she. Your wedding officiant is an outward representation of you at your upcoming wedding ceremony. If he/she is stiff, uncomfortable, not personable, or awkward during a brief conversation with you, that’s a bad sign! Find a wedding officiant in the San Antonio area who wants to get to know you and with whom you are very comfortable. Make sure he/she has years of experience officiating weddings before choosing one for your wedding day. You may want to ask what challenging scenarios he/she has had to handle at weddings and what he/she did at those ceremonies. Make sure he/she is willing to craft a personalized ceremony just for you versus use a cookie-cutter approach to your special day.
  • Are all of your sessions virtual?
    Yes. All of my sessions are through Zoom unless you'd prefer talking via phone. I have found that many of my clients prefer the ease and ability to access my services from anywhere (their home, office, in their car, etc.) rather than having to drive to an office (or, for some, drive to my city). I realize that some people would prefer in-person and, fortunately, there are others who offer this service.
  • Do you offer a sliding fee scale?
    Yes. For individual counseling and coaching, my hourly rate is $200/hour. If, however, your gross family income is less than $100,000 gross family income annually, then my rate is $180/hour; if less than $75,000 gross family income annually, then my rate is $160/hour. For marriage counseling, my hourly rate is $225/hour. If, however, your gross family income is less than $100,000 gross family income annually, then my rate is $200/hour; if less than $75,000 gross family income annually, then my rate is $180/hour. For family counseling, my hourly rate is $250/hour. If, however, your gross family income is less than $100,000 gross family income annually, then my rate is $225/hour; if less than $75,000 gross family income annually, then my rate is $200/hour. For pre-marriage counseling, my hourly rate is $125/hour which is a very reduced rate already. I do not have a further reduced rate for pre-marital counseling.
  • Do you accept every client that comes to you?
    We all have a limited amount of time and money. As such, we should both be selective on who we give both to! I am selective on who I give my time to and you should be selective on who you give your time/money to. Throughout the first two to three sessions, we'll check each other out to decide if we're a "good fit" for one another. I tend to take on clients who are willing to listen and learn and are motivated to make improvements in their life. Those who just wish to talk but have no desire to make significant changes in their life (which include doing things in between sessions that they commit to doing ... like take small steps towards changing a habit they wish to change, watching a video to learn new things, talking to someone they are committed to contacting, etc.) will be better served via another therapist.
  • How often will we meet?
    Frequently, I like to meet with people more frequently at first as most people come in when they are really hurting emotionally; I like to get started quickly, providing rapid relief to their most significant struggles whenever possible. Then we typically meet once a week until they're able to meet once every two or three weeks. My goal is to build you up rapidly to the point at which I am no longer needed.
  • Do you accept insurance?
    I prefer to spend 100% of my time helping my clients rather than dealing with insurance companies. So while I do not deal with them directly, I can provide paperwork for you to submit a claim to your insurance company if you'd like. I have been told by several of my clients that they have been reimbursed 70%-80% of the charge towards their out of network deductible (i.e., if they paid me $200 and were reimbursed 80%, the session cost them $40).
  • How should I prepare for our Zoom session?
    Zoom is easy to use. First, download Zoom onto your phone/tablet or log onto via your computer. . Prior to your session, make sure the space you’ll be using is quiet and private (no children, co-workers, barking dogs, etc. disturbing your time). To get maximum bandwidth, you may want to ask others (children, spouse, etc.) to be off of wifi for your hour so that you don’t have wifi glitches. Turn your phone/ipad on “Do Not Disturb” so that you don’t get calls/texts/notifications during your session. Choose a place where you have light in front of you/on your face rather than behind you. When your session is about to start, you can click on the Zoom link in the “confirmation email” (which you received just after booking your session) or the Zoom link in the “reminder email” (which you receive 24 hours before your appt); make sure you are not “muted” and click on the “video” icon (which looks like a videocamera) to turn your video on. You may be in a virtual “waiting room” for a minute or two, then David will start the session with you. As the session wraps up, he will likely give you homework to do; then you can book your next session on the website.
  • For Current Clients - How do I register for sessions on the website?
    If you are a current client who wants to schedule a session: 1. Use the menu bar at the top of every page and choose the service page that you'd like: "Counseling" or "Coaching". It will take you to a password protected page that is only available to David's current clients. 2. Use the website password David has given to you (his client) to access this page to schedule appts with him. 3. Log in (the first time you'll need to create your own username and password) and on the service you want (like "1-on-1 Counseling") click "book now" to see the days/times available. Choose whatever day/time you'd like. You'll receive a Zoom confirmation email (with the link for your session) right away and a Zoom reminder email the day before your session.
  • For New Clients - How do I get started / How do I request a session?
    On the "New Client" page: 1) See if you’d benefit most from Counseling, Coaching, or a Course. 2) If Counseling or Coaching, click on the button to "Request Counseling" or "Request Coaching". 3) You will be given an online "Intake Form" which provides David with helpful information regarding your situation. He will review the intake form (usually within 24-48 hours) and email you, letting you know if he believes he can help and, if so, how to schedule your first session. (Note: Due to state licensing requirements, David can only "counsel" residents of Texas but can "coach" anyone who is a good fit for what he provides. Also note that he does not provide counseling services for those who are actively suicidal, recently attempted suicide, have been diagnosed with a personality disorder, or are dealing with divorce/affair recovery as these issues require a level of care beyond what he is currently able to provide.)
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