Rev. Janice Carter

Wedding Celebrant and Officiant in the Seattle area

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Premarital Discussions

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Before we get married, we feel we know our future spouse so well.  Couples tend to view themselves through the lens of how much they are alike and tend not to look too deeply into how they are different.  Yet after the wedding bells, the marriage begins and we start learning things about our spouses that we didn’t know before.  Or things that we thought were so endearing before we married can start irritating us afterwards.

We think we have talked about things before we get married, but it is very different experience to have an outside person asking the questions and each person having to think about and write the answers to the questions.  Many interesting discoveries – both good and not so good – are made during this process.

As says: “Why is it that we argue and fight with the ones we love the most? Couples fight over a variety of issues, but commonly over topics such as finances, in-laws, their children, household duties and sex. Expectations about any of these topics can be broken, leading to disappointment and even resentment.”

I have developed a set of 33 questions which cover many different areas – money, children, goals, conflict resolution, careers, religion, leisure time, where to live, and more – to start exploring these areas that are so important when we are sharing and building a life with another person.

The first question in the list is:  Have you taken a premarital class to prepare for marriage? Why or why not?  I think most couples will say that they know each other so well and get along so well that they don’t need it.  Yet, all the couples who have taken one of my premarital discussion courses have discovered things about their partner that they did not know.  Or sometimes, they comment that they knew their partner felt a certain way, but didn’t understand why they felt that way.  It gave them a greater understanding of the other person’s point of view.  The classes give couples a safe environment in which to explore these different areas.

A line from my all-time favorite comedy play, “The Importance of Being Earnest” is spoken by Lady Bracknell.  She declares, “I am not in favor of long engagements.  They give people the opportunity of finding out each other’s character before marriage, which is never advisable.”  This is funny in the play, but in real life, it is the exact opposite of what should happen!  The more we know about our beloved, the better prepared we will be to build a strong and lasting relationship with them!

To help build a more solid foundation for your marriage, I strongly recommend that every couple takes a premarital class.  The new class I developed is short enough that every engaged couple – or couples thinking of becoming engaged – can find time to take it.   It is merely 33 questions, but these questions cover a lot of territory and can lead to some very interesting and enlightening conversations!  You might be surprised about what you find out about your partner – including some wonderful things that he/she may have been too shy to tell you!

To find out more, contact me at


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‘Tis the Season To Get Married


Halloween is behind us and we are fast approaching Thanksgiving!  Soon it will be the end of the year!

For those couples thinking ahead, getting married before the end of the year will allow you to file your income tax return for 2013 as a married couple.  This will save most couples money when they file their income tax returns.

You can have a private, intimate wedding at my home to become legally married and then have your big wedding as planned in 2014!  It is a no fuss, no stress solution.  Just bring your marriage license, your wedding rings (optional), and two witnesses!

For more details, call Rev. Jan Carter at 206.915.1077. Or email me at


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Elopements – SimpliDone Style

You want a romantic ceremony, not a courthouse judge; you want an intimate wedding, not crowded with co-workers and your parents’ friends; you want to elope – Northwest Style!

You want it all in a private location with a caring celebrant, award winning photographer and a team that will see to all the details for you easily and affordably – you want Barbara and Jan.

Barbara, of Barbara Roser Photography, has been photographing weddings, events, and romantic boudoir sessions for over 20 years!

Rev. Jan, non-denominational celebrant, will help you design the “Perfect for You” ceremony for your wedding, vow renewals, anniversary, or commitment ceremony.

You want . . . SimpliDone!

More and more couples are embracing a private and personal wedding ceremony that focuses on the couple while keeping the costs affordable and stress level low.

A SimpliDone event eliminates the time and stress associated with elaborate ceremonies while keeping all the fun stuff – vows of love, flowers, cake cutting, a toast, beautiful photography – all in a beautiful setting of your choice.

All you need do is make a few simple selections and enjoy your special day! SimpliDone!

“SimpliDone offered us the best choice, one that fit perfectly between the grand, expensive ceremony and going to the courthouse.”

Here is how we can help:

So you want to have a small, unfussy wedding while still avoiding the courthouse or trip to Las Vegas.

• Rev. Jan is a non-denominational officiant providing you with a choice of ceremonies that will make your vows both meaningful and memorable. After the ceremony, Jan will take care of all the paperwork and filings.

• Barbara is a veteran at coordinating and photographing events; her gardens are designed with portraits in mind and the ceremony candids along with couple portraits are delivered to you on DVD for enjoying and sharing.

• Flowers, cake, toasting flutes, even witnesses can be provided if you wish

Look over the packages and our other services; even if you don’t see what you need, call us. If we can’t help, we will help you find someone who can!

Jan and Barbara


What do you mean by Elopement Weddings?

Eloping no longer means running away to get married. The definition has expanded to describe small, intimate weddings without all the fuss and cost of a traditional wedding. The guest list is small, the ceremony is simple, the costs are greatly reduced. All this without sacrificing the beauty and meaning of the ceremony itself.

Elopements can be either spontaneous or planned. More and more couples are choosing this type of ceremony for a private and personal wedding that focuses on the couple, reflecting who they are. The planning is minimal and the stress is taken out of having to make all those decisions and paying a substantial amount of money. The couple can concentrate on themselves, their love for one another, and their future together.

Couples who choose an elopement ceremony want something more personal and memorable than just going to a Justice of the Peace or running away toLas Vegas. Elopement ceremonies have elements of a traditional wedding without the stress and the cost. They eliminate the need to fight over who should be invited, where everyone will sit, how many flowers and how much to decorate, what type of food, finding a place available, etc. At SimpliDone, all you have to do is show up on the appointed day and time and enjoy yourselves.

Does SimpliDone only perform marriage ceremonies?

In addition to weddings, we do commitment ceremonies and renewal of vows.

What type of ceremony can we have?

Your ceremony should reflect your beliefs and interests. It can be religious or civil, non-denominational, spiritual, multi-cultural, funny or solemn. SimpliDone provides several ceremonies to choose from, which can be mixed and matched to personalize your ceremony, or if you want, feel free to write all or part of your own ceremony.

What are the legal requirements for our wedding?

You both need to be at least eighteen years old, have a valid marriage license, two witnesses, and an Officiant. SimpliDone provides the location, the Officiant, and will even provide the witnesses upon request.

What is required to get a marriage license?

Here are some facts about getting married inWashingtonState:

• Both applicants must be at least 18 years old

• Applicants under 18 years of age need have parental consent

• A waiting period of 3 days is mandatory after obtaining the license

• The marriage license is good for 60 days

• The cost of a license is $64 in most counties

• A blood test or physical is not required to get a license

• You do not need proof of a divorce or death of a spouse

• You do not have to be residents of the state ofWashington

• Same sex marriages are not recognized by Washington State Law (but at SimpliDone, we are thrilled to be a part of celebrating any couple’s ceremonial commitment)

Where do we get a marriage license?

The marriage license can be obtained at a county office. Click on one of the links below for all the details:

King County

Pierce County

Snohomish County

Kitsap County

Thurston County

How do I schedule services with SimpliDone?

Either call 206.915.1077 or email us at for availability. We perform ceremonies seven days a week and are often available the same day. It is not difficult to find a date and time to schedule your special event.

How does all this work?

To have SimpliDone provide a memorable wedding for you, follow these simple steps:

1. Select the package for your wedding

2. Contact SimpliDone to schedule your ceremony (when setting your schedule, remember you need to obtain a marriage license through one of the counties inWashingtonState. And it comes with a three day waiting period!)

3. Fill out the Agreement (e-mailed by us to you ) and pay the fee for your chosen ceremony. This will reserve your day and time.

4. Select your ceremony from the package of ceremonies that will be sent to you along with the Agreement; or send us your own ceremonial wording.

5. Receive the confirmation email from SimpliDone and your job is done. (Well, you will still need to select outfits and possibly select rings, but that is the fun part!)

How do we pay you?

Prepaid with check, cash or credit card.

Can we write our own vows?

You may write your own vows or modify one of the pre-written ceremonies from SimpliDone. You may mix and match from all of the ceremonies to come up with the special one just for you.

If you need more inspiration, SimpliDone can provide you with several vows and readings from which to choose.

What happens during the ceremony?

The couple stands before the Officiant to take their vows. The photographer will take pictures during the ceremony and photos of the couple and the guests either before or after the ceremony. If you have selected the cake as part of your ceremony, pictures will be taken of the cake cutting and the toast to the new couple.

Can children take part in our ceremony?

By its intimate nature, all guests at a SimpliDone ceremony are part of the ceremony. You define what you want their role and level of involvement to be. (You may wish to especially check out the ceremony written with children particularly included.)

What happens after the ceremony?

The newly-wed couple, the Officiant, and the two witnesses will sign the legal documents immediately after the ceremony. The Officiant will file all the necessary paperwork with the county. You may start using your new name immediately!

What do we do next?

Contact us to get started on making your special day an intimate, elegant, stress-free affair.

Your Choice of Packages

Complete Wedding, Commitment and Renewal Ceremony Packages

1. Simple Ceremony – Studio Gardens $450

• The two of you and your two witnesses join us in our studio gardens for your ceremony and ceremony photography.

• A DVD of images, along with a commemorative copy of your ceremony will be mailed to you within a few days of your event.

2. Intimate Celebration – Studio Gardens $750

• Bouquet for the Bride

• The ceremony of your choice shared with up to six guests.

• One hour of photography to include ceremony, couple portraits and guest candids.

• Copy of ceremony, DVD of all images, 4×6 copies of your portraits and Facebook image tags

3. Intimate Celebration – Your Location $950

The Intimate Celebration Package goes on location. Choose a location within the greater Seattle area and add guests if you choose.

4. Elegant Celebration – Studio Gardens $1,550

All you have to do is invite the guests and we will take care of the rest!

• Dressing Room for you and any attendants

• Bouquet and boutonniere of roses or seasonal flowers

• Cake, cake cutting and bubbly toast

• Commemorative copy of the ceremony

• Photography & video mix of ceremony and celebration

And, when you get back from the honeymoon:

• Photography DVD, 4×6 proofs and 5×7 album of highlights will be waiting for you!

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Top Ten Topics to Discuss Before the Wedding

Marriage brings together more than just two people.  It also joins together all the expectations each person has of what a husband and wife are and what their roles are.  It factors in all the family experiences and traditions of each person.  Many times these expectations are so basic to a person’s belief system that the individual is not even aware of what they are.  After the wedding ceremony, these expectations start coming up as the couple blends their two separate lives into one life of togetherness.  The more a couple has discussed their beliefs and expectations before the wedding, the smoother the transition to married life will be.  This can be an uncomfortable process at times, but it is important to understand where your future spouse stands on key issues before you tie the knot.

The top ten topics for a couple to discuss are:

  1. Money and Finances
  2. Careers
  3. Children
  4. Sex and Bedtime Routines
  5. Religion
  6. Friends and Family
  7. What each of you want out of life (values, priorities, goals)
  8. Communications and Conflict Resolution
  9. Leisure Activities
  10. Roles and Expectations in Marriage

Each of these is a large topic with many questions to discuss.   Many couples find premarital counseling helpful so that they can discuss these areas in a thorough and constructive manner.

I provide a course called Premarital Discussions where each person answers in writing a list of questions for each topic.  The couple then sits down together and discusses their answers.  They email the results to me and every two or three topics, we meet face-to-face to discuss the results.  The couples who have gone through this course have found it very helpful, even though they had a good relationship before starting the course.

A 2014 graduate of the course wrote, “This class was really good for us to talk about every aspect of our relationship.  It forced us to sit down and talk about things openly.   [The course was] eye opening and a good way for us to communicate with guided conversation.  The course helped me to understand the background of some of my partner’s opinions/feelings.”

To find out more, you may contact me at or call me at 206.915.1077.