Helping you celebrate your commitment to one another
Congratulations on your engagement!
My name is Rev. Larry D. Goyda and I am a Pittsburgh wedding officiant who has been blessed with the opportunity to officiate at approximately 2100 wedding ceremonies since 1994. As a Pittsburgh-based, non-denominational wedding officiant / minister, my approach is to help you get married by conducting a wedding ceremony that celebrates the commitment between two people who love one another, by reflecting the values, beliefs, and meaningful aspects of your relationship. It is important that your wedding ceremony be an authentic expression of you as individuals and as a couple, and I will assist you every step of the way.
I believe that it is important for a couple to be comfortable with both their wedding minister and their wedding ceremony. My style is open, caring, and laid back, yet detail-oriented. Many couples find this approach appealing, making it easier for us to work together. I will make recommendations, which many couples choose to follow, but these recommendations are only guidelines and are certainly not etched in stone.
Quite often, couples who come to me to be their wedding officiant have different religious traditions and ask me to incorporate both religions into their particular ceremony. I am pleased to perform weddings that blend two faiths or go in a direction that better meets how the two of you view life, the world and your relationship. Though there are differences – some great and some minor – in the words, traditions, texts, practices, and cultures of the world, in the end, we are all seeking the greater light of life, and a beautiful wedding ceremony can be built around those universal beliefs.
Feel free to contact me with any questions or to set up a meeting. You can reach me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 412-271-7464.
As the officiant of your Pittsburgh wedding ceremony, I would be speaking for your love, so it is very important that you get a sense of who I am and my style. This can be accomplished in a brief phone conversation, so please give me a call at 412-271-7464.
wedding ceremony basics
When we meet, I will show you a copy of a wedding ceremony that we can use as a starting point to design your wedding ceremony. Many couples use my ceremony as it is. Some choose to make changes or additions to it.
Based on my many years as a wedding officiant, I believe that my ceremony speaks to many couples who come to me. The ceremony is my prayer for the couple. It is what I want for you. Typically, the only difference between a civil, religious, or spiritual wedding ceremony is the inclusion or exclusion of the parts listed below and the wording of each part used. Whether you choose to include all parts, or just a few, I pace the ceremony to last about 30 minutes.
Basic Parts of the Ceremony
- The Presenting of the Couple (Often by their Families)
- Opening Words
- Words of Welcome
- Words on Love or Marriage
- The Hand Ceremony, which beautifully speaks about aspects of your commitment and your newly formed family
- The Giving of Your Word
- Support from Family and Friends
- The Exchange of Rings
- Wedding Blessing
- Pronouncement of Marriage
- And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you for the first time…
- Roses to Mothers
- Unity Candle
- Readings, either Religious or Secular
- Breaking of the Glass
- Jumping the Broom
- Children Ceremony – I believe that when people with children marry, they are making a commitment not only to each other but also to the children. If either of you has children, this part of the ceremony acknowledges those children as part of your union – your family.
Whatever you choose for your wedding ceremony, I believe that what is most important is that it is the expression of your love for – and commitment to – one another.
Services & Fees
I am here to help you celebrate your love and commitment, and will do so in a manner that brings the most meaning and joy to your ceremony. I will conduct your ceremony with the utmost consideration and respect, and with the intention that what is reflected to all in attendance is the love that binds your union.
After more than 25 years of conducting weddings, you can be assured that using Meaningful Marriages wedding officiant will result in a ceremony that you will remember for years to come.
My fees are based on the service provided and the size of the wedding.
Elopement: The happy couple plus up to 10 guests – $100
Vow Renewal – $200
Standard Wedding Ceremony – $275
Rehearsal – $100
Please note that there may be additional fees for travel as well, depending on where your wedding ceremony will be held (I am local to Pittsburgh, PA).
There is some flexibility in the price if you are marrying at an off-peak time, such as Monday – Thursday.
I look forward to discussing your wedding needs and showing you what I can do to make your wedding ceremony the perfect representation of your love.
Rev. Larry married us at the end of May 2022. He was very personable and helpful in guiding us through the process. He gave some valuable advice which helped us make some important decisions about the ceremony. We could tell that he takes real joy in performing marriages. We highly recommend Rev. Larry.
I would absolutely recommend Reverend Goyda to anyone. He is a very caring individual and made sure we were comfortable on our big day!
Larry made the both of us feel very comfortable and not nervous at all. He made our ceremony very personal to us. He involved both of our families since this was second marriage for both of us. He talked about bringing all these families together with our marriage. He brought both spiritual and Christian aspects together. Everyone was very impressed with our ceremony. Highly recommend.
Larry was absolutley amazing! I got so many compliments on him. He made us and everyone else feel so comforatable. He is very genuine and pleasant to be around. Thank you Larry very much for everything!!! You are wonderful!
Frequently asked questions
Does it matter what religion each of us are (or are not)?
No. I serve you in a way that brings joy to your day. I’ve conducted wedding ceremonies where the couples were Catholic/Muslim, Agnostic/Lutheran, Baptist/No Faith, Spiritual/Presbyterian. I work with the couple to blend the traditions as much as they wish. I am just as comfortable serving you in the manner that helps you live out your own spiritual experience, whether devoutly Christian, Jewish, Muslim, purely spiritual or Agnostic.
Can we have a non-religious, spiritual wedding ceremony?
This is your choice. Most prefer a “spiritual” and not “religious” ceremony. It is your wedding and my goal is to officiate the ceremony that is right for you. You may find that what you desire is in line with what most other couples that come to me desire – reverent, special, spiritual, and pleasing to the parents without being too “over the top” in terms of religiosity.
Can we have a wedding ceremony that includes elements of different religions and religious traditions?
Yes! These make for interesting, rich, meaningful wedding ceremonies. I have conducted ceremonies that blend religions, working with you and your various traditions to put together a ceremony that truly reflects your wishes.
Are there any prerequisites for using you as our wedding officiant, such as counseling?
No premarital counseling is necessary and people do not have to share my beliefs in order for me to conduct their ceremony.
Does it matter that either of us have been married before, divorced, or have children?
No. Many of the couples I’ve married are on their second or third marriage. If there are children involved, I often include them in the ceremony. They are recognized and vows are taken to them as well. Read more about my wedding ceremony basics.
Can we write our own vows or make changes to your basic wedding ceremony?
Absolutely! I encourage you to personalize your ceremony as much as you wish.
What do you wear when officiating weddings?
Usually I wear a suit and tie when I officiate, but many couples want something that is specifically in line with their theme or style, so I do have other ensembles as well.
How is the booking of my wedding handled?
You are booked when I receive a deposit of 50% of the total fee. The balance must be paid at least one month in advance of the scheduled wedding.
Can we pay the entire balance when we book to get it out of the way?
Yes. The balance is due at least one month before your wedding day.
How far in advance should I confirm a wedding officiant?
The sooner the better. Sometimes I am booked a year in advance, so do not delay!
What about last minute requests?
If I have room in my schedule, and I happy to try to accommodate you. I have done many weddings on short notice, and we were able to work through the details without any difficulties and have a wonderful ceremony. Call me as soon as you can and I will do my best to fit you in.
Do we need a marriage license?
If you are having both the legal (civil) and spiritual (religious) marriage, yes, you must get a wedding license. More information about marriage licenses in Allegheny County can be found here. If you are already married and are looking to renew your vows with a first time style, a marriage license is not required.