Rev. SJ Burns
DC Wedding Officiant
11 am - 7 pm
Rev. Starlene J. Burns
DC Wedding Officiant
Serving Maryland, Washington, DC,
11 am - 7 pm
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Elopements | Small Weddings | Large Nuptials
Short Notice Weddings | DC Marriage License Processing
Spiritual & Civil Ceremonies
Congratulations, you're getting married! And I want to help you tie the knot.
I am an authorized Washington DC officiant and a DC wedding minister. And I have been performing marriages in this area since 2004. If you're looking for an officiant who is professional, personable, caring, and respectful, call me.
Many people know me to be a modern day minister, a pro gay marriages equality advocate and an honest person. Whether you're having a civil (nonreligious), spiritual, or nondenominational ceremony, I can help you. I embrace all beliefs and people, openly and unconditionally.
Many calls I receive from couples are spent explaining how they can get married in DC, how much it might cost, and the legalities of their marriage in their home state.
To address those concerns, I have listed my response below:
1. Do I have to be a resident of the District of Columbia to get married there?
No you do not have to live in DC to celebrate your marriage here.
2. Is same sex marriage legal in DC, MD, VA ?
Yes, same sex marriage is legal in DC , Maryland and Virginia.
3. Will my marriage be recognized in the state where I reside?
For same gender loving couples, this question always comes up. Since every state is different, you will need to check with your state regarding it's current marriage laws.
4. What is the point of getting married if my state will not recognize it?
Getting married (for same gender loving couples) is really about honoring your relationship with your partner and your children. It should never be about your state laws.
5. Do you perform same sex marriages. If so why?
Yes I do. Months prior to graduating from seminary, I made a commitment to serve our LGBT people by performing commitment celebrations. In keeping my word, I did this, and now I perform same sex marriages. I love my job and all the people I serve and meet each day.
Furthermore, I don't condone discrimination. I believe that we are all one, and no one is better than another. Showing our ability to embrace each other unconditionally demonstrates a higher-power in our lives.
6. What are your fees (click the link)?
My fees vary according to your needs: $195 - $570
Available Services: signing rituals, elopements, weddings, and marriage license processing.
7. Can you perform my wedding in Virginia?
Yes, I serve most of Virginia.
8. Do you perform nonreligious ceremonies?
Yes, I provide a variety of services (civil, spiritual, or nondenominational).
9. Can our ceremony be held in your DC office or church?
Yes, I can only hold a small ceremony in my office with no more than 2 guests. For more guests. consider using the church's sanctuary. The church sanctuary rental fee is very affordable.
Eloping in DC (suggestions below) DC Elopements Packages
Elopements are much smaller and less expensive than small, medium, and large weddings. So, here's what you need know:
1. Create a realistic budget ($500 - $2500)
2. Get your marriage license (DC Marriage Bureau)
I can help with this by filing and picking up your marriage license for you.
3. Have transportation to the ceremony site (limo, cab, car)
4. Hire an authorized DC officiant
That's me, court authorized and affordable.
5. Hire a professional photographer (2 hours) optional
6. Hire a professional musician (violinist or guitarist) optional
7. Select a venue (DC park, monument, memorial site), church, restaurant or a
8. Book a suite at a hotel or inn that matches your taste in decor (the room can serve
as a backup plan for rain).
9. Plan your celebration dinner with cake and champagne
Planning a Wedding (DC Weddings)
Small, medium, and large weddings require a little bit more attention to details. So hire someone to help you. Meanwhile, here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Create a budget ($5,000 - $45,000)
A budget includes all expenses, and it dictates what you can afford.
The budget should include the following expenditures: marriage license, clothing, transportation (flight, limo, train, gas if you're driving), flowers, catering, cake, venue (banquet hall, church, hotel), photographer (7 hours - 10 hours), paper items (invitations, save the date, and programs), officiant, hair, makeup, nails, shoes, favors, DJ, wedding singer, day of coordinator, etc.
2. Buy wedding magazines and a wedding planning workbook to get ideas for your wedding and learn how to organize it. Some magazine suggestions: The Knot, Brides, Premier Brides, etc.
3. Number of Guests
Decide on the number of guests you're inviting. Remember that you're feeding them and buying their drinks. The food and drinks will be your most expensive cost.
4. Wedding Party
Based on the venue size, budget, patience, their commitment to you and their reliability; select your wedding party with care (honor attendants: bridesmaids, groomsmen, best ladies, men of honor, flower girls, ring bearers, bell ringers, etc.)
5. Select a Venue
Indoors or outdoors, decide on where your wedding will be held. For outdoor events, have a rain plan. Selecting a venue is not that difficult, hotel ballrooms, restaurants, mansions, cruise ships are a few options. Local wedding magazines will provide you with a list of venues as well as professional wedding planners.
6. Marriage License
To save you time and money, I can process your marriage license for you and bring it to the ceremony site with me.
7. Hire professional vendors
A beautiful wedding starts with a great plan and pros. It does not matter if you have a large wedding, a small gathering, or an elegant elopement. Hire professionals (officiant, photographer, caterer, baker, etc.).
About Me - Marriage Equality Advocate
I am Rev. Starlene Joyner Burns, a court authorized marriage celebrant, DC wedding officiant, and ally for marriage equality. In 2004, I was inspired to serve those of all faiths and all cultures. So I founded The Chapel of Love Ceremonies in 2004, then SJB Ministries LLC in 2006.
Iserve as the executive director and senior officiant .
Experience has shown me that many couples today, seek a celebrant who respects their beliefs, relationships, and values. And my training has taught me to embrace cultural and spiritual diversity openly, lovingly, and unconditionally.
As a licensed minister, I am authorized to perform weddings and other rites of passage in Maryland, Washington DC, and New York. I received additional authorization from the Superior Court of Washington DC, Virginia (traditional marriage only) and the City of New York for the solemnization of marriages.
If you are eloping in DC be creative and find a site that speaks to you. And if you like your privacy, don't pick an outdoor tourist attraction.
To keep your cost low, consider using my assistance in processing your DC marriage license via proxy. To learn more, click the marriage license agent link (to the left).
Finally, you can read couples reviews about me, click The Knot Best of Weddings logo (membership needed) or the Wedding Wire logo (to the left).
I look forward to meeting you and speaking with you soon. So call for special weekday elopement rates. And join me on Facebook and show your support for marriage equality.
Embracing love always,
DC Wedding Officiant & DC Marriage Minister
Serving, MD, DC, NoVA, & NYC
As a traveling minister, all sacraments will be administered at your location and with a valid marriage license (from the jurisdiction in which the wedding is held).
Important: No marriage can be performed without a marriage license. And no license can be signed without a ceremony.
Maintaining your confidentiality is my top priority.
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SJB Ministries LLC - DC Officiant