5 Reasons Why You May Want a Walk-In Wedding

Since I officiated my first wedding last summer, I’ve learned that one thing is certain. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all wedding. I have officiated weddings in a variety of places including homes, hospitals, and at wedding event venues. Regardless of where we meet, the sentiment is always the same. Two people who love each other want to make a lifelong commitment.

One popular option I offer is the Sign-and-Go ceremony. Couples arrive at my office, the courthouse, a restaurant, wherever… and walk in single and walk out married. When I officiate a Sign-and-Go marriage, I give the “bare minimum” that I am required by law to join two people in marriage. Here’s how it works.

We’ll set a meeting place to officiate the ceremony. Many people meet me at The Mid-Ohio Valley Wedding Officiants chapel. At this writing, my weddings are by appointment only. However, I perform my fair share of last-minute weddings in as early as an hour from the initial contact.

The Sign-and-Go lasts about a minute, and there are two parts of the ceremony: The Declaration of Intent and the Pronouncement. The Declaration of Intent is where I ask you a few questions, and you respond with “I will” or “I do.” The Pronouncement begins when I say…By the authority vested in me by the state of West Virginia/Ohio, I now pronounce you husband and wife/married for life.

This is a popular option for many of the couples I serve. There is no exchange of rings, but I do my best to make this short and simple ceremony special. If you’ve been thinking of a walk-in, sign-and-go ceremony, there are five reasons why it may be the best option for you and your loved one.

  1. You want an inexpensive alternative to a traditional wedding. The Sign-and-Go ceremony is a legally-binding alternative to a large, more costly wedding. Many couples prefer this quick ceremony as an economic avenue to marriage.
  2. You want to keep it simple. Many couples tell me that they have no interest in a formal wedding ceremony in front of family and friends. “We don’t want anything fancy” is what they say to me. They don’t care about the pomp and circumstance of a public ceremony. They love each other and just want to be married.
  3. You want to keep it secret. There are times when a couple wishes to keep their marriage private. They do not intend to announce their marriage to family or friends…yet. When you choose me as your officiant, your secret is safe with me. The couples featured on my Facebook page and website have given to me their permission to share the details of their special day.
  4. You’ve been together for a long time and just want to “make it legal.” This is a popular theme for many of my Sign-and-Go couples who have been together 10 years or longer. They already live together as a married couple and want to formally recognize their union in the eyes of the law.
  5. You want to legally marry before the public ceremony. There are times when a couple prefers to marry each other privately and then have a public wedding celebration for friends and family. In fact, I am sometimes asked to officiate two ceremonies, and I am happy to oblige. The first ceremony is quick and easy. The second ceremony is more in-depth and emotional.

There you have it — five reasons why a Sign-and-Go ceremony may be the option you’ve been looking for. If you’re ready to tie the knot without breaking the bank, contact me at 740-525-6974 or send a message to reserve your date and time. We can do it today, tomorrow, or a month from now. That’s the beauty of a walk-in wedding option. It’s part of my “your wedding your way” guarantee.

If you want to get married but want something a bit more formal than a Sign-and-Go ceremony, you can check out other wedding options here. If you want a themed wedding or another option not listed, reach out to me, and we’ll explore the options together.

Courthouse Elopements

Quite often, I receive phone calls asking me if I can do a last-minute elopement. As long as I have nothing else scheduled, I can do it!

If you want an expedient elopement, consider meeting me at the Wood County or Washington County Courthouse. Walk in. Get your marriage license. Walk out, and I’ll marry you. It’s that simple.

Of course, many of the elopements I officiate occur at my little wedding chapel or on location. I’ll even come to your home.

When it comes to getting married, it’s all about what you want.

All Chapel Ceremonies $75 – Valentine’s Day Only

If you’ve been waiting for the perfect time to tie the knot, why not have a sweet Valentine’s Day wedding in my wedding chapel? All ceremonies–elopements, Simple Ceremonies, and Vow Reaffirmations–will be $75 (plus WV sales tax) for one day only!

Sign-and-Go Ceremonies will be $25 on Valentines Day (plus WV sales tax).

Chapel weddings include the ceremony, use of my wedding space, and up to 12 guests! This is a $75 savings from our Simple Ceremony fee in the chapel or on location.

To get started, reach out to me at 740-525-6974 or contact me by clicking this link:

Contact Me

All weddings are by appointment only and require a non-refundable retainer for the amount of the ceremony. Your choice of a religious or non-religious ceremony is available. Vow reaffirmation (renewal) ceremonies are also available.

I’ve been blessed to unite these couples–and others–in marriage in my chapel. Will you be next?

Courtney and Donovan – Married by Deb

George and June – Married by Deb

Shyla and Joshua – Married by Deb

Penny and Paul – Married by Deb

Rushi and Gita – Married by Deb

Kaytlyn and Jay – Married by Deb

April and Kelley – Married by Deb



I’m In Love

Deb Lorentz – WV and OH Wedding Officiant

I am smitten…head-over-heels, totally, and completely in love with officiating weddings. I’m hooked. There’s no turning back now.

Ironically, I began this venture as something I could do every now and then. However, I wasn’t prepared to fall in love with the process. It’s always emotional, uplifting, and a joy to do what I do.

There’s no better feeling than standing with a couple and taking them over the threshold of being engaged to being married. The joy…the tears…the love that I witness each week fuels my desire to keep joining couples in marriage for as long as I am able to do so.

You may already know that I have a wedding chapel in  my photography studio. It’s simple and a beautiful alternative to a courthouse wedding or small home ceremony.  I also officiate weddings on location. Some are minutes away from my home or studio. Others are several hours away. These are services that I already offer.

I have added another ceremony with that “something extra special” to it– the Signature Ceremony. I’m super excited about it.

My Signature Ceremony is for the couple who want a ceremony that is written and customized specifically for them. It’s for the couple who want an unforgettable experience–one that will make their guests laugh, cry, and remember their first day of marriage for years to come.

To begin, contact me no-obligation wedding consultation. If we’re a good match, we’ll move forward and plan your Signature Ceremony.

Here’s what’s included:

  • We’ll collaborate. Everything from the beginning to the end of the ceremony will be a team effort. I’ll give you choices for your customized ceremony, and  I’ll do all the heavy lifting. You’ll know everything I’ll say and do the day of the event. There will be no surprises.
  • It’s personalized. Your wedding day is the sum of all your experiences and how you got there. I’ll tell  your story.
  • I will share your wedding script as it evolves every step of the way. I’ll revise it until it is exactly as you want it.  There’s no limit on the number of revisions.
  • Continuous contact by phone/email is included in my fee.
  • Your complete rehearsal is included.
  • Travel and fuel up to 50 miles from Parkersburg, WV or Belpre, OH is included in the price.
  • Legal documents will be signed and filed/mailed within one business day of your ceremony.
  • Just in case clause: It’s not likely that I will be too sick to perform your ceremony but if I am, I’ll have a backup officiant on standby to ensure that your wedding day is a beautiful experience.
  • I’ll arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your ceremony.
  • I will orchestrate and perform a beautiful, unique, and sentimental ceremony that is like no other wedding experience!

I’m thrilled to offer this service to the first five couples who book it at an introductory cost of $50 off the cost listed on my Services & Rates page.  I look forward to making your wedding day a beautiful and memorable experience.


Hand-Fasting Ceremonies

Hand-fasting ceremonies are popular for weddings and vow reaffirmations. This tradition is rooted in the ancient Celtic tradition but has become a symbolic part of many modern marriage ceremonies. The beauty of hand-fasting is that couples can customize the tying of the chord to celebrate the virtues that are most important to their marriage.

The origin story of hand-fasting varies, depending on the source. Some say it was used to bind the couple together for an agreed-up specific time (e.g. a year and a day). After that time passed, the couple could renew their agreement, break up, or get married. Other sources indicate that this is simply untrue. It was the official marriage ceremony for Celtic couples during Medieval times.

Although it began as a Pagan custom, hand-fasting has become popular in modern secular and religious weddings, as well.  Symbolic of a couple’s union in marriage–tying the knot–this tradition can be carried out in a variety of ways.

The officiant lays the chord, wraps it, and binds the couple’s hands together prior to the declaration of marriage. However, some couples choose to include their parents, their children, or other wedding guests. One by one, each participant drapes a chord or ribbon across the couple’s hands. After all of the colors are in place, the officiant (or guest) performs the symbolic union of the couple.

A hand-fasting ceremony is a symbolic and spiritual practice of “tying the knot.”

The colors of the chords have meaning. There’s no one-size-fits all protocol for choosing your colors. In other words, you can choose a ribbon of one color or a several ribbons in your ceremony. If you choose chords, you can choose three to six colors weaved into your binding chord.

Because the marriage celebrant will wrap the chord around the couple’s hands and bind them together, hand-fasting chords are usually six-feet long. The chords may be simple or ornate, depending on the couple’s preference.

The Meaning of Hand-Fasting Chord Colors

When choosing colors, you’ll want to define the colors that mean the most to your marriage.  Here are some of the common meanings:

  • Red -will, love, strength, fertility, courage, health, vigor, passion
  • Orange -encouragement, adaptability, stimulation, attraction, plenty, kindness
  • Yellow – attraction, charm, confidence, balance, harmony
  • Green – fertility, luck, prosperity, nurturing, beauty, health, love
  • Dark Blue -for a safe journey, longevity & strength
  • Light Blue – tranquility, understanding, patience, health
  • Purple – healing, health, strength, power, progress
  • Black – strength, empowerment, wisdom/vision, success, pure love
  • White – spiritual purity, truth, peace, serenity and devotion
  • Gray – balance, neutrality, used in erasing, canceling, neutralizing, and return to the universe without repercussion
  • Pink – love, unity, honor, truth, romance, happiness
  • Brown – for healing , skills & talent, nurturing, home & hearth, the earth
  • Silver – for creativity, inspiration & vision, and protection
  • Gold – for unity, longevity, prosperity, strength

Where to Buy Hand-Fasting Chords

You can purchase ribbons or chords in your local craft store. If you want customized chords, you can find them on Etsy or Amazon. Some are simple chords; others are adorned with medallions such as a Celtic Knot or Tree of Life symbol.

Some couple’s prefer to make their own chords. There are tutorials online that can show you how to create a chord that symbolizes your affectionate unity.

Does Mid-Ohio Valley Wedding Officiants Perform Hand-Fasting Rituals

Absolutely! Deb will incorporate a simple hand-fasting ceremony into your ceremony or include it as part of her customized wedding ceremonies. If you’d like to learn more, contact Deb to learn how you can create a wedding ceremony that will make your day memorable.


George and June

My heart and full.

This beautiful couple got married in my wedding space today. Their friends Larry and Mary were in attendance.

I often hear people say they give up on love. This beautiful couple is proof that if you wait for it, love will find you.

Congratulations, George and June Schultz!

Paul and Penny

Paul and Penny were married this past weekend in our wedding chapel. Family and friends were there to witness the nuptials. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Stoneking! It was a pleasure to officiate your wedding.

April and Kelley

I was overjoyed to marry Kelley and April in our wedding chapel recently! They were surrounded by family and friends and the service was beautiful.

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Do you…?

My decision to become a wedding officiant was based solely on my marriage experience. My fiancé Johnny and I eloped. We drove to Columbus, OH and were married by a nice lady who dedicated the first floor of her home to weddings. It was beautiful, low-cost, and the stress of planning a wedding was virtually eliminated.

After the ceremony I told my husband I’d love to marry couples one day, not knowing if I was just thinking out loud or if it was something I’d actually do. A few months ago I thought I’d give it a try. I became an ordained minister; I became licensed to officiate weddings in West Virginia and Ohio; and I brought my husband on board to help when I needed to take pictures during the ceremony.

Mid-Ohio Valley Wedding Officiants was born.

Little did I know that my heart would become abundantly full in this new venture. I’ve been asked  so many questions about what I can do and don’t do. Many of these questions are covered on my FAQ page, but here are some of the typical questions many couples ask.

Do you officiate last-minute weddings?

I can and I have officiated ceremonies on a hour’s notice. If I am available, I can officiate your ceremony in my office, in my chapel, or at a location of your choice.

We’ve officiated weddings in homes, at parks, and at our studio located on the second floor of The Dils Center at 521 Market Street.

Can you officiate weddings over the phone?

No. I cannot legally officiate weddings over the phone.

I have been asked if I can marry a couple via telephone when one person is incarcerated and the other wants to marry him/her. The State of WV and The State of OH have confirmed that I cannot legally perform a ceremony unless both people are present.

Will you perform a same-sex ceremony?

Yes. I will and I have officiated a same-sex wedding ceremony. I support marriage equality.

Bring a government-issued I.D. (driver’s license, photo I.D., or passport) and your marriage license, and we’ll perform the ceremony in my office, my studio, or at a location of your choice.

Do you take pictures?

Yes! Mid-Ohio Valley Wedding Officiants is a division of Deb Lorentz Photography. My studio is across the hall from my wedding chapel. I can also take pictures on location. If you need a photographer and an officiant, my husband will officiate the ceremony while I take pictures. Pictures are considered an add-on service.

Here are some of the add-on services from which to choose:

  • Engagement Pictures
  • Bridal Boudoir
  • Groom Boudoir
  • Wedding Package

We want just the vows. Can you do that?

Yes. This is called the “Sign-and-Go” package. I eliminate everything but the “I do” portion of the ceremony. It’s quick and easy. I can sign the paperwork in my office or meet you at a location of your choice in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

You can see my services and rate here.

If you have questions, feel free to reach out to me. I’ll add a contact form soon. Until then, you can contact me at movwedding@gmail.com or via my Facebook page here .