Joining together: Secular, Civil, Humanist, Interfaith, and Same-Sex Couples in Legal Matrimony

Meet Marc: Your Celebrant

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I'm Marc Mayerson, and I am an enrolled Humanist Celebrant, which allows me to officiate and solemnize your wedding and to conduct other life-cycle events.  It is a privilege for me to be able to work with you in creating a ceremony that is meaningful and that hallows your special event.  

I grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and moved to the "DMV" area in 1987.  I got married in 1988, and I have been blessed with three amazing sons.

My college degree from the University of Michigan was awarded in Judaic Studies, and I wrote an Honors Thesis on Abraham Joshua Heschel, an important theologian, civil-rights activist, and anti-war leader.  I attended and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where among other activities I was a Teaching Fellow at Harvard College for a course entitled "Moral Reasoning: Justice" (Professor Michael Sandel).  I am a practicing lawyer, a law professor at both Georgetown University Law Center and the George Washington University School of law, an arbitrator for civil disputes, and mediator.   I am a member of Mediators Beyond Borders International.  In my various professional capacities, I am called upon to write and speak publicly frequently.

I have been active in the synagogues in which I belong, including serving as the twice-elected President of a large synagogue in Potomac, Maryland. Before college, I was involved in a Jewish youth group growing up on a regional and national basis, and took a gap year after high school in Israel to study, learn the people, and work on a kibbutz or agricultural settlement.  I have spent some time in Africa, Central America, South America, Western Europe, and Japan.

Before graduating college, a couple of my summer jobs involved going door to door in neighborhoods through Ohio and across the midwest and Great Plains to meet individuals in their homes.  These two positions allows me to meet ordinary people in their neighborhoods across much of the hearthland of America, which gives me insight into what makes people living in America the same everywhere, and what makes us all different too.

That my personal background is Jewish does not mean that the celebrations over which I preside are religious.  I am an endorsed Humanist Celebrant, which is a secular, non-theistic, non-religious status.   I believe that my background and experience enables me to help you infuse your ceremony with meaning and to make it special for you.  In this regard, I have completed training through the Continuum for Humanist Education (part of The Humanist Institute) regarding Humanist Celebrations: Weddings.

Rituals are the punctuation marks of life, and I want to work with you to create a special, meaningful, and memorable ceremony -- whether it is a small private affair or a large wedding, the welcoming of a new child, the passing of a beloved pet or animal companion, or the funeral of a loved one.


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How do we get started?  What happens next?

If you are in the area, I would like to meet with you in person so that we can get to know each other.  Together, we identify the goals for the ceremony, discuss the traditions you might wish to invoke, and sketch the overall framework for your customized ceremony.

I can help you identify appropriate readings, and I can assist you with crafting parts of the ceremony, including the wording of wedding vows.

We will work on a list of participants and their roles.  I want to know who is meaningful in your lives and whom you wish to give special or honored roles.

I have customized software for the purpose of generating the script we will use for the ceremony; what this means for you is that it is very easy for you to review the wording of your wedding ceremony in advance and that I can easily change it, adopt it, and give you various options for use.

I am happy to discuss issues, concerns, and process in person or via Skype meetings or Google-Hangouts.  For writings you may prepare, such as wedding vows, I can assist you in polishing and editing what you will say.

We'll also discuss various kinds of rituals that might be used in the ceremony, and we'll work together to fashion a ceremony that is uniquely tailored to you.

What is your expectation for how you and your participants will be attired?  For a wedding, is the bride wearing a traditional wedding dress; are men in tuxedos or suits? What do you want me to wear?  II can wear a suit or  tuxedo, or I can dress more informally.  It's your ceremony so you get to decide!

For funerals, memorial services, and other ceremonies, I will work with you to create an appropriate and sensitive environment and a warm and dignified service.  I prefer to meet in person with family members beforehand to get a sense of the person whose life we are celebrating; at a minimum, I hope to speak by phone or Skype with a few people who knew the person so that I can have an overall sense of her or his personality, interests, foibles, and background. There are poems and readings I can suggest for the occasion, and we can collaborate as much as you want in writing the memorial service, preparing eulogies, and making other ceremonial arrangements.

Weddings & Other Ceremonies

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I officiate for weddings, whether they are large formal affairs or intimate elopement ceremonies.

Many other events in life are worthy of ritual and celebration:  welcoming a new child (adopted or natural born), passage to adulthood, renewal of wedding vows, funerals for pets and animal companions who gave us devoted love and affection, amicable divorce, triumph over cancer, and funerals and memorial services or loved ones.

I will work with you to design a personal, meaningful ceremony that commemorates the event, be it joyous or sad.

LGBT, Secular, Humanist, Same-Sex, Interfaith and All Faith participants, Agnostic, Atheist, and others welcome.


Fees and Costs

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Though we will discuss any special questions or issues that fairly should be addressed in agreeing upon a fee, my usual fees ares:

Full Wedding Service:  $400

Intimiate Wedding (fewer than 12 attendees):  $200

Large Wedding Service (more than 200 guests):  $600

Renewal of vows:  $200

Funeral of a Loved One; Memorial Services: $400

Welcoming Your New Child:  $250

Overcoming Disease/Rebirth/Bonding Before Cancer Treatment or the like:  $300

Pet funeral:  $200

Extensive travel fee (outside "DMV" area up to 2 hour drive from Rockville, MD):  $100  (no travel charge within metropolitan Washington, DC area).

Rehearsals:  If you wish to have a full rehearsal for your event, there is an additional charge of 50 percent of the fee.

For destination weddings and similar celebrations, fees and expenses are negotiated.

I am happy to discuss with you fees for particular occasions and due to unusual circumstances.

I also can conduct trainings or perform "coaching" for other celebrants or officiants on public speaking, creating rituals, and the like.

The quoted fees are "all inclusive":  they include personal meetings, unlimited Skype meetings and Google HangOuts, multi-party telephone calls as appropriate, review and comments on your wedding vows, discussion of the details of each ceremony, and customizing it for you.


Refunds of initial deposit are provided if you cancel within three business days of my being retained.  This policy ensures that I am available for others.

I do not expect to be included as a guest at a reception, rehearsal dinner or the like.  Etiquette does not require that a celebrant be asked to attend the event, receive a formal invitation, or the like.

Fees for funerals and memorial services take into account the need for quick turnaround and usually extensive customization of the service.

All fees are negotiable; I try to work with you to feel satisfied.  We will confirm our agreement on the services to be provided and the associated fees and costs in a written agreement.

Detail, Copyright, etc.

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This website is copyrighted by Marc Steven Mayerson.  All photographs and images are used by permission in electronic promotions of Marc Mayerson on this site or others.

Marc Mayerson is an independent contractor who provides professional services as Humanist Celebrant pursuant to The Humanist Society (affiliated with the American Humanist Association).

"Maryland Civil Weddings & Ceremonies" is an official registered trade name by Marc Mayerson.  (Marc Mayerson is authorized to conduct weddings in Maryland, Washington, DC, and elsewhere.)




Some images used pursuant to these licenses:

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Legal Requirements: Weddings

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Each US state and county has requirements for obtaining a marriage license.  A good resource is

For Montgomery County, Maryland, see


For Washington, DC, see  Only authorized individuals may conduct marriages in the District of Columbia.  (My authorization number is 13MIN20023.)

For Prince George's County, Maryland, see

For Frederick County, Maryland, see

Both Maryland and Washington, DC, permit same-sex couples to become married.

Under Maryland law, as an enrolled Humanist Celebrant, I am authorized to conduct and solemnize marriages in the State.  (Maryland Family Law 2-406(a)(2)(i).)  In DC, I have been conferred, via  Certificate of Authorization (No. 13MIN20023),  the authority to solemnize marriages in the District of Columbia.

I can assist you in identifying the proper froms you need and supprting documents you need to obtain the license.


I have experience with the special challenge of conducting weddings in prison when one party is incarcerated (and have obtained approval from a high-security facility to conduct a wedding for an inmate).



My services to you do not include ensuring compliance with the applicable legal legal requirements.  Although I am a licensed lawyer in DC, I am not serving as a lawyer for you, and no attorney-client privilege is created in our relationship.  I am your Celebrant and your Officiant (but not your lawyer).








Booking Request or Inquiry


Nearby Venue

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Maryland & DC Civil Weddings provides officiant services.  If you are interested in renting a venue, a convenient location is the Hill Center.





 Regretably, we are not conducting ceremonies during Covid19.  

Contact me


611 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Suite 225

Washington, DC 20003


Fax: 202.758.2524

Send Me A Message

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