Looking For A Minister That Is Right For Your Alabama, Mississippi, Florida Gulf Coast Beach Wedding or Vow Renewal?
I officiate over 200 Gulf Coast beach destination and local weddings each year, including vow renewals, simple, formal, quickie, elopement, home, park, traditional, laid-back ceremonies around Mobile, Dauphin Island, Point Clear, Fairhope, Fort Morgan, Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Alabama or Gulfport, Biloxi, Mississippi or Perdido Key, Pensacola Beach, Fort Walton Beach, and beautiful Destin, Florida locations.
I am a church ordained Christian minister, seminary trained, Baptist affiliated, vocational pastor, with over 30 years experience in ministerial service, including as a local church pastor, as a hospital chaplain, and even as a Christian comedian. I currently serve as the pastor of West Mobile Bible Fellowship, I’ve written a few books, and still enjoy banquet speaking on the topics of laughter and marriage.
Officiating has become an active ministry for me, realizing that finding an actual clergyman for your wedding ceremony, as a destination bride or Gulf Coast resident, can be difficult, and with recent court trends, and the need to avoid the legal risks associated with using an online “ordained” internet officiant, I recognize the need for assurance and trust as the basis for choosing a minister that is right for you.
While most guys have a man-cave, I have a wedding chapel. I value my work with brides and grooms as a ministry, but respect it as a business – in fact we are incorporated in the state of Alabama. I am first and foremost a pastor who enjoys providing destination brides with ministerial officiating for their wedding and that is my primary “business.”
With the help of my four children, we are are able to offer additional services to make destination planning easier, less costly, and only as needed. Steve Durkac Weddings is a family ministry/business, here to help the do-it-yourself bride and groom, but we are not a jack-of-all trades master-of-none wedding business.
Steve Durkac Weddings, LLC exists to provide the Gulf Coast destination and resident bride and groom with evangelical clergy officiating, simple photography options, and do-it-yourself planning assistance that make the marriage ceremony spiritually meaningful, conveniently affordable, and personally memorable!
If you choose me to have the honor of officiating your wedding or vow renewal ceremony, you’ll get my help in several other ways, without additional costs, so your destination wedding or elopement can be as stress-free as possible. My Bridal Testimonials page will give you the scoop from other brides, my FAQ page is where you’ll find the officiating fees.
I have had the honor of officiating over 1500 weddings along the Gulf Coast, including consultation and coordinating services that otherwise would have added additional cost to the budgets. After officiating so many weddings, both small and large, simple to extravagant, outdoor to indoor, with every possible kind of family dynamics you can imagine, I will be available to answer your planning questions, help with bridal party coordination, or even to take photos with your camera – no additional fees.
I will freely share my experience and destination planning tips with brides who book me. I believe that a casual, yet attentive, wedding can offer a more intimate ceremony with lasting memories and I want to make that planning process convenient and less stressful, for you!
Relaxed & Entertaining…
A few years ago while standing on the beach with a wedding party, I was asked by a guest what denomination I was with. Just as I answered “Baptist” a friend of the wedding party who had previously attended one of my weddings, said “He’s Parrot Head Baptist!”
From time to time, I’m still accused of that (after all I still do banquet comedy as my schedule permits), but it really means that I’m not your typical stuffy-stressed-got-to-save-the-world kind of minister (I do get stressed and I do believe the world needs saving, but I’m thankful that my Lord Jesus Christ is working on that and I want to cooperate with Him, but the beach reminds me to just chill-out and trust the Creator).
Theologically, I consider myself conservative, but with my hospital chaplain background you’ll find that I am comfortable with both religious or non-religious, Catholic or Pentecostal families, country redneck or stuffy white-collar executives or even crazy Cajuns (yes, I have helped populate the LSU fan base).
As you may know, most pastors require you to be a member of their church or make 12 trips to their office to talk about your ex-spouses complaints, problems with your past, issues with communication, bla, bla, bla,…but I’m guessing you’re not looking to get married by the Pope or seeking sainthood status before your honeymoon.
You probably just want the dignity of an ordained Christian minister to add an authentic touch to the moment, while being meaningful and respectful to your day, with a dash of humor to ease some stress without taking away from the solemn experience!
I have been featured on radio programs, magazines, and on several national television programs, including Fox News, Christian Television Network, and a special Valentine Day Event feature on ABC’s Good Morning America when I officiated a 450 couple vow renewal ceremony, hosted by Lucy Buffett, Jimmy Buffett’s sister, at Lulu’s Restaurant in Gulf Shores, Alabama. You can see a clip at my Video page.
Simple & Authentic…
What you see here, is what you get. No pretending religiosity or uptight attitude. I’ve officiated weddings with budgets that have ranged from $50 to $50,000. I’ve had them at restaurants, parking lots, churches, barns, bars, dance clubs, hotels, homes, Walmart’s, McDonalds, truck stops, interstate rest areas, city parks, the beach, a small island, and even on the U.S.S. Alabama battleship (I’ve turned down underwater scuba and deep sea fishing trip weddings).
I’m very comfortable officiating for various church backgrounds, too. I pastor an interdenominational church and served for several years as a Hospital Chaplain. I also have a diverse personal background, I grew-up Catholic, and become Protestant, after a miracle conversion experience (personal testimony) and have served in ministry as an ordained minister and pastor with Adventist churches, Nondenominational churches, and have been with Southern Baptist since 2000,
It was while working as a hospital chaplain that I began to receive requests to officiate weddings for couples coming to the beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama. I had to put up this web site to help curtail the phone calls that were interrupting my patient visits! While my talent and background as a Christian comedian should assure you of my ability to work last minute changes and adaptations, my background, education, and experience as a local church pastor and hospital chaplain assures you of my commitment to a professionalism you count-on.
Photography & Planning…
My family has been involved with helping do-it-yourself brides through offering no cost and affordable simple digital photography options since 2008. We are one of the most popular wedding photography services for the DIY destination bride and groom, providing photography services for 75 or more of our weddings annually.
If you visit our Photography page you’ll be able to learn about some no-cost photography and affordable photography options ranging from only $100 to $250. My daughter Kitti Doherty, with Dixie Bloom Photography, is our primary photographer, but between my wife, daughter Stephanie, son Parker, and daughter Payton, it’s become a family way of helping couples and creating earnings for my children.
The fee for my services is for my time, getting in my schedule, and receiving assurance that I will certainly be there to make your wedding ceremony happen - legally and lovingly! The little extra bonus that you get for giving me the honor of officiating is planning assistance and future pastoral care availability.
I offer a DIY Planning Blog at www.gulfcoastbeachbride.com, a monthly Bridal Planning Workshop at our Wedding Chapel and am the author of the “Simple Wedding Ceremony Planning Guide” and “Five Steps to Writing Memorable Wedding Vows” and I will gladly add or customize your ceremony, although most couples opt for my Traditional Vows & Ceremony, which is not too long, not a Baptist revival nor a Roman Catholic mass, it’s a nice blend of spiritual and romantic, but not an over-kill on either.
I will come to your location of choice, rather than asking you to come to my spot on the beach, I’ll go to where it is convenient for you – your home, your condo, hotel, beach house, public beach where there is parking.
Usually the best spot on the beach is just out back at the condo or hotel where you are staying. I will also tell you that I don’t mind if you want to wait until you get down to coast and drive up and down the boulevard and even let me know the day of where to meet you.
Everyone on the beach respects a wedding and if you are down at a busy time, you’ll hear a loud applause when the groom kisses the bride. If it is a rainy day, which is not that often and usually passes quickly, but if it is a rare bad rain day, there are a few public gazebos where I’ve done a few weddings, before.
I offer, but do not require premarital counseling, and I do not require any specific church or faith affiliation, nor do I care to see skeletons from your closet or explore past relationship issues. I am happy to help you start right again, regardless of how many agains, with an evangelical clergyman who will be here for you in the future.
I have no objections to officiating for weddings or vow renewals for couples of mixed-denominations, mixed-race, or mixed-minds, as long as there is no conflicts with my personal biblical convictions regarding God’s work of creation as defining marriage as one-man and one-women. (Please visit my About page for more information on my beliefs and affiliations.)
After you surf around, read some bridal testimonials, see my officiating fees, view some videos, and feel comfortable with the prospect of me officiating your wedding, please visit my 1) Check Availability page.
If I am available and can officiate your wedding, I will ask you to go to my 2) Book Me page. Once you book me we will be on a countdown to your wedding day and you’ll be able to get my planning assistance as much as you’d like or need. If you have any questions please contact me!