Chosen by over 4000 Couples for their MS AL FL Gulf Coast Beach Weddings and Vow Renewals

Pastor Steve Durkac Wedding Minister Officiant

Gulf Shores

Hello, my name is Steve Durkac and I am the pastor of CrossHope Chapel, a nondenominational church in west Mobile, Alabama who has been officiating simple ceremonies for couples since 2003.

Non-religious officiants are not hard to find, but if an actual church ordained vocational Christian pastor with biblical conservative beliefs is important to you, I may be able to help.

I offer bride and groom’s, heading to the Gulf Coast for a simple beach wedding or vow renewal, a memorable ceremony with the dignity of a church minister of like-beliefs presiding for the lasting meaning of a marriage ceremony in the eyes of God.

I have officiated over 4000 wedding ceremonies and vow renewals along the Upper Gulf Coast of Mississippi, Alabama, Northwest Florida, and have had the privilege of being featured on ABC Good Morning America and other television outlets.

You’ll find some specific location information at these pages: Biloxi, Gulf Shores, Pensacola BeachDauphin IslandMobile, Point Clear, Fairhope , Fort Morgan, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Orange Beach, Perdido Key, Navarre Beach, Fort Walton, Destinand our church Chapel in west Mobile, Alabama.

Mississippi Gulf Coast…


I travel to your location at beaches across the Mississippi, Alabama, and Northwest Florida coastal area, but I really enjoy going to the Mississippi Gulf Coast beaches of Ocean Springs, Biloxi, Gulfport, Long Beach, or even over to Pass Christian.

Personally, I think getting married along the Mississippi Gulf Coast is the best option for a bride and groom seeking a simple beach ceremony. Especially with plenty of lodging choices with the Casinos and great buffets.

Mississippi marriage license can be purchased for only $38, about half the cost as the filing of Alabama’s Marriage Certificate, and you can learn more about that at the Biloxi Harrison County site.


“Steve was so wonderful! He was very professional and even made us laugh. He was the perfect choice for our small wedding. Thank you!” -Jessica & Dennis  [more reviews]


Alabama Wedding News…

Orange Beach

2019 brought changes to the Alabama state marriage laws and procedures, no longer requiring a wedding ceremony to solemnize the legality of a marriage. A notarized affidavit marriage form has replaced the traditional marriage license, and yes, I am an Alabama Notary of Public.

The change in the Alabama law has now allowed me to offer a Covenant Marriage Ceremony for brides and grooms wishing to be married in the eyes of God, with or without the state’s recognition.


“Steve was so great! Very easy to communicate with and responded back super fast prior to our ceremony. On the day of, he was on time, patient and extremely personable. The ceremony was perfect and exactly what we wanted in our elopement. He even took pictures of us since we had no guests and they turned out great. Steve, thank you so much for making our day special!” -Lauran & Clint [more reviews]


Fun and Meaningful…

Orange Beach

Officiating is fun for me, and my ceremonies are always relaxed, yet dignified and meaningful. We will laugh, but you may also cry, because I’ve learned a thing or two about having the right flow in the ceremony that begins with a spiritual note than moves into a romantic focus.

There was a time when I actually worked as a Christian Comedian, so you will find some interjected humor, but not a comedy show because the ceremony is about you, your spouse, and your marriage.

It was while working as a hospital chaplain that I began to receive requests to be a wedding officiant for couples coming to the beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama. And, it was also as a hospital chaplain that I became a Certified Laughter Leader providing therapeutic programs for patients and caregivers.

So while you can be assured that I am responsible enough to show up for your wedding and though I bring a life-long vocational ministry background with me, I can also assure you that we are going to enjoy a few laughs and a relaxed time.


Simply Memorable…   

Pensacola Beach

Over the many years that I have been officiating weddings, I have presided over large ones with $50,000+ budgets, 300 quests, one at a historic hotel that charged $10,000 an hour for their banquet room.

I have officiated for couples who stood in the parking lot of Walmart, McDonalds, gas stations, and even several on the USS Alabama battleship. I can tell you that simple is better, and more meaningful to the couple, their family, and to the marriage.

I have received hundreds of unsolicited testimonials from brides and groom and you can read a large sampling of those at my Bridal Review page. You can also view some photos at the Photo Gallery page.

If you book me to officiate your ceremony, you’ll have my experience of over 4000 weddings, both small and large, simple to extravagant, outdoor to indoor, with every possible kind of family dynamics you can imagine, familiarity of Gulf Coast beach spots of Mississippi, Alabama, NW Florida, and I will be available to answer your planning questions, help with any coordination, or even to take photos with your camera – no additional fees.

I use a 2-step email process for booking your wedding or vow renewal officiating into my schedule and calendar that consists of first submitting my Availability Form. If I am available I will ask you to submit my Confirmation Form.

If I am unavailable to officiate your wedding, I will happily direct you to other church ordained ministerial friends who may be available, and you can still enjoy the planning helps available here or at my social media.

Vow Renewals…  

Gulf Shores

My unique ministry has been featured on Fox News and Christian Television Network. Some couples still seek me out to officiate their vow renewal ceremony because of my 5-minutes of fame on ABC Good Morning America television show in 2010 when I officiated a world record attempt vow renewal for Lulu’s in Gulf Shores with close to 500 couples at big Tropical Re-union Vow Renewal Ceremony.

Vow renewals are typically thought of for big anniversaries but I preside over more vow renewal ceremonies as a new start ceremony and for couples wishing to have a vocational church pastor to officiate. You can read more about the many reasons for the ceremony at my vow renewal page.

My ceremonies are always non-denominational, but never non-religious because I will always include a brief prayer of blessing upon the couple at the beginning. If you do object to prayer I can give you some tips on finding a non-religious officiant.

You can view a video at my Ceremony Overview page and hear me discuss the flow of my typical wedding ceremony. My aim is to be simple, not long-winded, knowing 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!

It was while working as a hospital chaplain that I began to receive requests to be a wedding officiant, and it was then that I had to put up this web site to help curtail the phone calls that were interrupting my patient visits.


“Thank you for following the call God gave you and being a part of our lives. You have a wonderful ministry. May our Lord Jesus Christ continue to bless you and your family.” – Don & Deborah [more reviews]


Photography Help…

Dauphin Island

I may have officiated over 4000 weddings, but I have also photographed over 1000 weddings. If you visit the Photography page you’ll be able to learn about some no-cost photography and low-cost keepsake photography options.

I am happy to give a referral to a professional full-time photographer. I am happy to take photos with your own camera or smartphone, at no additional cost. I can even take a few photos on my own smartphone and immediately email them to you, at no cost.

I have a professional Nikon D5000 camera with customized lens and for an additional fee I am happy to bring it and take some photos.

Sometimes I am able to bring my daughter with me to take photos and for a fee if you are only looking for some keepsake high resolution digital photos of your ceremony, poses, candid shots, and afterwards we will send those to you on a USB jump drive, no watermarks or logo imprints, no copyright restrictions. Please visit my Photography page to learn more.


“WOW!  We were SO fortunate to have found you to officiate our Wedding. We Truly appreciate you… Our wedding was so beautiful to us and you made it so meaningful! Thank you so much!”  – Jennie & Danny  [more reviews]


Ceremony at Chapel…


If you are looking for a Covenant Marriage Ceremony in Mobile, Alabama, I may be able to officiate that at our church location Chapel.

The traditional marriage license has been replaced in Alabama by an affidavit document system, which means a couple will need to receive paperwork from any Alabama county courthouse, then get a Notary of Public to verify signatures, and finally return that paperwork to the courthouse register themselves as legally married.

A marriage ceremony will is no longer a requirement in order for a marriage to be recognized as legally binding. However, I will be offering a Covenant Marriage Ceremony, registered with CrossHope Chapel church, so a bride and groom can still have an important benchmark and basis of commitment through an exchange of vows in the eyes of God.


“Thanks Steve, the photos are awesome! The vow renewal meant so much to us.  It was a pleasure to meet you. Thank you so much for being so nice and easy going. The honor was all ours to have met such a wonderful person.  It is truly a blessing to find people like you that still exist in today’s world. Take Care.” – Laurie & David [more reviews]


Premarital Counseling…

My Grandma once told me, “We all learn to love. Love is what brings us together, but fighting, and learning how to fight fair is what keeps us together.”  There is a lot of truth to that, but it is a truth that is often not understood until we are far down the road of aging.

Success in marriage has more to do with properly managing the balance of conflict and romance. Both have a lot of variables that differ from couple to couple. So in my ministry to help coach couples through rough patches to satisfying relationships, I use a few educational tools through discussion in person at our Chapel or by phone or by Skype.

Please visit my Premarital Counseling page to learn more about my approach to helping couples and individuals prepare for their marriage or regain the relationship they once had in their marriage.


“Pastor Steve we just want you to know you made our Special day~PERFECT! And we Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness, patience and your humor. For going the extra mile and all our wonderful photos. We highly recommend and Appreciate You!” -Beth & Paul [more reviews]


Wedding Philosophy…


I am a big advocate of do-it-yourself simple weddings, especially the second or third time around. I believe in the value and importance of the wedding ceremony, and believe that it can be simple, yet dignified and meaningful, even with a dash of humor or a touch of personalized features.

A simple wedding is an ideal way to embrace a spiritual marriage – not necessarily religious, but living each day as soul-mates! I embrace the gift of marriage as given by our Creator for the spiritual, emotional, and eternal well-being between a man and women, and I want to help brides who want to put more into their marriage than into their wedding budget.

Marriage is not always easy, but neither is earning a pay check, choosing run a marathon, budgeting for a vacation, completing a degree, giving birth to a child, or any number of things that are worth the growth to gain the reward!

I was once in a conversation with a groom and one of his guest, when the guest shared some awesome wisdom with the groom. The guest described marriage as “3 steps forward 2 steps back and sometimes 3 steps back 2 steps forward.” He then looked toward the groom and added “The key is not to bailout when you’re 3 steps back because the longer you stay in it, the further forward you get.”

You can read my Bio and my Personal Testimony at my church’s website. I don’t take a salary from my church, CrossHope Chapel in Mobile, Alabama so the officiating fees keep me involved in ministry. I have been in vocational pastoral church ministry for over 30-years and offer a laid-back, yet dignified meaningful wedding or vow renewal ceremony and who acknowledge my church’s Wedding Officiating Policy.

Help Officiating…

Please don’t assume that as a church minister I am opposed to having a friend or family member officiate your wedding or vow renewal in Alabama.

In fact, I have included many loved and respected friends and family members into the officiating aspect of a wedding or vow renewal in the past. In Alabama, with the new law change, you can now have a friend or family member officiate your entire wedding, and I am happy to help them do that.

If you have been asked to officiate a friend or family member’s wedding ceremony I would suggest using my ceremony script found in my book Covenant Marriage Ceremony. There is space available to add to it by writing on the pages or simply slipping a piece of paper in with whatever you wish to include.

In my book list you will also find Simple Wedding Ceremony Planning Guide which will walk you through the nuts and bolts of the ceremony, and includes helps for writing your own vows.

Let me also add that if you are going to purchase one or both of these books, I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about officiating the ceremony. Please contact me and I will be happy to help.


“Steve was so wonderful! He was very professional and even made us laugh. He was the perfect choice for our small wedding. Thank you!” -Jessica & Dennis  [more reviews]