Gulf Coast Information

Pastor Steve Durkac, Beach Wedding Officiant, Gulf Coast MinisterI serve as the pastor of CrossHope Chapel, a nondenominational church in West Mobile, Alabama with relaxed gatherings, prayer support, simple worship, and fellowship around expository verse by verse Bible teaching with open discussions. You can read my Bio at my church website for more details.

I have officiated well over 4000 simple beach wedding ceremonies and 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.

A simple beach wedding or vow renewal can be meaningful, memorable, and easier to arrange than you may think. You can have your beach wedding where you are staying at a condo or other lodging along the beach or by using any of the beach access parking areas popular along the Gulf Coast.


Wedding Philosophy…

With my bride!

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.”


Booking Process | Officiating Fees | Wedding Helps | Officiating Policy | Vow Renewals


Location Information…

Please visit the following state pages to begin your search of information for your wedding or vow renewal:

AlabamaMississippiNW Florida

You can also jump straight to a one of the specific location/city/area page below for ideas on deciding on where to have your beach wedding or vow renewal.

Biloxi • Gulf Shores •  Pensacola Beach • Dauphin Island • Mobile • Point Clear • Fairhope • Fort Morgan •  Gulfport •  Hattiesburg • Orange Beach • Perdido Key • Navarre Beach • Fort Walton • Destin West Mobile Chapel


Where at Beach…

I am sometimes asked “Where at the beach is the best place to have the wedding?”

The answer to that depends on if you are staying at a condo or other lodging along the beach and if you’re asking about the Alabama, Mississippi, or NW Florida beach. Usually, the best spot is right where you are lodging because it is easiest to use the beach area out behind your condo/hotel/house.

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.


Sunset Information…

Sunset times are usually important for your outdoor and beach weddings, especially when it comes to photography. There are two things to remember when planning a sunset wedding…

1) The rate at which the sun will drop: During the Spring and Fall months, like April and October, the sun will actually appear to drop quicker than during the summer months. So when the sunrise/sunset calendar says 7:59 PM it mean that at 8:02 PM the sun will be gone. I have timed the drop of the sun from anywhere between 4 minutes to 12 minutes of “usable” sun light after the sunset time.

2) Photography is something to consider and I suggest talking with your photographer on this, too. If you figure a typical wedding ceremony of about 12 – 15 minutes, and figure in at least 20 minutes to 30 minutes for your after photo-shots, it’s is usually wise to start anywhere between 1 hour to 45 minutes ahead of sunset.

Here are the links to a sunrise/sunset site to help with your planning: