Judge John Laurie, Chicago Wedding Officiant
My husband and I used Judge John G. Laurie for our wedding officiant. We are not very religious and just wanted a very quick ceremony. Judge John G. Laurie performed our ceremony which lasted about 5 minutes long and was perfect. Before the wedding, he told me and my husband how to stand at the altar, quickly went over what we had to say, and showed us how to put our rings on (so our photographer & videographer could take amazing pictures). Judge John G. Laurie gets straight to the point and is very nice. Thank you for everything!
We wanted a no-frills, professional wedding ceremony, and we got exactly what we wanted. He responded to phone calls and emails in a timely fashion. He showed up a few minutes before he was expected, which was nice. He had mailed us the exact wording of his ceremony several months prior, and went over details of how to stand just before the ceremony. Although he wasn't at our rehearsal, he really made the ceremony a no-brainer, and really put us at ease. He does do a lot of weddings in a day, so don't expect him to stick around afterwards (which was fine by us!) He seemed to have the most reasonable prices as well.
I really wish I didnt have to write this review, but I have to!
John Laurie double booked himself and didn't realize it until 1 hr prior to our ceremony start time and was unable to perform our ceremony. Our ceremony started at 6pm, he arrived at 5 asking if we had changed the time. When we thought he was kidding, he told us that we had always told him it was 5 and that he has another wedding at 6pm about 40 minutes away. He was not very nice about it and although he tried finding us another judge, was unable to do that as everyone he knew was busy. He ended up marrying us officially without all the guests there (there was just 7 us there) and then we had a family member read the script for the service in front of all our guests at 6pm. It ended up being great and this will be a memory in our family forever, but he is not very organized and STILL CASHED OUR CHECK if you can believe that!
I would not trust him with something as important as a wedding ceremony! How can you double book yourself for something this momentous?? He apparently had 4 our services to perform that day and said that he must have mixed up his calendar!
ADDENDUM: we just received a letter of apology and a refund of the fee we paid.
Judge Laurie was 'all business' at the wedding, but did exactly what he said he would do - show up on time, perform the ceremony and file the marriage license. He was flexible when we started late and very approachable over phone and email to solidify plans. He was a pleasure to work with and I'd recommend him to anyone looking for a civil ceremony judge.
John Laurie was terrific, neither of us had been married before & we did not use a wedding planner, so we were a little lost when it came to the details of the ceremony. John really helped us before hand so we knew what to do, which way to face, when to hand off the bouquet & all of those little things. He was such a big help. The ceremony went so smooth. He also worked with our photographer, dj & videographer for the things that would help them out. John Laurie was a great choice.
Judge Laurie was very professional. He speaks with a gentle but loud voice. He sent us suggested vows when we contacted him, and we loved them. I started to tear just reading them for the first time (and I cried a lot during the ceremony too). He would have allowed us to make changes, but we did not want to. He does not meet you before the wedding or come to the rehersal, so I met him for the first time when I walked down to the altar with my dad to meet my groom. He keeps his civil ceremonies short and sweet. Our vows lasted around 20 minutes, which was plenty for us, but they were beautiful. He also married my wedding planner a month earlier and my friend a week before my wedding, so he is very popular. Book in advance. He is well priced, very professional, and he sent in the paperwork immediately so we had no delays in getting our Marriage License.
btw, he is shorter than he looks in the photos-- maybe 5'6" No biggie, just surprised me when I met him.