Married Catholic Priest Wedding Officiant
As others have said, Bill was wonderful! I was totally lost on what we would do for a ceremony, and he made it very simple, while still giving us lots of options to make it our "own". He was prompt with emails, and on time with the rehearsal and wedding. He gave our simple but (I think) beautiful ceremony without a single hitch, even pronouncing some complicated names with no problem :)
I highly recommend Bill! He also has a lovely dog that you might have the privilege to meet if you go with him for your officiant!
Bill was great to work with and we would definitely recommend him. We had no idea how to structure our ceremony and he was very helpful and provided us with a lot of material that we could incorporate.
Bill is the best! He and our florist were literally our only vendors who were on top of things from the very beginning and never dropped the ball. He was so kind and helpful, and let us create the perfect ceremony for our taste. As soon as we met him we knew he would be great, and he did not let us down. He was funny and genuine, and he was always very prompt in replying to us via e-mail (and he even was careful to update us on his contact information when he moved). My husband and I cannot say enough positive things about him, and would recommend him any day!
Bill was a wonderful help during my wedding. I interviewed plenty of officiants prior to hiring Bill - He was able to personalize our ceremony without going too far away from the church. It was a great service and I would recommend hiring him to anyone.
Bill is the best. He lets you choose the ceremony that you want, and offers helpful suggestions when you ask. He has done a ton of weddings and he knows what he's doing. He was a Catholic priest for 20 years, then left the priesthood to get married to his wife Patty. When we met with him the first time he told us about his past, he is such an interesting, kind and well educated man. He loves life and genuinely enjoys life and performing weddings. He was extremely flexible and did a great job on the wedding day. Give him a call, you won't regret it!
We found Bill Proud through a wedding message board and we are so thankful. Bill was so prompt in his response, he allowed us to cater the ceremony and he was a pleasure to work with. One thing I remember most is what a calming effect Bill had on us during the ceremony. He was just so pleasant and peaceful and made sure we both really enjoyed the moment. I would highly recommend booking Bill for your officiant!
We've perfomed music at quite a few weddings at which Bill Proud has officiated, and I'm always impressed with how well he combines friendliness and a little bit of informality with a real appreciation for the fact that this is one of the very few most important days in the lives of the bride and groom. A wedding ceremony is a thing of tremendous profundity, but it's also a thing of tremendous joy and good cheer. Bill strikes this balance nicely without fail.
Since 1994, I have celebrated over 900 weddings in the Greater Cincinnati area. It is a ministry that I enjoy because I believe I provide a unique service for a growing number of people who:
are either Christian and/or Catholic, but for one or more reasons cannot or choose not to be married in their own tradition or
believe in God but are not at this time connected with organized religion
want to have a nondenominational ceremony that is tasteful and meaningful
What is the best way to get in touch with you?
You can email me at: email@example.com or call me at 513-492-7034
What authority licenses you to perform weddings?
I am licensed through the “Society of Christ’s Priesthood’ which is an
International Organization of Married Roman Catholic Priests.
Can we write our own vows and/or contribute to the wording of the ceremony?
Absolutely! You and your fiancé can be as creative and original as you would like. My goal is that the wedding ceremony reflects your personality, style and personal values.
How do we start the process if we are interested in possibly having you be the celebrant of our wedding?
Email me or call me to make an appointment to meet in person. I meet with couples in my Condo/Home which is in Deerfield Township which is south of Mason near the Montgomery-Mason/Fields Ertel exit off or I 71. There is absolutely no obligation or expectation at that meeting. I see it as an opportunity to get to know one another so that you can discern if you feel comfortable with me and would like me to be the celebrant/officiant of your wedding.
Do you have more than one wedding ceremony to choose from to begin the planning of our wedding ceremony?
I will give you four ceremonies to get you started. You are free use one ceremony or use parts of all of them to develop your own personal wedding ceremony. You can write your own vows…you can also use wedding material that you find in books or the Internet. I will be available to help you throughout the planning process. Non religious readings and music are also welcome.
What is your background?
I am a Cincinnati native. Graduated from Purcell High School. I completed 9 years of post high school education and was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest. I served as a priest in the Cincinnati area for 28 years. While serving as a priest, I went back to graduate school at Xavier University and earned a 2nd Master’s degree in Education and Counseling. In 1993, I married Patty. At that point I was not permitted to function as a married man and a Catholic priest. I began my second career as a Therapist/Corporate Trainer for TriHealth and after 13 years with TriHealth I retired several years ago. I became re-licensed to perform marriages in 1994.
Can you marry Catholics in an active Roman Catholic Church?
According to the Theology of the Catholic Church, I am a priest forever. But, because I decided to get married in 1993, the church does not permit me to celebrate weddings in active Catholic Churches.
Is there any Catholic Church where you are permitted to celebrate weddings?
There are a few “inactive” Catholic Churches that are open to the public that I am permitted to celebrate weddings…such as St.Aloysious Orphanage Chapel in Bond Hill, St Paul’s Church (The Bell Centre), Sem Villa Chapel in Milford (former Jesuit Seminary) and other Protestant and non-denominational churches in the area.
Are your weddings recognized and/or sanctioned by the Church?
My weddings are legal, and, I certainly believe blessed by God, but, unfortunately, they are not recognized or sanctioned by the church. A Catholic Priest could not marry my wife and I and in 1993 there was no one like me to do our wedding. An Army Chaplain friend who was Protestant married us at the Withrow Nature Preserve. We feel that God has blessed us and our marriage even thought a priest was not permitted to celebrate our wedding.
Will you marry people of different faiths?
I am very happy to marry people of different faiths.
Will you marry people who are divorced or are living together?
Yes – that is not an issue with me at all.
Do you require premarital classes?
While I recommend them and see them as a value…they are not required.
Would you allow another officiant to take part in the ceremony?
Other officiants are welcome to take part in the ceremony.
Will you give a sermon during the ceremony? And, if yes, can the couple have some imput?
I am very happy to preach during the wedding but only at the couple’s request. It is not something that I require. If a couple asks me to preach, I would welcome their input.
Will you attend the rehearsal?
It is my goal to attend every rehearsal. It is important that the rehearsal be scheduled as early as possible to get it on my calendar and avoid my not being available at the time the couple would like to have the rehearsal. I tell couples that I will attend the rehearsal at a mutually agreed upon time. There is no extra fee for my attending the rehearsal.
What is your fee?
My fee is $375. This includes everything including transportation, meetings, rehearsal, ceremony text preparation. A deposit of $100 locks in the date and time. The balance of $275 is due at the rehearsal. Check or cash only. Sorry, I do not take credit cards.
What exactly is your process?
I meet with all my couples twice before the rehearsal and take an active part in the rehearsal. I arrive at my weddings 30 minutes before the wedding to coordinate with musicians, talk to photographers and learn of any last minute changes…and, most importantly, to reduce any extra stress that a late arriving Celebrant would cause.
Do you have a contract that you use with couples?
I do not normally use a formal “Contract” but have a contract that I can use upon request of the bride and groom.
Is flash photography permitted during the ceremony?
Yes, I have no problem with flash photography.
How would you describe yourself?
I see my self as very warm and relaxed but more formal than casual but I hope never “stuffy” The wedding ceremony is about the bride and groom…it is not an opportunity for me to entertain or to make jokes or call attention to myself…and yet I find myself smiling a lot because I really do enjoy seeing a couple in love making a life-long commitment to one another.
I have a very strong need for people to hear and understand every word of the wedding. I speak clearly and slowly. As a priest, I taught at McNicholas high school for 11 years and, after I got married, was a Corporate Trainer for TriHealth for 9 years …so clear and effective communication is an extremely important value for me.
Another core value for me is keeping my commitments. Once we book your wedding it is locked in. You will never get a call from me saying something like, “Gee, I’m sorry…but something came up and I am not able to do your wedding, you’ll have to find someone else.” That will never happen.