The Blog

Reasons to Elope in NYC

Between updating an Offbeat Bride advertorial and recent comments from my couples, the underlying reasons why couples elope are central to my thoughts. One couple invited a brother and his wife only.  As Liam snapped away, the sister-in-law turned to me with “this is so nice and romantic.”  Apparently, their wedding –while wonderful– had to […]

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Measuring the value of your wedding ceremony

During the wedding planning process, ideas float abundantly through every couple’s minds.  With so much diverse ephemera on the web, deciding on invitations, clothing, venues, photographers, videographers, shoes, and more becomes very difficult. If they elope, will the couple regret not inviting family and friends?  If they plan a large celebration, will the core meaning […]

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‘Non-religious Wedding Officiant’ & Other Terms

The vast majority of my couples enlist me for a strictly nonreligious or civil or humanist or spiritual ceremony without any explicit deity references.  But I do officiate religious or denominational or interfaith or nondenominational spiritual wedding ceremonies as well. I’ve married aetheists, agnostics, Catholics, Jewish, and newly transformed Buddhist couples.  And I’ve learned that […]

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The Sweet and Simple Classic Civil Ceremony

What’s wrong with the classic civil ceremony?  Nothing at all.  For almost five hundred years, whether religious or non-religious, millions of couples pledged their devotion using essentially the same vows.  Sure, some variation exists.  But the essence has held constant. A “Dearly beloved….” introduces a reminder to couples about the responsibilities and joys of marriage, […]

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Remaking the old: contemporary weddings

What’s wrong with a modern or contemporary marriage ceremony with personal vows?  Nothing at all. About a third of my couples write personal vows or…or mix and match pieces they find on the internet.  Some even recite poetry or lyrics.  In most cases, I do not even see their vows before the wedding; instead, I […]

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Pets and Weddings

I recently married two wonderful guys in Central Park and another local couple in North Forest Park.  I do not know how much they had in common. Except that both missed their dogs. For the record, I am very pet-friendly. Until I was thirteen, my family had “Beach,” who was a large dog that wandered […]

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License Signing

Securing a marriage license is the first step to a public record of a marriage.  The second is the ceremony.  And the third is the filing and recording for posterity.  While your marriage is still perfectly legitimate once a genuine officiant presides over a ceremony, the filing of the license and receipt of certificate by […]

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Wedding Ceremony in the Green Building, Brooklyn

Where do a secret speakeasy style lounge, a cavernous feeling, dilapidated warehouse, and charm combine?  At the Green Building, of course! It is a darkish, romantic “raw space” with a funky back-room area that represents the welding together of refinement and urban grittiness. My couple even brought along their dog for photos, although he didn’t […]

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Top of the Rock Wedding Ceremony

I could stare at this couple all day long; they are so pretty inside and out!!! Melanie and John’s love story offers reminders to take advantage of every possible opportunity. In May 2009, Melanie rushed to Nissan to have her car serviced on a lunch break. John insisted she slow down long enough to receive […]

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Thank You Notes

Thank you so much Judie for being a part of our day and instrumental in getting what we wanted accomplished at a moments notice! We really appreciate you and your spirit! Thanks again, and here is a picture of our wonderful night~ We just got back to El Paso last night at about 11 and […]

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Guerrilla wedding on the steps of a church

Eight hundred years ago, couples did not marry inside the church.  They exchanged brief vows in the present tense at the church doors.  Then they ventured inside for mass–the sermon, communion, and blessing.  This lovely couple, who planned a quick weekend elopement or destination wedding from afar, did nearly the same thing.  In a civil […]

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A fairy tale continues

Personalized Prelude their ceremony: Neither Michelle nor Steve expected to encounter each other; they were not exactly looking for true love. Life was too busy interfering and forcing them to focus on the other big stuff. But God was smiling; amid their hard-work in other areas, fate was arranging a meeting. Early in 2009, Steve […]

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Thank you note

I just wanted to send you a quick message to say what a joy it was for you to officiate at our wedding. After the chaos of the day before, you were a calm presence and your ceremony was written with complete understanding of us, it was so beautiful. You were so understanding also of […]

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Brooklyn Bridge Wedding Poem

Hail of the sea to majestic land harbours evocative testament of fortitude and desire iron, steel, and stone crushed and bruised escape above to energetic leisure walkway thru and thru to hard labor countenance of throne and of fallen grace gone are hours with hours to come ahead fill now the great bridge with humanity’s […]

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Central Park Wedding/Elopement Tour

When couples enlist Liam’s services for a full session of three hours, they are able to really explore the city.  In this case, G+D began with a wedding ceremony at the Belvedere Castle Plaza overlooking Turtle Pond and then continued south to the Shakespeare Garden, Ramble, Bow Bridge, Bethesda Terrace/Angel of Waters’ Fountain, the Mall, […]

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A private ceremony in a public park

Before officiating this NYC wedding by the Angel of Waters’ Fountain, I noticed about four couples in their wedding finest and another four couples enjoying their “e-sessions” or engagement photo session.  Since this couple was a bit wary of marrying among the crowds, we moved to a quieter spot in the shadow that nonetheless affords […]

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Reviews

Perfect 10/18/2011 Lisa F. says: Judie performed our ceremony on 10-16-11 She was fantastic and spoke from the heart. Lisa and Ralph Franzese Short & sweet 10/6/2011 Min Hee K. says: we didn’t meet judie prior to the ceremony but she was spot on with her words. she & liam were were so warm & […]

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Renaissance Hotel 57 Wedding Ceremony

Curiously, despite officiating 500 weddings or so at this point, I had yet to be one of those celebrants who presided over a ceremony with an enormous wedding party with lots and lots of attendants.  My very sweet and warm gay couple last night, though, forever altered that record.  Nineteen of their closest family and […]

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The warmth of home weddings

I think this photo reflects the sweet intimacy of a home wedding far more than my words.  Most of my destination weddings take place with a glamorous NYC backdrop.  But not all. A few weeks ago, I helped tie the knot for a couple who rented a brownstone in Park Slope and recited vows with […]

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An almost Autumn wedding in New York

Wagner’s Cove belongs to weddings in the Fall.  Perhaps because couples who marry in the Fall tend to prefer rustic colors.  Perhaps because Wagner’s Cove offers a bit of shelter.  Perhaps because when the leaves do change color, Wagner’s Cove is especially pretty.  For whatever reason, I tend to marry lots of couples in the […]

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Couple weds in North Forest Park

I married another local couple in my neighborhood recently.  When couples come to me, it really is a sign that they want something a bit sweeter than the NYC Clerk’s office and nonetheless relaxed and low-key.  After all, the ceremony is a gateway to official recognition of a marriage.  It is a joyful and serious […]

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Sappy Humor in a NYC Marriage Ceremony

Dearly Beloved……Rays may shine; raindrops fall; we might get sweaty or chilly. Still vows will be spoken line-by-line; commitment will call; and Kelly and Ehrich will indeed pardon me for being silly…because what we need is here—in neither temperature nor park—but in the sincerity of our hearts. Finding love at fifteen years of age is […]

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A light-hearted marriage ceremony

The setting?  A semi-private alcove on a Brooklyn pier near the luxury rentals at 184 Kent Avenue and East River State Park in Williamsburg.  The ceremony? “We want a 5-10 minute ceremony,” the bride wrote me.  That’s rather short, I reflected privately, even for a wedding officiant used to couples requesting short ceremonies.  To make […]

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Thank you note

Thank you so much for making our day truly special.  We really appreciated your kind and meaningful words at the Overlook in Forest Park.  Thank you for sending them to us.  Also, a special thanks to your husband for witnessing the event.  We would love to add our two cents as recommendation or reference for […]

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Astoria Park wedding

An excerpt from their ceremony: As many here know, Miranda and Jonathan met through friends at a football game back in 2001. Immediately, they both realized their bond held much promise for future romance and adventures. But school and work intervened and complicated their lives. Still, they reconnected the following year. Watching movies, such as […]

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Jumbled word play on a trip to a ceremony

This is just for fun….. Typically, each ceremony comes with at least two hours of travel.  A recent wedding ceremony in the Hudson Valley accompanied about five to six hours of travel.  While on the train, I usually read, collect quotes using a new toy–Kindle, half-sleep, or jot down random words that come to mind […]

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Intercultural, Multifaith, or Interfaith Wedding Ceremony Minister

I marry many intercultural couples, such as B+D.  Some are actually very interfaith or multifaith and incorporate a passage and rite from their respective traditions.  In such cases, I use a spiritually non-denominational ceremony with the traditions most cherished by the couple incorporated.  Others appreciate the rich cultural histories of their families, but prefer to […]

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A note of thanks

Hi Judie, I would like to say Thank You for performing such a wonderful ceremony for Us (Adrienne and Kea 8-27-11). You are amazing and very patient! We appreciate that you accepted changes that needed to be made and accommodated us, especially with the weather. Your words captured the true essence of our love and […]

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“We gather here to celebrate love and life…”

No one ought to be very surprised when technologically savvy and mathematically inclined individuals meet and find they have much in common. While the engineering backgrounds of Brandon and Chris differ, their similar focus on abstract structures and refined details create a thread linking them together intellectually. Chris and Brandon first met through a mutual […]

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Classy at-home marriage service

I grew up in Southold, and my family moved to East Hampton for seven years, where I lived as well while attending college and graduate school in Manhattan.  (Yes, the commute was brutal, but youth is the time for such commutes!)  My immediately family has since re-located to upstate New York in search of cheaper […]

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Review

Judie is exceptional 8/29/2011 William D. says: I thought our wedding would be a challenge as we are a same sex couple that has been together for 20 years. The affair was held in our home with just a few family and friends present. Although we wanted some traditional touches, we did not want a […]

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A personalized ceremony at Turtle Pond

When a pharmacist and nurse meet, we ought not to be surprised if they find lots in common. Our groom and bride – a pharmacist and nurse – encountered each other through real estate. Gregg’s parents own a home across the street from Pat’s vacation home in Deposit. Luck works in mysterious ways: a devastating […]

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Quick Sampling of Ceremony Sites from July 2011

While waiting for my job to officially commence, I managed to sneak a few photos of *some* locations to which I’ve traveled using an “ancient” 35mm Minolta.  Yes, that’s a film/analog camera. Please pardon the dusty scans.  Having performed twenty-eight weddings in July and now working through my thirty-three weddings this August, I think you’ll […]

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Family wedding

A+D committed to each other many years ago.  They made it through college and countless other joys and difficulties of daily life.  The graces of luck even gifted them with two beautiful daughters.  And, with their family and friends finally gathered together on a not-so-hot morning, they exchanged poignant personal vows.

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Sculpture Garden Wedding (Westchester)

From their ceremony: Kristina, Andrew “loves your passion. You are the most scrupulously honest person he has ever met. He loves your tenacity and stubbornness. He loves that you can’t watch the commercial with the shelter animals because it is too much for you to see an animal abandoned or unloved. He loves that you […]

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A favorite wedding ceremony on Fire Island

I ought not to have favorites, and I rarely do.  The wedding yesterday, however, was as blazingly meaningful and memorable as the summer sun shining….By now, readers must know that I only become that sugary when feeling extra romantic, dreamy, and in love with my life. Back in May 2009, I married Charles and Lauren […]

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Manhattan Penthouse Ceremony

Presiding over ceremonies in very cool lofts is certainly a perk of this job.  The Manhattan Penthouse at Fifth Avenue and 14th Street is no exception.  The view is nice, but the simple elegance and location sets the space apart from others.  Here is the prelude to my couple’s ceremony last night: This pair met […]

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A quickie in the park

A family emergency challenged J+A’s plans to wed in the Roosevelt Hotel, where I was initially going to marry them.  But, in the end, the place does not matter.  I don’t know any couple that ponders where they are standing (or sitting) while reciting vows to their betrothed. They came to me –North Forest Park […]

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Wedding Poem for Nature Loving Geeks

I really hope one of my couple requests this one someday.  (Don’t worry about length: the spoken word is faster than the appearances of the written word.) “Evolution” by Langdon Smith When you were a tadpole and I was a fish–In the Paleozoic time, And side by side on the ebbing tide–We sprawled through the […]

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Syrupy Quote for A Romantic Wedding

Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919) …..How doth Love speak? In the proud spirit suddenly grown meek -The haughty heart grown humble; in the tender and unnamed light that floods the world with splendour, in the resemblance which the fond eyes trace; in all things to one beloved face; in the shy touch of hands that thrill […]

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Sealed with a kiss after thirty years

M+T committed to one another officially thirty years after they first met abroad.  When M came home from her travels, she told folks that she met “the one.”  Then life interfered.  The internet fostered their reunion.  They planned a celebration in late May, yet life again accosted them.  Fortunately, finally, nothing assailed their plans on […]

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Thank You Note

We just want to let you know once again that we were so happy that you were able to perform our private cermony between my husband and myself. The words that moved me to tears becuase it has been a long time coming. You joined our family into one and hope when we perform within […]

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Non-Wedding Related: Family Photos

Baby photos are too cute not to share, which I why I hope readers will pardon this entry.  Liam and I visited my family in upstate New York a few weeks ago.  Below are some images from the trip feature our niece and new nephew.  Obviously, Liam took all the pictures, except for the ones […]

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A Very Joyful, Fun Elopement in NYC

I normally find it hard to choose photos to feature.  I try to balance images that I like with images I think other couples might enjoy.  And I do add in a few  clearly showcasing the site to give future couples ideas.  But this slide-show was really difficult to put together: laughter abounds.

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