Wedding Officiant Services

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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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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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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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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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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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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“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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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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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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Random Thought

Those planning a destination wedding might want to start watching “White Collar.”  I am rather critical when it comes to television shows –an inevitable byproduct from years of learning and teaching cultural studies’ courses.  It’s mindless entertainment, yet a few steps up from realty t.v.  (Wow–what a sad measuring stick!) However, since I lack cable, […]

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Officiating at a Loft with a View

L+B married in the fun Manhattan loft of RamScale.  They opted for a standard ceremony, but requested I integrate two quotes they liked.  I wove them into a new mini prelude, which is below. Every urbanite has witnessed lovers lost in themselves on a train. They gaze adoringly and kiss without care. Delightfully unaware of […]

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Officiant for Same-Sex Weddings in New York

So for personal, philosophical, cultural, and political reasons, I am obviously still feeling the sweeping exhilaration of New York’s Marriage Equality Bill. To honor its passing, for the first week (July 24th-31st) any LGBTQ wedding ceremonies will be $75 to $150 in most areas of NYC….Staten Island, the Bronx, Westchester, and Nassau County ceremonies will […]

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Informal Destination Wedding in the Conservatory Gardens

Images below were taken in the lovely “Secret Garden,” which is the English styled garden in gorgeous Conservatory Gardens.  Remember that a permit is mandatory here! Convocation:A+S, you kindly invited us within your protective “bubble” to memorialize the past four years and celebrate the possibilities of your future together. This ceremony will not create your […]

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Hip Brooklyn Wedding Ceremony at Linger Lounge

EXCERPT FROM THEIR CEREMONY: You have requested I read a special piece entitled “A Parable” by Maynard James Keenan, which best captures your love: “We barely remember who or what came before this precious moment. We are choosing to be here right now, hold on, stay inside this holy reality, this holy experience. Twirling round […]

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Coney Island Beach Wedding Ceremony

Personalized Prelude We gather here in the company of this witness, a few strangers, and the loving spirits of family and friends to celebrate the joining of Kenneth and Alexa into marriage. Alexa and Kenneth, not so long ago, you were strangers. Despite earning a degree in psychology, Alexa nonetheless felt intellectually unfulfilled: she took […]

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Swan Club, Long Island Wedding Ceremony

I am definitely appending the Swan Club in Roslyn, Long Island to the list of catering / reception halls in which I sincerely enjoy officiating!  The Swan Club is part of an older Spanish-esque designed estate overlooking or adjacent to a tiny inlet that gives way to the Long Island Sound.  The specially designated ceremony […]

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Wedding Ceremony on the High Line

I believe the “prelude” expresses it all here… Today, we give thanks to Sean and Facebook for bringing together Clint and Bridget for nearly ten months before they had the courage to meet in person. While corresponding in writing first may stump our grandparents, it is actually an old-fashioned way to converse. Before transportation proliferated, […]

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Example of a celebrant style marriage service

Welcoming Family and friends, from near and far, you traveled to witness this couple finally promise publicly to be life-long partners. Before we continue, I would like to express warm appreciation to each of you for freeing yourselves from busy lives, including text messaging addictions, to offer this couple well-wishes. Since we find the meaning […]

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Wedding Program Template

If you are looking for a detailed wedding program, you’ve come to the right place.  Here is a template (of my own design, but based upon others) that does a nice job of comprehensively outlining the components of a marriage ceremony. For fun and history buffs, I used old wedding vows as examples. If you […]

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Wedding Minister Services, NYC

This post is only for history buffs; I never actually used these ceremonies word-for-word, although I have adapted and incorporated some concepts into my standard ceremonies. Below is a marriage service from a 1900 handbook with texts for (Christian) ministers for weddings, baptisms, and funerals.  The person who put it together specifically included a sample […]

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Quaker wedding vows

Quaker marriage ceremonies are much like their regular services.  After a process involving proving maturity and desire to marry, the couple attends a regular meeting during which family and friends may recite anything that may be in their hearts — spiritual or earthy advice.  The couple stands when they feel the spirit move them, recites […]

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Tompkins Square Park Wedding

Socially conscious Colleen and Brian married on a glorious autumn day with dozens of their family members and friends surrounding them at the Temperance Fountain in Tompkins Square Park.  In addition to giving guests chocolates to reflect the sweetness and bitterness of life, integrating a Buddhist reading, and incorporating spilling wine to honor the tragic […]

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Yes, I do perform religious wedding ceremonies upon request…

It is true that the “traditional vows” for both civil and (Christian) religious ceremonies are identical.  Some denominations use variations, but the essence remains.  The vast majority of my couples opt for a civil, humanist, or generally spiritual ceremony.  Justice of the Peace style civil ceremonies are non-religious and contain generally straightforward language defining marriage.  […]

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The Ideal Wedding Ceremony

“What is the ‘normal’ ceremony?” and “I want my ceremony to be unique” are often spoken lines with much cross-over. “Normalcy” and “traditional” are relevant concepts.  It’s true that the “I take you to be my lawfully wedded spouse to have and to hold from this day forward, for better and for worse, for richer […]

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Wedding Ceremony Sites in Queens

If you are looking for a more off-beat wedding ceremony site in Queens, New York, here are a few ideas. Crossing Art Gallery Flushing Town Hall Oak Ridge, Forest Park Voekler Orth House Bayside Historical Society Flushing Meadows Corona Park Gantry State Plaza Park Astoria Park Alley Park Baisley Pond Park Queens County Farm Queens […]

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Queens County Farm Wedding

The Queens County Farm is a brilliant choice for any nature-loving, local couple.  It is cozy, quaint, and affordable.  Lindsay and Rick needed few decorations: they used fresh-cut flowers, including daisies, in classic jar bottles, some candles that will surely flicker beautifully against old-fashioned lead windows, and gave their guests hot sauce, which perfectly matched […]

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Check-list for the wedding day

Hurray!  You are getting married in ten to twenty days!  Do not procrastinate on these items. __Acquire marriage license from same state in which you marry: put this in a very safe place and be sure to present it to your officiant before the ceremony. __Pick or write your wedding vows: serious and/or funny, it […]

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Blue Hill at Stone Barns Wedding

I am totally in love with this site.  Tucked away in Westchester — but conveniently only a ten minute taxi drive from the Tarrytown Metro North stop — Blue Hill is a restaurant situated on a farm.  A real farm.  A very picturesque farm.  And a farm that yields much of the food served in […]

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Writing Your Own Vows: Example of Personal Vow

Not all feel compelled to write their own vows.  Some prefer the timelessness of classic, traditional vows.  In traditional vows, you promise to take each other in marriage “come rapture or ruin.”  This is a straight-forward promise conveying the unconditional essence of your commitment and needs little more embellishment. Others find contemporary vows online that […]

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Twenty weeks to a better marriage

  20 WEEKS TO A BETTER BOND designed by me This “twenty week program” is meant to help couples center themselves and prepare for marriage or strengthen an existing marriage /relationship. Couples may also wish to condense the program to twenty days. This is not mandatory for any of my couples; it is only suggested […]

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Marriage Officiant, New York

To get married in New York, celebrate your commitment, or renew your wedding vows, you need little more than a New York registered civil wedding officiant.  To this end, I promise to give you a meaningful, memorable ceremony without the stressful dramas or limitations that accompany traditional, stoic ministers.  Instead, I offer  unique packages to […]

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