Couples often ask me, “How did you get into weddings, anyway?” I’ve always been interested in where we come from, where we’re going, what we believe, and what happens along the way. I was raised Catholic, and while I loved the rituals, I knew there was more to the universe than what I learned in church. From the time I was a child, I’ve been attracted to God, the Gods, Goddesses, heroes, heroines, culture and mythology of all countries, and the rituals and religions of all people. As a child I felt the sting of ostracism from the Catholic Church when my parents divorced, and I knew that cold shoulder came from man, not from God. So I began my own spiritual quest.
Here is where my quest led me. I have an undergraduate degree in Related Arts from Kutztown University, a Masters in Education from Lesley College in Cambridge, MA, and have been ordained an Interfaith Minister by The New Seminary, New York, NY (2002). I am an active affiliated alumni with One Spirit Learning Alliance in NYC.
My journey has led me to love the arts, theatre, literature, science fiction, fandom, fantasy, pop culture, pen pals, British culture, creative writing, storytelling, tourism and travelling. I am so grateful to have found a path of service and ministry that really fulfills me. How many people get to continually be present on the happiest day of people’s lives? I do!
My friends are Activists, Allies, Artists, Actors, Atheists, Agnostics, Buddhists, Brides, Christians, Comic Book Fans, Earthy, Emos, Dancers, Democrats, Feminists, Geeks, Grooms, Jews, Jedis, Journal Writers, Hindus, Hippies, Hipsters, Indies, Instagram-ers, Intellectuals, Immigrants, Jet-Setters, Lesbian, Married, Musicians, Nerds, Offbeat, Parents, Playwrights, Poets, Queer, Tweet-ers, Transgender, Travellers, Trekkers, 12-Step, Seekers, Singles, Volunteers, Whedonesque, Whovians, Writers, Gay, Straight and everything in between.
I have met Astrologers, Bahais, Baptists, Born-Agains, Channelers, Chaplains, Druids, Energy workers, Gnostics, Guru followers, Healers, Hellenists, Humanists, Kabbalists, Mediums, Mormons, Muslims, Native Americans, Quakers, Pagans, Prison Ministers, Protestants, Reiki Masters, Seekers, Shamans, Sufis, Taoists, Tarot readers, Therapists, Transcendentalists, Unitarians, Voodoo Priests, Wiccans, Witches, Yogis, Yorubans, Zen practitioners and every other path imaginable. We all have something in common: the desire to make a contribution to this world, to serve humankind, to promote understanding and respect between all people, to find the Oneness that links all of us. We call this common interest in what unites us and promotes peace, “Interfaith.”
Many couples I work with describe themselves as "Spiritual, but not religious." Some couples do not practice any faith path, but want a ceremony that is warm, romantic, meaningful, and focuses on their love for each other as partners in life.
As an Interfaith Minister, I honor all faiths, and respect your personal beliefs. Whether your ceremony is civil, spiritual, secular, traditional, non-denominational, modern, romantic, serious,
or silly, it’s your ceremony and your day, I will listen closely and honor your requests.
As your wedding officiant, I am here to answer your questions, provide creative as well as traditional ceremony ideas, and support you on your wedding day. I will customize your wedding script exactly to your liking. I assure you that the most important part of the day, your ceremony, will be wonderful!
Your love has brought you to this day—I am honored to be in your presence and share this journey with you.
Are you able to perform ceremonies outside of New York?
Yes! My registration with New York City allows me to perform weddings virtually anywhere. I have officiated weddings in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Georgia, and Texas. I’m delighted to be asked to travel to your out of state or destination wedding.
What is Interfaith?
Interfaith is the practice of acknowledging the truth in every religion–that God or The Divine is Love. In our global community we have the opportunity now more than ever to learn and grow from each others' spiritual language. Interfaith respects every faith, looking for commonalities, not differences. Interfaith speaks to my soul. I honor every person, spiritual and secular, theist or atheist, and relate to you in the style of expression you find most comfortable. Ceremonies may include cultural or modern rituals like Candle Lighting, Wine Blessing, Bell, Handfasting, Horseshoe, Breaking the Glass, Arras, Jumping the Broom, Remembrances, Sand Ceremony, Toasting Glasses, Sofreh, per your request.
Do you perform same-sex ceremonies and gay weddings?
YES! I am a proud LGBTQ ally and activist for Marriage Equality. On Sunday, June 26, 2011, I officiated one of the first legal gay weddings in New York City. I am so happy to welcome all loving couples from around the country and every corner of the globe that choose to celebrate their wedding in New York.
I’ve been fortunate to grow up surrounded by wonderful gay friends and family, and I believe that gay relationships deserve the same respect, attention, and civil rights and privileges as same-sex couples. I am honored to take a stand for Gay Rights, and if my support for Civil Rights and Marriage Equality turns someone off, I am probably not the right wedding minister for them.
How do you reconcile religious differences between a couple?
This usually happens before the wedding ceremony plans! Acknowledging each others' spiritual lives and personal philosophy is part of the intimacy that builds trust and respect in your relationship. If you would like to do some pre-marital counseling to discuss your religious or personal values before planning your ceremony, I am happy to discuss this in our initial consultation and offer referrals and recommendations.
How “scripted” are your ceremonies? How much creative freedom does a couple have with you?
The only thing we must hear in a ceremony is consent (“I do”) and the pronouncement. Everything else is based on your religions or practices, cultures, personal history, and our collective expectations. The main event in the ceremony is usually the ritual of sharing your vows and rings. There is a classic order of ceremony that we can honor and use as an outline. The ceremony can be as creative as your imagination. It’s always fun to weave traditional elements with original ideas. I love to hear what couples have in mind! We work on the ceremony together until we finalize the ceremony script. I will not add anything you have not already approved–no surprise sermons or dogma.
Are there things that you will NOT do, mention, etc.?
I do not ask if anyone objects–this dates back to another era, and nobody really says, “Speak now or forever hold your peace” at a wedding ceremony anymore. It works well on soap operas and in the movies, though!
Many couples ask me about old-fashioned elements of a wedding ceremony like “honor and obey” in the vows, using the words “man and wife” (as opposed to “husband and wife”) and asking the father’s permission for the bride’s hand. Remember, this is your ceremony, and we will only say and do what is most comfortable and meaningful to you.
In the procession, individuals may choose to be escorted by Father and/or Mother, sibling or other family member or friend, and many couples choose to enter together, holding hands. You may choose to have a Best Man or Best Ma'am, Maid of Honor or Man of Honor, as you wish.
Are you taking your partner's last name? If so, at the end of the ceremony, I can introduce you as “Mr. & Mrs.”, or “Mr. & Mr.” or “Mrs. & Mrs.”, or simply, “The Newly Married Couple: (Name) & (Name).”
What is the one piece of advice you would (or do) give to a couple you are marrying?
Hire event professionals that have experience so that you have less to worry about on your wedding day. Your wedding team should have verified credentials, reviews, and references that assure you of their reliability and reputation. Good people know good people--ask for recommendations and referrals.
Your officiant, planner, caterer, photographer, videographer, florist, musicians, stylists and on-site consultants will coordinate the details on your wedding day. Ask your Best Man, Best Woman, and Attendants to help be in charge of seeing that everyone is in place and on schedule, so that YOU can relax, get dressed, and bask in all the love and attention you deserve. On your wedding day, let it go so you can focus on the meaning of the day–your love for each other!