HOW IT WORKS

 

 

Your Wedding, Your Values

I work with individuals, couples and families to honor their beliefs as well as their desire for a meaningful ceremony. 

I am available to plan and perform:

  • Secular Weddings, Commitment and Re-Commitment Ceremonies

  • Memorials

  • Baby Welcomings

  • Naming and Re-Naming Ceremonies

  • Coming of Age Ceremonies

  • Other life’s moment celebrations both large and small

 

As a secular Celebrant, I’m authorized to perform non-religious ceremonies. That means I don’t use many of the elements traditionally associated with weddings and other events: praying, blessings, religious texts like the Bible, Torah or Koran, or references to “God”. Many people wonder what that leaves, and the answer is…a lot. The world is full of possibilities for your secular ceremony.

 

The wedding ceremonies I perform require that at some point the couple agree to be married to one another, and that I pronounce they are. The rest is entirely up to you, and it’s my job to work with you to craft a ceremony that authentically represents you, your relationship and your values.


We begin by meeting, in person, over the phone or by video call. This initial meeting is always complimentary. It allows us to get to know one another and discuss what matters to you about your ceremony. Based on that meeting, I send you a summary of our discussion and a letter of agreement with my proposed fee. If you choose to engage my services, return the agreement signed, with your deposit and we’ll get started.  

 

The process typically evolves over email but I’m happy to meet in person or virtually as requested. I have a library of ceremony scripts, readings and suggestions for you to consider. I’ll curate and share these with you as we build your custom ceremony. We’ll take into account the tone you want to set and the role you’d like your friends and family to play. I build your ceremony bit by bit, moving at your pace until it meets your expectations.

 

Prior to the wedding, you’ll be responsible for going to your local town clerk to obtain a marriage license. You'll give this to me before the ceremony and I'll take care of the rest. You’ll identify two wedding guests to serve as witnesses. Immediately following the ceremony, your witnesses and I will sign the document. I’ll file it with the clerk and you’ll receive your official marriage certificate in the mail a few weeks later.

"You seamlessly combined all the aspects we wanted to create something that was uniquely us. 

In short, it was perfect."

People are saying...

FAQ

ARE THE SERVICES YOU PROVIDE LEGAL?

Yes. I am certified by the Humanist Society of the American Humanist Association. I’ve been performing weddings for more than ten years and have married over forty couples. I was even married by a Humanist Celebrant myself!  You can view my official Celebrant profile.

WE’RE NOT ATHEISTS OR HUMANISTS. CAN WE USE YOUR SERVICES?

Certainly. People choose a secular wedding celebrant for many reasons. Working with me does not necessarily mean that you don’t hold sincere religious beliefs. They just won’t be a part of the ceremony we plan together.

CAN WE USE TRADITIONAL CEREMONY ELEMENTS LIKE EXCHANGING RINGS, JUMPING A BROOM, BREAKING A GLASS, ETC.?

Sure! Many cultural traditions have religious roots but if we are using them in a secular manner they can be a part of the ceremonies I write for you.

CAN WE USE UNUSUAL CEREMONY ELEMENTS?

Yup! I once performed a ceremony with a canine maid of honor.  I’ve helped craft wedding readings made up of movie quotes and vows written in Dr. Suess verse. One time, I used a wand to seal the union of a couple at a Harry Potter themed nuptial. I’ve coordinated socially distanced outdoor ceremonies and weddings where guests deployed in the military attended via Facetime. At a ceremony commemorating a first birthday, we honored the child with poetry in four languages. I’m happy to explore all the ways we can make your ceremony uniquely your own.

HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD WE BOOK YOUR SERVICES?

The timeline for my ceremonies varies a lot. Some couples engage me more than a year before their wedding. In one case I wrote and performed a ceremony in six days. It’s a good idea to engage me as soon as you have a firm date to ensure I’ll be available. But please don’t hesitate to call me at the last minute. If I’m available, I’ll be happy to work with you.

CAN WE WRITE OUR OWN VOWS?

Absolutely. And if you’d like something personal but writing isn’t your thing, I have lots of samples and suggestions we can choose from to ensure your vows feel authentically "you".

WHAT DO YOU CHARGE?

My fee is based on the specifics and complexity of the ceremony we plan together. It generally ranges between $400 and $800 for ceremonies performed within a 25 mile radius of my home in Troy, NY. For ceremonies beyond that area, transportation and lodging expenses will be added as necessary.  For more complex events, additional fees may apply. Please note that due to the personalized and time-intensive nature of my services, fees are non-refundable.

WHAT KINDS OF PACKAGES DO YOU OFFER?

Because my services are very individualized, I don’t offer “packages”.  I provide the writing and performing of your ceremony only (plus coordinating a rehearsal if you need one). I’m happy to work with your venue, musicians and other professionals but I’m not a full service wedding planner. I have worked with some excellent providers in the field and I can certainly make recommendations if you need some.

WILL YOU COME TO THE REHEARSAL?

Of course!  If there’s a rehearsal, I’ll be there. Some, more simple ceremonies, don’t require one and that’s fine too.

WILL YOU BE A GUEST AT THE WEDDING?

A wedding is an expensive endeavor, and unless we have a personal relationship, it’s not necessary for you to include me as a guest. I usually stay until everyone has left the ceremony site and the witnesses have signed your marriage license and then I’ll wish you well and be on my way.