your background and experience? Biography
What has inspired you to create a
During my parish ministry, I was struck by the very large number of engaged
couples who desired and truly needed “ministry,” but were
unaffiliated with a religious community that might normally provide it
. Over time, I came to recognize a very real demand in the larger community
for a professional, positive, and non-creedal marriage ministry like mine
that really focuses on each couple’s individual relationship, style,
perspective, and needs.
How is the wedding ceremony created?
How we collaborate
We live out-of-town. How will we collaborate?
I’ve worked with dozens of out-of-town couples without any
obstacles. Usually, the “get-acquainted session” is a phone or Skype
consultation and our in-person sessions are arranged at a time when you
will be visiting the Pittsburgh area. The remainder of planning is conducted
on the phone, Skype, and via email.
Who decides what type of “GOD”
language will or will not be used?
You do. As a Unitarian Universalist
minister, I uphold each individual’s right to define the sacred
as he or she understands and experiences it. I do not impose a belief
system on the couples who engage me as their Officiant. Rather, I serve
as a catalyst for your process of expressing your spirituality in the
context of your wedding and marriage.
Often, couples who want to include religious language in their ceremony
will choose the word “GOD” rather than something more specific.
usually, I only use this word several times in the ceremony and in a general
way. “GOD” is a universal term that gives your wedding guests
and family the freedom to define the word more personally to themselves.
The inclusion of a word like “GOD” can be very reassuring
to family members who are more religiously devout than the couple and
who would be troubled by a ceremony with no spiritual references at all.
What if we want to add some special
cultural touches to the wedding?
I’m all for it. I’ve collaborated with couples to include
everything from an Eastern Orthodox crown ceremony to Hindu “seven
step” mantras. 1 Corinthians 13 has been recited in Chinese and
the 23rd Psalm in Croatian. I’ve heard Latvian prayers and Hebrew
blessings. One couple read a poem to one another in Spanish and English;
another held a hand-fasting and pledged their love in Gaelic. These "special
touches” make your wedding uniquely your own and honor your
May I choose readings and elements
that are not included in your resource book?
Of course. Again, my ministry is dedicated to honoring and celebrating
your unique bond and beliefs. The booklet I provide has many resources
(excerpts), but you are always welcome
to include readings and sentiments that resonate for you.
I have children whom we’d like
to include in the ceremony. Is that okay?
Yes! I have created a variety of union ceremonies involving children
These include family unity candles, the giving and receiving of gifts,
and a sand-blending ceremony. "special
Is it okay to have a Co-Officiant,
such as a priest or rabbi?
Yes. However, you may not need the co-Officiant in order to include
elements that reflect your religious background. Although I do not weave
Christian or Jewish “liturgical” elements into my weddings,
I have often included Hebrew prayers and readings from sacred texts (including
the New Testament) at the request of the couple. If a co-Officiant is
retained, I expect to serve as the lead Officiant and to receive payment
equal to the co-Officiant, if he/she requests a fee higher than my standard
What do you wear during the wedding?
I usually wear a creamy white linen blend minister’s robe
that has a fitted style and one of several beautiful, hand-crafted minister’s
stoles I own. I also own a black minister's robe. In several instances,
I have worn a suit and a stole, at the couple’s request.
What are the fees
and what do they cover?
What happens if you are ill or have
an unforeseen emergency on the day of my wedding ?
In such a case, I would ask a highly qualified and trusted colleague
to serve as your Officiant.
Do you require and offer pre-marital
counseling or marriage preparation programs? If so, why?
I do believe (and researchers agree) that focusing on your wedding
day without planning for your marriage is not in the best interest of
your long-term marital success. Unless you are already working with a
counselor to intentionally prepare for your marriage, I would encourage
you to include the PREPARETM
program in your pre-wedding planning. I’ve made this process
very affordable because I believe so strongly in its value to couples
embarking on a relationship as complex as marriage
Do you have references we can contact?
Yes. You can read the wedding testimonials
on this site for some feedback. If you’d like to speak directly
with a couple whom I have served, I can put you in touch. You can also
read what others say about my overall ministry.
How do we get
in touch with you and get started?
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