What is your background and experience? Biography

What has inspired you to create a “marriage ministry?”
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 family’s traditions.

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 touches"

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 fees.

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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