About The Process
Marriage is, assuredly, the most heartfelt, unique, and meaningful ceremony you will ever experience. That being said, I know that every couple is looking for something different. Be it a theatrical performance, a medieval wedding, or a science fiction themed wedding, I will help you create a ceremony to remember.
As a Certified Celebrant, I get to know my couples needs and desires through a process of reflective listening and feedback. The result is a planned process that evolves into your perfect wedding service.
What themes and feelings do you want to experience on your wedding day? What feelings do you want your guests to have? I will design your service to meet your desires.
You can be as involved in the planning of your service as you wish. If you don’t think you have preferences, I would be more than happy to offer suggestions to guide you towards the wedding you’ve always dreamed about.
You will have the approval of every word, ritual, and reading to ensure that, as your wedding officiant, I am not including anything you don’t explicitly want me to.
Both of you get to choose the level of religious depth for your service, from a completely non-religious wedding ceremony to a full array of sacred readings, and blessings, even if you and your partner practice different religions.
I have performed Hindu, Baptist, Moslem, Christian, Catholic and Jewish traditions and services, with almost every combination therein. I truly enjoy finding commonalities to suit any couple! All rituals and readings are performed professionally, with dignity and respect.
An interview without obligation or cost will let us know if we would like to work together. Meetings can be in a hotel lobby, or when necessary by phone or Skype.
About Your Wedding Officiant, Reverend Ron
After performing Weddings, I am often approached by several friends and family members of the Wedding party. After the customary, “that was amazing,” and, “ I’ve never been to a wedding like that,” the next question is usually how I came to my practice as a wedding Celebrant. I smile and usually say something, like, “Through another Minister!”
It certainly is the truth, but not the whole story. In the fall of 2007, I was dating a Minister and had gone on several interviews with her to talk to engaged couples. She and the couples were very excited by the energy and reflective listening skills that I displayed as we all talked about their wedding day. I was always asked by the couples whether I was also a Minister.
My friend was insistent that this was a degree I should pursue, and my answer was always the same: “I’m already working two jobs, and dating you, which should I give up?”
Shortly thereafter, fate decided that I should give up my day job for six months, certainly not by my design. I had been doing roofing for ten hours on my day off, and taking tools down a ladder at the end of the day. My Timberland boot slipped on a ladder rung, sliding through and sending me first upward, and then down. I shattered my leg and decimated my ankle, something called a Pilon fracture. Loosely translated from the French, it means, “You, sir, are in a heap of trouble.”
My Minister friend contacted the Celebrant Institute on my behalf and arranged for an accelerated course in Weddings that would mostly be completed through distance learning. She also sweetly reminded me that now, I really had no other choice.
And so, I read coursework, participated in classes, researched and wrote (and wrote, and wrote…) and learned more about different traditions and cultures than I had ever imagined.
This has made me the multicultural Minister that I am today. As a Universalist, I am uniquely qualified to bring couples of different beliefs and faiths together. I can create a mosaic of different readings and rituals performed with dignity and respect. This has filled me with an appreciation and understanding of other cultures, which in turn has brought me much joy and serenity.
Also, by being with my couples on their wedding days as their trusted wedding officiant, I came to understand that a wedding is an extraordinary event in our lives. It is one of the few occasions where we have the chance to stand in the power of ceremony and notice that each of our lives has meaning.
I bring a lifetime of writing and public speaking to my practice. I specialize in identifying potential stressors ahead of time so that the ceremony is smooth and joyful. It makes all the difference to my couples.
As wedding Celebrants, it is our mission to work closely with you, the couple, in creating a ceremony that reflects your tastes and values. We are also happy to assist you in planning aspects of your ceremony such as location, music, and rituals. We encourage you to draw on any traditions, non-religious or religious, which are meaningful to you.
For some couples, the excitement of the casino reminds us of how exciting life can be. Upon further consideration, they decide that this would be the perfect time to get married. A great way to do this is to take the trolley to Liberty and Clinton, come by my office to pre-fill out your application, and walk across the street to get your license at City Hall. 24 hours later, I can marry you at my lovely wedding chapel, Blessings, or come to your room at the Casino, or head to Mohawk Park and have a lovely service on the waterfront. This is especially ideal for couples who are wondering how to elope quickly in the area.
And of course, it goes without saying that if you need me to get dressed as Elvis, that can be arranged, (with advance notice, understandably). Let’s celebrate your hunka-hunka burning love!
I have three dogs, and if you are reading this, you probably have at least one as well. Animals ground us, and they give and receive unconditional love in return. These are excellent qualities to have for your upcoming marriage to another human!
Whether you would like Fido to be your ring bearer or simply mentioned in your personalized wedding service, this will be handled with dignity, humor, and will be doggone special.
Interfaith Service and Non-Religious Weddings (Agnostic and Atheist)
While NY State considers me a non-denominational wedding Minister, (Ordained May 2003, in Montclair, NJ), It would be more accurate to describe myself as a multi-denominational Minister. Through attending and preaching services of all faiths, or no faith, for that matter, I truly believe that many cultures have commonalities which can be combined into a beautiful mosaic. It is also an opportunity for me, as your wedding officiant, to describe specific rituals in such a way that your friends and new relatives gain an appreciation and respect for you or your partner’s faith.
When you find the right person, if you are truly honest with yourself, it makes little difference what their exterior trappings are. Unfortunately, however, not everyone would agree and this can lead to familial tension in some couples of different backgrounds. I have always felt that when you have that connection, nothing else matters. Over the past fourteen years, I have married whites, browns, blacks and olives, in all possible combinations. That the majority of them are still married is a testament to their ability to have seen beyond color.
LGBT Wedding Officiant
As a Life Cycle Celebrant, I was on the front lines of helping the cause for Marriage Equality in New York state, and one of the first wedding Ministers to perform same-sex marriages. Couples flew in from Florida and Texas just to get married in NY. This is a basic human right which had been denied for far too long.
Those first services often included words of celebration for all those who had been in committed relationships their entire lives without the rights to Social Security and healthcare information when their partner was hospitalized.
It gives me great joy to celebrate all couples in love, and I am happy to do so!
Getting Married in NY State
I will help fill out your license application, and after the service I will file your license for you. What the heck is a surname anyway? Don’t worry, I know.
I’ll make sure all your boxes are properly filled out, and make a checklist of your needed paperwork so that you are ready to go when you apply. Both you and your partner must be present at the clerk’s office and be over the age of 17, per current New York state law. After you receive your license, a 24-hour waiting period applies, so if you want to get married at 3 on Wednesday, you need to get your license by 2:59 on Tuesday. In the case of “good cause,” a judge can waive the 24-hour waiting period, for example, if you are in the Military and shipping out the next day and are in need of a speedy elopement in New York.
If you want to increase the likelihood that your marriage is built for the long haul, invest two hours of your time with me in a marriage coaching session. We will discuss strategies to improve your relationship, communication, and resolve disagreements in a way that brings you closer together and builds a deeper understanding of one another. This may just be the best wedding gift you can give yourselves…