What do you enjoy about the work you do? I have officiated at so many joyful celebrations! Some of my more memorable events have been a Jewish/Greek wedding, two women who made their vows on the beach, a bride and her military husband who was being deployed in 48 hours, and a couple who played gospel and rock music during the service. Each ceremony has been so distinct and moving. Love is the most important thing of all!
Which types of ceremonies do you officiate? Wedding, Commitment ceremony, hand-fasting.
What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)? I am an ordained priest with a seminary degree, experience and a vast archive of ceremonies and vows. I change a flat rate of $300 for the event, with an extra $20 if I am requested to be at the rehearsal on a day other than the wedding. I have a special price of $180 for those in the military and for couples wishing to renew their vows.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer? In person, e-mail, phone or Skype consultation.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work? I am an ordained priest in the Celtic Christian Church, which is under the Independent Catholic (not Roman) denomination. It is the ancient form of Christianity practiced in parts of the British Isles and far Western Europe that were not conquered by the Roman Empire. I was the assistant pastor of the Prince of Peace Independent Catholic Community on Long Island (NY) and have recently relocated to Florida. I have a B.A. in Psychology, a Master’s Degree in Theology and a Doctorate of Theology in Contemporary Spirituality. I have 11 years of experience as a professor at Long Island University/C.W. Post Campus.
How did you get started doing this type of work? After decades of being a rock DJ and music reporter in the New York Metro and Washington. D.C. areas, I decided to finally follow the calling that had been tugging at me for decades. The death of my mother and the intensely spiritual experience that came with it was hard to ignore. I also took care of a co-worker who had AIDS until he died. It opened my eyes to the prejudice surrounding the disease as well as the GLBTQ community. I have been a straight ally for more than 20 years.
What types of customers have you worked with? I have worked with couples of all genders, faiths and cultures.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take? I officiated at the wedding of a disabled Vietnam Vet and his intended at their home. He was Jewish, she was Greek, so I was able to craft a ceremony that respected both of their traditions. The service included the 7 Jewish Wedding Blessings, as well as those from the Greek Orthodox faith. The groom stomped on and broke the ceremonial glass, and I held hands with
the bridal party as we circled the altar several times as in the Greek tradition. It took some research on both of our parts, but the wedding was everything they wanted and brought joy to the family.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work? Some time for planning and organizing would always be appreciated, but I can be ready on short notice as well!
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project? Idea of vows, and Scripture or other readings, or we can design something that will be meaningful to the couple.