So you want a ceremony that makes everyone happy, most importantly the two of you. You’ve come to the right place. I am certified as a Life-Cycle® Celebrant, with a concentration as a Wedding Officiant, by the Celebrant Foundation & Institute.
The ideals of Celebrancy started in Australia, 40 years ago, growing out of that country’s Secular Humanism movement. (Good question.) Guided by reason and compassion rather than religion or superstition, Secular Humanism posits that there is more in common that unites humanity than divides it. For you, this means I have specialized training from the U.S. offshoot Celebrancy organization. There, I learned the intricacies of hand-crafting an inclusive ceremony that highlights those virtues everyone gathered together shares as members of the same identical human race.
Ultimately though, I make the ceremony all about you — and how I may best serve your entwined vision as advocate, facilitator and center-of-calm.
All that said...yes, I am indeed ordained! Since 2008. You want to talk Interfaith? The checklist is long, i.e., “full-moon ceremony, Native American sweat lodge, Tibetan Buddhist empowerments, Munay-Ki rites, mystery school induction, Reshel Grid work, etc., etc. That’s not the half of it. And wasn’t learned in a seminary overview course on world religions, but sincerely lived from the inside out — at the time.
Although now I’m more like Switzerland ... neutral. My only real practice is that of non-judgement.
Yet it takes more than knowledge, training or even lifetime experience. It takes a certain talent. Mine is being able to distill what makes you as a couple...you. And then I write rings around a compelling narrative that celebrates your coupledom.
Going even further than that...I tell your falling-in-love story in the language of your own irreducible hearts.
Finally, just in case you need me to officially state it, I am deputized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to officiate and solemnize your marriage.
And it is my complete honor to do so.
I love to write and had a long career as an advertising copywriter in the field of direct marketing for about 20 years. I love to pack an entire concept or strategy into a few well directed words, as well as take the audience on a smooth ride from which they don't want to get off until the very end. For that reason, I also love poetry, having dabbled in it. I love researching to find the exact right quote or custom.
Not least, I love people.
I love love love hearing (and telling) stories, especially the miraculous way in which couples find each other. I missed my calling as a journalist because I love to interview people. Yet for the past 15 years, I have done technical writing....meaning I interview packaging engineers, then take a vast amount of information and synthesize it into friendly prose for anyone to understand (starting with me).
Doing this with my couples is a lot more fun, though.
As mentioned, I'm ordained as a result of being on a spiritual quest ever since I remember. There's no dogma; we in the order are just charged to go forth and be "Ambassadors of Peace" in whatever way we so chose. We are diplomats really (which I already had
State Department experience as).
I'd been quasi searching for such a "way" another five years when I serendipitously saw a quarter-page space ad in "Spirituality & Health" magazine for the Celebrant Foundation & Institute...to become a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant. Of the three disciplinary training programs offered, I had no doubt "Wedding Officiant" was the one for me. The electricity that shot through me at that moment in Barnes&Noble ... "This is it!" my heart exclaimed.
I found out rather later in life — through a "Transformational Speaking" workshop at Omega Institute and on a couple other occasions — that I really like speaking into a microphone in front of people. To my surprise, I'm completely relaxed up there.
Since a child, I loved seeing the Bride and Groom coming out of church on a Satruday, rice everywhere, as we drove by in our powder-blue Dodge Rambler. I'd implore my mother to slow down. Or I'd thrill to hearing a motorcade of cars all honking upon leaving the church en route to the reception. Because I love the fine, intricate, thought-out details of every aspect ... the splendor of someone's wedding day.
But foremost, I love the promise it holds.
Everything: My passions, my experience, my training, my strengths and talents...all come together in my vocation as a Wedding Officiant. I feel so lucky, so privileged, to be standing with two people on about the happiest day of their lives as they cross that mystical threshold ... and two individual wholes become part of a greater whole in marriage.