About Susan Turchin

SusanTurchin_headshotOfficiating wed­dings is a pas­sion, a joy and a call­ing. I did not choose this work — it chose me. And what an honor it is to work with every cou­ple. Each love story I hear touches my heart. I could not be more grate­ful to be a part of your jour­ney to mar­riage; to hear how you met, under­stand what has brought you together and why you are ready to become part­ners for life. Then tak­ing all I have learned about you, enter­ing into the cre­ative process, trans­lat­ing your story into the cer­e­mony that for­mally unites your lives. Is there a more amaz­ing way to spend a day? Each year I offi­ci­ate 40 to 50 wed­dings, baby bless­ings, and other life cel­e­bra­tions. I also love my role as lead instruc­tor of wed­ding cer­e­monies for One Spirit Interfaith/Interspiriutal Seminary and adore the yoga stu­dents I instruct each week in the prac­tice of vinyasa.

From todays van­tage point I can see how the sum total of my past pre­pared me to do this work.

How I came to this amazing work…

Photo by Kristy May
Photo by Kristy May

In col­lege I was an art major. The cre­ativ­ity that once fueled my paint­ings is now chan­neled into cre­at­ing new rit­u­als and writ­ing unique scripts for each wed­ding cou­ple.

After col­lege, my first career, import­ing mer­chan­dise for one of America’s largest depart­ment stores, led to travel all over the Far East. Those trips exposed me to the peo­ple, diverse cul­tures and spir­i­tual paths of Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Korea. I made friends, expe­ri­enced life in these far off lands, explored their tem­ples (as well as their cloth­ing fac­to­ries), broad­en­ing my under­stand­ing of east­ern spir­i­tu­al­ity.

A career change led to new skill sets, as I became a coun­selor spe­cial­iz­ing in rehab intake inter­view­ing. I learned how to lis­ten deeply, and to draw out the infor­ma­tion needed to really “get” the per­son sit­ting in front of me. The same skills needed to inter­view and under­stand each wed­ding cou­ple.

Seeking

You're getting married!Then, eigh­teen years ago I found myself seek­ing a bet­ter under­stand­ing of the spir­i­tual and reli­gious tra­di­tions that serve our world while also caus­ing such great con­flict. I was drawn to enter­ing an interfaith/interspiritual course of study seek­ing the “Big Truths”. Here I stud­ied the major faith tra­di­tions, and the rit­u­als and cer­e­monies that have sup­ported human kind for cen­turies. It was a peak life expe­ri­ence for me. And although I entered Interfaith/Interspiritual Seminary with the inten­tion of learn­ing for my own per­sonal use, my whole life changed from that expe­ri­ence. Shortly after I was ordained, a neigh­bor asked if I would offi­ci­ate their wed­ding cer­e­mony. This was a path I NEVER con­sid­ered, but I found myself respond­ing with a very big, “Yes!”

Officiating My First Wedding

Second marriage
Second wed­dings.

I remem­ber leav­ing my house in awe that day, going off to per­form that first small wed­ding. I was amazed as I real­ized that I would say a few words and sign a doc­u­ment and two lives would be for­ever trans­formed. How did this hap­pen? Sixteen years ago I had the ulti­mate wed­ding adven­ture: I cre­ated a cus­tomized wed­ding cer­e­mony for my beloved and myself, fill­ing our cer­e­mony with all the things I love about wed­dings.

Use-on-Home-page-1-The “Family Celebrant”

More wed­ding cou­ples kept com­ing to me, and now I have offi­ci­ated more than 700 cer­e­monies! I have also become the “fam­ily cel­e­brant”, fol­low­ing cou­ples and their rela­tions through the cycles of life. I have hap­pily mar­ried sis­ters, cousins, and friends and cre­ated blessing/naming cer­e­monies for the chil­dren born to cou­ples I have mar­ried.

My Wedding Ceremony Book

Book-coverThis wed­ding man­ual is the result of 18 years of offi­ci­at­ing wed­dings. It is filled with cer­e­mony ideas and use­ful details. Let the ideas inspire you to cre­ate your per­fect wed­ding. To order a copy of my wed­ding man­ual, please con­tact me at joyousweddings@gmail.com

Press About Susan

New York Magazine Weddings—Who Will Marry Us?
New York Magazine
Reverend Susan Turchin: Let’s Make This World More Compassionate, Post-9/11
CBS DC
Encore Careers—From Fashion to Religion
The Wall Street Journal