Officiating 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…
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.
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
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.
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
This 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Encore Careers—From Fashion to Religion
The Wall Street Journal