Great Officiants

Our Adventures in the Wonderful World of Performing Wedding Ceremonies

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Getting Married in an Orange Grove……

Roger has always said that one of his favorite places to marry couples is in the middle of a lemon grove called Limoneria Ranch. Well, yesterday he can now add an orange grove to that list.  It’s fittingly called The Grove. It’s located out in Redlands and not only is it smack dab in the middle of a working orange grove, but a beautiful view of the Valley as well !   Plus, the brides and grooms’ rooms were amazing !  The girls had a bungalow in the grove and the boys had their own treehouse !!  This was for a wonderful couple by the name of Eddie & Dorian.  She was pretty relaxed but our Eddie was pretty nervous.  So Roger not only got him laughing during the ceremony but brought it serious when needed.  It was a perfect wedding.

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Father Jacob celebrated the wedding of Rachel Chaikin and Gerry Guzman at the La Mesa Community Center near San Diego on Saturday

I celebrated the wedding of Rachel Chaikin and Gerry Guzman at the La Mesa Community Center near San Diego on Saturday.  The ceremony and reception took place at the same location which was convenient and allowed for a very relaxed atmosphere.  The ceremony took place overlooking a distant baseball field (Gerry and Rachel are avid softball players) and all of La Mesa.  The day was sunny and a cool breeze ensured the comfort of Rachel and Gerry’s many guests.

When they contacted me through Great Officiants, I learned that Gerry is Catholic and Rachel is Jewish.  The traditional Order of Celebrating Matrimony between a Catholic and a non-Christian in the Roman Rite does not acknowledge or celebrate the Jewish partner’s faith or heritage so I wanted to write a ceremony just for the them that was truly Catholic, maintaining all the traditional and necessary elements of the the Rite of Marriage, but which also explicitly celebrated Rachel’s rich Jewish heritage and faith.

To accomplish this, I reworked some of the language of the traditional rite.  For example when Gerry placed the ring on his wife’s finger he said: “Rachel, behold you are consecrated to me with this ring according to the Law of Moses and Israel.”  When Rachel placed the ring on her husband’s finger she said, “Gerry, behold you are consecrated to me with this ring in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”  In this way, each of the spouses acknowledged the faith and heritage of the other. I inserted a Kiddush which included the Sheva Brachot.  Since Catholicism is descended from Judaism, there are many, many ritual similarities including the use of wine in liturgy so it seemed natural to include this tradition which is remarkably similar, though not identical in each faith. By the way, as a Catholic priest, I almost always use Maneshewitz when I celebrate Mass and it always reminds me of my faith’s Jewish roots. I sang the blessing over the wine in Hebrew and Rachel and Gerry shared from the cup in the presence of their families and friends before Gerry broke a glass beneath his feet and I presented them as husband and wife to their guests.

This was one of the most interesting weddings I have ever celebrated and definitely one of the funnest.  

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Michelle & Eugene CONTRERAS WEDDING on 03 June 2017 in Santa Ana, CA

Michelle and Eugene chose The Heritage Museum of Orange County as their wedding venue. The 19th Century mansion, its grounds and accompanying historic buildings provide a charming “yesteryear” feel. The outdoor wedding, cocktail hour and reception had guests move around the grounds and historic buildings in what was a relaxed and fanciful evening.

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A Beautiful Wedding Day In Southern California……

Roger had the please of officiating a wedding at Grace E. Simons Lodge at Elysian Park this last Friday.  This was his first time there and the lodge does an amazing job !  And as he was driving over to the wedding that day, he heard on the radio about rain storms back East and when he arrived, it was nothing but blue skies.  Not too warm, not too cool.  Just a perfect day for a wedding in So Cal.  He married a wonderful couple, Adam & Tiffany who were both pretty nervous, but Roger assured them both that all was smooth sailing.  And when a last minute hiccup happened just before the ceremony, Roger reassured them that it would all work out….and it did !  Adam, even said to his dad just before walking up the aisle, that “they picked the perfect wedding officiant” !

Roger agreed………..

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Jessica and Scott’s wedding on Sunday 04 June was a dream come true at Lake Oak Meadows Winery

Jessica and Scott’s wedding on Sunday 04 June was a dream come true. California wines rival those of Europe and our wineries are equally romantic. This wedding at Lake Oak Meadows Winery had the perfect blend of rustic and refined. Family and guests delighted in the beautiful park-like setting. Here the photos really do speak for themselves.

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A long time dream comes true for Philip and Marti Officiant Lisa Smith of Great Officiants had the honor and pleasure of marrying this loving couple on beautiful Corona Del Mar Beach, California

A long time dream comes true for Philip and Marti Officiant Lisa Smith of Great Officiants had the honor and pleasure of marrying this loving couple on beautiful Corona Del Mar Beach, California. Saturday, June 3, 2017  Philip and Marti came from Indiana to fulfill their dream wedding on the beach of the Pacific ocean at last. It took a lot of phone meetings and careful planning to make it all happen Marti and Philip were joined by their son daughter family and close friends.  As we all gathered for the ceremony it seemed that time stood still for this precious moment in time. The look on Philip and Marti’s faces said it all!
They composed their own heart felt vows to one another there was not a dry eye on the beach it was so romantic just magical.  They included a colorful Sand Ceremony and poem.  As Philip and Marti continued filling their sand container All of us bowed our heads for a special marriage blessing and to wish Philip and Marti Love Health and Happiness for their lifetime and forever more. Dream Granted  Bravo!!

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The Safest Wedding Roger Has Ever Officiated

Roger married a wonderful couple, Eric & Lindsay this last weekend at the always beautiful Los Verdes Golf Course in Rancho Palos Verdes.  It was a wonderful wedding and the ceremony was perfect !!  But Roger started this wedding off differently this particular time……Now, normally Roger doesn’t ask the question “who objects to this wedding today?”, but in this case, the groom Eric wanted it asked…..  You see the groom Eric and his ENTIRE batch of groomsmen were ALL Costa Mesa Police Officers !!  So when Roger asked “Is there anyone here that has just cause for this couple not to be united?”  Then at that point, Roger simply said “gentleman” and ALL the groomsmen and the groom pulled back their suit jackets to show that they were ALL carrying their service weapons !!  Funny, nobody objected !!  It got a great laugh and was the perfect start to a very funny and romantic wedding !!

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