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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Lys and Robert’s wedding at the Swan Club in Roslyn Harbor

I love the Swan Club. It’s the perfect place for an outdoor wedding without any of the typical outdoor “issues” (heat, rain, wind, bugs, etc.). The landscaping there compares to a botanical garden. Everything complements what you’re doing there - getting married! I also love it when I bond with great couples. The people I meet are the best part of my job. Lys and Robert and I did connect in that way, and their wedding at the Swan Club was appreciated by all. Here’s what they had to say:
“Pastor Bill made our special day MAGICAL!  I found Pastor Bill on a whim by simply googling wedding officiants on the internet.  He is as charming in person as he looks in his photos.  Although my wife thought I was crazy for finding our wedding officiant in this way she agreed to meet him.  From that very first meeting with him, she felt very comfortable having him marry us.  He is warm, down to earth, supportive, knowledgeable, and professional with a wonderful sense of humor.  He is well-organized and meticulous with his paperwork and communication.  He made us feel like our wedding was custom-tailored to fit the emotions and love we have for one another.  He was a joy to have at our wedding and we could not have asked for a more genuine and sincere person to marry us!  Thanks again Pastor Bill.  We love you!” - Robert and Lys
 


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cheryl & Noel's Wedding at Planting Fields Arboretum

I love Planting Fields Arboretum, so I was especially happy to go there for Cheryl’s and Noel’s intimate wedding ceremony. I arrived more than an hour early, which allowed for a very leisurely walk through the main greenhouse, and on the way out, I discovered the bookstore and bought a copy of O Pioneers! (I’ve been reading about the settling of the old West lately. Interesting.) Anyway! ... I had met with the couple beforehand to plan and become acquainted, and we had great chemistry. On the day of,  I met the some family members - all very nice, and Noel’s longtime friends who were there to support him - and give him a hard time (You can tell a lot about people from their friends, and these guys were true gentlemen.) Anyway! ... the couple was very happy with the day, as you can see for yourself.  “Cheryl and I would like to express our sincere thanks and profound appreciation for the wonderful job you did officiating our wedding on Saturday, July 31. Our special day was everything we hoped it could be, beautiful and intimate. Your marriage work sheet and subsequent meeting helped to make our day as joyful and orderly as it was. May God continue to bless you and your family with good health, and may you live long and continue the most important work he has ordained you to do.”


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Christine and Frank’s wedding at Heckscher Park in Islip

I have a working relationship with Pastor Mike Cassara, and this wedding was one that he couldn’t do. It worked out nicely, because I could, and it was a lot of fun. I don’t remember being at Hechscher Park before, so I didn’t know what to expect, but it was a pretty, calming place. (I think I felt my blood pressure going down.) Christine and Frank married under a small bunch of trees - perfect, since it was a hot day, and about 50 friends and family members, including adults and children, gathered to celebrate with them. Later, everyone walked to a large tent nearby for their reception. The venue suited the couple and their friends who were relaxed, and dressed for the day - and you could see some of the young girls who were present imagining wedding days of their own. I was glad to meet photographer Matthew Turri, who was busy taking pictures, and who has recently moved to this area. (This photo is one of his.) Christine and Frank, thank you for allowing me to be a part of your wedding day. I wish you many years of happiness.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Christine and Robert’s wedding at the Lawrence Country Club

Couples find me in many different ways. Brides who are on The Knot or Long Island Weddings will definitely find me there. Others have done a simple google search - (and found me on the first page of results!).  Sometimes the groom has done a search on Craig’s list, and sometimes one of my happy couples has referred the couple to me. That way is a particularly nice way to begin - bringing back memories for me and giving the couple more confidence right from the start. This time though it was none of those things. This time, Robert, who is a policeman, was in Starbucks - a regular stop, and was talking to my son Andrew about getting married to Christine. Andrew told him what I do, he called me, and the next thing you know, I was performing their wedding. I met with Christine and Robert ahead of time to make plans specific to them, and by the time of the ceremony, we had the feeling that we knew each other. That’s always the goal. I don’t know, but when I was leaving, it seemed to me that the look on Robert’s face said, “I didn’t think it would be this nice.” I hope that was it - exceeding expectations is also one of the goals. Anyway, Christine and Robert, may your union and life together be blessed - and Robert - be careful out there - and say “hi” to Andrew. I’m sure you see him more than I do.  :-)


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sam and Chris’ wedding at Fort Tyron in Washington Heights, Manhattan

 

I married Alison at Tavern on the Green in Central Park (something you can’t do any more - or at least not now), and a year later she recommended me to Chris - her work mate in the UK. Sam (Samantha) and Chris came on a warm June day to be married at Linden Terrace in Fort Tyron.  The views are “commanding” (Wikipedia) and include the Hudson River, the George Washington Bridge, and the Harlem River. The wedding was an intimate gathering of family and friends, mostly if not all from the UK, and the custom ceremony was personal, brief, and (of course) beautiful. Here’s what Sam had to say later, “We just wanted to send you our heartfelt thanks for the wonderful ceremony you did for us on June 2nd in Fort Tryon Park. It truly was a lovely service and our guests couldn't have been more complimentary about the service and choice of words. It really was an amazing day, so thank you so much for the major part you played in making our wedding day so very special.  Should anyone we know opt to marry in New York, we wouldn't hesitate to recommend you.” Thanks guys. I’m glad that your trip to our side of the pond was worth it!  (Photo thanks to photographer Guy Heart.)


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Luis and Mercy’s wedding at Arthur Ashe Stadium

My work takes me to the predictable places for weddings - catering halls, the beach, the park, private homes, churches - and then sometimes the venue is more unique and surprising. Luis and Mercy, and pretty much everyone in their wedding party, are really big tennis fans. Their dream was to be married at Center Court in Arthur Ashe Stadium - and they became the first couple in the history of the stadium in Flushing to do just that! We had a windy day (notice my hair), and the court was ripped up for repairs, but none of it dampened anyone’s enthusiasm. The stadium is beautiful, and next time I’d like to do this with the stands full. Luis and Mercy, thanks for making me a part of your wedding day. May God bless you and your union, and may your backhand be impeccable.
 


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Vow Renewal Ceremonies on Long Island

Maybe at times you've thought about renewing your marriage vows. It can be a very beautiful and meaningful thing - sometimes as much so, or even more than at your wedding, when you were distracted (!) and before you had spent years together as a married couple. If you don't have a minister, priest or rabbi of your own these days, I can help you do whatever you have in mind. Call me anytime.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Magic in Central Park Weddings

A wedding in Central Park presents special challenges (walking in heels to the location, the possibility of bad weather, etc.), but a Central Park wedding can also add another dimension to whatever your great plans are already for your wedding ceremony. Usually the park is filled with people of all kinds (tourists, true New Yorkers, bikers and runners, people with dogs, kids) - and almost without fail, when these people see what you're doing, they show respect, hang around to be informal "witnesses", and wish you all kinds of congratulations! It's unpredictable and special - and you never know when you might end up on YouTube! So, if you're thinking about the park for your wedding day, give me a call. I've done many weddings there, and I know many great locations, and the other important details that you'll want to know. Join my couples from all over the country and all over the world who come to the Big Apple to tie the knot.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Natalie and Francis' wedding at Leonards of Great Neck

Every wedding crowd has it’s own personality. Some groups are unemotional and passive, some are rowdy and loud, and some are engaged in what is being said, and obvious in their support of the couple. This latter description best suits Natalie and Francis’ wedding at Leondards. Their family and friends were a public speaker's delight, showing interest during the ceremony and expressing appreciation after it. A choir group from their church sang beautifully, and it was evident that the room was filled with people of faith. That’s my persuasion also, so you can imagine I had a good time. It was like preaching at a revival meeting. The icing on the cake was this nice card from the couple. “Our sincerest apologies for the delayed response. We wanted to thank you personally for making our day so special. Your words of wisdom and kindness have stayed with us and will guide us through many years together. God bless.”  Francis and Natalie
When I do a wedding that includes a homily (some words about marriage), my prayer and hope is that my words will make a difference. After all, the couple will hear them on the wedding day, and then every time they watch their wedding video - even years later. I’d like to think that they will benefit from the truth in “The Surprises of Marriage” or “Life is Just One Thing After Another.” (I hear myself saying these things almost weekly, and they’re still helpful to me!)


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Taneah and Rick’s Wedding in Central Park

If you remember, the weather lately hasn’t been that great. First we had a couple big snow storms, then we had days of soaking rain followed by sometimes hurricane force winds - and lots of downed trees and wires. What a great treat then to be given an amazing Spring day for a wedding in the middle of March. Taneah and Rick were ready for whatever kind of weather - but their wedding day could hardly have been nicer. It seemed that everyone in Manhattan was outside! We walked down to the Ladies’ Pavilion, where Adam from Elizabeth Solaka Photography (who graciously provided this photo) was waiting. The New Yorkers who were using the Ladies’ Pavilion gladly made way for us, and others climbing on the nearby rocks watched and took pictures. (You didn’t see us on You Tube did you?) It was just close family - and me. Taneah and Rick, thanks for including me in your special day.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Jineen and Bruce's Vow Renewal Ceremony @ Bet U Can Dance in East Northport

When a couple has been married over 25 years and they still obviously love each other and find joy in their friendship and relationship, it's a joy to be part of their celebration of that. That's how Jineen and Bruce relate, and what they so beautifully conveyed in their vows to each other. The ceremony was a celebration at Bet U Can Dance in East Northport - a beautiful, full-size studio that was dressed up for the occassion like a club. (BTW, the place offers about 21 Zumba lessons a week, and a very full menu of choices for engaged couples who want to prepare for their wedding dance - just in case, as the owner Jeff Sherman said to me - someone in the crowd tapes the wedding and it goes viral on YouTube!) The couple is fanatical about dancing, and most of their friends in attendance were also avid dancers. The mood was festive, and everything seemed perfect about the night. I was sorry that I couldn't stay for the food, but they were all going to be up past my bedtime. Here's what the couple had to say about their ceremony: "Thank you so much, Pastor Bill. The ceremony you performed for our renewal vows for our 25th wedding anniversary was amazing. My guests thought that we were old friends!! Everything you said was so insightful and just beautiful!! I'm keeping your number for when my kids get married!!"  Jineen & Bruce




Clergy on Call ministries was started by Reverend William Britton. Pastor Bill is an ordained minister (clergy) serving as a wedding officiant or wedding minister – helping couples to write their wedding vows and plan their wedding ceremony so that they have “no regrets” on their day of celebration - whether religious ceremonies or civil ceremonies. (Pastor Bill is also available if you’re renewing your marriage vows, or eloping or doing a destination wedding.) Pastor Bill serves couples planning a wedding in the Greater New York area including Long Island (Nassau County and Suffolk County), Queens, Brooklyn, New York City (Manhattan), and Westchester County. If you’re thinking of using a Judge for your wedding, or a Justice of the Peace – or if you’re thinking of going to city hall for your wedding – or perhaps you’re working on a last minute wedding plan –in any case, Pastor Bill would love to speak with you. (Pastor Bill is also available for families that have suffered the loss of a loved one and are planning a funeral.)


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