Sunday, July 31, 2011

Azeb's and Randollph's wedding at Brooklyn Botanical Garden

The Brooklyn Botanical Garden accomodates couples who want an intimate wedding, or who just love the beauty of the outdoors - and who doesn't enjoy a day when the sun shines down, warming your skin - and you're getting married?! Randy and Azeb weren't able to meet with me ahead of time (which is what I usually do), but even so, we had nearly instant chemistry when we did meet the the Garden, and I really enjoyed my time with them. I also received one of my best compliments from one of their guests who said, "Thank you, that was nice. Not the usual blather." Home run! Anyway, you can see from this great picture the kind of chemistry they had, and the nice "vibe" they radiate. Another great day serving another nice couple.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Daisy's and Alex's wedding at Astoria Manor

In 2010 I married a tennis-loving bride and groom at Arthur Ashe Stadium.  A referral from that couple led to a wedding this year at Astoria Manor. Daisy and Alex were easygoing and a pleasure to work with, and they certainly appreciated my help in planning - and on the day of. Here’s how they put it:

“The feedback we are getting from our friends and family about the wedding is beyond positive. Pastor Bill Britton’s flexibility in the way the ceremony is performed makes him a very desirable wedding officiant. Our friends still cannot believe that we were able to include a religious theme in our civil wedding. As Filipinos, it is important that we had a sense of Catholicism in our matrimony; we are truly grateful to Pastor Bill Britton for making that happen. His services are also not limited to the ceremony itself. He guides you from the start to the end and will answer any questions you might have about the whole process. We feel lucky to have found Pastor Bill and honored to have had him as our wedding officiant; his services did not only impress us but also those who attended our wedding. Surely in the future, we will see him again as a pastor for one of our friend’s wedding.”

Thanks Daisy and Alex. It was a pleasure to know and serve you.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Katharine's and Kevin's wedding at the Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims in Brooklyn

Katharine and Kevin tied the knot at the historic Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims in Brooklyn. The church has a rich heritage of powerful preachers who spoke out against slavery - most noteably Henry Ward Beecher, and who used the church to hide and protect slaves on the run - “the Underground Railroad.” When you see the physical location of the church property, you’ll understand immediately how stratigic a location it held. The wedding itself was on the grounds outside, in a beautiful spot that many must be unaware of, but which was perfect for an intimate wedding. Afterwards, we were given a guided tour of the church and told some of the history behind it’s ministry there. It was a great day in every way. While I was there, I made a new friend - Sokol, who was playing the cello, which was unique, beautiful, and just the right choice. I wanted to put in a good word for him (pictured), because I know that my couples are often looking for something other than a DJ, band, or even a quartet, etc. I would commend him to you.

So, first, here’s what Katharine and Kevin had to say: “Thanks again for a great wedding.  We thought everything went perfectly, and you were a great part of it.”  And here’s what Sokol had to say, “Hello Rev. Bill, It was a pleasure to meet you yesterday.  Everyone seemed to enjoyed the ceremony. I am going to hold on to your card so that I can refer you in the future.  At the end I discovered that the bride was German. I studied there for 6 years.  :)  I live in Queens, close to Bayside, but I don't mind traveling far for gigs.  I have a string trio/quartet or pianist/singer who I work with. My wife, Kristin, plays violin and viola. The name of our group is Belle Arti Music.  I checked your website and like it a lot, I think ours needs a little work! Looking forward to hearing from you and working together in the future. Best, Sokol Nikaj - cellist (917) 945-4006. (If you look at their website - - you’ll see what impressive credentials these musicians have - and that they have played all over the world. Only in the New York metro area is such talent taken for granted.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Something Unique for Your Cocktail Hour

Sometimes you want to have something really unique at your wedding. After all, most weddings and receptions follow a certain predictable pattern, and you may want to reward your guests with a bit of a surprise. Mixing it up can challenge even the most creative types though, because many couples are trying to do something different, and after a while it may seem there is nothing novel left to do. Well, never fear, I've found something for you. I believe that saying that the Xylopholks are one of a kind is probably a pretty safe bet. They're great musicians - they're just in costumes - dressed up like animals (e.g., dogs) and fruit (e.g., bananas). You really have to see it to believe it - and to appreciate it. You can find them here:

(If you end up using them, please be sure to let me know - and email me a video or some pics!)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Sayaka and Richard's wedding in Central Park

A few years ago my wife and I and some friends went to see the “new” West Side Story (with some songs in Spanish). Believe it or not, it was my first time for this story - although as it turned out, I knew most of the music. When Tony and Maria did “One Hand, One Heart”, I said to myself, “That would work in a real life ceremony. I knew that if I added it to my recommended options, a couple would eventually take me up on it. Well, WWS is Sayaka’s favorite broadway play, and for this couple, it was a natural choice. They tenderly sang these words to each other at the Ladies’ Pavilion in Central Park, and it was very moving, and very beautiful. I only wish I had it on video. They and their guests were fantastic, and we had a relatively warm, nicely sunny day. They had a small gift for me from Japan, and shared some Japanese secrets for keeping warm in the cold! A great day! Here’s what Richard wrote online later in a review: “My fiancee and I live in Japan and were married there with her family. We also wanted to get married in NYC with my own family too. I found Pastor Bill on the internet. We exchanged many e-mails and meticulously sculpted the wedding ceremony. We had our wedding in Central Park on the morning of December 24, 2010 with my family. We also exchanged vows "Westside Story" style and sang "One Hand, One heart". It all went smoothly. We all thank you for making our wedding such a special and sacred event. Pastor Bill Britton is MARVELOUS. He is a professional, "down to Earth" man of god. We couldn't have asked for a better If you are looking for a religious, non-religious or a custom mix wedding, he is the right person for you. I highly recommend him to everyone.”   Sayaka & Richard

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lisa's and Lou's wedding at Battery Gardens in Manhattan

Battery Gardens Restaurant, in the Southern tip of Manhattan Island provides some of the most spectacular views in the area. It’s an intimate, dramatic place for a wedding that lends itself to a good party. It worked out that way for Lisa and Lou on their special day, and it was a pleasure to be a part of it. Here’s what they had to say:  “Hey Pastor Bill, Sorry it has taken so long to get back to you.  But we wanted to thank you for doing such a great job.  You were dynamite.  You made our wedding so smooth.  Everything we expected of you, you delivered!  Thank you!!!  You did not disappoint. Let me know how else we can help with a testimonial.” All the best, Lou and Lisa ... at Battery Gardens in Manhattan

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Marriage and Money

Good financial advice is hard to come by, since advisors often have their own vested interests. Additionally, even good financial advice can be daunting because it's so overwhelming. Where to begin? What (specificially) to do?

When you're just starting your life together, finances play a big part. Sometimes my couples pay me with two checks - each paying half of the deposit and half of the balance. That's an approach that will be hard to maintain. One has savings and the other doesn't. One owns a home, and the other doesn't - and so on.

This article doesn't try to address all such problems, but it does address the most basic problem very nicely - the lack of money that most people put aside for emergencies and retirement. (Young couples may not want to think about the latter, but as the article shows, starting early and automating the process will lead to great results. You won't have to think about it, but when the day comes, you'll be set - unlike the vast majority of couples who come to retirement age with almost nothing.)

Anyway, I thought this article was full of very practical wisdom, so I wanted to make it availabe to all my couples - and to anyone who stumbles across this entry. I hope you like it as much as I did.

Here's the link.

Pastor Bill

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Al and Caroline's Wedding @ The Queens Botanical Garden

The Queens Botanical Garden is always a good choice for an outdoor wedding. The location has plenty of parking and is centrally located, and the wedding garden itself is quiet, secluded, peaceful and “outdoorsy.” A tornado had moved through the area days before, but on this beautiful, unseasonably warm day, the only evidence of that was the absence of what had been the garden’s biggest tree. The couple’s  Latin and Brazilian backgrounds informed the mood of their guests, who were very friendly and festive. The limo never came for the bride - to bring her to the garden - but besides that (!), everything went smoothly. The day was warm and pleasant, and we all enjoyed ourselves - including the bride and groom. She wrote, “Thanks so much on making our ceremony extremely personable, unforgettable, and wonderful.” - and mentioned that she had already left several rave reviews online. Not everyone has a job that gives as much pleasure as this one, and I’m always grateful. Caroline and Al, thanks for making me a part of your most special day.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wedding Chapel in Sayville

When you want to get married in a church on Long Island, it can sometimes be difficult. It used to be that you could stop in at a church near where you live, meet the pastor, and arrange to be married (and probably counseled) there. Usually these days, the pastors are just too busy to do that - and if you are Roman Catholic, there are often impediments if you go to your local parish. I have a friend who makes his church available to me near where I live, but sometimes the couple is looking for something else. Last weekend I finally found a really nice place! In Sayville, there is a scale model of the Dutch Reformed Church of 1867. It holds about 50 people, and there is plenty of parking. The grounds are nice, the church is set off by itself and is very well maintained. It’s a warm, peaceful and pretty place, and much nicer than most, if not all, of the other options I’ve seen. So, if this is the direction you’re going, be sure to check it out - and give me a call. I’d be happy to help you plan your personalized ceremony and then see that it happens just as we planned.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Sarah and Andrew's wedding in Central Park

When Manhattan is a destination for a couple getting married, I have a sense of pride when they find it welcoming and great. Andrew and Sarah came from “across the pond”, and that certainly was their experience. I met them for their ceremony in Central Park at the Ladies’ Pavilion - a beautiful day in a beautiful place - and then after that, well, I’ll let them tell you: “Now that we are back home in not so sunny England, we thought that we'd write to say a massive thank you for your time the other Friday, it was really appreciated.  The rest of the day went really well, although after photo sessions in Central Park, Times Square & then Grand Central Station, to say our feet were sore is an understatement. We were so glad that the weather was as good as it was, it made the day that extra special. On the Sunday we started our travels up to Niagara Falls in Canada, stopping over night in Ithaca en-route. We stayed in Niagara for 2 nights before heading back towards New York and stopping in the Catskills over night. The drive was really good and the views were amazing, both in Niagara and en-route, especially with the trees being in mid-change, it's something we've always wanted to see first hand! When we are fully back to normal and recovered, we will recommend you on wedding forums, providing you don't mind? Again, we thank you so much.”    Andrew & Sarah
It’s great to see these familiar sites through the eyes of appreciative visitors, and it reminds me to pay attention to the opportunities and beautiful sites in this place where I live. Thanks Andrew and Sarah, I’m glad our paths could cross in this special way.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Trevor & Shermaine's Wedding at Antun's in Queens Village

Shermaine and Trevor married at Antun’s in Queens Village in October, on one of those really nice days. I do a lot of weddings at Antun's because I’m “house clergy” there, and I’m always pleased with the care and attention they give to my couples and specifically, to the ceremony. (Not every wedding venue treats the ceremony itself as something important.) Each of the guys that I work with there has been there for years, and they’re quite expert at what they do. Both the bride and groom looked great, and they were calm and ready to be married! The ceremony went off without a hitch, and the guests were appreciative and definitely involved. You could “feel the love.” I was happy to be part of all this, and the couple was happy too. This is what the bride wrote to me on their one month anniversary: "We loved the ceremony and our guests really enjoyed how it was conducted. ... My husband and I are both Catholic and we wanted a religious touch to our wedding and you provided that. Is was easy to work with you because you’re so professional and organized. You took the time to meet with us, so we did not feel like strangers on our wedding day. You made our day memorable and we’ll always remember that!!" Thanks guys, it was my pleasure. (P.S. This is one of the few pictures of me with my robe, so make note, those of you who are wondering what it looks like.)

Pastor Bill serves families 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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