Church of Ancient Ways – Marie April Gismondi & Associates – Wedding Officiants

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Church of Ancient Ways

We are a team of seasoned professionals, spot on when it comes to the details and organization, creative, well versed everything from Pop-Culture to Ancient Civilizations. We like to think that we are crazy in all the right ways. This makes us say “Absolutely!” instead of “Oh… I don’t know about that…”

We know everyone is tired of hearing about how things are “supposed” to be done. We gave that up decades ago, and still people are wondering why they can’t seem to find the perfect ceremony. Well maybe it just hasn’t been written yet! When you gather your fandom to celebrate the best day of your lives, to date, your ceremony has to be a reflection of the unique love and life that you share. Our favorite way of working is to start with a blank piece of paper and write in collaboration with our couples on a ceremony that could only be theirs. There are a myriad of themes, for a myriad of dreams that become real from that first kiss on… But only one of them is yours.

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How I cater to Offbeat Brides

As you can probably tell by the name, we have always been an organization that has it's roots in the community of freethinkers that the Offbeat Couple is a part of. The Theme Page of our sample ceremonies section highlights the original writing that most of our ceremonies include.

There is also an Offbeat page in the sample readings section. So right off the bat couples know that we have something for them that isn't trying to cram them into a ceremony that fits like wearing their shoes on the wrong feet.

Then when they call, normally we understand even the most obscure reference points and can converse about their desires without lengthy explanations on their part. For example, a couple wanted a Doctor Who keepsake Certificate of Marriage. We added a line of Gallifreyan without having to be asked to do so.

When we got our 501c3 status in 1997, the fact that we serviced the alternative and same sex market turned off many mainstream couples. We never cared. It was always more important to us to be found by the people who need us, than how many people pay us. So, in short we don't really cater to the Offbeat couple, they are already our kind of people.

How can I choose a single review when I love each and every couple who took the time to write such touching words? Truth be told I can't. I simply offer much love and gratitude to each and every couple we have married.

Read lots of reviews on WeddingWire

Examples of my work

One of our all time favorite couples was Ruby and Jennifer Rinekso, artists, musician, Cosplay and Con performers and all around amazing couple.
Excerpt from their ceremony:

"Jennifer and Ruby, while many here see you in your larger than life personas, on a pretty regular basis, the characters that you emulate all face seemingly insurmountable challenges and overcome them while remaining true in word, in deed, and in heart. In the times when “the needs of one outweigh the needs of the many“… Jennifer, you will always be that person in Ruby’s life… and Ruby, you will always be that person to Jennifer. "

Our Offbeat Readings Page has some of our quirky couple's favorites alongside originally written material. Rev. Aviva's reading based on "The Shooter's Guide" and "Marriage is Like Hockey" are 2 of my personal favorites.

Many years ago, one of my couples called me saying that they were reading an article here on Unplugged Ceremonies. As they scroll down… “OMG! That’s our Officiant!”

Seems I had to ask a guest who would have been in all the professional photos to go sit down. Ever since then we always start off with the couples guidelines on photos and of course letting everyone know about anything that requires guest participation.


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