Sarah Ritchie, Wedding Officiant

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As a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant, I have officiated hundreds of weddings — each personalized to reflect the personalities and desires of the couple. Using each couple's love story as an anchor for a customized ceremony, I am committed to represent the individuality of every bride and groom.

I work tirelessly to assist couples in selecting meaningful approaches to sharing wedding vows, selecting readings, and determining rituals and customs that are perfectly-suited for their special day. I firmly believe developing the ceremony is one of the most enjoyable and exciting parts of the wedding planning process….an excellent way to revisit all that has brought you to this day. Let's make your ceremony as special and unique as every other element of your wedding!

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How I cater to Offbeat Brides

There are limitless possibilities to enhance your wedding ceremony, from carefully crafted words to innovative rituals. I draw from a wealth of resources to help you select perfect readings and customs that reflect your cultural and religious perspectives, as well as your personalities. I continue to do research to expand my repertoire of ideas and never hesitate to seek the assistance of experts in literature, language, and culture to help in generating new ideas and “fine-tuning” the ceremony. Moreover, my assistance includes thoughts about incorporating loved ones in the ceremony, thoughtful music selections and design elements, and much more.

Sarah was an answered prayer for our wedding. At a time when we were rushed, scattered and under-prepared, she provided a holistic approach to our wedding, consulting on everything from the music to the food to the decorations and, of course, the ceremony itself. We didn't have to worry about forgetting anything because we knew Sarah was right on top of it all. – Brannon & Drewry, NYC

15 percent discount for Offbeat Brides!

Examples of my work

Telling Your Story: In virtually every wedding, from a private elopement in Central Park to a gathering of hundreds at a premier NYC venue, I will include the story of my couple in the ceremony script. This all-important narrative element addresses questions such as these: How did you meet? How did you fall in love? What do you love about your partner? What are your hopes for your marriage? The story-telling emotionally grounds the ceremony in a profound way. It always provides the opportunity for me to use the words of the couple to describe their love and marriage.

Incorporating Traditions from Many Faiths and Perspectives: I regularly marry two people who come from different religious and cultural backgrounds. A sensitively-written ceremony can appropriately include rituals from one or more religious background, in a way that suits the couple and their guests. For instance, Stacy and Rob’s Battery Park Garden wedding featured the common unity candle lighting, associated with the bride’s Christian heritage, while utilizing a chuppah and glass breaking associated with the groom’s Jewish faith.

Creative Takes on Traditional Customs: Innovative couples that I work with are keen on incorporating interesting rituals, ideas and customs in their ceremonies. For instance, Tina & Greg included a traditional “cording” ceremony to honor her Filipino ancestry. Sean & Aoife embraced a Celtic handfasting in their sweet Central Park ceremony, honoring her Irish ancestry and their meeting at university in Ireland. Numerous couples, including the elegant Ben & Jane make a nod to the European custom of “signing the registry” during the ceremony. One of my creative couples, modified a traditional spice sharing custom to reflect the bride’s Slavic ancestry, as well as her professional connections to Africa.

Innovative Venues: While I love officiating ceremonies at traditional venues and intimate spots in New York, I have worked with couples to conduct weddings on the Brooklyn Bridge, the Museum of Modern Art, Yankee Stadium, under the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and on the third tee box of an award-winning Long Island Golf Course. Anne & John orchestrated a once-in-a-lifetime exchange of vows on a helicopter tour of Manhattan at dusk!

Multi-lingual Ceremonies: New York City is filled with individuals whose native language is not English. I have developed numerous ceremonies that include multilingual vows, readings, and more. Kelly & Oytun’s recent wedding included bi-lingual vows (English and Turkish) as well as readings in both languages.

Paying Attention to Detail: An outstanding wedding ceremony is not just about grand gestures, amazing music, or a stunning venue. A truly special ceremony will recognize small details throughout the script—be it special words about a couple’s hand-crafted wedding rings or a perfectly chosen reading (be it a poem, song lyrics, or personal prose). I collaborate with couples to understand and recognize the synergy between the ceremony script and wedding flowers, music, design elements of the venue, fashions, and more.

Embracing Surprise: Every couple has a unique vision of their day, and I am happy to oblige in making their dreams come true. From Elsa & Al’s Halloween costume wedding at Wave Hill to Carrie & Jon’s “surprise” wedding for their guests at the Tribeca Rooftop, I support each couple’s heart felt desire for their ceremony.


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