A Portland area native, I started out as a musician – another profession that is known for bringing people together to celebrate! My experience making music on stage helped me develop my instinct for communicating with people heart to heart. Years of staging performances also laid the foundation for my understanding of how ritual and ceremony can bring people together in a deeply shared, vibrant experience.
With my knack for bringing people together and my stage presence, it occurred to my daughter that I would be the right person to conduct her best friend’s wedding ceremony. I studied the steps required to be a qualified wedding officiant, and in 1996 I became ordained through the Universal Life Church, where ministers come from all walks of life and spiritual traditions, united by their belief in religious freedom.
One beautiful summer day, I conducted my first wedding ceremony in a beautiful park on the banks of the Columbia River, my proud daughter the beaming maid of honor.
In the years that have followed, I have conducted weddings that have been as diverse and one of a kind as the couples who have invited me to be their celebrant. On a train, on a beach, on a mountaintop, in a back yard, in a rose garden, in a historical church by candlelight and even in the middle of the Portland Marathon!
I have performed ceremonies for intimate wedding parties of four as well as grand outdoor feasts attended by three hundred revelers; weddings conducted in two languages; couples seeking a way to bridge the very different spiritual traditions of their families and couples who want very little ceremony at all.
It’s been a real privilege to be part of such a hopeful day for so many people over the years!
I draw from the personal and spiritual beliefs of each couple to help them express their commitment to each other in their own unique way. The core belief of the Universal Life Church is that every person has the natural right and responsibility to peacefully determine what is right. I honor every couple’s desire to make their wedding vows in the voice that feels truest to them.