Before You Say I Do

Thursday, October 20, 2011

{Vendor Spotlight} Reverend Joy Burke


Reverend Joy Burke
Interfaith Minister / Wedding Officiant

Please give us an overview of your business:
All of my wedding ceremonies are unique, hand-crafted and thoughtfully prepared especially for each individual couple. 
I begin with a free consultation, where I invite the couple to tell me about themselves -- their plans and dreams for their wedding day.  I tell them about myself -- my background, my philosophy and my process -- and answer any of their questions.  Once we decide to move forward together, our work becomes deeper and juicier… 
I absolutely love working with couples who are intelligent, creative and upbeat about the commitment they are about to undertake; couples who don’t want their ceremony to be something to get through in order to get to the party.  Instead, I work with couples who believe, as I do, that their commitment, love and devotion IS THE REASON FOR THE PARTY! 
As I listen to the couple share their vision for their wedding and their marriage, and talk about their past and future together, I begin to form an outline for their wedding ceremony.  I will advise them in regards to elements of the ceremony such as readings, songs, rituals and traditions; and will guide them in preparing their very own personal vows of commitment. 
And I will prepare and officiate a ceremony that is one-of-a-kind, unique and personalized especially for the couple. 
As a PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) member, I am over the moon with delight that NY State has finally passed legislation that allows marriage equality for all people.  I am thrilled to report that I have officiated several same-sex marriages since NY State has recognized of this important civil right. 

How long have you been a minister?
I look forward to celebrating the 10th anniversary of my ordination in June.  I was ordained as an Interfaith minister in 2002, after having completed a two-year training program in Interfaith studies. And although being trained and ordained gives me the legal authority to officiate weddings, I’ve worked with many couples who are not affiliated with any religious tradition.  Couples with no religious or spiritual associations can have a beautiful ceremony that is individual, unique, sacred and meaningful.  

When you are not marrying happy couples you can be found......
With my sweet little Boston Terrier BabyBear.  We live in a converted 1869 Methodist church in downtown Saratoga Springs, along with my husband, Jerome.  
Marrying happy couples is my full-time occupation, however.  So when I’m not actually officiating, I’m interviewing couples, writing ceremonies, researching cultural wedding traditions and practices, updating my website, networking with other wedding professionals, and doing all the administrative tasks associated with the business.  I’m truly all weddings all the time. 

What or who inspires you?
I am inspired by the love stories I hear from couples every day.  Every time two people come to me to talk about how they intend to take a giant leap future as one in soul, body and spirit, I am renewed with hope for the future of our planet. 

Do you have any funny wedding stories to share with us?
I was called upon to fill in for an officiant who had a personal emergency.  She emailed me the script for the ceremony, I arrived at the assigned location, checked in with the bride and groom, and the wedding began.  When I asked for the rings, the bride said “Cuckoo has them.”  “Cuckoo has them?” said I, a bit confused.  And down the aisle trotted an adorable black and white Shih Tzu, dressed in a tuxedo, with the rings tied to his collar.  I bent down, untied the rings from his collar, and proceeded with the ceremony.   I have worked with some adorable ring-bearers, but Cuckoo will always hold a place in my heart. 

Do you have any advice for couples planning their wedding?
Skip the receiving line, and walk away together to be alone and enjoy your first few moments as a married couple.  This is such a tender time that will pass by in a moment, and you will be happy you took the time to acknowledge it together.  You will never say “that was a wonderful receiving line!” but you will well remember the magical feeling you share with one another immediately after exchanging your vows.  
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Your ceremony is the most important part of your wedding day, and there is so much more to officiating weddings than showing up and pronouncing you married.   Be sure to hire an experienced wedding officiant who will work with you to make it the perfect reflection of your love for one another. Photos of the ceremony are the next most important thing to consider for your wedding day.  A professional wedding photographer will provide you with memories for a lifetime. 

Phone: 518.583.4668


Post a Comment

Popular Posts