We’re off to New York again today, where we are delighted to introduce you to Peter Boruchowitz, owner of Our Wedding Officiant NYC. Utterly charming and totally original were my first thoughts when I read through Peter’s answers to our questions below and took a look at his website. In Peter’s words “As your officiant, I will create a Wedding Ceremony that reflects your relationship, as you define it. I am passionate that each Wedding Ceremony is as distinctive as each couple.”
For anyone looking to wed in New York, Peter has a wealth of information to share on his site. What really shines through is that with so much experience and such an inclusive welcoming attitude, Peter will do all he can to make your big day in the Big Apple a relaxed one, and the very best it can possibly be.
Over to Peter now as he shares with us details of his work, together with and some truly fun and heart-warming glimpses of memorable weddings.
Tell us a little about yourself and your business
I am the owner of Our Wedding Officiant NYC. I specialize in custom wedding ceremonies that reflect the style, cultures and relationship of each individual couple. I’ve been lucky enough to officiate weddings for couples from all over the world in the city that I love.
I’ve spent my whole life in New York City. I’ve been a big fan of Broadway ever since my parents brought me as a child to the Majestic Theater to see Julie Andrews, Richard Burton and Robert Goulet in Camelot, a love story. I’m fortunate to have enough friends who work in the theater that I get to attend a lot Broadway openings and special events.
What motivated you to start your business?
I had been an ordained minister for some time, but chose the actor’s life instead. Odd jobs, auditions, and long days on the set. One day I was asked by a friend to officiate his wedding. It was a magical moment. Writing, directing, and performing the rite of marriage combined ministerial work with all I had learned in theater, television and movies. It sounds corny, but I knew that I had found my calling.
Tell us a little more about the day to day activities of your business
I usually have my morning coffee while going through my email, responding to new inquires or other messages from already booked clients. Often there are meetings with couples – I still think of these in theater terms, as my “auditions”- to see if we are a good fit. I also spend a lot of time researching wedding traditions of the many different cultures my couples represent, new wedding trends, and seeking out new reading selections to be included in ceremonies.
Much of my day is spent writing or editing ceremonies. Some days I meet with fellow wedding professionals to expand my own knowledge of their area of expertise, as well as to build a network of support within the industry. In nice weather, I like to scout out new locations for the many NYC Destination Weddings that I perform in Central Park, on hotel rooftops and beyond. It’s a good excuse for me to get out and enjoy this amazing city that I so love.
If our readers were to order from you, what can they expect?
Hopefully, a couple will have perused my website before contacting me; many of their general questions are already answered there. Their first contact should be a simple email or quick call to find out if I’m available on the date and time of their ceremony, as some couples book months in advance.
At our initial meeting, which can occur in person, (or via phone, Skype or FaceTime for long distance planning) details regarding the specifics of their wedding ceremony will be discussed. Rather than sending them home with a questionnaire for them to fill out at a later time, I feel it is more productive to go through their love story and hopes for the ceremony face-to-face, where any questions that we might have can be answered directly, or personal elements clarified as needed.
We put all of the wedding details into my standard contract, which the couple sends to me along with a deposit. Then, it’s back to my office to write a first draft, which I send to the couple for notes and edits as they see fit. I like to finish this process as quickly as possible, so the couple can sign off on a final draft and focus on the rest of their wedding planning until the big day. It’s nicer for them, too, as they can forget about their ceremony for the most part and experience it anew at their wedding, rather than thinking “And now he’s going to talk about our dog….”
How can couples judge if a company is the right fit for their wedding?
As far as officiant/celebrant services are concerned, there are two criteria that couples should use to select their officiant. The first is an objective measure: Is the officiant legally empowered to perform weddings? Do they communicate in a timely fashion? Do they answer all of your questions directly and satisfactorily? Will they put their terms of service in writing with a contract? Are they well reviewed online?
The second measure is more subjective. Do they put you at ease? Are they personable? Are they good listeners? Are they well-spoken? Both criteria are equally important. But, your decision really comes down to whether you can imagine them presiding over one of the most memorable moments of your life?
What are your favourite moments from previous weddings you’ve been involved with?
Catering to an international clientele in a major destination wedding location like New York City makes the weddings I perform as memorable to me as to the couples I serve. Sometimes a venue itself makes a wedding memorable for me: I married a couple from Luxembourg who held their ceremony and reception on a river cruise around Manhattan with the Statue of Liberty as a witness.
Another visiting couple’s dream was to be wed during a Christmas carriage ride through Central Park, while the photographer hung on to and off of the carriage snapping away.
Then there was the costume designer who made “Steampunk” attire for the entire wedding party for a ceremony in the middle of Broadway right before showtime.
I even married a couple who came 8000km just to be married in Yankee Stadium.
Sometimes, the couple’s personally written vows to each other are memorable, like the poets who held their ceremony in a bookshop and whose words to each other left not a dry eye amongst their guests, or the bride from Missouri who made a jaded wedding photographer sob with her words of love.
And sometimes, it’s the circumstances that are memorable. A couple came to me once for a secret wedding. Although their relationship had been tumultuous, they needed to be married for legal reasons. The wedding had changed their relationship, and they wanted to make it public. They threw a big wedding celebration and I remember the joyousness of the occasion.
And finally there is the wedding that I remember for its historic significance. Shortly after New York State legalized same-sex marriages, I presided over the marriage of an elderly couple who had already been living together as spouses for 58 years. The ceremony was held on the beach where they had summered for all of those years. When it came time for the ceremony, the entire town gathered around them to their honor!
The bigger picture – does your business offer goods/services outside of the wedding world? Tell us more.
Our Wedding Officiant NYC creates and performs custom wedding ceremonies. That’s all I do.
What have you got planned for 2017?
I am happy that in 2017 I will be helping a record number of international couples begin their married lives together. I’m also honored that this October, I have been chosen to be a speaker at the biggest industry-wide conference of wedding professionals in the US, Wedding MBA in Las Vegas. There I will share my expertise in the skills that officiants can use to better serve couples.
And finally, what or who inspires you and why?
I’ll admit it. I’m a romantic, and I’m inspired by love stories. That truly is what motivates me. Whether it be a classic on the stage or screen, or the real life romance of my grandparents, who were separated during World War II, those who persevere against challenges to remain with their soulmates stir me. Each new love story my couples present to me drives me to deliver a meaningful and memorable ceremony on the happiest day of their lives.
Photo Credits: Images 1, 3, 6,7, 9, 10, 11 Our Wedding Officiant NYC, Image 2 JoVon Photography, Image 4 Denis Gostev Weddings, Image 5 The Glenmar Studio, Image 8 B-Freed Weddings, Image 12 Ben Lau Photography, Image 13 Justin Pedrick Photography