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Counseling & coaching

There is something beautiful about having a friend or relative officiate your wedding ceremony


Your loved one, in the role of the “casual officiant,” can be familiar and comforting at this pivotal moment in your life, particularly if they are someone with whom you have a long-standing relationship.

A growing number of couples are choosing a casual officiant for their ceremony, and I regularly work with these couples and their officiants. 


Why do they work with me if they already have an officiant?  These couples recognize the value of building communication skills and emotional capacity as part of preparation for their marriage. That’s work that friends and family generally can’t do with the couple, and that’s where I come in.

When I work with couples, I draw on my background as a rabbi, chaplain and therapist to help you explore what you learned about relationships from their parents and prior partners and data backed best practices for how you can skillfully navigate your own relationship dynamics. Through that process, couples draft their own marriage covenant, or ketubah, in which you lay out your commitments and aspirations for marriage. 

We commonly think of marriage as a commitment to monogamy, which is fundamentally about not doing something - being intimate with someone else. The marriage covenant that we develop together is an affirmative commitment which each couple creates, establishing practices that help partnerships endure over the long haul. This covenant also  helps partners remind themselves how they want to show up when things get hard, as they inevitably will. 

Casual officiants bring love and a long history with the couple to the ceremony, but they don’t always bring a lot of experience performing weddings.  So I also offer coaching for casual officiants to help them create a ceremony that has an accessible flow, incorporate diverse elements into the service, and perhaps most importantly, maintain a calm, reassuring presence during an intense moment. 

If you'd like to get a sense of what this might mean for you, please take a look at these testimonials. If this approach feels right for you, please use the form below to be in touch. 

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Rabbi Brent was a delight to work with. He creates an environment that allows a new type o
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about you and your partner

Thanks for reaching out! We'll be in touch as soon as possible!

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