Vendor’s We Love
Engle-Heart Interfaith Ministers
Sometimes while we are putting the finishing touches on ceremony decor, we will get the opportunity to meet the officiants.
I enjoy talking with them about the ceremony and the rituals and make sure that everything is set-up properly for them to conduct the ceremony. We work together as a team to craft the ceremony experience for couples and their guests.
I first met Mary-Rose while putting the finishing touches on a chuppah for a Jewish wedding at The Liberty Warehouse in Redhook, Brooklyn.
I immediately liked Mary-Rose. She had such a calm demeanor, and truly looked excited about the ceremony that she was about to perform.
A couple of years later, I ran into Mary-Rose again at a mini retreat that 501 Union generously hosts every year for wedding vendors. We instantly became friends.
Becoming a Minister
When did you become a minister?
“I used to work in corporate america as a project manager working for banks got burned out. Always liked studying new religions. I was raised Catholic and I knew that I wanted to do something with diversity. Signed up to go to seminary for two years. From 2007 to 2009
Right now I am going to seminary for a CPE to be a board certified chaplain.”
“Marriage and relationships as a type of yoga by doing weddings I get to be the person who help facilitate that. I help make it official. I always like to talk about the couples and their relationship. I don’t really talk about yoga and marriage at the weddings”
Yoga? Could you explain that a little more? Is this about Downward dog Yoga that isn’t part of the ceremony?
“Well, there is a physical yoga and a spiritual yoga. I see marriage and relationships as a spiritual path. It’s a journey.”
Do you ever see couples who aren’t on a spiritual journey?
“Yes, but not to many and I am pretty particular, I pre screen the people who come to me. I am particular about who I work with.”
Who is your ideal client?
“Someone who sees the ceremony as one of the most important or the most important in a wedding and couples who want something a little different not way out there but a little outside of tradition.”
Give me an example.
“Oh, I had this couple, they were so cute, they were a Jewish couple and they didn’t want a traditional ceremony, but they did want jewish elements and they also wanted to have ritual that was created just for them and that was really fun. So we had a separate meeting and talked about all the things we could do and together we came up with this ritual. They were really cute, they collected rocks wherever they went and we incorporated the rocks into their ceremony and a separate ritual so it was traditional elements from the jewish faith but it was a different format.”
Religion and Spirituality, WWJD?
Do you find that some religions are more spiritual than others?
“There are many paths to truth and all are valid and worthy of respect. I think you have to find your own truth, that is part of anyone’s spiritual journey. If that is in Christianity, or in Hinduism or Judaism, it’s an individual choice. For me, I find it in multiple faiths, that’s part of the fun, that’s part of the journey to find your own truth.”
Of all of the religious rituals you know for weddings, what is your favorite? What stands out?
“Oh, the Hindu Faith. Hindu is my favorite. Oh of course if I get to do an Interfaith ceremony and blend it with another faith, that’s probably my most favorite. I get to find the commonalities and also celebrate the differences.”
Religion is a very personal thing, and also a very provocative thing, have you had push back from more conservative relatives?
“Yes, that gets tough. I have had those couples, and it breaks my heart too. I have had couples tell me their parents aren’t happy. Particularly this one couple, the groom, his dad wasn’t going to be there because he wasn’t having a Catholic Mass wedding. The groom still went ahead and I still did his ceremony and yes, his father didn’t come.”
That’s sad. I think Jesus would have come.
“Laughter. Jesus was a rebel.”
Interfaith Marriages and Blending Families
Have you ever done any weddings where there are religions with political friction?
“Not really, I do have Jewish couples who don’t want elements about Jewish tragedy they want a happy ceremony.
There is an informal study that interfaith couples marriages last a little longer and are a little stronger. They are coming into the marriage already aware of their differences and they are aware that there are a lot of similarities and a lot a differences. So going into the marriage they are already prepared, they have developed the skills to balance those differences”
What is it you love the most about weddings?
“Its being in the moment and delivering the ceremony. When I am delivering the ceremony I am in the moment. I am really, really trying to be in the moment and I am trying to be fully present for that couple, fully present for their guests. When I am fully present it’s AMAZING it’s just like everyone is also fully present and everyone is also feeling the love. So I think it is kind of a Zen practice, kind of a mindfulness practice, delivering a ceremony. It’s fun. I feel great. It’s so romantic, weddings are so romantic. I come home to my husband and I am so happy. He says my wife has the best job, she comes home and she is happy from work.”
Do you ever cry at weddings?
“Oh yes, when I incorporate something for blended families when they have children and I incorporate something to celebrate the children. One couple, they wanted me to say something very personal and special about the son and EVERYBODY was crying including me. Oh it was one of my favorite weddings! So whenever i incorporate kids I always start bawling. When it is a blended family it’s not just two people getting together. The children are closely impacted by that marriage. It is very important to help them feel part of the wedding ceremony as well and part of that union.”
I really enjoyed our chat and look forward to working with Mary-Rose again.
She can be found at http://engle-heart.com
The full video can be found on the right or by clicking here. We talk about weddings, religion, spirituality, and mindfulness. I would highly recommend seeing the video if you are looking for an officiant who can offer a personalized, spiritual ceremony. She may be your gal.