Many couples have their entire wedding planned out before they even think about their ceremony. Without your ceremony, you are really just having a fancy party! This is when you want to contact Debbie Belaus owner of Bright Path Ceremonies. Debbie performs wedding ceremonies in Rhode Island, Central Connecticut and Southern Massachusetts. She is a non-denominational wedding minister. In addition to writing and performing wedding ceremonies, Debbie can also assist with commitment ceremonies, vow-renewal, funerals, memorials, baby blessings, and end of life pet ceremonies.
Here’s what she had to say when we asked her why she became an officiant:
WHY I BECAME AN OFFICIANT
Most of my clients are not religious based but spiritual in nature. There has been a huge shift in our society over the past 30 years of people moving away from religious organization. With this emerging trend in the United States, who will marry couples? My work fills a growing need to serve couples reflecting this trend.
This aspect of change – the unknown ahead and the loss of what was can make change difficult. As a modern officiant my job is discovering ways to incorporate what is familiar, and add something new to ceremonies that truly reflect people’s lifestyles.
A ceremony is a rite of passage that accompanies a ritual. To derive power from a ritual it must, in some way, stand apart from our ordinary lives. Through this use of metaphoric process it helps make connections to each other as human beings. Any celebration that is constructed with meaningful ritual is highlighted and felt on a very deep level.
This profession is a natural progression for me. For the past 30 years I have been a yoga and meditation teacher as well as a massage therapist. Creating ritual is all part of these ancient teachings. I have spent half my life serving others. I feel joy in touching people’s lives.
As I was getting older I was looking for a profession that could carry me to the next phase of my life. An article inspired me that I read, written by the founder of The Celebrant Foundation and Institute. This is a school that focuses on teaching the art of writing ceremonies. It is the only school of it’s kind. The article made so much sense to me and touched my curiosity. I eventually completed the program. Through this program I have studied the art of ceremony creation, storytelling, comparative ritual, ceremony management and oratory. My focus is writing and performing weddings but I also branch out to memorials, and baby blessings.
My goal is to create a wedding ceremony that is simply an extension and reflection of each couple. What sets me a part from other officiants is that I do not have a boilerplate template, wherein the couple makes some choices within a standard format. As a Life Cycle Celebrant, I collaborate with clients throughout the entire process, tailoring rituals and narrative to their specific story and history. I use my training to guide the process so clients don’t have to do the initial hard work themselves. Each couple gets to review and give me feedback if they want anything changed or added. I will edit as often as needed for couples to feel completely comfortable with the final draft. I have insights on variations of traditional rituals; I am sensitive to all parties involved and how to choreograph the logistics; I also give help to deciding on readings, vows, etc.
Every person has a story to tell and every person should be acknowledged. The beauty of my profession is that I am able to share in their story and acknowledgments and help fulfill their intentions with honor and meaning.
Debbie takes great pride in designing couples ceremonies. She offers a variety of services including a complimentary first meeting to discuss your ceremony. Ceremony fees range from $425 to $775 pricing depends on your ceremony, travel and rehearsal needs. Contact her today to discuss your ceremony!
“Your wedding ceremony sets the tone for the rest of your day. The words that you speak sets an intention for the rest of your marriage”
Bright Path Ceremonies
35 Baker St
Providence, RI 02905
Debbie is very flexible and worked out a time to meet us at her office. When we walked into Debbie’s office, we felt instantly comfortable. She is very warm and welcoming and is very interested in getting to know us as a couple and about our history together. Debbie worked with us to customize our ceremony to fit our liking. She had us read through example ceremonies that is used as a template for our ceremony. She finds out who the important people are in your life (parents’ grandparents, etc) and works with you to include them in the ceremony. Debbie gave us questionnaires with about 20 questions individually as Bride and Groom, which will help her get to know us and complete our ceremony.
– Kayla and Kevin after their initial meeting with Debbie. They are getting married in May 2016.
Our ceremony was very personal, intimate, and meaningful, not just for ourselves, but also for our guests. We highly recommend Debbie as an officiant. Debbie put a lot of thought and time into writing our ceremony. She consulted with us frequently about the wording and vows; she also gave great suggestions for unity rituals, advice on venues, and insightful support for the overall process. Our phone calls and e-mails were returned promptly. Our spiritual beliefs were respected and integrated into the ceremony. And, as a same-sex couple, we can vouch for Debbie as a genuine supporter of lesbian/gay marriage.
Her cost was reasonable, especially considering the amount of time and creative energy she put into making our day so meaningful. She gets five stars across the board!
– Dana and Candice – Married in Rhode Island, May 2014
Read more reviews about couples working with Debbie on WeddingWire!
Nicole Gesmondi Photographer, LLC is a wife-and-husband photography team located in Providence, Rhode Island. We’ve been providing wedding and portrait photography services in and around Providence and Newport, Rhode Island, New York, Connecticut, Boston and more for over a decade.
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