wedding ceremonies with Sandra Goodman

About Same Sex Weddings

“We are a same sex couple. Will you officiate at our wedding? Can we have a Jewish wedding? An interfaith wedding? A civil ceremony? How about if we don’t live in New York?”


The short answer to all these questions is YES.


I accept same sex marriage unreservedly, and would be honored to officiate at your wedding. I feel very strongly that any two adults who love each other, who want to spend the rest of their lives together, and who are willing to commit themselves to each other in marriage, should be able to do so. While same sex marriage can be discussed as a religious issue, I believe that in the United States it is primarily an issue of equal rights. We live in an inclusive country, and it is just a matter of time before same sex couples can marry legally all over the United States. May that day come soon!


On July 24, 2011, New York State began issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples, and I was honored to be in the middle of it! Marty Markowitz, the Borough President of Brooklyn, asked me to be one of five clergy people and judges officiating at same sex marriages at Brooklyn Borough Hall that first day. What an exciting day! The first time I was able to say, “by the power vested in me by the State of New York, I now pronounce you married,“ for a same-sex couple was incredibly inspiring! 


Many couples who live in states where same-sex marriage is not yet legal gather their friends and families here in New York for elegant destination weddings. If you want to celebrate your wedding here, we can plan your ceremony long-distance, via email, phone, and Skype. If you wish, I can suggest wonderful wedding planners and other vendors who can also work with you long-distance, so everything will be ready when you arrive. You will just need to be here one business day before the wedding to get the state marriage license.


Aside from New York, there are a few other states that allow same sex marriages to be performed, and I would be happy to travel to your wedding. From my home in the transit hub of New York City, it is easy for me to get to wherever you may be.


Concerning Same Sex Jewish and Interfaith Marriages: There are differing levels of official acceptance of same sex relationships and marriages throughout Judaism, and the situation is changing constantly. At this time, the Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist movements welcome same sex couples as full members of their congregations, and allow their rabbis and cantors to officiate at same-sex marriages.


I believe in marriage equality for all, and I am happy to officiate at a Jewish wedding for any loving partners. There is no standard Jewish wedding ceremony yet for a same sex couple, but a traditional wedding ceremony works with only a few adjustments. We can also create a ceremony for you, using Jewish elements. Much of what usually happens in a Jewish wedding is traditional, rather than required, so we can easily design a real Jewish ceremony that reflects what is important to you. If you would prefer to write your own Jewish ceremony, I can help you include and personalize the important elements, if you wish. There are many possibilities, and I would be happy to discuss them with you.


I have officiated at numerous interfaith weddings, both by myself and co-officiating with clergy of other religions, and make no distinction between same sex and opposite sex religious weddings. I enjoy the challenge of creating a ceremony that includes the beliefs of both partners. I am particularly good at explaining your decisions, and the traditions of both religions, to your families.