About Stephanie & Heart Ceremonies
A little bit about Stephanie
My husband, Jeff and I were introduced by friends. And despite our initial protests, we now admit- our friends were great matchmakers!
We had our first date in June and were married in November of the same year.I never believed in love at first sight, until it happened to me! We have had adventures and tears, joy and love. I am fortunate enough to say that I am married to my best friend. Jeff and I have renewed our wedding vows four times, once with an 'Elvis Impersonator" in Las Vegas and most recently on a beach on Cape Cod.
A Massachusetts native, I have lived in Pennsylvania for over twenty years. I came to Pennsylvania for graduate school and had intended to return to New England once I graduated. Life had other plans. My first professional position as a chaplain found me in a small town in Pennsylvania. Within months of starting my job, I met and fell in love. And so before I knew it, I had made Pennsylvania home.
I have a passion for gardening. I love that despite my plans for the garden, nature has a mind of its own. I am always searching for a good book, I share a love for Harry Potter with my son. Our family enjoys camping and exploring fun places for the whole family to enjoy. -Stephanie
Rev. Stephanie Anne Thompson of Heart Ceremonies performs personalized wedding ceremonies that celebrate the couple being married. Stephanie believes that a meaningful ceremony is important for wedding celebrations. A personalized ceremony should be available for every couple. She officiates at religious, spiritual and civil ceremonies.
Stephanie performs traditional and non-traditional ceremonies. She provides guidance for all aspects of the ceremony, and detailed resources. Rev. Stephanie helps couples to ‘co-create’ their ceremony. Her warm and professional manner helps couples relax during their ceremony and throughout the planning process.
Stephanie is seminary educated, holding ninety six credit Masters of Divinity degree. She is an ordained minister, whose ordination is through an established progressive denomination. She has been officiating ceremonies for over twenty years. She does not require premarital counseling to officiate at your wedding, but does offers pre-marital coaching and education, if requested.
She officiates a variety of life celebrations, including Renewal of Vows, Same Sex Weddings, Baby Blessings, Baptisms and Memorial/ Funeral Services.
Philosophy & Approach
I am an ordained Protestant Minister and I choose to perform meaningful weddings for couples. I respect the beliefs and traditions of those I am assisting. I focus on the couple-what their hopes and intentions are.
I have worked as a chaplain in a variety of healthcare settings. In my training and work as a chaplain I assisted and supported others with their spiritual need and questions. I encouraged those I cared for to use what they believe in, not what I believe in. I also supported patients and families who had no spiritual or faith beliefs.
I approach my work as an Officiant and as a Chaplain in a very similar way. I know that all people wonder about the meaning and purpose of life. All of us find hope and strength in different ways. I value this truth.
I believe that I am open-minded and flexible. I hope that this is conveyed to the couples I work with. I come to this work with a warm heart, a sense of humor, a happy marriage, great friends, a love of learning and a desire to support others.
During the planning process, I am a listening ear, resource, and guide. I offer encouragement and information, advice and perspective. When working with a couple to plan their wedding ceremony, I like to meet a couple at least once face to face. This meeting allows us to get to know one another and to review your hopes and intentions for the ceremony. In addition to a face to face meeting, I am available to you by phone and email. Whether we use email or the phone, texts or Skype, I am available for support.
TOGETHER, we will create a ceremony that is ‘yours.’ I am mindful to focus on YOU. We discuss whether spiritual or religious wording would be something you want in your ceremony. We talk about who you want to include in your ceremony and how you want to include them. When working with families to plan a memorial service or a baby blessing service, I provide ideas, ceremony options and reading choices.
On the day of your ceremony,
my commitment to you:
I may be the Wedding Officiant, but it is your special day! I think of my work as a cooperative effort with you- the couple people married. Our work together is more than just creating your ceremony script; our work together also involves my commitment to you on your special day. I prefer to perform one wedding a day and I do this so that I am focused, not rushed and dedicated to the couple who have hired me. I do not like to perform two weddings on the same day. Many Officiants will book multiple ceremonies on one day and then couples must schedule their ceremony around the Officiant’s availability.
I believe that it is my responsibility to offer encouragement to you, to remind you to breathe and to talk to you quietly throughout the actual ceremony. I cannot diminish the intense emotions of the day; however, I can guide you through the moments of your ceremony. By finding simple ways to make you smile or laugh, you can relax in the midst of the amazing emotions you experience in the ceremony. I lead ceremonies with joy and confidence; guests are able to hear what I say and feel the joy and excitement of the moment.
Communicating a ceremony
is as important as creating it.
During the ceremony, I believe that it is my responsibility to encourage you, to remind you to breathe. I talk to you quietly throughout the actual ceremony. While I cannot diminish the intense emotions of the day, I can guide you through the moments of your ceremony. By finding simple ways to make you smile or laugh, you can relax in the midst of the amazing emotions you experience in the ceremony. I lead ceremonies with joy and confidence; guests are able to hear what I say and feel the joy and excitement of the moment.
In addition to the work of creating a ceremony script, an Officiant must also have poise, confidence and stage presence, so to speak. An Officiant communicates to two audiences during a ceremony. There is the communication and presentation of the ceremony that all of the guests experience and there is the communication and experience of the couple being married. I am mindful of both audiences. I am confident that I manage both levels of communication well.