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Wedding Themes & Styles - Church of Ancient Ways

The ceremony shouldn’t be the thing that you and your guests have to suffer through to get to the good part. I promise you a meaningful, enjoyable, ceremony that everyone will remember for years to come. 21st Century wordsmithing for all of life’s most important moments. Specializing in Couple Centered Ceremonies that speak your hearts, and can ...

The ceremony shouldn’t be the thing that you and your guests have to suffer through to get to the good part. I promise you a meaningful, enjoyable, ceremony that everyone will remember for years to come.

21st Century wordsmithing for all of life’s most important moments. Specializing in Couple Centered Ceremonies that speak your hearts, and can include all the aspects of ceremony that are important to you. As simple as can be or a custom narrative, tell me your vision of your day and together we will make it happen!

Our web site has Sample Ceremonies, Readings, Video's, Marriage License Information, Name Change Forms, Ceremony and Reception Recommendations, and a link to Facebook where you can see photos from real weddings at Long Island's top venues every weekend.

Serving the New York City, Long Island and Tri-State area


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Reviews - Church of Ancient Ways Leave a review »

5.0
      Quality of Service (5.0 / 5.0)
      Professionalism (5.0 / 5.0)
      Value (5.0 / 5.0)
100% by couples who reviewed
Krystal & Jeffrey LaFemina 3 years ago
      Quality of Service (5.0 / 5)
      Professionalism (5.0 / 5)
      Value (5.0 / 5)

Loved our ceremony!! Couldn't have gone any better!! Thank u!

Margaret Looman 3 years ago
      Quality of Service (5.0 / 5)
      Professionalism (5.0 / 5)
      Value (5.0 / 5)

Pastor April is the BEST wedding officiant around. From the second we met her we knew we had to have her be our officiant. It was as if she knew us for years--she made us feel so comfortable and we are so thankful for her!!

T&M 3 years ago
      Quality of Service (5.0 / 5)
      Professionalism (5.0 / 5)
      Value (5.0 / 5)

A ceremony by April will absolutely never be a dull, run-of-the-mill affair. She brought such enthusiasm and joy to our day that it seemed she was almost as thrilled as we were! Her excitement was contagious, the words she wrote were beautiful, meaningful, by turns both solemn and irreverent, and reflected precisely who we were as a couple. The whole event had an air of lightness and welcoming to everyone in attendance. The ceremony still feels like a precious moment-out-of time, a brief but wonderful bubble where something magical transpired.
In the months before the wedding, she was always super-responsive to any of our questions, concerns or million changes to the ceremony and logistics. She weathered them all patiently, kept us calm and sane, always managing to re-infuse our happy anticipation when the drudgeries of planning got in the way. She was always glad to accommodate our ideas, and never lacked for her own suggestions when we needed hints and advice.
She arrived super early to our venue so she had time to meet everyone and make sure everything was on schedule. She obviously takes her job seriously, but she is also has a wry, jovial spirit that is infectious to everyone around her. If it were possible to give April dozens of stars, we certainly would!

T&M 3 years ago
      Quality of Service (5.0 / 5)
      Professionalism (5.0 / 5)
      Value (5.0 / 5)

A ceremony by April will absolutely never be a dull, run-of-the-mill affair. She brought such enthusiasm and joy to our day that it seemed she was almost as thrilled as we were! Her excitement was contagious, the words she wrote were beautiful, meaningful, by turns both solemn and irreverent, and reflected precisely who we were as a couple. The whole event had an air of lightness and welcoming to everyone in attendance. The ceremony still feels like a precious moment-out-of time, a brief but wonderful bubble where something magical transpired.
In the months before the wedding, she was always super-responsive to any of our questions, concerns or million changes to the ceremony and logistics. She weathered them all patiently, kept us calm and sane, always managing to re-infuse our happy anticipation when the drudgeries of planning got in the way. She was always glad to accommodate our ideas, and never lacked for her own suggestions when we needed hints and advice.
She arrived super early to our venue so she had time to meet everyone and make sure everything was on schedule. She obviously takes her job seriously, but she is also has a wry, jovial spirit that is infectious to everyone around her. If it were possible to give April dozens of stars, we certainly would!

David 3 years ago
      Quality of Service (5.0 / 5)
      Professionalism (5.0 / 5)
      Value (5.0 / 5)

Pastor April was THE BEST. She made us feel at ease as the stress of our wedding increased. Everything in the ceremony was personal. EVERYONE at our wedding loved her. We recommend her to everyone getting married.


FAQs - Church of Ancient Ways

Contact Name:
Marie April Gismondi
Established:
1997
Are there any additional services you provide?
We provide officiants and clergy for weddings, baby blessings, and memorials.

Two of our officiants are Clinical Social Workers, making both pre and post marital counselling insurance reimbursable in most cases.
Can you provide references upon request?
Yes
Do you have liability insurance?
Yes
Do you require a deposit beforehand?
No
How far in advance should clients book your services?
I book as far as 2 years in advance. So if your date is a popular one and you want Pastor April in particular, it is best to call early. With that said, we have a wonderful team of professional officiants who can fill most requests on long or short notice.
What languages do you speak?
English, but I do have some Spanish memorized and can read at least the repeat after me in most langues. - see the bilingual page of my web site for samples.

For a ceremony in all Spanish I have a wonderful officiant that I send. Samples of the Spanish Ceremonies are in the Sample Ceremony section of my web site.

Our Rabbi was born in Haifa and is fluent in Hebrew and knows some Arabic.
What religious/cultural affiliations do you provide services for?
Agnostic, Christian - Lutheran, Islam, Baha'i Faith, Christian - Methodist, Buddhist, Christian - Mormon, Jewish, Christian (no denomination), Christian - Orthodox, Shinto, Christian - Anglican, Christian - Presbyterian, Taoist, Christian - Baptist, Christian - Quaker, Christian - Catholic, Evangelical, Christian - Episcopalian, Hindu
Do you provide or require pre-marital counseling?
yes
Do you allow couples to customize parts of the ceremony if they desire?
yes
How far will you travel to perform a service?
Anywhere at all. All fees reflect the window of time on the calendar reserved for wedding ceremony.
Additional details:
Q: "Can we meet with you and still meet other officiants before we make our decision?" A: Of course you can! I feel like a piece of me stays with every couple that I marry and it is important to me that you are comfortable having that kind of connection to me. I will meet and write with you then have a draft of your ceremony to you within 48 hours at no obligation to you. There are many good officiants, but only one right one for every couple. Sometimes comparing our work side by side is absolutely the best way to choose! Q: "How do we know that you are authorized to marry us?" A: The City of New York is the only place that makes officiants register. I am officiant number 9484. This means I can also marry you in New York City if you wish! Q: "If we book with you, will YOU be the one to perform our ceremony?" A: Yes. I have been getting this question often lately and while there are officiants who overbook and then farm out the overspill, I am not one of them. If you book me you get me. If I am unavailable and you are working with one of my associates they will be the one to marry you... With myself and all Church of Ancient Ways Officiants we Guarantee the person you hire is the one to show up on your day or your ceremony is FREE. Unless you choose to take a reduction in fee by not booking one particular officiant, but rather "a qualified COAW officiant". Q: "We just want a simple ceremony, do we have to meet with you for that?" A: No, you don't have to do or not do anything with me. I try to do want you want me to do for you and if skipping the meeting in favor of picking and choosing elements from my website works for you, then it works for me. The best part of this is that meeting and original writing take time, first to compose, and then to fine tune. If you don't need that time you don't pay for it. So if you are using my pre-written material it's $100.00 right off the top! Q: "How long do your ceremonies usually take to perform?" A: It is up to you but I usually try to run no more than 20 minutes. Any longer than that and we run the risk of sounding like "blah, blah, blah, blah...." Q: "We are... a. Second Marriage Catholics b. Of Different Religions c. More Spiritual than Religious d. Looking for a Justice of the Peace style Civil Ceremony e. Planning to include Multi-Cultural aspects f. Planning to Include Our Children g. Wondering if you knew any Klingon .... Is this a problem? A: On the contrary, it is a blessing to know who you are and what is important to you. Everything that is important to you is important to me if I am to help you create a ceremony that celebrates your life and your love. I can always learn a few sentences of another language but if it's more than that, I recommend choosing someone fluent for the job. Q: "How closely do you schedule your ceremonies?" A: I don't schedule closer than 3 hours in between weddings, unless of course they are in the same town or at the same venue. Included in what I consider your time is a buffer "just in case". You will never lose any part of your day because I am late and I will never schedule so closely that you feel rushed in any way. Q: "How early do you arrive?" A: This is another great question to ask your officiant. How much time of theirs is yours on the wedding day. I arrive 45 minutes - 1 hour before your scheduled start time and stay till roughly 45 minutes after the scheduled start time, with the ceremony concluding 30 minutes after the start time, and the final 15 minutes to break down the PA, congratulate you and your families, and finish up any paperwork that's left.. Q: "What happens if you get sick?" A: I am very well networked and work closely with Rev. Deb Viola, Father Joe DeVincenzo, Rabbi Sara Shonfeld, Judge William Corbett, and Rev. Aviva Sala. I know many of you have read the stories on the local chat boards about some officiants "running late" or "getting stuck in traffic" or the ever popular "sick mother" and sending a replacement. With myself and all Church of Ancient Ways Officiants we Guarantee the person you hire is the one to show up on your day or your ceremony is FREE. Q: "We have our Marriage License. Can we come over and get married now?" A: Believe it or not the answer is usually "Yes!" Give me a call! Q: "What do you need to know from us to check your availability?" A: Date, Time and Location. Please feel free to call me any time!