"Creating a new relationship through the power of your voice, it's pretty remarkable," said officiant Shari Berkowitz on July 30 at Pop Up Chapel in Central Park.
We had never looked at it that way; however that is exactly what a wedding officiant does. The presiding celebrant guides fiancées into married life simply by saying the lines and signing the certificate. What makes Shari Berkowitz different is how beautifully and effortlessly she seems to do that.
Originally from Brooklyn, Shari spends her days as a professor and still finds time to perform all sorts of ceremonies in all parts of the tri-state area. From extravagant weddings in Jersey City, to small ceremonies tucked away in Central Park, Berkowitz has done, and will continue to do, it all.
Her career as an officiant began many years ago when she realized that there was no Justice of the Peace in New York State. When she looked into becoming a celebrant, she was informed that first she must take a class and then she would take the next step of becoming ordained online. Independent and confident, Berkowitz skipped the first steps and went ahead in securing her ordination without taking the class and has been performing personalized wedding ceremonies ever since.
Berkowitz is a jack of all trades when it comes to weddings. Her first ceremony was in Spanish, however that does not stop her from performing Jewish weddings in Hebrew and interfaith weddings that are able to blend almost any two traditions together.
We were also happy to hear Shari, whom the ULC thinks is outstanding, speak so highly of us. "The ULC understood what New York City needed," Berkowitz said.
Berkowitz was kind enough to share an anecdote about the first wedding she ever performed. It was to be a secular ceremony, no mention of God, Jesus or the Holy Ghost was to be made. However, during the reception, someone's aunt stood up and began reciting a traditional Catholic blessing. Berkowitz assured us that, try as you might, it is impossible to completely control every aspect of a wedding.
Congratulations on a great day, Shari. We look forward to hearing from you in the future.