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Carissa Templeton, NYC Officiant

Brooklyn , NY
CONTACT US
CONTACT US

LOCATION

355 Stratford Road
Brooklyn, NY US 11238 (map)

PHONE

646-404-7453

WEBSITE

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Please let this vendor know that you found them on the WeddingWire Network.

ABOUT US

I am a Brooklyn based NYC wedding officiant, and have been performing weddings for over 5 years. I love working with a couple to get to the heart of what you are hoping to present that... Read more
I am a Brooklyn based NYC wedding officiant, and have been performing weddings for over 5 years. I love working with a couple to get to the heart of what you are hoping to present that day- to each other and your guests. A ceremony is important- to hold space in a way that is respectful, fun, unique- every ceremony is different.

People most often say my ceremonies are "so them" - the couple feels heard and attended to and the family recognizes that the ceremony was written exactly for them. I hear from a lot of my couples for years afterwards, and have had the opportunity to perform baby blessings on new additions!

The process of working with me is that you can decide to work with me after a phone call or a meeting. I often meet again with couples, and if you are a travelling couple I make every effort to meet you before your ceremony.

Good luck in the planning process! I am part of a collective of other great vendors, you can find them here: http://brooklynbetrothed.wordpress.com/ Read less
Officiant

PHOTOS

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INFO FOR OFFICIANT

What officiant services do you provide?
Civil Union, Interfaith Ceremony, Non-religious Ceremony, Single Religion Ceremony
What religious affiliations do you serve?
Agnostic, Baha'i Faith, Buddhist, Christian (no denomination), Christian - Anglican, Christian - Baptist, Christian - Catholic, Christian - Episcopalian, Christian - Lutheran, Christian - Methodist, Christian - Mormon, Christian - Orthodox, Christian - Presbyterian, Christian - Quaker, Evangelical, Hindu, Islam, Jainism, Jewish, Muslim, Shinto, Sikhism, Taoist
Can you accommodate the hearing impaired?
No
Are you willing to perform a ceremony at a non-religious site?
Yes, and I perform gay weddings as well- this seemed like the best question to squeeze that in, it wasn't a form "FAQ" but I want people to know.
What is your attire for the ceremony?
I have worn all types of things, but my typical attire is a black robe.
Are you flexible in the wording used throughout the ceremony, including the vows?
Yes, I work with a couple and show them a draft- I speak with friends and family and get a sense of who you are and then bring that into the ceremony.
Do you allow the couple to write their own vows, if desired?
Yes, and I am very good at helping people should they need it.
Do you have a list of readings pre-selected, from which the couple must choose?
I have options but there are no "musts" in my ceremonies.
How long are your ceremonies?
20-30 minutes, shorter if requested.
Do you require that premarital counseling be done?
No but I like to meet.
Are you willing to perform pre-ceremony rehearsals?
Yes, with restrictions- I talk to each couple about that.
Do you supply a sound system?
no

REVIEWS

4.9
out of 5.0
4.9/5.0
4.8/5.0
4.9/5.0
4.9/5.0
4.9/5.0
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Michael
Wedding:
2/17/2014
5.0/5.0
After getting engaged last June, the only thing we knew for certain was the wedding date. Due to unforeseen issues, however, we were suddenly without an officiant less than two weeks before our wedding. We found Carissa after sifting through dozens of other potential officiants and not unlike falling in love, we knew she was the right fit from the first moment.

We didn't have enough time to meet in person and communicated almost entirely through email after the initial phone call. She immediately sent us questionnaires to complete, which we filled out independently, and asked if she could email the eight guests participating in our very intimate wedding. We were impressed immediately by her receptiveness to our feedback and suggestions. As a same-sex couple who had debated the institution of marriage and the decision to marry altogether, we wanted the vows to strike just the right cord. We didn't want anything political in an obvious way, however we did want to incorporate elements like signing the marriage certificate, a powerful symbol in itself, into the ceremony. Carissa hit the tone perfectly!

To say the words that she composed were beautiful would be an insult to the magic of the proceedings. There wasn't a dry eye among the guests and the additional elements she included but kept partially a surprise to us so that we heard only during our actual vows were outstanding. As I held the hands of my now husband, surrounded by immediate family and close friends, we surrounded to the emotion and magnitude of the moment, and had a truly wonderful wedding experience. All our guests thought she did a superb job and we thanked for her making the wedding that we never were certain we wanted in the first place into a rite of passage that we couldn't imagine missing out on.

Thanks Carissa!
Michael & Adrid - xoxo
Services Used: Officiant
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Kirsty
Wedding:
9/8/2013
5.0/5.0
What can we say? Carissa was just amazing and such a fabulous find. We travelled to NYC ourselves and only booked our ceremony 5 days before the big day! Carissa was so easy to work with and although we never got the opportunity to meet in person before the ceremony, she did such a great job and making it personal and meanful to us. There wasn't a problem that Carissa couldn't solve including witnesses and photographers! Our day was just beautiful!
Services Used: Officiant
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
5.0/5.0
My fiancee and I hired Carissa to perform our recent ceremony. We were so impressed and pleased with her warmth, pleansantness and professionalism. She was also helpful in suggesting a place for us to tie the knot. We would both highly recommend Carissa to all those interested in working with a quality person.
Services Used: Officiant
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Jackie
Wedding:
5/19/2012
5.0/5.0
Carissa was a pleasure to work with, we loved getting to know her throughout the process. She is very responsive, creative, thoughtful, an active listener and a damn good writer! Our ceremony was awesome! We really wanted to break with what we felt was a "normal" ceremony and Carissa nailed it. Our ceremony incorporated all of the wonderful things about our relationship and made our friends and family feel like they were a key part of the ceremony. People are still talking about how unique and thoughtful our ceremony was. Carissa is amazing and a great value to boot, you can't go wrong!
Services Used: Officiant
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Eileen
Wedding:
3/31/2012
5.0/5.0
Carissa is a warm and wise presence; both in the planning for the ceremony and on the day itself, she was both thoughtful and calming - it was a joy to have her around. We wanted a non-denominational officiant for a non-religious wedding and she completely understood what we were trying to achieve. She helped us craft a completely personal ceremony that felt very unique and specific to us as a couple. After the wedding we had many compliments on the ceremony itself, and Carissa had a big hand in putting that together. On the day she was super-efficient, very supportive and had a perfectly understated approach to her own role. Carissa went above and beyond in helping us resolve some problems with NYC after the wedding - we couldn't have asked for more. Highly recommended.
Services Used: Officiant
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Mrs. Smith
Wedding:
2/18/2012
5.0/5.0
We feel so very lucky to have found Carissa! We received so many compliments regarding the ceremony she lead - most commonly how intimate and moving it was. We have Carissa to thank for creating a ceremony that truly encapsulated who we are as a couple. She took time to get to know us so she was able to speak to us and our guests not only as an officiant, but as a friend. We will always look back on our day with such warm memories, and Carissa was integral to making the day truly special. We hold her in high esteem and will recommend her to our friends.
Services Used: Officiant
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hannah
Wedding:
11/12/2011
5.0/5.0
We used Carissa for our wedding in November, and she was absolutely fantastic. I can't recommend her highly enough.

First, it's clear she really does this because she loves it, which I totally appreciate - it was so important to us to like everything and everybody involved in our ceremony and I had a great first interaction with Carissa. Originally we were thinking of just using a friend, but I found Carissa recommended on another site so got in touch with her to ask her some questions... this soon turned into, like, four hundred questions, because Carissa responded to all my questions super quickly and was really thorough and sweet!

But finally, my husband really wanted to go with this friend of ours so I told her that and even after like 20 email exchanges, she was really gracious about it and encouraged me to get in touch if I had any more questions.

Well, going with the friend ended up not working out (another looooong story)- so about 6 weeks before the wedding I wrote Carissa, who immediately replied to my last - minute HELP!! email and even changed some things around in her schedule so she could do our wedding.

We Skyped before the wedding - didn't meet in person, mainly because my husband and I just couldn't squeeze in a meeting (our schedules are nuts). This ended up being fine for us. In our talks she asked all the right questions of us - not just about what we wanted and didn't want for the ceremony - but also about our families, faith, politics etc (nothing prying - just offered to listen to any concerns or thoughts we had).

We had a lot of complicated issues around our wedding - our families are radically different, culturally and in terms of faiths, and she was super understanding and actually even anticipated many of the worries / questions we thought would be super specific to us.

We got our wedding vows and materials from her in plenty of time before- the three of us collaborated on the vows. She got in touch with a handful of friends and family to ask them questions about us and incorporated their answers into our ceremony, so that what she said during the wedding was so touching and very accurate to us.

I was most appreciative of her personality throughout all of this - the day of, having her there was for me like having another girlfriend around. She stayed out of the way unless we needed her, but when I did talk to her I felt totally comfortable asking for reassurance or asking silly questions - she was a super calming and positive presence, but also very down-to-earth (she and my husband agreed with me that my hair should be up when everyone else said down - later pictures confirmed the three of us were right! LOL).

She forwarded us the emails from our friends and family about us, which she'd solicited to help her write the ceremony, and it was so fun to see what they said. We got our license right away. Since the wedding, a lot of friends / family who were there have mentioned how great she was. I've watched the video and in retrospect - a nice perspective because during the ceremony you're so nervous you't can think about anybody else - I think she did such a nice job of setting a super warm and easy vibe to our wedding ceremony. We had lots of parts to it (a poem read, people coming up to speak, etc) and she handled all of it with grace. Yay! I very very highly recommend working with her.
Services Used: Officiant
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Dominique
Wedding:
9/17/2011
5.0/5.0
Carissa was fantastic! Within five minutes of meeting her, we knew we wanted her to be part of our wedding.. She helped us create a ceremony that was a perfect reflection of us... She was supportive and generous with her time and was patient with me when I went through the neurotic bride stage..
We had multiple people tell us it was the most beautiful ceremony they'd ever seen..
Services Used: Officiant
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jll159
Wedding:
9/16/2011
5.0/5.0
I'm not even sure where to begin. My husband and I had the most positive and delightful experience working with Carissa. After our first meeting with her, we immediately cancelled any other meetings with officiants we had because we loved her from the start. As the date got closer, Carissa met with us again to review the details of our ceremony, and we left feeling even more excited for the big day. On our wedding day, Carissa was such a calming presence to have around. She exudes so much warmth and that carried over into our ceremony. We got married at Tribeca Rooftop with 200 guests of different backgrounds, religions and customs, and Carissa managed to pull off a ceremony that seemed to touch everyone. People actually told me that their favorite part of our whole wedding was the ceremony! Much gratitude to Carissa for helping to create a beautiful moment in our lives!
Services Used: Officiant
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Winguyjoe
Wedding:
8/25/2011
5.0/5.0
Carissa was an invaluable part of our wedding day. Her thoughtfulness, professionalism, and sincerity was evident the moment we met her. Thank you again, Carissa, from the bottom of our hearts. Joe & Guy
Services Used: Officiant
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romewriter
Wedding:
8/13/2011
5.0/5.0
We had a bit of a complicated situation ('nuff said!) and Carissa was incredibly flexible, responsive, encouraging, reassuring and filled with love. She showed up exactly on time, crossed all the Ts and dotted all the "I"s, made it all incredibly easy and was just a great spirit to have at this life milestone. I couldn't recommend her more highly, particularly if you are a couple with an unusual situation (interfaith, etc.). Carissa makes it effortless.
Services Used: Officiant
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Shawn
Wedding:
7/31/2011
5.0/5.0
Carissa ia wonderful. We contacted her less than two months before our wedding. Pretty much everything was stressful at that point, except Carissa. She was calming, she didnt make us feel like irresponsible kids for the short notice, and was extremely helpful. She even contacted us from her vacation because of our time restraint. We aren't religious and didn't have a frame of reference for the type of ceremony we wanted. Luckily she did. Carissa had so many sweet, meaningful rituals in her bag of tricks to choose from. She wrote our ceremony for us and it was perfect. Our guests loved it too. My only regret was not having a microphone available as some of our guests couldn't hear. I would recommend Carissa highly to anyone looking for a personalized, heartfelt, non denominational wedding ceremony. We were extremely happy with her service.
Services Used: Officiant
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Team Neverlin
Wedding:
9/5/2010
5.0/5.0
Carissa helped my husband and I craft a ceremony we all felt was perfect for us -- a ceremony focused solely on our story and our commitment to each other that intimately involved our friends and family.

We wanted our ceremony to be unique and Carissa offered a guiding hand and gave us options without being overbearing or pushy. The care she put into our wedding made us feel as if we were her only priority. She answered emails, phone calls and met with us several times to ease a nervous bride.

Helping to make the ceremony unique and personal, Carissa reached out to several of our friends and family for their insights into who we are as a couple, and threaded their words and feelings into the ceremony. Our ceremony didn't sound like something written or rehearsed, but came from the heart, which was obvious to all who attended.

From dozens of our guests, we heard -- and still hear -- comments about how strikingly warm and unique the ceremony was. Considering all the small headaches that accompanied that wonderful but admittedly stressful day, we honestly would not change a second or a word of our ceremony. This was in no small part to Carissa and her commitment to us as a couple.
Services Used: Officiant
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Katy P.
Wedding:
5/1/2010
5.0/5.0
Carissa Templeton was our wedding officiant for our 5/1/10 ceremony at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. Carissa was such a special part of our big day. She was so professional, kind and thoughtful. Our initial meeting with her was great, and we knew immediately that she was the one to perform our wedding. Carissa reached out to our families and friends before our wedding, and shared their quotes and stories from the special things they said about us during the ceremony- an awesome surprise to us. It was really touching. She also suggested a special ring blessing be performed during the ceremony, where everyone was able to hold our rings, joined together by a beautiful ribbon, and give a blessing. It really was a unique and unexpected touch that our guests loved. She guided us through the whole process leading up to the wedding, suggesting unique vows and readings that we could use (we needed the help as we weren't writing our own vows), and on the big day, kept both of us calm before and during the ceremony. She was a truly wonderful part of our wedding and any couple would be lucky to have her as their officiant!
Services Used: Officiant
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sammyz
Wedding:
2/12/2010
5.0/5.0
Carissa is a gem. With her at the helm, we knew the most important part of our wedding was in the best of hands. Carissa put us at ease in every possible way. She's incredibly professional and trustworthy; from the start she explained everything we needed to know about creating a ceremony that suited us both. Carissa asked us meaningful questions about our relationship, and when I was shy and self-conscious about answering some of them "on the spot" at our in-person meeting, she graciously suggested I take the time I needed to reflect on my answers and email them to her when I was ready. She reached out to family and close friends to learn more about our relationship and wove a story together that honored and celebrated our relationship and what our nuptials meant to us.

We are so grateful to Carissa for crafting the most personal, warm and beautiful ceremony we could have imagined. Our wedding was intimate and we wanted a ceremony that was a reflection of what we were so proud to be celebrating. Carissa delivered that and more. Our guests were blown away by the ceremony, many of them saying they had never been to such a beautiful ceremony ever. It was warm, touching, and inclusive of the most important people in our lives...including our dog, who was present at the ceremony. :)

I can't say enough about Carissa. She's extraordinary, as a person and as an officiant. I am so happy for couples who hire her to be their officiant! There is no better guide through the transition from engagement to marriage and your ceremony, in her hands, will be something you treasure always.
Services Used: Officiant
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Moreno ~ Marino
Wedding:
10/11/2008
5.0/5.0
My husband and I couldn't of asked for a more special and caring officiant than Carissa. She truly is someone you would be blessed to have perform your ceremony taking into account and personalizing details about you and you significant other.
Services Used: Officiant
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Christina
Wedding:
4/4/2014
4.8/5.0
Carissa officiated our wedding at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in April. She was excellent. She interviewed me and my husband, and got to know who we were, and how we wanted our ceremony to feel. Several of our guests came up to us later and said that was one of the nicest ceremonies they've seen, and had thought Carissa was our close friend because it felt like she knew us so well. My husband, being the last-minute type of guy he is, sent her back the questionnaire at 1am the night before the wedding. Carissa was no problems going with the flow. I would highly recommend.
Services Used: Officiant
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Anonymous
Wedding:
2+ years ago
4.8/5.0
We loved having Carissa as our officiant for our wedding. She was responsive, very understanding, and flexible. We met twice before our wedding, each time with her getting to know my husband and I better and better. She helped us craft an absolutely beautiful interfaith ceremony since my husband is Jewish and I am Catholic. She paid attention to our input and gave some really great suggestions. One of the things people commente don the most about our wedding was the unique, touching, and captivating ceremony for all our guests. And we received our marriage license in a timely fashion!
Services Used: Officiant
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exbaristagirl
Wedding:
8/15/2010
3.2/5.0
We loved Carissa when we met her and had a consultation. She was the first vendor we booked and we were excited and relieved. However, she was difficult to get in contact with. We heard nothing from her for months. She'd promised us the ceremony would be sent to us two weeks prior to the wedding, but we didn't get it until five days before.

She did make a lovely ceremony for us. It went great on the day, and she did a wonderful job giving it.

We've had trouble tracking her down for the video (she brought a little cam with her). We had to go track down the marriage certificate two months later, but that could be the city. (Although I checked a month ago and they hadn't received it at all.)

Overall, she gave us a good 'product' so to speak, but there was some unnecessary stress in getting there.
Services Used: Officiant
Carissa Templeton, NYC Officiant responded with the following comments:

As I wrote you in an email before seeing this, I am so sorry your experience was less than you had hoped for, and deserved. But I am glad you have the videos now! I had never offered this service and offered as a favor, but the technology side of delivery/upload etc was something I will leave to guests in the future- though it did feel good to provide this once I was able to figure it all out on my at the time very old and overloaded computer.

I should be more clear about the drafting process, and how much I will reach out between hiring and the wedding. After meeting, if the wedding isn't for a long time, I will sometimes reach out to wish a happy new year or holiday- but until the wedding gets closer I am simply available for any questions, so not hearing from me for a few months isn't unheard of.

Since this review I have become very clear about the back and forth and questions involved- I have also moved the time I work on drafts earlier so that everyone is clear and has time to answer any questions from me and me to them.

I have had a few couples this year report that their licenses were not found when they called. Since these issues I have started sending everything priority/tracking or dropping it off myself. I also take pictures of all of the forms before sending them in.

Thank you for posting your concerns, as it really has helped me tweak my process. Again I apologize that you didn't get what you had hoped for.

carissa

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355 Stratford Road, Brooklyn, NY 11238 See On Map
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