About Hidden River to the HeartJeanne Matthews Sommer, Ph.D., M.Div. has been serving western North Carolina and beyond since 1987 as an officiant for couples and families in need of a celebrant for weddings, memorial services, and other rites of passage. Trained at Northwestern University and Princeton Theological Seminary, Dr. Sommer brings an intelligent and compassionate approach to her work. Known for her genuine warmth, sense of humor, familiarity with a wide range of religious and secular beliefs and practices, and her open mind and inclusive values, Jeanne creates one-of-a-kind ceremonies that are appropriate to the people involved, creative, and, when desired, participatory. Guests in attendance feel as if they have been given a window into the lives and love of those with whom they are celebrating, and they leave the event feeling appreciated and involved. Jeanne has a knack for bridging differences and voicing the unique personalities and experiences of those who come to her for care.
If you seek someone who is genuine, who will listen to your stories and find ways to help you convey that story to others present at your ceremony, consider Jeanne’s gifts and skills for your special event. Whether you are marrying, looking for someone to work with you for premarital counseling, or if you need someone who can help you design a memorial service for a loved one who has passed, Jeanne may well be someone who matches your needs.
Jeanne celebrates weddings, memorial services, and other rites of passage (coming of age ceremonies, birth and blessing ways, divorce and reconciliation rituals, etc.) at her 18 acre farm along the banks of the Swannanoa River, just outside of Asheville, NC (www.hiddenriverevents.com), or she travels to your location.
Once a couple books her services, Jeanne meets with the couple for 1-2 hours, shares with them files of sample vows, readings, rituals, prayers, etc., so she can work with them to design a personalized ceremony. She conducts the rehearsal and officiates. Many of the couples for whom she has officated come to visit in the years to follow, introducing her to their children, keeping her up to date on career changes, etc.
If Jeanne has not been your friend before the event you are celebrating, she will be before the event passes, and beyond.
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