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Officiant in Havertown, Pennsylvania,
(267) 902-7752

About Us

**I'm working as a Camp Rabbi until August 14 with only occasional Internet access. So I may not respond to your inquiry for 4-7 days.**

Mazal tov and congratulations!

I am a wedding officiant who has been creating customized wedding ceremonies for 10 years in the Philly area; my ceremonies focus on the joyful celebration of your love and partnership (as opposed to a sermon-like lecture on God or theology, as come ceremonies can be.) For the past 3 years, I've been awarded a "Best of Wedding Wire" badge, given to the top 5% of vendors based on a track record of happy couples!

My particular expertise is Jewish, interfaith, and multi-cultlural ceremonies; I've visited over 30 countries, speak in 4 languages in direct proportion to how much beer I've just consumed; and I love nothing more than the challenge of creating a completely unique and beautiful ceremony that captures the best of who YOU both are ̶ your beliefs, personalities, cultural backgrounds, and passions, no matter how disparate they might be!

I also specialize in ceremonies for couples who want something secular or "spiritual but not religious" -- folks who don't necessarily subscribe to more classical established religions but still believe in the mystery, wonder, and awe that is behind love and the larger miraculousness of life.

Think of me as a justice of the peace -- only I'm a rabbi, and I can give your ceremony so much more warmth and heart than a rushed, harried, and formulaic judge could do!

I am also honored to offer my services to GLBTQ persons.

I hope you will take a few minutes and read some of the reviews couples have left on my profile. As you will see, one of the most beloved aspects of my ceremonies is what I call the Love Story ̶ this is where I interview you each privately, learn how you met and fell in love, hear a funny anecdote or two that captures the spirit of your relationship. Then I weave it into a surprise "love story" that I share during the ceremony. This is hands down everyone's favorite aspect of the ceremony, for couples and guests alike!

How The Process Works

We work together to create a unique ceremony that reflects your beliefs and values, and the way we do this is by me essentially sharing ions of different options, and then writing a ceremony built around the elements you choose. Most couples aim for a ceremony that is in the 20-30 minute range, but that too is your choice.

In a meeting that takes 1 to 2 hours (in person at my home in Broomall, or in Manyunk where I work, or via Skpe), we go over dozens of different ritual options. This can be everything from a Celtic ringwarming and handfasting; to the unity candle or sand ceremony; a "time capsule" or tree planting; or such Jewish traditions as sharing a cup of wine, circling, the 7 blessings, or the chuppah, ketubah, or glass-breaking.

Those are just to name a few!

Lastly, I provide a file of 45+ pages of supplementary reading options ̶ everything from Romantics like Rumi and Kahlil Gibran, to sweet (love-related) prose by Dr. Seuss, The Little Prince, and even Indiana Jones. Having a guest come up and share a reading is a great way of adding some more dynamism and interest into your ceremony. Anytime more than JUST the officiant is speaking, the more your guests will feel like participants rather than mere bystanders in your journey.

Prior to attending rabbinical school, I worked as a journalist for 20+ years, and hence I am extremely organized and thorough. I will provide many files of advice and checklists -- deadlines of when to do what; samples of ritual descriptions you can cut/paste into a wedding program; and links of potential Christian and Jewish music options (since traditions can be honored via music and art, not only words)!

After our initial meeting, we communicate via phone, text, and email however many times is necessary to shore up the final details of your ceremony. About a month before the Big Day, you’ll send me a “Q&A” file that records all your final ceremony decisions plus your secret “love story” answers”.

On the wedding day, I arrive 1 hour early, mostly just to be uber-cautious that I am not delayed by traffic! If a ketubah-signing is being held, that is typically done 1/2 an hour before the ceremony, usually in a smaller side room somewhere at the venue.

After the ceremony, I stay through the cocktail hour to visit with your guests, but you would not need to purchase a meal for me. Of course I sign your marriage license and mail it in for you, so it doesn’t get lost in the post-wedding mayhem!

Other Services Offered

I am a licensed facilitator for the PrepareEnrich premarital preparatory program, a wonderful science-based program that measures couples’ compatibility on 9 key areas that determine marital satisfaction (such as intimacy, communication, sex, finances, etc.). In this optional add-on service, you would each take an online survey, and then we would have a second meeting to go over the results and see where your greatest areas of strength are (which you can reliably build from), and which areas you are more likely to encounter challenges.

PrepareEnrich is not a counseling program, and I not a certified counselor. Instead, it is a 50+-year program specifically designed for clergy to help couples who are basically in happy, healthy relationships begin their marriages on more solid footing -- with greater self-awareness and with greater appreciation for how your own quirks and traits mesh, enhance, or challenge the quirks and traits of your partner. {Take a few minutes to learn more about it here! www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQB_AMO6roU }

The program typically costs $500, but I offer it for free to all couples whose ceremonies I am officiating. The only cost is a $36 testing fee that goes directly to the PrepareEnrich company.

If You Have Stuck Through To Here ...

Congratulations! I know this was a lot to read. But the fact you made it to here also tells me that you are obviously someone who is taking the ceremony-aspect of your wedding really seriously. That right there, I believe, is a good indication that we are probably a really great couple-officiant match.

I think the ceremony is the most important part of your wedding day ̶ more important than the linens, and the flowers, and yes, even the dress! Because when a wedding ceremony is done right, it's like MAGIC HAPPENS! No matter how awesome the food was, or how gorgeous the view, it is the ceremony that will become the part of your wedding weekend that your guests will still be talking about 5, 8 , even 10 years later.

I know, because I've seen it happen.

B'vracha (many blessings,)

Rabbi Joysa


Dan Koller

reviews
5 out of 5
Quality of Service:
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  • I'll start with what is most important; I have been told by friends, family, staff on-site and our photographer that our ceremony was one of the most heartfelt, romantic, beautiful, and intimate ceremonies that they had ever experienced. And so much of that is due to Joysa. While we planned our wedding from across the country, I had a feeling we'd connect well. When my (now) wife and I first met with Joysa, on her couch while her kids ran in and out with their friends, it felt like she was opening herself up to us and it made it that much easier on us to clearly outline what we wanted from our ceremony, who we were as a couple, and for Joysa to help guide us towards getting to that "perfect" ceremony. She had the ceremony organized and broken up into sections, providing options from Jewish, Irish, and varying degrees of secularism - resonating deeply with our mixed and not-especially-religious selves. Joysa had cut to the primary message of traditional ceremonies and provided it... Read more

    Frequently Asked Questions about Officiant

    What is the typical price for your wedding services?

    $ 1,199.00

    Which of the following are included in the price?

    Premarital Counseling

    What is the starting price for your wedding services?

    $ 650.00

    Does starting price include the ceremony rehearsal?

    No

    What is the starting price for ceremony rehearsals?

    $ 100.00

    What types of weddings and events do you provide services for?

    Non-religious, Interfaith, Ceremony Rehearsal, Vow Renewal, Civil Union, Single Religion

    What services do you provide?

    Allow Couples' Own Vows, Licensed, Premarital Counseling

    What religious affiliations do you serve?

    Agnostic, Baha'i Faith, Buddhist, Earth-Based, Jewish, No Denomination, Pagan, Quaker, Unitarian

    On average, how long are wedding ceremonies you officiate?

    Less than 30 mins.

    In which states are you licensed?

    AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY

    What languages do you speak?

    English, German, Hebrew, Spanish



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