Yehudah, Joanie and Ana are an award-winning officiant team. Joanie also teaches dance; Yehudah has been a nurse; Ana taught Spanish and ESL All three truly love creating ceremonies and helping couples enjoy their special day.
19 years in service
Thumbtack Highlighted service
Licensed in OR –
Registered Nurse – 086000369RN
“Superb, memorable wedding ceremonies tailored to you, the couple!”
Yehudah, Joanie and Ana are an award-winning officiant team. Joanie also teaches dance; Yehudah has been a nurse; Ana taught Spanish and ESL All three truly love creating ceremonies and helping couples enjoy their special day.
hired 10 times on Thumbtack
We provide the following:
* Justice-of-the-peace ceremonies
* Custom-created ceremonies
* Wedding venue for very small weddings, both indoors and intimate backyard setting
* GLBT ceremonies
* Spanish bilingual wedding officiant
* Jail and prison Weddings
* Recommitment ceremonies
* Choreography and dance lessons for your first dance
* Dance processionals
* Baby namings
* Memorial services
Portland, OR 97211
At Leach Botanical Gardens. Everything was fine with set up, Joan had arrived on time, was pushy most of the time didn't know if she thought she was being helpful but just in the way of things. Telling my mother how I had looked beautiful and get dressed, but I wasn't done with makeup and my daughter (which was my flower girl) HAD NOT ARRIVED and the person that was taking my daughter to the venue was my FATHER and BROTHER (who was (also to walk kora down the isle as my second flower girl) of course we cannot start if I'm missing all of them..the ceremony wasn't long at all, how it sounded it would last about an hour or 45 minutes to me but to only have it last 17-18 minutes? Then with what we had paid? I'm not too sure if it was worth it...It was beautiful and nice..Although I did not like how my guests were annoyed with her and how she thought she was "helping" wasn't..although if it's help to others perhaps the chemistry for our group with her wasn't blended well enough. Oh! And she hadnt dressed well, I wasn't pleased! I had cocktail attire..
Our entire very busy wedding season went beautifully with every couple expressing deep gratitude for our services until this final ceremony in late October. Picture a blustery Autumn day, chance of rain and windstorms approaching. Big plastic tarp has been set up, guests are waiting wearing overcoats, sitting in dampness. Fortunately, no rain. Altar isn't set up so I scrounge around for table, find stuff. Couples child is taking a nap 30 minutes away. I alert guests about delay. Upstairs bride and Mom are getting ready. An hour passes. Finally little one arrives, I help with dressing her, line everyone up, get groom's StepMom who hasn't been informed that she is walking in procession. Couple at interview didn't want any readings or poetry, a sand ceremony but nothing else. So ceremony is sweet and simple. I am dressed in elegant but warm clothing so I don't need to wear a coat. Velvet pants are appropriate from my perspective. Fortunately it doesn't rain.
I apologize for trying to help everything get ready in a timely fashion. That just wasn't possible. Every year there seems to be one wedding that is off in some way. I felt the lack of gratitude from both bride and groom here. I did the best I could given the circumstances but I suppose I could have waited downstairs with the rest of the guests until the wedding party appeared and let the bride's maid of honor deal with helping them cut tags off of all the clothing and accoutrements. I have had only two other weddings over the past 10 years where the guests waited for more than an hour for the ceremony to begin. It's a bit nerve-wracking. Lucky I didn't have another wedding scheduled right after this one.
Next time a couple comes to me saying they are thinking to be married in late October in an outdoor setting I will suggest they find a warm, cozy indoor venue. That's one of the lessons I take away from this experience. And to bring a good book along just in case this type of circumstance happens again.
Joanie from Your Personal Ceremony was the best! We were able to customize our wedding to really make it special for us.
Everything went beautifully, and we would highly recommend Joanie to anyone looking to create the perfect ceremony!
~Jake and Skyler
Thanks, Jake and Skyler!
We couldn’t have chosen a better person as our ceremony officant! Joanie exceeded our expectations with joy, comfort and support. She has a breadth and depth of different spiritual practices. We even told her where our honeymoon was and because she is well traveled she shared tips and literature with us. She also helped us with day of coordination and made sure what we told her was in order. She knew everyone’s names, joined us in dancing and had all of the legal paperwork ready. She made us feel really comfortable with her.
Thanks so much, Cal!
Joanie and Yehudah let us use their space for our ceremony. It was a beautiful day and we had our ceremony in their backyard. Before we got there, Joanie and Yehudah made sure everything was set up for us. We were able to use their home to get ready, we were able to play music. It was great to have met them and their home had the perfect energy for our ceremony. I highly recommend them.
Joanie married us on a beautiful autumn day. She was wonderful. She made sure we had many different options for writing our personal vows. We loved how helpful and accepting she was. Thank you Joanie!!!
Thanks, Ashley, for all the reviews you are posting today. So sweet! blessings and love, Joanie
We chose to have both Joanie and Yehudah officiate our wedding. They were great, and they both have such a loving energy; it was truly a pleasure to work with them in making our ceremony a beautiful moment. Joanie kept us on track in getting our wedding ceremony written, and vows finalized. We were provided with a lot of material to help guide us (other wedding ceremonies, ring vows, how to write your own wedding vows, etc), which really gave us direction, and helped us plan the content of our ceremony.
Joanie and Yehudah are open to whatever you choose to do; whether you leave the ceremony entirely up to them to craft with your input, or they gladly work alongside you if you wish to co-create something more complex. Having a truly personalized ceremony was one of the most special aspects of our wedding.
We chose to forego a rehearsal, as our wedding was quite small (30 people), but on our wedding day, they took the stress away of instructing our wedding party in how they would proceed down the isle, etc, so I felt more relaxed!
Overall, they helped make our ceremony exactly the way we wished it to be, and I appreciate both of their lovely spirits being present to officiate our special day. So many guests commented that it was one of the most beautiful ceremonies they had seen.
Thanks again, Amber, for all your reviews and this Thumbtack review. Hope all is well. blessings, Joanie Levine
We found Joanie online when we decided to elope to Portland. She was prompt and professional with her emails to us. She sent us some great ideas for our vows and our ceremony ultimately turned out just his we imagined. She out us at ease no was the perfect officiant for us. If you're looking for someone in the Portland area, we nightly recommend Joanie!
Thanks so much for your review on Thumbtack! Hope all is well, Joanie Levine
We loved working with Joanine she was responsive and kept us on top of our deadlines. We had the most beautiful ceremony, that was unique and different. I highly recommend using personal ceremony.
thanks so much, Courtney! Joanie
Joanie was our wedding officiant on 7/27, and she was incredible. We happen to be non-religious, and she helped us to create a ceremony that was by all accounts spiritual, meaningful, and perfect for us. Joanie's knowledge, experience, flexibility, and demeanor made her an absolute joy to work with. I would recommend her to anyone.
Thanks so much, Kyle. Your wedding was one of the highlights of the summer! Joanie
We got married 8/04 on a farm, and Joanie was amazing. We are very free spirited, indecisive people and she guided us every step of the way. We had a beautiful, heart felt ceremony that couldn't have been more perfect for us. We laughed, we cried, and it was magical.
Thanks so much, Amanda! Joanie
My husband and I got married recently 08/17/13 We contacted Joanie to be our officiant in our ceremony and we couldn't have be any happier! She was great! She had great ideas for our ceremony and she even worked with out budget! We highly recommend her!
Thanks, again, Liz, for all your reviews and especially this Thumbtack review. Hope all is well, Joanie Levine
Joanie was FANTASTIC! Everything that she did for my partner and I was specific to our needs and what worked best for us as a couple. With short notice she was able to meet with us and marry us in the location of our choosing. We could not have asked for a better officiant or person to marry us.
Thanks, Katie, for your Thumbtack review from August! Hope all is well!
Joan worked with the budget that we had, when we met with her she had such great ideas on poems for the ceremony and what order things should go in. I was nervous on the wedding day about things falling into place, she helped calm me down and focus on what the day was about, which was me and my husband. The day turned out to be the most amazing day ever, if we re-new our vows we'll be giving her a call again. Thank-you again Joan
Thanks, Robert, for your Thumbtack review in May! Hope all is well! Joanie
We wanted a simple elopement and Joan officiated beautifully. We felt so welcome in her home even with our toddler running around like mad. It was a lovely ceremony that exceeded our expectations. We are so happy that we chose Joan and Your Personal Ceremony. It was perfect, they even took photos for us.
Joanie married us on July 7th 2012. She helped us organize our thoughts into a very personal and intimate ceremony. It was lovely and we were very happy with how she handled our wedding. Thanks so much!
Pros: Accommodating, Calm, Professional, Open-Minded, Sliding-Scale Fee
In February 2012, I contacted Your Personal Ceremony after finding their website online. I was looking for a non-religious officiant for my wedding who was still spiritual and familiar with ritual. Response was prompt from Joanie and soon we set up an appointment to meet with her at her home. The sliding scale fee made it possible for us to afford having the kind of wedding ceremony we wanted. When creating our ceremony she had a wealth of ideas but remained open to anything we wanted to do. She quickly responded to any email of questions or requests to make changes. She kept us organized and on track with deadlines and reminders. On the day of the wedding she came fully prepared and was a calming center for me. I was completely terrified of getting in front of people and right before the ceremony she came and held my hands and did a mini-meditation exercise with me and gave me great advice which really pulled me together and helped me keep it together during the whole ceremony. Overall, my experience with Your Personal Ceremony was positive. My only regret is that I wasn't able to get to know Joanie more- likely due to my own aloofness. We received so many compliments on the ceremony! Everyone said it was one of the best and most unique weddings they had ever been to. I will definitely use Your Personal Ceremony again for any ceremonial needs that I have in the future.
Thanks, Britta! Joanie
Joanie was wonderful. She helped us identify the parts of the ceremony that we felt most strongly about, and by providing us with thoughtful suggestions to personalize those parts, she helped create a memorable ceremony that truly reflected our beliefs and traditions. We were hesitant about working with an officiant over long-distance (we don't live in Oregon), but through phone conversations, email exchanges, and one in-person meeting, Joanie made us feel comfortable and confident that the ceremony we were creating with her was personal and meaningful. I would definitely recommend Your Personal Ceremony, especially for interfaith couples who wish to include in their ceremony elements from different faiths.
A. J. F.
Thanks so much for the review and hope you had a fantastic honeymoon!
We first met Joanie and Yehuda, in the fall of 2009, at their home for tea and conversation. We talked about how to create the perfect Jewish/Episcopalian ceremony, a process I thought would be difficult – one, because I had no idea how to begin two, because we lived out of state and three, because we were not extremely religious. The two assured us that they had many ideas for us and not to worry – we would come up with something that made sense and suited our situation. Over the course of a few months, we created a ceremony over email, and revised it with Joanie a few times. On the day of our wedding, Yehuda officiated and delivered a beautiful ceremony, which was perfect for us. Our friends and family also loved it and still talk about it to this day.
If you are looking for two warm individuals who are easy to be with and can help you create a perfect day to remember, you must call Joanie and Yehuda. They will make the process easy and you will enjoy their company in the process.
thanks so very much for your review!
Working with Joanie on our wedding was absolutely amazing! Joanie co-officiated with my husband's family's pastor and it could not have gone better. She also reviewed the language on our ketubah for us, which I very much appreciated as we have it displayed in our home. Joanie was diligent, extremely attentive, positive and incredibly helpful every step of the way. She helped us create a ceremony that was a perfect blend of Judaism and Christianity while not being too long or religious for us. After sitting through a number of weddings the year before ours that had long and cookie cutter ceremonies Joanie really helped us make the ceremony a unique and individualized experience. 3 years later my husband and I still get compliments from family and friends about our ceremony.
Joanie and Yehudah performed a wonderful interfaith and inter-nationality ceremony for us during the summer of 2011. They were great to work with as we wove together Jewish, Christian, American, and Caribbean traditions into one coherent ceremony (all while keeping it short and sweet!). We were also able to put together a ceremony that pleased both our religious and non-religious friends and family.
We would highly recommend them to any couple looking for a highly customized, completely personal wedding ceremony. Their experience provides enough structure to ease the ceremony development process along, while retaining enough flexibility to let the personality of the couples to truly shine through. You won’t be disappointed!
My husband Corey and I had a wonderful experience with Your Personal Ceremony’s. When we first started looking for Officiant’s, we we’re both on the same page that we needed to find one that understood both of us. We are not religious and NOT anywhere close to traditional. We were planning to have a 1920’s Themed Wedding and wanted to dance down the aisle. When we first met with Joanie, we knew she was the one!! She was sooo excited to help plan our Ceremony, she was even excited to dress in her 1920’s attire. We met with Joanie about 2 months before Our Wedding to finalize all the details when we found out that she loved to swing dance, which was PERFECT because we needed help with our FIRST DANCE!! Not only did she help out but she Choreographed our entire dance. If you knew my husband you would think 2 months to perfect our first dance would be impossible!! But Joanie was such a big help and because of her our FIRST DANCE was sooo AMAZING!! It was the talk of the Wedding!! I would recommend Your Personal Ceremony to anyone looking forward to having a wonderful wedding ceremony.
Joanie was such a joy to work with….
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
Joanie took our last minute wedding and made it calm and collected. She provided us with great options over the phone and was well prepared on our wedding day even though we were not. Her calmness was much appreciated through the chaos of the day. Having an experienced officiant made all the difference!
We had a wonderful experience with Your Personal Ceremony. We met with Joanie and Ana early on to discuss what we wanted in a ceremony, what was important to us and what had drawn us together in the first place. Reminiscing about the early days of our relationship was a delightful highlight during the wedding planning! They were with us every step of the way helping to put together a ceremony that reflected us perfectly. We are not religious people and drew on imagery of the Earth and our community-- they helped us incorporate these things. On our wedding day, Ana conducted our ceremony with grace, humor, and spirituality that made us feel "really married". On the practical side, YPC was a pleasure to work with and they worked well with our other vendors to make the whole day a great success.
I enjoyed the ceremony you performed for Richard and Olesya on June 1, 2010 at Ray's Boathouse, Seattle, WA. It was very touching.
Being a couple of mixed nationality and religion, our challenge in planning our wedding ceremony was finding an officiate who could provide a non-denominational, yet spiritual, ceremony. The ceremony not only had to satisfy both of us, but also our (very religious) immediate family members. We interviewed a number of officiates, but as soon as we met Joanie and Yehudah we felt a connection. They were completely professional at our initial meeting and came prepared with sample ceremonies and were full of helpful ideas and inspirations. They immediately understood our situation, and took the time to get to know both of us individually and then how we fit as a couple. This helped them to guide the ceremony planning process, and over the course of a few months through email communication we put together the perfect plan. They truly want you to create “your personal ceremony” by using their expertise and combining it with your vision. They also conduct the Rehearsal, which was an extremely helpful event. My husband and I were able to practice everything that was involved with the ceremony, discuss timing, and it allowed us to be completely comfortable on our wedding day. We were lucky to have both Joanie and Yehudah as officiates for the wedding, and the dynamic of the two of them combined with their meaningful and perfectly timed delivery of the ceremony was amazing. The ceremony was everything we could have dreamed of, and Your Personal Ceremony is responsible for that. We will never forget this most cherished part of our wedding day.
Thank you so very much Joanie and Yehudah, we will never forget you!
Jayne & Armando Tirado
We struggled all around Portland looking for the perfect interfaith wedding officiant. We asked christians and jews alike to design a wedding that would support both of us. We found Joanie and Yehudah after, time and time again we were pointed in their direction. We are beyond happy with the ceremony that they helped us put together. I even spent a quiet afternoon in their home, having a cup of tea with Joanie working out my personal vows.
They are a wonderful couple who put a lot of attention into exactly what you are looking for. Three years later, people still talk about how wonderful it was.
Joanie did a wonderful job officiating at our wedding. She was very warm and personable and respected our wishes while giving us some great ceremony ideas. We highly recommend her for your special day!
A. Our niche is personalized wedding ceremonies, especially interfaith weddings. We also do elopements in our living room or backyard. Ana Villarqui is our Spanish, Bi-lingual Wedding Officiant available for Hispanic wedding ceremonies. We have married couples in prison, jail and even one death-bed wedding. Mostly we create non-denominational personalized wedding ceremonies and help each couple create a very special wedding ceremony unique to them. We provide rehearsal guidance, file the legal papers, and send each couple a final copy of their ceremony on parchment paper. Our couples become our very dear friends through the process of creating their wedding ceremony, one that they and their guests will remember for years to come.
A. Yehudah and I co-officiated a Celtic ceremony that a couple worked very hard to make their own, with lots of thought and research. It was gorgeous - and was a good one for two people to officiate together.
Another favorite from 2013 was at Mt. Hood B&B. The bride and groom decided to allow the whole wedding party to ditch shoes and walk down the aisle barefoot in the grass! The bride came up to me in tears at how loving the day was, how much she was receiving from everybody at a heart level. That was very touching for her to share with me!
A third was in our very own backyard, a small, intimate ceremony, another Celtic wedding. It felt so wonderful that this couple, who drove down from Olympia, WA, was able to have a private, personal ceremony in the gorgeousness of our lush backyard. It felt good to provide that opportunity for them.
A. Really think about the kind of ceremony you want rather than the cost of the officiant. We are among the best in Portland - and so you might need to pay a bit more for a quality wedding ceremony.
A. If you are truly on a very tight budget we are happy to negotiate with you. So really go for the quality you want - and maybe pick a less expensive cake! And there are amazingly reasonable venues to pick out there - just consult with people like us who know all the places around where you can get married. We are a very good resource. Use us!
A. How many weddings do you do per year? Where do you officiate? How many years have you been providing your services? Do you create a new ceremony for each couple or do you have a pre-set ceremony that we can choose from that might be less expensive for us? How many times can we meet with you before the wedding and how available will you be day of the ceremony?
A. We truly listen to who you are as a couple and help you personalize your ceremony, including the tone of the language. We co-create the ceremony with you - so people think that we have known you as a friend rather than someone you hired through the internet. And we really are available to help out day of - with details at both the ceremony and the reception. We go the extra mile for you as a couple. Plus we are both very personable and creative - and really care about people. We don't charge you extra if there's a time glitch or the bride's brother from Israel is lost in the city and get there half hour late. We really do care about the quality of the experience for everyone present.
A. We just love meeting with couples. This is such an important day in your lives that we are planning together, a joyous occasion. We are good at helping couples feel grounded and together day of, so they really DO have a memorable wedding day.
A. There are many people who put out that they do wedding ceremonies, but not many that truly do a good job. We have heard nightmare stories from people whose relative hired someone cheap who was just that - cheap. Its important to be discerning about who you hire.
A. My greatest strength is flexibility and groundedness. I am able to go with the flow, to honor a couple's timing as the ceremony comes together, and to provide them with a gentle, grounded presence the day of the ceremony. That is invaluable when the day can be so stressful.