Stephen Macht

Beverly Hills, CA

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About this pro

How does your business stand out?

I have a Ph.D. in Dramatic Literature, was a former tenured Professor of Drama at Smith College and Queens College of the City University of New York and have over a 40 year track record as an actor in the entertainment industry. With my Masters in Jewish Studies, I bring a unique Chaplain's lens to focus on the most important elements of all life cycle events.

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

I am truly blessed by each person who allows me to serve.

Location

Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Background check

Complete

Years in business

21

Number of employees

1

Times hired on Thumbtack

22

Reviews

19 Reviews
  • Eli R. Aug 30, 2017
    Wedding Officiant
    Verified Review
    When you really step back and think about it, the ceremony itself carries the most importance and meaning of the day. At least, that was the case for me and fiance at the time of planning our wedding. Our guests were absolutely impressed with Stephen's delivery of our ceremony and described it as magical. He told our love story in a way that made people laugh, cry, reflect, feel engaged, feel sentimental, feel excited and happy. Not to mention, he has an exceptional voice for storytelling. Throughout the process, Stephen was very caring, professional, approachable, and receptive to our vision for the ceremony. Rest assured, he will deliver a ceremony that you and your guests will remember for a lifetime.
  • William I. Aug 2, 2017
    All of the above! It is with great pleasure and our sincere appreciation to praise Steven as our wedding officiant. His experience was invaluable guiding us through our special day. Our event coordinator recommended him, wow, how lucky we were. From our initial conversation he showed us the comprehensive and detail process it was to develop such a meaningful ceremony. You did it all with sincerity , plus some laughter, always with a smile in your voice. There was much praise from our friends for his handling of the ketubah ceremony.
  • Todd B. Jul 21, 2017
    Wedding Officiant
    Verified Review
    Due to marriage laws in Australia not allowing same-sex couples to wed, my partner and I were required to travel abroad in order to get married. We chose the United States and Los Angeles in particular, as our destination. Obviously, coming from across the other side of the world and not having any chance to meet with any of our service providers for the wedding is a bit risk but thankfully for us, the risk paid off; especially in regards to our officiant, Stephen Macht. We found Stephen using the website thumbtack.com from which we had a number of different officiants send through quotes. What made us choose Stephen was his emphasis on, not only the deep and meaningful parts of a relationship, but the humorous, light hearted side too. We both value humor in our relationship, so only felt it was right to have somebody marry us who also places an emphasis on this. The process of working with Stephen could not have been easier, even considering the distance between us. We started off by individually completing a questionnaire that Stephen sent through answering questions about ‘our story’. Stephen encouraged us to answer these on our own and not share with each other until they were done. We decided to wait until Stephen sent back the first draft of his speech and were so glad we did, as he really captured everything of importance, mixing the romantic and humorous factors. There were only minor changes that needed to be made to the first draft, but these were mostly due to unfamiliarity with place names and locations in Australia- which obviously Stephen is not expected to know off. Once these corrections were made, the final draft was complete. Even though we had obviously read through Stephen’s remarks numerous times before the ceremony, hearing them on the big day with Stephen’s passion transformed them once again. Friends and family, who had flown over from Australia, had approached us afterwards and specifically mentioned how great Stephen was. We were married mid afternoon in the Los Angeles summer but the heat was practically forgotten due to Stephen’s ability to captivate everybody in attendance. We could not have been more happy with our choice to have Stephen as our officiant and could really feel the importance he placed on working on our ceremony.
  • Kristine K. Apr 19, 2017
    Amazing ceremony!
    Stephan worked with us to create the beautiful script for our non religious ceremony. He added humorous elements as well as more emotional, touching elements. He was always responsive to emails throughout the process. At the reception and after the wedding, all I heard was compliments on how moving the ceremony was. I highly recommend Stephen as your officiant!
  • Daniel R. Apr 3, 2017
    Stephen Is The Best
    After a horrible experience meeting with Elizabeth Oakes, my fiancee (now wife) hired Stephen to officiate our wedding ceremony. It was easily the best decision we made during our wedding planning process. From start to finish, Stephen was extremely responsive and guided us through the process of creating a very original, unique, and personal ceremony. After the ceremony, many of our guests commented that it was the best ceremony they had ever seen because it really told the story of us as a couple. Stephen is willing to write (and rewrite) a script to your specifications, and is flexible enough to incorporate as much (or as little) spirituality or religiosity. The ceremony was one of the highlights of our wedding day, and something we will never forget.
  • Azzi K. Apr 3, 2017
    Just like the movies.
    Meeting Stephen and going through the entire process was so easy, fun and a wonderful experience. He has really created a unique way of conducting the ceremony. Our guests were complementary all night. We were requested to answer a questionnaire separately and then he takes the two and puts together an incredible story. The ceremony took our guests through the course of our love story and they were able to become a part of that story. He truly made our wedding memorable and only 9 days after we are still getting requests to share his information.
  • Michele S. Feb 10, 2017
    Jewish Wedding Officiant
    Verified Review
    Beautiful and Touching Ceremony!!
    When we read Stephen's profile we wondered "would this ceremony be traditional" "would it be warm, touching and yet memorable"......all we can say is WOW.  From our very first conversation, Stephen made us feel like family....it was as if he were a longtime family friend. We live on the east coast, so we had a lot of moving parts coordinating our wedding long distance. Yet Stephen made himself available to meet during our jam packed trip to LA finalizing plans. It was a pleasure working with him on our ceremony and vows. Stephen employs an ingenious technique when writing a service. He had us answer questions which helped him weave our story together in a seamless manner. The end result was a beautiful, touching and, at times, humorous ceremony which was meaningful to us as well as our family and guests. We would highly recommend Stephen for anyone looking for a personalized ceremony. Michele and Jeff Strumeier
  • Kristen K. Jan 27, 2017
    Wedding Officiant
    Verified Review
    "Your wedding officiant was awesome!!" - Almost every quest at my wedding
    Stephen is a wonderful wedding officiant that will bring humor and heart to your ceremony. He gets to know you as a couple, and works with you so he's more of a friend than a 'hired professional' at your wedding. He is also very punctual; he was early to the rehearsal and the wedding! Almost every guest came up to me at the wedding and told me that he was one of the best wedding officiants they had ever seen! Do yourself a favor, hire Stephen and cross something off your list!
  • Amy L. Oct 31, 2016
    If you are looking for someone who is not boring, and someone who's going to get make your ceremony memorable...Stephen is YOUR guy!
    Words can not describe how thankful we were to have Stephen perform our wedding ceremony. It was such a pleasure to work with Stephen, from the first exchanges through email, to our in person meeting, to the day of our wedding. Stephen was professional, engaging, personable, genuinely excited to help us create our ceremony, and just made us feel like we could have someone on our side through all the crazy planning process. When we searched for an officiant we were looking for someone who was going to engaging, providing the audience with a presence, someone who could tell our story and not make it boring. We had searched online with a few other individuals, but we knew he was everything we were looking for. During the process he answered questions in a very timely manner and made himself available to us. Meeting him for the first time was like meeting a old friend. He was very kind and engaging, patient, and our discussions were very easy and free flowing. On the day of the ceremony he arrived on time as we had discussed and he made us feel at ease. After the ceremony, so many friends and family came to tell us how much they loved hearing Stephen tell our love story. They laughed and definitely had a few tears, but everyone said how beautiful and amazing it was. It was definitely thanks to Stephen. He truly had the crowd wanting more and he had this amazing presence which made everything seem prefect. It flowed very well with our sand ceremony as well as our vows. If you are looking for an amazing ceremony, someone who can truly tell your story, someone who is going to deliver what they promised and then some, Stephen is your guy! Thank you so much Stephen for such a magical, beautiful, amazing ceremony. We are are so grateful that you were apart of our special day!
  • Heather F. Sep 11, 2016
    The perfect wedding ceremony
    Stephen played a key role in making our wedding special and memorable. This started well before the wedding day, though, when he got to know the foundation of our relationship through conversations and questionnaires in person and through emails. He was patient with us and helped us to explore what made our relationship strong and what we saw for ourselves as a family in the future. He then applied that knowledge to create a unique and intimate ceremony. To this day friends and family remark on what an engaging and personable officiant he was. And the most beautiful part of the experience is that there is and will continue to be a relationship between Stephen and us. He genuinely cares and it shines through in his work.
  • Angelica O. Aug 26, 2016
    Stephen was our wedding officiant for our wedding this past June and everything about the experience in working with him was an absolute joy. He was professional, kind, fun to work with. Stephen made our wedding so personal and special that he had everyone in attendance laughing and crying. It was so amazing and couldn't have asked for anything better. He definitely took the time to listen to our needs and wants to make the ceremony our own, which really meant a lot. Everyone after asked us how we found him and that we had the best wedding ceremony they had ever been to.
  • John M. May 17, 2016
    It's simply going to be impossible to convey with words...what an amazing job Stephen did on our big day...but I'll try. From the very first phone call between Stephen, Jen and myself...we knew instantly we found our man. Charming, witty, and comforting are the words to best describe his demeanor and style. From start to finish it was a seamless and enjoyable process...all thanks to Stephen and his guidance. Our first phone call with him lasted over an hour...it was as if we had known each other for years. He was engaging and asked the best questions. Like he really did care...not just going through the motions. He took interest in our lives, our paths, and how we got to the point of saying ' I Do ' I won't go into details about how he goes about getting to know you both better...I will let it be a surprise...just know it was a fun task...sort of like Bride and Groom homework. And the information he culls from your homework will make your big day personal, witty, and a lot of fun. Jen and I could not have found a more perfect person to marry us...The way he took the time to know us, communicate with us, and guide us was memorable. We can never thank him enough...for making our wedding day not only amazing for Jen and I...but for our guests as well. Everyone fell in love with him! So...I'm going to tell you all now...this is your man. Trust me...not only did he marry us...it's like we have a friend for life in Stephen.
  • Honey M. Mar 17, 2016
    Stephen is amazingly talented, professional and personable. He is just plain and simple awesome! My husband and I could not have asked for a better person to officiate our one love interfaith wedding. Stephen took his time to get to know us. He met with us, had a clear understanding of our desires and what we wanted our guests to take away from the ceremony. He delivered a truly memorable, heart felt opening speech and overall ceremony. He worked well with our second officiant and managed to keep everything short and sweet, just like we wanted! Our guests raved about him. He was generous in his rate and flexible with with his schedule. He stayed involved in all aspects of our wedding and even managed to bless us with a wedding rehearsal. We could not have imagined our dream wedding without him and are happy to be able to call him our friend. Thank you Stephen!!! Love Honey & Ross
  • Dana M. Feb 14, 2016
    Stephen Macht officiated our wedding ceremony, but he was much more than just an officiant. He gave our ceremony—and the entire day—the feeling of warmth, openness, personality, and distinctiveness that we wanted. We wanted a wedding based in Jewish values, but we did not want a traditional ceremony, and Stephen was very open to this, working with us to make our ceremony customized to our blended family background. Stephen worked with us to come up with vows that were humorous, offbeat, personalized, and true to us and our values. It’s no coincidence that Stephen is a classically trained actor with a years of stage, film, and television experience, and a PhD in dramatic literature. He has charisma and stage presence, and he captivated our guests—even the kids! He injected humor and personal stories into his words, and made everyone feel at ease. We felt that our wedding was unique and memorable, and it wouldn’t have been the same without Stephen!
  • Lauren L. Apr 14, 2015
    Wedding Officiant
    Verified Review
    Stephen was such a pleasure to work with. Although initially we had never met him, there was an instant connection and he made us all feel very special. He crafted the most beautiful ceremony, with our personal stories and input. His passion for what he does is very evident in his writing and delivery. He is a true professional yet the entire process felt very personal and attentive. I received phone calls and text messages the next day to say how beautiful and touching the ceremony was. I would gladly and highly recommend Stephen to anyone I know who's planning a wedding.
  • Sarah W. Mar 24, 2015
    Wedding Officiant
    Verified Review
    Stephen was absolutely outstanding!! Since the first communication with Stephen, we were so impressed by his care and interest in our wedding ceremony. We felt as though he had a very invested interest in us as a couple. He went above and beyond to make sure he knew us in order to create a beautiful ceremony speech. We had much communication with Stephen and he was always extremely prompt by email whenever we had any questions. We were married in Santa Monica - our limos were late for pickup and he was so understanding and waited for us without question and made us less stressed in a very stressful situation. I cannot say enough amazing things about Stephen - we are so ecstatic that he was able to share in our celebration and will forever be a memory of ours and his. If you are having a wedding ceremony around Beverly Hills or Santa Monica - you MUST have Stephen as your officiant!!!!
  • Vlada D. Jan 27, 2015
    Wedding Officiant
    Verified Review
    Dear Stephen, Thank you so much for officiating our wedding on 1/23/15. I'm very pleased with your service and your professionalism. We will definitely recommend you to all our family & friends. Thanks a Million, Vlada
  • Rachel B. Oct 28, 2014
    Wedding Officiant
    Verified Review
    We had a great pleasure working with Stephen Macht. With pleasure, we mean it literally – we enjoyed talking to Stephen throughout the ceremony planning process. The ceremony program was carefully tailored for us. It was well planned, and we received many complements from our friends and family. Very nicely done, thanks to Stephen. To give some perspectives, we had interviewed several other officiants before Stephen. Chemistry was never there. When we asked about potentially attending the rehearsal, most of these officiants brought up the fact that they have officiated 30+ weddings, and that a rehearsal is not needed. They sounded neutral to rather unenthusiastic and would add hefty extra charge for it. With Stephen, is different. During our first conversation on the phone, the focus was about getting to know us, for us to get to know him, and discussion on what is really important for the wedding. There is no rush, no pressure and no hassle. Stephen will express what he thinks it’s best, and yet open in the same time for what we think will create the best moments for our own unique wedding. Stephen came to the rehearsal prepared with what we have discussed as a team, and was able to direct the rehearsal and ensured the parents and bridal party knew what they have to do during the ceremony. The lesson we’d like to share to you - soon-to-be bride & groom - is to not be afraid to ask fundamental questions at the interview. This is no business, it’s your wedding. In our experience, some officiants have a difficult time to give answers when we asked what they like about officiating a ceremony for strangers. When we chatted with Stephen, he gave a bright, passionate answer – a very philosophical answer that stemmed from his own experience. We felt like we could relate to Stephen and learn from him. We had a good time working with Stephen and getting to know him. Good energy. Not overwhelming, but enough to keep the wedding in a fun tone, yet meaningful. Great job, Stephen! -Jeff & Rachel
  • Talie G. Oct 16, 2014
    Wedding Officiant
    Verified Review

Q&A

What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
Marriage Fee: Includes • three 2-hour meetings to get to know the participants • individual questionnaires • advice and marriage counseling • co-ordination with the wedding planner • rehearsal • wedding ceremony. $600.00+ (sliding-scale based on financial need) Expenses: airfare, hotel and food. Bar/Bat Mitzvah: Contact me for prices for customized bar and bat mitzvah training.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
see above
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have an BA, MA and PhD in dramatic literature, and an MA in Jewish Studies. I am an ordained Chaplain. I continually study every day by reading commentaries of great scholars on important questions regarding all life-cycle events. I continue to teach and share sermons. My 50-year career as a professional actor informs my ability to communicate passionately and clearly.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
After surviving a near fatal car accident, where I felt some form of spiritual intervention rescued my wife and me, I felt the need to pursue opportunities to serve others. I began a course of religious study and earned my M.A. in Jewish Studies and was ordained a Chaplain. I make my living as both an actor, and life-cycle officiant.
What types of customers have you worked with?
I officiate inclusive life-cycle events for multi-cultural, traditional, and non-traditional families, as well as interfaith, non-denominational, secular, and LGBTQ people. I conduct marriages, funerals, baby namings, and bar and bat mitzvahs. I also write and deliver commentary on biblical passages at the synagogues around Los Angeles.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
I’ll answer this question by highlighting a recent review that one of my couples sent me which outlines how I create the ceremony with you. "Working with Stephen Macht was really extremely easy and stress-free.” We begin the process with an interview, “He didn't know us very well to start with, so he asked via e-mail some brief questions about our relationship and how we have grown to feel about each other.” From your responses, I then write a first draft of your ceremony. “We were encouraged to modify, add and subtract whatever we wanted from this starting point. And he was always very respectful and attentive to our desires.” Then we fine tune the ceremony and order of events. “What was exceptional about Stephen was how he was able to expertly… modify the traditional [wedding structure] so that they fit perfectly with our overall theme and felt really right for everyone who participated in the ceremony.” Finally, "He also walked us through our rehearsal perfectly putting us at ease despite the pouring rain."
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Ask questions of the celebrant to see how he/she manages to bring the magnitude of his/her tradition to the simple, but very complex ceremony and seamlessly provide an occasion with which the individual can feel well served. How does the celebrant make the universal particular and relevant to the customer?
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
I look forward to exploring with you the history of your relationship, who you are as individuals and your dreams for both your wedding and your future lives together. In this way, we craft a ceremony that presents you and your relationship to your relatives and friends through a deep and joyous celebration.