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Laney Margolis, Humanist Celebrant
Laney Margolis, Humanist Celebrant

Laney Margolis, Humanist Celebrant

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Introduction: Humanist Celebrants are approved by the American Humanist Society to legally perform secular (non-religious) ceremonies in all 50 states. I perform weddings, unions, elopements, vow renewals, and engagement ceremonies. Please note that I provide officiant services only for people who wish to have a non-religious cermony - ceremonies that do not include prayers or mentions of God. If your event info lists a religious affiliation (such as Catholic, Christian, Muslim, etc) for the Service Type in your Thumbtack request, I will have to decline the referral unless your message to me specifically says you want a non-religious ceremony. I am available to travel within about an hour (70 miles) of Durham. Whether you’re looking for something quick in your own living room, garden, or park or something traditional in a wedding venue, I will help you create a beautiful, warm and unique ceremony that reflects you and your partner. I am a psychologist, professional writer and experienced public speaker who is easy to work with and well-organized; I am also deeply committed to inclusion and diversity and open to all types of unions. My prices start at $275 for a standard wedding ceremony. Rehearsal attendance is $120. A fully customized ceremony is an additional $250. As a licensed Clinical Psychologist, I am also available to do expert pre-marital counseling to help ensure that your marriage starts off on the best footing. I greatly enjoy my work as an officiant because I get to know and work with wonderful, interesting couples. It feels very touching and meaningful to share one of the most important days of their lives with them. As a psychologist, my usual work involves helping people who are in difficult circumstances; my work as an officiant is so joyful - it creates a great balance in my professional life. Finally, working as a secular officiant who embraces inclusion and diversity allows me to integrate some of my most deeply held personal values into my work life. Please note: Thumbtack charges service providers like me a fee when a customer who is a good match contacts me, regardless of whether the customer follows up. Please choose me only if you are very interested in my services so I will not have to pay unnecessary fees. That helps me to keep my prices in a reasonable range. Thanks so much 😊

Current Top Pro

Hired 15 times

3 similar jobs done near you

Background checked

1 employee

3 years in business

Payment methods

Cash, PayPal

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Currently a top pro

Top Pros are among the highest-rated, most popular professionals on Thumbtack.

Jan - Jun

This pro indicated that they reviewed CDC safety guidelines for COVID-19 and pledged to do the following:

Maintain 6 feet of distance from customers

Disinfect surfaces touched during the job

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Customers rated this pro highly for professionalism, work quality, and responsiveness.

Exceptional 5.0

16 reviews


Read reviews that mention:

Emily B.

Wedding Officiant

We could not have chosen a better officiant! I highly recommend Laney Margolis. We used the vows that she wrote because they were so beautiful and thoughtfully written. It rained on our wedding day and Laney was more than accommodating with her positive attitude and patience. Look no further, you’ve found the golden officiant!
Sep 2, 2020
Bonnie N.

Wedding Officiant

We cannot say enough praise about Laney Margolis, our wedding officiant from the Humanist Society. When the magistrate’s office closed due to the COVID pandemic, we had to put together a ceremony literally at the last minute, to be done in our garden with two witnesses and physical distancing. We also wanted to send it out to friends and family via Facebook Live. Laney worked with us to come up with a beautiful, humanist, handfasting ceremony that said all that we wanted. Thank you, Laney for a remarkable event under trying times.
Apr 20, 2020
Adym R.

Wedding Officiant

Love in the time of Covid comes with it's challenges! We were concerned about all the logistics of not only a wedding, but one with the extra considerations of the times we live in. Thank goodness for Laney! The words were moving and beautiful, everything was timed just right, and the help with ideas for our vows was so very appreciated. We chose to have the ceremony at our home and have family and friends join us by Zoom so there was a bit of a learning curve for the technical aspects. Even though we had no rehearsal, Laney met with us beforehand and put our minds at ease with all the important details of how the ceremony would go. She was right on time and we were so happy to have her share in our special day. Thank you, Laney! Adym and Julia
Oct 24, 2020
Lauren S.

Wedding Officiant

We loved working with Laney. She was incredibly professional, yet still personable and quirky. She really took the time to get to know us and learn our love story, which she narrated during our wedding ceremony. Our big day was so special and memorable thanks to her. Laney was also very respectful of COVID precautions. Thank you for a great experience, Laney!
Oct 20, 2020
Chris H.

Laney Margolis was an absolutely incredible officiant. We were planning our wedding from out of the country so we needed a professional who could work with us mostly through e-mail and Laney rose to that occasion flawlessly. She was always quick to respond to our e-mails and arranged video meetings via Skype so we could all get to know each other before meeting in person. She was also refreshingly honest; if we had an idea that she didn't feel would work out she would speak up and offer us alternatives. At the same time, however, she was very open to any suggestions we would bring up and really did everything she could to cater the wedding ceremony to meet our wishes. We cannot recommend Laney highly enough.
Laney Margolis, Humanist Celebrant's reply
Thank you Chris. Your wedding was so much fun. Best to you and Tatsumi,
Jun 22, 2020
Background Check

Arlane Margolis


  • What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?

    I provide officiant services and premarital counseling (as a licensed Clinical Psychologist). My prices for premarital counseling are $110 per session for the first two sessions, or $300 for a package of 3 sessions. Premarital counseling sessions are provided by video chat at this time. My prices for officiating weddings (and vow renewals) range from $250 for a traditional wedding ceremony with no customization (you can write your own vows or other parts of the ceremony or add a cultural/unity ceremony, but I will not write a personalized wedding) to $620 for a wedding that is highly customized and that includes a rehearsal. I charge $.60 per mile beyond the first 50 miles (25 miles each way) and I am happy to travel if the wedding is on the weekend. If the travel will be more than 2 hours one way, I will charge the cost of a moderate hotel room for 1 - 2 nights, depending on whether you need me to be present on two days (for a rehearsal) or one. If you do not wish to write personalized vows, I can provide some pre-written ones at no additional charge. I can write personalized vows for you, but there is an additional fee of $120 if I write them. Prices for funerals, baby-naming and other ceremonies are provided upon request.

  • What is your typical process for working with a new customer?

    Typically, I email with customers back and forth once they make initial contact and if they would like to work with me, we will set up a video chat to discuss the wedding or other services (such as premarital counseling or a memorial service) so I can give accurate pricing and understand their expectations. If there is little time between inquiry and the wedding or other ceremony date, we may decide through email to work together and then have a phone call later. If the service is premarital counseling, we will set up an appointment. Once a decision is made to work together for a wedding or other ceremony, I will email a contract and send an invoice for a retainer fee (half the cost of my services) and once I receive these things, the date is reserved. Typically, I will meet with the couple to get an idea of the wedding, their relationship, and what they want to include in the wedding. There will be other contact via email. About one month prior to the wedding, I will put together a wedding script draft and send it to the couple and we will communicate about changes. The wedding script will be finalized at least one week before the wedding. Payment for the remainder of the wedding fee will be invoiced one week prior to the wedding. I will perform the wedding and file the wedding license. The couple will provide a couple of pictures from the wedding when they are available shortly thereafter. This timeline changes if the wedding was booked with shorter notice and there are only weeks between contract and wedding. In any case, things happen as they should and the wedding will be wonderful.

  • What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

    I have a BA in writing and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and have been a writer, clinician, professor and public speaker for all of my career. I have been through a training program with the American Humanist Society specifically related to performing secular services. I am uniquely qualified to provide both secular officiant services and premarital counseling.

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