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12 years in business
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Jul - Dec
Wedding Officiant - Utica 2019
Photos and Videos
85 photos and 11 videos
Type of ceremony
Service type (affiliation)
Non-denominational (mentions God),
Non-religious (no mention of God)
Joseph was amazing from the first meeting all the way through our small ceremony. It was a great pleasure to have him as our wedding officiant. We would like to see him once again when our family will come together for our big ceremony next year. Highly recommended. Don't think twice to book him. You made our day truly special. It'll be remembered. Thanks for everything! Damla & GregJun 18, 2017Verified
Joseph was very responsive when I was inquiring about hiring an officiant. He drove nearly 2 hrs to attend my wedding. Along with being professional and polite I was well please with his service.Sep 22, 2017Verified
Very pleasant and professional experience. Would recommend to anyone needing a wedding officiant. Very accommodating ! Lokuta FamilyOct 2, 2016Verified
Mr. Kolakowski officiated our Commitment Ceremony. He was prompt, professional, and he explained things very thoroughly. But more importantly, we chose a blessing, which he delivered beautifully and meaningfully. He guided us through our vows, and he was articulate, helpful, and spiritual. He made our "wedding" day special and memorable, which we will always cherish.Jun 9, 2016Verified
Despite the horrid weather conditions that come into play with a January wedding, Joseph showed up in a timely manner. Leading up to our big day, he kept in touch, asked if I had any specific details he needed to acknowledge, and was very professional. I highly recommend him to anyone looking for an officiant that is punctual and cooperative. Side note; he allowed a family friend to do our service so it was extremely personal to us. Just a fun idea for anyone who doesn't want to go the traditional route.Jun 23, 2015VerifiedJoseph K., DD - Wedding Officiant & Public Speaker's reply
- What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?I usually ask 50 cents a mile each way (so $1 per mile one way), plus the thumbtack fee ($5 to $20 for weddings as thumbtack changed their policies, $15-$30 for motivational speaking, etc) plus a fee for the ceremony, which depends on many factors. My average fee with traveling is $150 to $350 for a civil or non-denomational wedding, and $250 to $950 for a Jewish wedding. I always offer to beat any other price quoted, even if my expenses aren't met. I do not charge for local weddings in my own town, but do accept any gift offered, which is usually between $40 to $150. I have done and will do free weddings if the couple comes to my home or office, or if I happen to be in the area. I usually do not do weddings on Friday evenings or Saturdays, but I can do so if there is lodging within walking distance, and i am able to sign paperwork before or after the sabbath. Generally, prices for Saturday weddings start at $500. I do not ask for a deposit, but if you mark me as hired and cancel within less than a month, there is a cancelation fee - usually $100, especially for a weekend ceremony. If it is less than a week, the cancellation fee is $175. In general, a wedding on a Sunday starts at $175, but could be lower if it is last minute and local. If you are further away (for example, in the Philadelphia area, Finger Lakes area, Harrisburg area, etc.) the price is $250 to $275 usually. Weekdays near Scranton or Monticello tend to start at $120 to $150, but could go lower, especially if it fits in my schedule. I do not answer email, text, or phone from sundown Friday night until about 105 minutes after sundown Saturday nights, nor major Jewish holidays. Cancellations made during that period are subject to full cost cancellation fees. I do not perform weddings in violation of Jewish law (two males, halachic Jews with non-Jews, Cohen to halachic divorcee or otherwise prohibited to Cohen, etc.). Marking me as hired, and/or giving me the time, place, and date of your wedding creates a contract between us. While i do not require deposits, i do request cancellation fees, particularly for Sunday weddings, especially if cancellation is made less than 72 hours before the scheduled time for wedding, unless we reschedule for a new time or date.
- What is your typical process for working with a new customer?Hopefully, I only do one wedding with you, but I can also do other services such as baptisms, baby blessings, funerals, memorials, bar and bat mitzvahs, and other services. I will send you some sample ceremonies and you can pick what you like, or add or subtract anything you like. I just basically need the address of the venue and a number to reach you in case I get lost. I do not require a deposit. I only perform weddings which are allowed by הלכה.
- What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?I am an ordained rabbi and I have a BA degree. I also work as a chaplain, and I serve a regularly established congregation, as is required by Pennsylvania law to perform all weddings. I am registered to perform weddings in NYC and Virginia, and am legally eligible to perform weddings which do not require registration or congregational affiliation for clergy, such as NJ, CT, MD, and most states.