Your Personal Ceremony

Portland, OR

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About this pro

How does your service stand out?

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.

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

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.
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Location

Portland, OR 97211

Years in business

21

Number of employees

3

Times hired on Thumbtack

13

Reviews

16 Reviews
  • Holly H. Oct 24, 2015
    I absolutely LOVED working with Joanie. First she met up with us back in March at her home to talk to us and have us fill out a questionnaire about ourselves. Then she went through the questionnaire and multiple different weddings and options to pick out for our vows. Once we had a good idea as to what we wanted, she wrote lots of notes and waited for our call-back to make sure we were for sure interested. Once we called her back and got the ball rolling, over the extent of the next several months (April to September) we emailed and talked back and forth with how we wanted the ceremony to go and FINALLY finalized everything and waited for the big day to come!! Once the day prior to the wedding came (during the rehearsal) she met up with us at the site and walked us through everything and verified everyone was doing what they needed to be doing. Then we all enjoyed a delicious dinner and carried!! Then came the big day, she was there in time and had met up with the DJ prior to make sure everything went nice and smooth and they were both on point. After the whole wedding ceremony we all met up signed papers, took pictures and finally all enjoyed some dinner and beverages. All in all Joanie was awesome and did a wonderful job, with no problems at all!! We are so thankful and grateful for the beautiful ceremony she provided for us!! I HIGHLY recommend "Your Personal Ceremony" to anyone that is in need of a officiate at their wedding. Thank you so much Joanie!!!
  • Erin E. Jul 22, 2015
    Wedding Officiant
    Verified Review
    Joanie was a pleasure to work with. She helped craft our Ceremony, took the lead when needed and even used her native drumming skills. She was prompt, friendly and professional. Highly recommended!
  • Chrystal H. Jun 19, 2015
    I feel like I was over charged. Also the appearance was a big issue. I understand the circumstances but literally looked like rolled out of bed. At the end of the day when you are doing a job it's always best to look very professional. I understand that it wasn't the greatest environment but it was my special day not ideal but mine and all I can remember is I was over charged and Joan looked like she just woke up out bed put her shoes on.
  • Carol G. Jun 8, 2015
    Joan was extremely professional, soothing, and made sure my very tiny wedding of 3 guests felt just as important as a wedding with 300 guests. She made sure each guest had an important role. I wish i could have her again for our much bigger wedding unfortuantely we will be out of state. I HIGHLY recommend her!! Carol Gonzalez
  • Cee T. Mar 27, 2015
    What a wonderful experience! Joanie made both of us feel completely at home from the get go. She's experienced and has the gift of making people feel comfortable. We appreciated all of the thoughtful touches that she added in from asking our input as to where and how the ceremony would be conducted before the wedding, to arranging for witnesses (we wanted to have a small private ceremony) to allowing us to have our dog present at our ceremony. It meant the world to us that she did as much as possible to get to know us, decrease our stress levels and to heighten the enjoyment of our day as much as possible. We picked the best possible officiant and we highly recommend her for all couples whether they are eloping, renewing their vows or looking for a skilled and kind officiant. Thank you for everything, Joanie!
  • Cassandra W. Mar 8, 2015
    We wanted a kid friendly, short and to the point ceremony. It was everything we were looking for. Joanie involved our 3 & 1 year old daughters by letting them blow bubbles after we kissed. The girls loved it and are still talking about it. I highly recommend sharing your special day with them!
  • Laura R. Feb 24, 2015
    Wedding Officiant
    Verified Review
    Joanie did our ceremony on 2/21/15. There was a few things here and there that backed up our time, our ceremony was supposed to start at 1pm but our dj never showed to play our music so we had to improvise. My daughter and mom were a little late too. Of course this was more technical, because other than that everything Joanie did was exactly what we wanted. She did our ceremony in both English and Spanish since we are Hispanic. She incorporated our six year old daughter in a sand ceremony that was so beautiful. Everything she did was perfect, she was great at communicating with us to make sure we had everything she was going to need us to bring that day. I definitely recommend her if you are planning your wedding ceremony. Joanie is a very loving and caring person, she will make your day very special. Thank you Joanie from the bottom of my heart for your beautiful work. Love, Laura, Luis and Mercedez Solis
  • Selina E. Oct 27, 2014
    Wedding Officiant
    Verified Review
    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..
    Replied to Selina E. - Nov 8, 2014

    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.

  • Jake R. Sep 30, 2014
    Wedding Officiant
    Verified Review
    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
    Replied to Jake R. - Nov 8, 2014

    Thanks, Jake and Skyler!

  • Cal L. Sep 8, 2014
    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.
    Replied to Cal L. - Nov 8, 2014

    Thanks so much, Cal!

  • Gera A. Mar 25, 2014
    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.
    Replied to Gera A. - Nov 8, 2014

    Thanks, Gera!

  • Ashley W. Nov 6, 2013
    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!!!
    Replied to Ashley W. - Nov 7, 2013

    Thanks, Ashley, for all the reviews you are posting today. So sweet! blessings and love, Joanie

  • Amber J. Sep 26, 2013
    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.
    Replied to Amber J. - Nov 7, 2013

    Thanks again, Amber, for all your reviews and this Thumbtack review. Hope all is well. blessings, Joanie Levine

  • Kira W. Sep 15, 2013
    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!
    Replied to Kira W. - Nov 7, 2013

    Hi Kira: Thanks so much for your review on Thumbtack! Hope all is well, Joanie Levine

  • Robert A. May 29, 2013
    Wedding Officiant
    Verified Review
    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
    Replied to Robert A. - Nov 7, 2013

    Thanks, Robert, for your Thumbtack review in May! Hope all is well! Joanie

  • Marielle M. Dec 31, 2012
    Wedding Officiant
    Verified Review
    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.

Q&A

What types of customers have you worked with?
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.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
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.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
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.