First, let me congratulate you both on your upcoming nuptials! And, thank you in advance for considering me as the officiant for your special day.
I'm an ordained, non-denominational Minister and wedding officiant, and have performed weddings for both straight and LGBT couples in a variety of settings, and some with very unique themes. I'm based out of Pittsburgh, but am able to perform ceremonies in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. I consider myself to be progressively alternative in my beliefs and appearance, but can easily tone it down to match the ambience and feeling of the ceremony. Some couples want me in a tuxedo or suit, while others want a Celtic feel and request that I wear a kilt. I am of Scottish and Irish heritage, and have been called "leprechaun" more times than I can count. Sorry, I do not have a cool accent.
I'm often asked how I started officiating weddings. Two of my closest friends were getting married, and yeah, I expected to be asked to step up as a groomsman. I was shocked and honored to be asked instead to be the officiant for their wedding ceremony. I had not considered doing something like that previously, and of course took it very seriously. I wrote the vows with the couple's feedback, and included a handfasting. I became ordained and received the necessary credentials for conducting ceremonies in the State of Texas. Luckily, I've had lots of practice speaking in front of large groups of people. The wedding ceremony was beautiful, and I teared up watching two people I loved so much taking their relationship to the next level. I tear up at pretty much any wedding. It doesn't matter how long a couple has been together, they don't realize how much more connected it feels when you're proclaiming your love and commitment to one another in front of friends and family. I loved performing their wedding, and received so much positive feedback, that I began accepting referrals and requests to perform wedding ceremonies for other couples.
I look forward to guiding the two of you in the creation of a personal and custom wedding ceremony that speaks to who you are. Whether you want an intimate elopement consisting of a simple vow exchange, or a large celebration with family and friends, I can assist with creating a joyful and loving atmosphere. Traditional or contemporary, spiritual or non-secular, I will design something that feels true to you. I will be there to support you from the moment we decide to work together, and help you navigate your wedding journey so your day represents your individuality and uniqueness as a couple. Specialty ceremonies, such as handfasting and unity candle lighting, show that you are an inseparable couple, united as one, both spiritually and legally.
I have been a passionate and thoughtful educator for many years, which began while a soldier in the U.S. Army, teaching lifesaving skills to new recruits and active military members. I later pursued a career that gave me the opportunity to help others grow and become a better version of themselves, and reach their greatest potential. I hold degrees in Education, Healthcare Management, Psychology, and Sociology. My doctorate is in Education.
I invite you to contact me for a no-obligation meeting, either virtually or in person, to see if we are a good fit. Should we decide to work together, I will write your wedding vows with your guidance, based on our conversations, a questionnaire, and your feedback. That is the starting point for personalizing the vows to read how you want, and in a way that represents who you are. I can further adapt the vows to include special poems, readings, and singing. Together we will create your vows, and I will present a final draft for your approval. I will make sure your ceremony narrates your story in the style you want it told.
Having the honor to officiate a union that brings together two souls in marriage is a truly rewarding and fulfilling experience. I strive to bring passion and personalization to each ceremony, and to ensure your love story is told in way that is unique and special as the two of you.
— Dr. Steven Winsor