Our Leader, Jone Johnson Lewis, is available for weddings, memorial services, baby namings, and other life passage ceremonies. She can perform such ceremonies at the Meeting House (see Space Availability) or at another venue of your choosing, usually within 50 miles of Riverdale-Yonkers. If you are using our space, you can also bring the officiant of your choosing, or arrange for our Leader’s services.
Each ceremony is crafted with your participation, to make it truly unique and meaningful. People who’ve attended our ceremonies usually describe them as nonreligious, humanist, creative, or spiritual in tone. Many people include traditions from their culture, and many create new forms that fit who they are and how they see the world.
- For weddings, Ms. Lewis meets with the couple twice, 1-2 hours each meeting, once to get acquainted and decide together if it’s a good fit, and then again to craft together the ceremony itself.
- For memorial services, Ms. Lewis meets with family members or friends who are available, usually for 1-3 hours, to find out the needs and wishes of the family and to hear about the person whose life will be celebrated.
- Baby namings are usually planned in a single 1-2 hour meeting.
- If you have a different life passage ceremony to plan, talk with Ms. Lewis about what might be involved in the planning.
Fees and Appointments
Fees for ceremonies range from $300 – $1200. If the ceremony is more than 25 miles from Riverdale, additional travel compensation is included. Contact the office (718-548-4445) to check availability and to schedule an appointment to meet with Ms. Lewis if you are interested in her help in crafting a ceremony and presiding at your event. Be sure to mention the date and time of the ceremony if you are leaving a message.
Ms. Lewis can also perform “office weddings” on the beautiful grounds of or inside the Society. Such a ceremony can be arranged when Ms. Lewis and the space are available, with a single planning meeting with the couple, if the wedding involves fewer than 8 people, the ceremony is simple, there is minimal setup, no party or reception, and no other space usage is involved. Fees for such “office weddings” range from $150 to $300 and only require one to two weeks notice. Call and let us know what your needs are.
If you are interested in adding premarital counseling to your wedding ceremony, Ms. Lewis is also trained and experienced in that and willing to provide that service, usually 4-6 sessions for $350.
More About Our Officiant
Ms. Lewis has been creating and officiating at life passage ceremonies for more than 30 years. She is a certified Ethical Culture Leader, authorized to perform legal wedding ceremonies in that role. She was also trained and ordained as a Unitarian Universalist minister. More at: Jone Johnson Lewis