ruth ellen hasser wedding officiant

Marriage: “A Momentous Act of Self-Definition”

As the United States Supreme Court prepares to hear two cases next week involving same-sex marriage laws, it seems fitting to reprint an excerpt from Goodridge vs. Department of Health, the landmark Massachusetts case which found that same-sex couples have the right to marry in that state. I first became aware of this excerpt when […]

St. Louis Wedding Celebrant: Winter 2013

So, I started January with a nasty cold, followed by a restful vacation in California with my husband. Once home and healthy again, I met with seven couples last month, and I am happy to report that all seven hired me! That’s a nice beginning for the new year, indeed! Now it’s all about more […]

A Celebrant Wedding for Liz and Criss?

Last night on NBC’s 30 Rock, Tina Fey’s lead character Liz Lemon got married.  But this TV wedding had very little in common with most real weddings I’ve been to, and was unlike most TV weddings – period!  As I watched and laughed I couldn’t help but think, like the Celebrant that I am, “These […]

Blessing for a Marriage

I have just finished my final drafts for this weekend’s ceremonies.  For Saturday’s ceremony, Madison and Steve chose one of my favorite blessings, written by poet and Unity Church minister, James Dillet Freeman.  He is sometimes referred to as the “poet laureate to the moon” because his poems were taken there on two different missions, […]

Married in St. Louis: Forest Park

Covering  1,371 acres of prime city real estate,  Forest Park is known as the “heart of St. Louis.”   And how could it not be?  Opened in 1876 and host to both the 1904 World’s Fair and some 1904 Olympic events, this jewel of a park contains something for everyone, including  The Missouri History Museum, The St. […]

A Thanksgiving Wedding

Rock and I were married the day after Thanksgiving. It was a simple ceremony and church hall reception, but it was all that we needed it to be as we marked the official beginning of our marriage. This year we have the good fortune to be celebrating our 28th wedding anniversary. We are counting our […]

The Essentials

It was a small, simple gathering of family and friends. I stood on the porch of a lovely Illinois winery, wind at my back, with a spectacular view of the river. But it was the couple who held our attention. Their vows were straight from the heart, well-rehearsed but still spontaneous, celebrating the delight they […]

Graham Chapel Wedding: Allison & Christopher

They returned to where it all began. Allison and Chris chose to celebrate their marriage commitment to each other in the magnificent setting of Graham Chapel, on the Washington University campus where they met as undergrads. Check it out: Allison is wearing a family heirloom wedding dress, originally created for her great-great Grandmother Nellie Campbell […]

Butterfly House Wedding: Trisha & Justin

They found me on WeddingWire.com while looking for an officiant who would work with them in creating a ceremony that’s “…fun and represents who we are,” said Trisha when we first spoke. Her background is Catholic; his is Jewish, while both share an interest in Buddhist practices. I thoroughly enjoyed creating their ceremony with them […]

“Catering to You” Wedding: Sara & Marlon

Each time I “pronounce” a couple, I am a bit in awe of what they have just agreed to do and to be for one another. But every once in a while I am surprised by the emotions that show up in me in that moment, as they did recently at the wedding ceremony of […]