Barbara is a warm, caring and highly experienced officiant who has presided over hundreds of weddings in Central Park since 2011. As an ordained, interfaith minister, Barbara has been trained in officiating completely secular ceremonies, those that combine traditions, as well as those that are “spiritual but non-religious.” Why do couples choose her? Many say that Barbara seems to “get” them right from the start and that they immediately feel comfortable with her. They sense her confidence and her joy in the work she does. Barbara has no agenda of her own. She feels that her job is to carefully listen and reflect back what each unique couple wants, in the form of a beautiful, personalized wedding ceremony. It is not unusual for couples and their guests to remark, “We felt like she knew us for years!”
What inspired you to become a wedding officiant?
I had been working as a writer and executive assistant for many years. I was drawn to the idea of doing more joyful, people-oriented work, while utilizing my writing, public speaking and organizational skills. I was so right to make this change. I now get to assist loving couples on their journey to the altar, and then give them the “gift” of a wonderful ceremony on their wedding day. To me, it’s not a “job.” It’s my life’s calling!
Can you describe your approach to working with each wedding couple?
I’ll establish a connection via e-mail or phone. We’ll discuss the order of the ceremony, what you would like included (I have plenty of suggestions) and whether you will need help with writing your vows, if you choose to. It’s important that I get to know a little about you and the “tone” you would like for the ceremony- relaxed, formal, light and humorous, sacred. If you would like to view the ceremony I’ve written in advance, I am happy to share it with you. You can be as involved as you like, or leave it all to me. It’s up to you!
What do you enjoy about officiating weddings in Central Park?
Central Park is an incredible backdrop for a wedding, right in the middle of one of the most amazing cities in the world. Each location has its own energy and personality, from the grandness of the Conservatory Garden’s Wisteria Pergola, to the coziness of the hidden-away Wagner Cove, to the rustic charm of the vine-covered Cop Cot. Even after years of officiating, I always feel the magical effect of officiating in the open air in the midst of such natural beauty- and I know the couples and their guests feel it too.
Tell me about some of your most memorable weddings in Central Park or NYC!
What comes to mind is the first time I ever officiated in Central Park. The ceremony was on the romantic and iconic Bow Bridge. Both bride and groom had been through serious medical challenges. They had also both lost their spouses and suffered greatly for years. Then they found each other. I married them and their two lovely, supportive families and many tears of happiness were shed by all.
Then there was the first time I officiated a same sex marriage, when it finally became legal to do so in New York. The couple had been together for decades and were just overjoyed that they could finally be wed. It was the first of many but I remember it being very emotional.
To be honest, every wedding I have officiated has been emotional and memorable. It’s one of the most important days in a couple’s lifetime- and each of them has their own unique love story that has led them to the altar. I always feel privileged to be a witness to their joy.
“Reverend Barbara, was very kind, compassionate and personal. Mark and I could not be any happier with how well our ceremony turned out. Would greatly recommend her. Again, thank you“
– John & Mark
“If you want a ceremony that celebrates your love and your individual selves – Rev Barbara is the person for you. Since the first conversation, she was warm and extremely helpful. She paid attention to our (very different) cultures and our (very similar) ideologies and created a ceremony that was fun, relaxed, and full of love. She was very friendly and respectful to our guests as well. I cannot recommend her enough!”
“Rev Barbara was a fabulous choice from the moment we chose her up until our ceremony was over. She is kind and warm, just what you would want from an officiant. She made my husband (love to say that!) and I feel comfortable along the process and guided us when needed. We feel like we’ve known her forever. She was able to make some quick changes and give us plenty of advice from our vow to our ceremony location. I would recommend to use her as your officiant! I foresee her in our future for when it’s time to expand our family! Thank you for being so wonderful, Rev Barbara!“
“Barbara Nahmias is an unbelievably perfect officiant! She made our wedding extra special by being the exact officiant that we desired. We were behind schedule, but Barbara saved the day. After an initial (and fun) talk / consultation with my wife and I, she crafted the perfect ceremony, and was quick and accommodating to help us make a few small changes to make it perfect for us. She is extremely professional, very nice and caring, and worked hard and promptly to make sure we had the perfect ceremony.”
– Mike R.