LIFE CYCLE CEREMONIES
There's really only one place to start when recommending Rita, and that's her authenticity (along with her kindness, attentiveness, respect, collaborative spirit, and beautiful singing voice)....Rita was not only willing to accommodate both our travel and ceremony needs, she leapt at the opportunity to educate us, listen to us, and work with us to craft a ceremony that overflowed with Melissa's and my personality (and flare for storytelling). Rita took us over the moon. Our ceremony was the highlight of our wedding day, as I think it should be. Multiple people expressed that it was the most personal, touching, well-paced ceremony they'd ever attended. (We agree!) And that is due in large part to Rita. She is authentic and loving and cares deeply for people. Melissa and I could feel that standing beneath the chuppah with her. It's something all our guests could feel. It's something I can feel even now. A memory so golden is too rare. So, should you be fortunate to collaborate with Rita to create the ceremony, and memories, to match the vision in your head, use my experience as a spur, because you have found your officiant (finally!). You're on her page right now! Have faith in Rita. Because whether it's arranging to meet in person, talking on the phone, or emailing at all hours, rest assured that you will always feel that Rita has faith in you and your union. And you'll get this great couple's questionnaire to share with one another after the wedding as a lasting gift. But I'll let her tell you about that! -Brandon
Meeting Rita was one of the most wonderful surprises and relationships that came from our wedding planning process. My husband and I were excited to have our faith play a role in our wedding day but, at the time we were engaged, we were not members of a synagogue. The prospect of "hiring" a Cantor or Rabbi to officiate our ceremony, one whose services and counsel we had not previously experienced at a temple, felt funny to each of us. That is, until we sat down to dinner with Rita.
The warmth and genuine love for what she does was truly palpable from that first meeting. Her presence was both grounding and motivating in both the secular stresses of wedding planning and the spiritual exploration we began as we determined together what elements of our faith we wanted to incorporate into our day and, really, the start of our marriage. To this day, there have been pearls of Rita's wisdom that my husband and I still affirm to each other and truly live by.
From her beautiful voice, gentle spirit and sage teachings, Rita embodies a rare combination of religious authority with genuine approachability and was truly the perfect person to pronounce us husband and wife. -Jennifer
Cantor Rita Glassman made our amazing and intimate wedding even more incredible. Our search for a Jewish officiant was made more difficult because my wife and I are interfaith. Yet, from the first time we spoke with Cantor Rita, there was a connection that made us trust her. She truly understood the bond between my wife and I. And our meetings with her before the ceremony allowed her to flawlessly express that bond when the ceremony arrived.
Our ceremony had only 9 guests, which made having the right officiant all the more important. Not only did Cantor Rita deliver poignant words, but she has an AMAZING voice. I can't recommend her enough for anyone wanting a meaningful and unforgettable wedding day. -Paul
Cantor Rita Glassman was incredible. We were so lucky to find her and have her as our officiant. I love to sing, so it was important to have beautiful singing as part of our wedding. Cantor Rita has a voice beyond magnificent. She also was so helpful working with my husband and I to put together a ceremony that perfectly fit us. As an interfaith couple, it was important to have a ceremony that acknowledged my Jewishness and at the same time would honor my husband's religion and Japanese heritage. Rita did it brilliantly. I am forever grateful to the wedding Cantor Rita developed with us. She is still part of our life, spiritually and lovingly. For that I am so grateful. -Stephanie
Anna and I would like to once again express our deepest gratitude to you since that timeless moment of our wedding ceremony which you composed with your words, songs, and genuine love for your calling.
We are now blessed with a beautiful daughter! We write to say that in the midst of all the chaos of parenting, we are still anchored by that amazing ceremony! Our conversations about life and our relationship rarely skip a mention of not only the vows we made, but also all the things you unearthed in your initial discovery process of the two of us. We often say we should call you every five years for renewed discovery-something like a spiritual maintenance package for couples! We knew each other for a long while before we got married, so it was hard to imagine that we’d learn so much more about each other through our conversations with you.
Your ability to excavate what was important to each of us, to identify what made our relationship unique and special, and to truly create a one of a kind experience helped us go far beyond the expected. It allowed us to not only create a ceremony that was poignant and beautiful for our friends and family (and photos!) but also created a deeper bond between us that simply could not have been created with the “run of the mill” ceremony.
All this is remarkable enough for any wedding, but even more so for ours. Not only because you were in California and we were in New York, but also due to the vast differences between our two cultures, heritages, and even our contrasting senses of faith and spirituality as a couple. You pulled from all these differences and crafted a ceremony that built a previously unknown bond between our very different families.
We’ve yet to meet another couple who have been so moved and continually inspired by their wedding ceremony. Thank you Rita for the beauty and meaning you created.
Anna Lesniak and Rafael Shimunov