First Person Singular: Georgiana Havill
This is the page feature written about me that appeared in The Washington Post Magazine about my incredibly happy "job!"
Sunday, January 25, 2009
"...I hardly ever marry anyone in a courthouse. It's so unromantic. I feel I serve a really important need as an alternative -- I once saw a bride in a white gown at the Montgomery County courthouse being wanded for security! Some lawyers do it in their offices: just fast, dry, in and out. I'd rather meet in a park or their home, my home, a ballroom, an inn, a garden. I get to use a lot of poetry in the cathedral of the outdoors. I get paid to read poetry -- how nice is that? I augment the ceremony to make it personal and urge them to savor the moment, which will never happen again. Drop all the worries about the band and the photos. I hope they hear the wedding much like a symphony, full of emotions and thoughts.
Over a decade ago, I was substituting for another celebrant. Looking up from my book at the bride and groom, I realized the groom was flirting with me! My eyes were darting almost anywhere but at his face, but, oh, no, there he was again, smirking and posturing with even more boldness. I wanted to tell the bride to pick up her skirt and run. Then, examining their license closely for the first time, I noticed that this was at least his fourth or fifth time at bat. Was this marriage going to make it? Everyone deserves for their hopes and dreams to come true, but this one certainly seemed doomed to me.
My husband of 44 years is not all "My dear! You're home!" as he springs from the couch. When I got married, he wrote me poetry -- doesn't anymore. But some things are more important, like steadfastness. You don't need the fireworks. We got married at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Washington. I eloped. The priest asked, "Is there an emergency?" I thought, "Well, I just ran away from home!" I suppose he meant was I pregnant. We were very young. Most couples now have taken more time, for which I'm grateful. With more time, you can consider your decision and understand yourself better. You're seasoned, and everyone can take comfort in the decision you're making. Both of us came from homes in which there were many divorces. [Some of them] hadn't worked harder to make it work or didn't have the patience or the fortitude to stay together. There was a lesson to learn in giving marriage our serious and ardent effort..."
Interview by Ellen Ryan
Article from Times Community Newspapers (August 16, 2006)
" Reston resident marries her 2,000th couple last week
Court-appointed Marriage Celebrant Georgiana Atkins Havill officiated her 2,000th marriage on Aug. 7. The Reston couple, Jessica Poston and Rubidio Abarca, met a year ago when he, a construction worker, came into a local grocery store, where she was an assistant manager, to purchase charcoal.
The bilingual ceremony took place outside at Havill's home next to Lake Thoreau, where she and her husband moved in 1989 after 15 years in Great Falls.
Havill was appointed by the Fairfax County Circuit Court in 1992. Though many of her couples say their vows on her back deck, the majority are held in other settings such as the couples' homes, regional parks, community centers, chapels and hotel ballrooms."
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I worked with Georgiana this past weekend at River Farm. In my consultation with my clients before the wedding I was delightfully surprised to hear that she had tips for us to use at the Rehearsal and she had gone over the logistics with the Bride and Groom. When she arrived on the site on the day of, she called me to tell me she had arrived and when we met we quickly went over any outstanding questions to make sure the ceremony went off without a hitch.
Love Georgiana, She makes every wedding very personal and just does a wonderfull job.
At the Holiday Inn Dulles we host many weddings a year and have seen officiants of all kinds and styles conduct ceremonies. Georgiana is a unique celebrant who knows just the right personal touch to add to each couple's ceremony. She takes her time to get to know each couple, learn how they met and what elements are most important for them to include in their special celebration. With the experience of working with almost 3,000 different couples, Georgiana has her art perfected and offers excellent insight in the wedding process and can easily guide couples through the perfect ceremony. All of the brides I have worked with that have chosen Georgiana have been very happy with the services Georgiana has offered. Taylor Young, Wedding Specialist, Holiday Inn Washington Dulles, email@example.com.