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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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Frequently asked questions

What types of weddings and events do you provide services for?

Vow Renewal
Civil Union

What religious affiliations do you serve?

Baha'i Faith
No Denomination
Orthodox Christian

On average, how long are wedding ceremonies you officiate?

30-60 mins.

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What languages do you speak?

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Reviews of Georgiana Atkins-Havill

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Chris Sent on 03/19/2018
5 out of 5 rating
My husband & I got married at Georgiana’s home on St. Patrick’s Day in 1998, 20 years ago this week. We found her on a list of Fairfax County officiants, and were so lucky we did! We already had a big wedding planned in May, but needed to have it be official earlier for the VA mortgage on a new home. It was a last minute ceremony, just us and Georgiana, but it couldn’t have been more personal & perfect. It was very emotional and she made it a beautiful private celebration.
We still think of it often. Chris & Steve B
Linda Sent on 02/09/2018
5 out of 5 rating
20 years ago this Valentine's Day 2018 - Georgiana married us in a private ceremony then repeated the ceremony that May for family & friends. She was warm & friendly throughout the process - putting us at ease within minutes of meeting her. The 2nd ceremony she added readings and 'more' to the ceremony - giving us & our friends a movingly romantic experience. I googled her today after going through our scrapbook & was thrilled to find she's still sharing her special mix of care and speech to marry others. My husband & I are happily married these past 20 years - raised two children who are also happily married - and in general have relished our life together. Best Wishes to you Georgiana! L&L
Terri Sent on 08/07/2017
5 out of 5 rating
Georgiana was super accommodating to us. She adjusted based on our needs and was super easy going about it. Our wedding couldn't have been more beautiful and perfect. The ceremony was super special, memorable and personal. She took her time and offered for us to use her beautiful deck right on the lake since it was just us and our friend at the ceremony. We absolutely loved working with Georgiana. She is beautiful inside and out. You will NOT be disappointed using her. She will make your day more beautiful than you could have ever expected and stress free (at least the ceremony part :)). Thank you Georgiana!!!!
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Professional Network & Endorsements

4 Endorsements
Glow Weddings and Events Glow Weddings and Events Wedding Planners

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.

Photos By Kelly Photos By Kelly Wedding Photographers

Love Georgiana, She makes every wedding very personal and just does a wonderfull job.

Holiday Inn Washington Dulles Holiday Inn Washington Dulles Hotel Weddings

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,


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