PLEASE NOTE THAT MY PRICING IN NEW YORK IS VASTLY DIFFERENT THAN MY PRICING IN OHIO.
I have been a writer ever since I was a kid growing up in Boston, Massachusetts. I became an actor, earning a BFA in Acting from Boston University and living the actor's life in New York City. I earned an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from New York University. I've published short fiction and, most recently, short humor in West 42nd St. magazine.
Officiating weddings calls upon my writing skills, my theater skills, my business skills, and my people skills. I have never been happier in a job. I enjoy helping couples orchestrate the ceremonial aspect of the happiest day of their life. I enjoy coaxing the details of love stories from the minds and the lips of the couples whom I am fortunate enough to call clients. I enjoy helping them find the best words for their best day. I've been doing this for over 5 years, and I hope I'm doing this until I'm 100. (I'm 47.)(But I feel 43.)
I am a licensed Wedding Officiant in New York State and Ohio State. I can also legalize marriages in New Jersey, Kentucky. Arizona, Pennsylvania and probably other States as well. I am a Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant, having graduated from the Celebrant Foundation & Institute with a focus in Wedding Ceremonies.
For four years in a row, I've appeared on 'The Rachael Ray Show', on Valentine's Day, officiating ceremonies in front of a massive national audience. In April 2014, I appeared on Joan Rivers' reality show, 'Joan Knows Best'. I'll miss Joan. She was the most courteous professional I ever met.
While New York City is my home base, I have a residence in Cincinnati, Ohio, where I am also licensed to perform wedding ceremonies and make marriages legal. I also officiate weddings in northern Kentucky, mostly Covington and Newport.
Please note: if you reach out to me, PLEASE let me know where and at what time your wedding will take place, thank you!!!
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Recommended by 100% of couples
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Amanda · Married on 10/21/2018
Best Ceremony Ever is true!
From our very first conversation I knew Chris was my guy. He was thoughtful and funny about the answers we gave to his questionnaire, changed things around when I asked for a few changes, and worked to combine the traditional elements my husband wanted with the non traditional elements I hoped for, including the priest's marriage speech from The Princess Bride, complete with lisp and everything! He took the time to make me laugh and ease my nerves when I was freaking out. He was patient when I was late getting updates to him. He was just all around exactly what I needed from an officiant. I never worried about how the ceremony would turn out because I knew it was in the right hands. I wanted a funny, heartwarming, and personal ceremony and that's exactly what Chris gave me. Every single person at my wedding commented about how funny Chris was, how awesome it was for everything to be so specific to me and my husband's personalities and quirks, and how much they genuinely enjoyed the whole experience. I 100% understand why Chris' book is called Best Ceremony Ever because that's exactly what he delivered for me and my husband, the very best ceremony ever. 12/10, without hesitation I recommend Chris as an officiant and all around good guy!
Marisa · Married on 06/23/2018
Chris came highly recommended to us as someone that would bring a non-traditional approach to the wedding ceremony. His style is one of celebration and fun, and he did an excellent job of weaving our personal story into that unique approach. He worked very closely with us throughout the process to make sure everyone was on the same page. He helped us to plan some fun twists, and on the day of the ceremony he made sure to arrive extra early so that he could help coordinate with the readers and the string quartet. No detail was left to chance and our guests were laughing and crying throughout the ceremony. We lost track of how many guests commented afterwards that it was the best wedding ceremony they’ve ever seen, and we will be forever grateful to Chris for making that happen.
Elease · Married on 04/21/2018
OH MY GOD! Where do I even begin? Chris made our wedding ceremony into one of the most memorable experiences of my life. OuR guests have RAVED that this was their favorite ceremony they have ever been to. Chris is simply hilarious, articulate, and clever!Sent on 05/12/2018
Prior to the wedding, he asked me and my husband to fill out a questionnaire. Based on that, he composed the funniest and sweetest ceremony that includes telling your guests your “love story”. Our guests really enjoyed that. He knew when to be Funny and when to be serious, and he was the perfect balance. Countless friends have asked me for his information!
YOU HAVE TO BOOK HIM!
Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley's reply:
Christopher is an excellent officiant! He brings his charming, joyful personality to his work and it's evident he gives 100% to every client. There is no such thing as a boring or dry wedding when Christopher is the Officiant!
Christopher is a suburb choice as an officiant for your wedding. I guarantee that you will have a unique and fun wedding ceremony with his creative and lively touch.
Christopher really is illuminating! He is by far the funniest person I know and there won't be a face in the crowd without a smile on their face when Chris performs a ceremony. He is charming, polite and the best listener I know. He will deliver a ceremony that would surely put a smile on even "Aunty Betty that disapproves of this union" face.... Highly recommend.