Rabbi Vanessa Ochs, Professor of Religious Studies and Jewish Studies at the University of Virginia, performs both Jewish wedding ceremonies and interfaith weddings between Jews and their partners. In sessions prior to the wedding, in person in Charlottesville or over the phone or on Skype/Facetime, she helps a couple to feel grounded enough in the traditional ceremony so that they can create, with her, a personalized ceremony reflecting their beliefs and deepest commitments.
Rabbi Ochs performs weddings for same-sex couples, Jewish and interfaith weddings between Jews and their partners. Here is a beautiful assemblage of photos of a wedding I perfomed for one couple:https://equallywed.com/fall-vineyard-jewish-wedding/
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11 Reviews for Rabbi Vanessa Ochs, wedding officiant
Recommended by 100% of couples
Katie · Married on 09/29/2018
Rabbi Ochs is amazing! My husband is Jewish and I am not, and Rabbi Ochs was so considerate to my needs and made sure our ceremony was true to both of our individualities. She prompted us to think deeply about our commitment and our plans for the future, and our discussions with her were always a joy. She is warm, kindhearted, intelligent, and professional, and we highly recommend her!Sent on 11/09/2019
Joanna · Married on 05/19/2018
Rabbi Ochs was an absolutely perfect officiant for our wedding - we honestly can't imagine anyone better.Sent on 05/31/2018
We loved Rabbi Ochs the first time we chatted with her, and continued to have a fantastic time getting to know her over the months leading up to our wedding. Although we live far away and weren't able to meet in person, we Facetimed every month. Rabbi Ochs was extremely friendly, quite funny, very sweet, and had an obvious genuine interest in actually getting to know us as people. She has a great ability to make discussions fun, but to delve just enough into deeper conversations about relationships, culture, and faith that allowed us to enjoy ourselves but also to get a deeper sense of what sort of life and family we want to build.
She also worked very patiently with us as we figured out exactly what type of ceremony we wanted. Only one of us is Jewish and neither of us is religious at all, and Rabbi Ochs was completely open and helpful to figuring out what Jewish touches we did want, and to create a ceremony that wouldn't alienate anyone in our audience that is not religious or doesn't speak Hebrew. She was also very open to trying to include Chinese traditions, too, if we had wanted to.
On our wedding day, the ceremony ultimately was 1000% perfect - it honestly exceeded our already high expectations. Rabbi Ochs was sweet, funny, and poignant, but most importantly she captured our personalities remarkably well to make for a ceremony that felt very much like us. Literally everyone at our wedding was telling us how incredible she was, and people were shocked that we had only been talking online over a few months, assuming that we had to have known her for years for the ceremony to have been so good.
We can't recommend Rabbi Ochs highly enough. We have loved getting to know her, and she was a big part of what made our wedding day really incredible.
Rachel · Married on 08/27/2016
So wonderful to work with! We enjoyed every minute.Sent on 08/29/2016
Rabbi Vanessa Ochs, wedding officiant Price Rates
I am so excited for the bride or groom who has just discovered Rabbi Vanessa Ochs! She is a wise, generous, and thoughtful teacher and rabbi. I first met Rabbi Ochs about 20 years ago when I was studying to become a rabbi- she was the keynote at a conference on Judaism and Healing, and her honest, insightful words have shaped how I view the topic even now. Rabbi Ochs literally wrote the book (or, a book!) on creative Jewish ritual- she is creative and also deeply knowledgeable about Jewish tradition. While Rabbi Ochs is so smart and thoughtful, she is also very approachable- her presence brings me joy and comfort, whether in a one-on-one conversation or when she is addressing a large group.