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Attributes highlighted by couples

Marriage License & Certificate
Seasoned Professional
Officiant
Great Planner

About

On WeddingWire since 2010

Rev. Dr. Samora Smith, (DMin) of Common Ground Ceremonies is a highly-acclaimed and award-winning wedding officiant, interfaith minister, and pre-marital counselor based out of New York City. Dr. Samora brings more than 13 years of experience officiating and has performed over 2,800 ceremonies for couples of all faiths and backgrounds. A native New Yorker, Rev. Dr. Samora comes from a multi-faith and multi-racial household which naturally gives her the compassion and sensitivity needed when working with couples of ALL backgrounds and beliefs. Rev. Dr. Samora's approach is always couple-centered, love-filled, and most importantly inclusive, always creating a heartfelt experience and lasting memory for you and all who are present.

Services Offered

Common Ground Ceremonies performs personalized ceremonies that reflect the individual styles and tastes of each couple. Rev. Dr. Samora performs a wide spectrum of ceremonies including non-denominational ceremonies, spiritual weddings, interfaith ceremonies, LGBTQ weddings, vow renewals, and baby namings. She is also a licensed Hypnotherapy and Sound Healing therapist specializing in supporting individuals and couples with marriage prep, relationship skills, and individual growth. Rev. Dr. Samora understands the importance of seamless service, offering support to each couple beyond the wedding, not only ensuring a wonderful wedding, but also a successful, and fulfilling marriage.

Rev. Dr. Samora has also invited her "brother from another mother" mentee, and now colleague Antonio Rodriguez, a Spanish-Speaking and bilingual officiant to join the Common Ground Ceremonies family. Antonio has been performing many ceremonies with them over the past couple of years, and we are grateful to have him be a part of the team. If you are interested in hiring him for your ceremony, please send us an inquiry.

  • Black-owned
  • Hispanic or Latinx-owned
  • Native American-owned
  • Woman-owned

Frequently asked questions

What is the typical price for your wedding services?

$1,200

Which of the following are included in the price?

Ceremony Rehearsal
Premarital Counseling

What is the starting price for your wedding services?

$350

Does starting price include the ceremony rehearsal?

No

What is the starting price for ceremony rehearsals?

$250

What is the starting price for pre-marital counseling (per session)?

$200

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

Non-religious
Interfaith
Ceremony Rehearsal
Vow Renewal
Civil Union

What services do you provide?

Premarital Counseling
Bilingual

What religious affiliations do you serve?

Agnostic
Anglican
Baha'i Faith
Buddhist
Catholic
Earth-Based
Episcopalian
Evangelical
Hindu
Islam
Jainism
Jewish
Lutheran
Methodist
No Denomination
Pagan
Presbyterian
Quaker
Shinto
Sikhism
Taoist
Unitarian

On average, how long are wedding ceremonies you officiate?

Less than 30 mins.
30-60 mins.

In which states are you licensed?

CT
NJ
NY
PA

What languages do you speak?

English
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5.0 out of 5 rating
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2024 Winner
282 Reviews
  • Quality of service
    5 out of 5 rating
  • Average response time
    5 out of 5 rating
  • Professionalism
    5 out of 5 rating
  • Value
    5 out of 5 rating
  • Flexibility
    5 out of 5 rating
100% Recommended by couples

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282 Reviews
This AI-generated summary gives you a snapshot of the overall ratings and feedback from the reviews this vendor has received.

Review summary

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Rev. Dr. Samora, as an officiant for weddings, has received exceptional reviews from multiple couples. Couples have highly praised the personalized and unique ceremonies she creates, incorporating their individual stories and customs. Many complimented her ability to understand their wants and needs, her warm and inclusive nature, and her choice of quotes and words. Reviewers were also appreciative of her professionalism, helpfulness throughout the planning process, and her calming presence on the wedding day. Overall, many highly recommend Rev. Dr. Samora for her outstanding services as an officiant.

Review summary

Powered by AI
This AI-generated summary gives you a snapshot of the overall ratings and feedback from the reviews this vendor has received.

Rev. Dr. Samora, as an officiant for weddings, has received exceptional reviews from multiple couples. Couples have highly praised the personalized and unique ceremonies she creates, incorporating their individual stories and customs. Many complimented her ability to understand their wants and needs, her warm and inclusive nature, and her choice of quotes and words. Reviewers were also appreciative of her professionalism, helpfulness throughout the planning process, and her calming presence on the wedding day. Overall, many highly recommend Rev. Dr. Samora for her outstanding services as an officiant.

R Dupuy
R Dupuy Sent on 12/19/2021
5 out of 5 rating

Make your marriage stronger.

I’ve written a review previously on how Reverand Samora Smith has come through for my wife and me during a time of need during the early stages of the pandemic. To make a long story short, we were fretting for an officiant for our zoom wedding, and Samora guided us through the marriage license process and officiated our wedding through zoom.

Prior to that moment, we met Samora before the pandemic and we loved her calm, patient demeanor, and her upbeat attitude. A year later, even though we were officially married, we still planned on having an “in-person” ceremony with our friends and family during the summer of 2021. During that time we were in constant communication with Samora and she even provided us with marital counseling prior to the ceremony we had planned.

The counseling was free, and it wasn’t time-consuming. Samora had modules that were easy to navigate. Each module consisted of topics that are imperative in maintaining a strong and healthy marriage. Her online course led to my wife and me having honest and reflective conversations about our future, that were beneficial and important to have.

After completing a few modules Samora would have a counseling session with us that was very therapeutic. Samora is humorous, and easy to talk to, but she kept us accountable.

I feel working with Samora had made our marriage more open, and communicative. If and when my wife and I decide to renew our vows we will definitely select Samora Smith to be our officiant again.
Ernest
Ernest Sent on 01/28/2014
5 out of 5 rating
Rev Samora was a pleasure to work with. She made our Wedding Day very special. She was so kind and sweet in helping us prepare for our special day. We live in Georgia and did all the preparations via phone and emails with her and she made it so simple for us. She always gave us so much great advice that we never once had any concerns about our Wedding Day. I would highly recommend her to anyone planning a ceremony. She made our Wedding Day so special, that we are so thankful to of had her celebrate it with us. We just want to say, Thank You Rev. Samora for celebrating our Wedding with us and making it very memorable.

Thanks,
Bill & Ernie
S
Sade Sent on 09/08/2023
5 out of 5 rating

Seamless, amazing, reasonably priced, authentic, creates touching love stories.

We went through a lot trying to find the perfect officiant for our same sex ceremony. We wanted someone who was authentic that really embodied the saying “love is love”. Dr. Samora officiated our ceremony on 9/1/2023. My wife and I are a little particular so when she said she would write a love story, we were prepared to offer suggestions on how to improve it but guess what? EVERYTHING WAS PERFECT!! She spoke about us as if she had known us for years. The entire audience was in tears. Her energy is welcoming and warm and so many people asked us where we found her. Listen up!! If you’re trying to decide who to choose, go with Samora you won’t regret it. We couldn’t have picked a better person.
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Awards

282
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2024 Winner
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2022 Winner
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2021 Winner
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2020 Winner
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2019 Winner
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2018 Winner
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2017 Winner
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2016 Winner
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2015 Winner
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2014 Winner
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2013 Winner
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2012 Winner

Team

Antonio Rodriguez
Antonio Rodriguez
Spanish-speaking & Bilingual Officiant

Antonio Rodriguez is a proud native New Yorker and a recent NJ transplant. Antonio began officiating when a close friend asked him to perform her wedding in 2015. Being the incredible romantic he is, Antonio was honored and what he believed to be a "one-off" event, has now become a passion. Rev. Dr. Samora met Antonio when he approached her to "show him the ropes" before he did his first wedding. They have since become great friends and now colleagues. Antonio specializes in bilingual ceremonies and is fluent in Spanish. He also believes that "love is love" and celebrates all couples right to marry who they love. We are proud to have him part of the Common Ground family.

Professional Network & Endorsements

1 Endorsement
Rev. Annie NYC - Wedding Officiant Rev. Annie NYC - Wedding Officiant Wedding Officiants

Rev. Samora comes to your wedding day with a wealth of experience--as a musician, as a mother, as a minister. Her warm smile & candid conversation will immediately put you at ease. You can trust her to listen closely to your wedding requests, offer you experienced advice, and be there for you every minute of your ceremony to support you, honor you, and bring out the best in you! I am happy to recommend her as a friend & colleague, and encourage you to ask her to SING at your wedding!

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