103 Reviews for A CEREMONY of the HEART
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SO WARM AND PROFESSIONAL
My now husband and I were married in September and the best choice we made was having Mary Jean as our officiant. She created the most beautiful, personal and unique ceremony for us and all along the way, she made sure it was fun, easy and meaningful. We had the wedding of our dreams and will always remember what a lovely person Mary Jean is and how well she took care of us. Our parents, families and friends are still telling us how much they loved our ceremony and wished they could have had her at their weddings. Thank you so much Mary Jean!!!!
Mary Jean Valente is such an amazing person, she helped us from day one and we are so Happy we found her. My partner and I have been together for 6 years and we wanted to make sure we chose someone who was kind, loving, funny and patient. Mary Jean was all that and more. She really broke down the ceremony step by step for us, put everything down in writing for us to look over weeks before the ceremony. She was open to opinions and questions and she made our wedding day very Memorable. We were soooo happy that she was fine with Marrying us on New Years Day (not many people want to work on holidays). To top it off she offered to drop off our License at the county Clerk office for us, she just made sure the process was simple for us and we love her for that.
Thank you Mary Jean for everything!
We just had our wedding in August 2016, and Mary Jean was the best decision my husband and I made in regards to our wedding. We were both so pleased with Mary Jean's perfect execution. She really went out of her way to make us feel at ease and comfortable with everything. We had a nondenominational wedding, and Mary Jean catered to us so beautifully. She made sure we knew exactly what she was going to say, and where she was going to add some improvisation (which is something she is VERY PROFESSIONAL about). If you want someone who will give you exactly what you want, she's your gal. We had a very comprehensive meeting with her in person months before the wedding, and she got to know more about us as a couple, what we liked, what we didn't like, what we valued, etc. Mary Jean was a former wedding planner, so she had so much experience and advice that we didn't know we needed. She was super responsive with her emails, her phone calls, and was always on top of EVERYTHING. In short, Mary Jean was perfection.
I am literally at a loss for how grateful I am that Mary Jean was our officiant. She helped us craft a ceremony and select just the right words, the flow, and how we wanted our day to be expressed. What a difference a real pro can make in a situation like this... so many guests told us afterwards "Best wedding I've ever been to!" and we know it has everything to do with how Mary Jean took the time to get to know us, helped us express our love and our personalities. I cannot recommend A Ceremony of the Heart enough!!!
If we could give her a million stars, we absolutely would. Mary Jean was simply amazing. For two people who started with zero ideas about what we would want for a perfect ceremony, Mary Jean inspired us to create something completely our own. Her ability to help guide us through the customization process was truly a wonderful experience in itself, and we could not be more grateful to have had an officiant who is not only clearly passionate about what she does, but is also such a pleasure of a person to get to know and work with. Our guest could not stop talking about how unique and lovely our ceremony was and how great Mary Jean was at telling our story. If you are looking for an officiant who will truly create a ceremony unique to you, do not hesitate in contacting Mary Jean. You will not be disappointed. Love her!
MJ was great! Very personable and made us feel very comfortable. She was very professional and gave us a wonderful experience for our intimate wedding.
I found Mary Jean (A Ceremony of the Heart) on Wedding Wire and I am soooooooo happy I did! Mary Jean exceeded all my expectations. My husband and I, along with our extended family felt she went above and beyond to make our wedding the most special event ever (and isn't that what everyone wants?)!! Her warm and inviting personality and voice instantly put my stress level at ease. Her planning and delivery of everything we asked (and she even thru in a little more!) was delivered in a true professional fashion. We never felt rushed, stressed or panicked at any point during our special day. Mary Jean even advocated that we have our pictures taken at our special spot on the golf course! We ended up getting way more than what our money was worth!! I would absolutely recommend her to anyone. If you want a true, unique, intimate, special wedding, then A Ceremony of the Heart will deliver that and more! Thank you Mary Jean. xoxo Natasha and Phil
Pros: When we first met with MJ we had no idea about what should go into a wedding ceremony. She helped us with that and gave us samples so we could create our own personalized ceremony. She's also the one who suggested getting married at Point Dume by the rocks, which is where we ended up going (it was beautiful but incredibly windy and cold on that day). She explained about beach permits and delivered our wedding license in person. MJ also answered all our emails (with lots of questions!) and called us regularly to organize everything. She is very knowledgeable. She also printed out our vows so we didn't have to rely entirely on our memory on such a stressful day!
Cons: Even though it was great to be able to personalize our ceremony, we didn't expect to have to write the ENTIRE thing ourselves. Also, MJ called us twice on our wedding day to let us know she was at the location and to know where we were. Her voice is calm and peaceful, but also slow and not to the point. We had a LOT to take care of on that day and didn't really have time for that. She also showed up way too early, because she thought the ceremony was at 3:30 instead of 4:30. I guess it's better than being late, but it just added to the stress. And when the time for the ceremony came, she rushed us a little. Our music and photographer weren't ready yet so that extra stress didn't help either. Finally, she sent our best men to ask us for her money, right in the middle of our photo shoot. We would have appreciated it if she could have waited 15 more minutes. But overall, it was a great day (I married the woman of my life!!), and we managed to make the best out of it :)
So sorry to hear this review. I give more than 100% and really spent a lot of time making this day special for you and did it all half of my usual fee. I always arrive well before the appointed time and on this day it was a good thing I did because there was a commercial shoot and I helped arrange for you to be able to take photos at the rocks which at first they weren't going to allow. I did not rush at all but waited until everyone was present and photos were taken...I think this was a matter of perception and sorry you felt that way. As for my fee, I gave quite a discount because you were on a weekday and did not charge extra for travel which was 70 miles round trip. I also printed your vows and gave you the ceremony booklet which I don't normally do for a discounted fee. The best man had signed the license and was going back to you so I asked him to get the fee so I wouldn't interupt..and I told him no rush, I would wait in the car. The fee was actually due prior to the ceremony as stated in our service agreement but I waited til after because I knew you had a lot to take care of. If there is anything I can do to make this better for you, please let me know.
MJ was simply put, AMAZING! From the moment we first made contact, I felt like I was in good hands. MJ was so professional and incredibly helpful- she even had a lot of info on the venue I had chosen, so that was a huge stress reliever for me. She spent so much time with me in our face-to-face meeting, and even more over email and phone working with my husband and I to create our dream ceremony. She was patient, sweet and loving the whole way and we are incredibly grateful to have had her to marry us. She listened to our wants, and executed them flawlessly. Our wedding was way more beautiful than I could have ever hoped for or have ever imagined. MJ is THE BEST! You would be lucky to have her.
MJ was awesome!!! She was so engaged and really gave her best to make our day as beautiful as possible. She helped not only with the vows but even with picking the location and coming up with an agenda. We couldn't have had a better wedding! THANK YOU
Very knowledgeable and professional, would absolutely recommend; put together the perfect words for the ceremony and handled all of the paperwork and filing details
My husband and I found Mary Jean through an online search... This simple act was the beginning of a lovely relationship. From day one and throughout each conversation, meeting, and email, Mary Jean was honest, genuine, warm and kind. She exuded sincere interest in us, our views and our vision for the ceremony. She was attentive and took care to make sure things were done correctly. She even listened to heat of the moment wedding planning woes and offered to help. At the ceremony she was happy, excited for us and followed through with everything as expected. We invited her to join our reception, stay for dinner and just enjoy the night. She accepted and was fun, engaging and fit right in, snapping photos and having a good time. We feel honored to know her and to have her as the person to marry us after 13 years together. She was so warm and lovely and made us so comfortable we'd do it all over again!
Jill and Marc
Mary Jean was recommended by a friend. He had recently had her officiate his wedding and gave her glowing reviews. Mary Jean was amazing from the beginning. She made us feel like our wedding vows and ceremony would truly be one-of-a-kind and she absolutely delivered. From the moment we met, Mary Jean helped us create a unique and meaningful ceremony, as well as assist us in putting our personal touches into our vows. She was incredibly accessible throughout the months leading up to our wedding and really made us enjoy the entire process. One of the most consistent compliments we received after our wedding was how thoughtful and personal our ceremony and vows were and how excellent Mary Jean was as our officiant. We cannot recommend her services highly enough!
MJ Valente made our day the most wonderful time we could imagine. There was no pressure and all the details prior to our ceremony went exactly as planned. There were no surprises. She provides exacting details of what needs to be done and who to see. Everything was perfect and with lots of awesome sauce!
Mary Jean was absolutely incredible from the time we met her all the way through the process of building our program, developing our vows, and then the actual wedding day. We had so many guests comment on how they truly enjoyed her, and felt we had known her for years. We actually had just met her a couple of months before the ceremony, but now it feels like we are old friends. She worked very hard to get to know each of us individually and as a couple, learned much about our history which she incorporated into our ceremony, and made our day absolutely perfect. I'm happy to now call Mary Jean a true friend.
The best thing we did for our ceremony was finding Mary Jean! From the very first moment we spoke, I felt like she "got us" and sincerely cared about helping to make our ceremony a special and enjoyable experience for the two of us. Throughout all the planning she always made sure we were happy and comfortable with everything. Her flexibility and creativity is step above the rest! This particular ceremony was a pre-ceremony as my Fiance and I were getting married in Hawaii. We wanted to have a sort of "sending off" with close family and friends. Mary Jean was not only completely open to this idea but so willing to accommodate our special request. Thanks to her, It was a beautiful and unforgettable experience! So many of our guests commented on how much they enjoyed our ceremony! Thank you Mary Jean. We are so grateful to have found you. You helped to make our day so unbelievably special. We will always remember the love and care you brought to our lives and to our ceremony. It was truly a Ceremony of the Heart. -Katie & Tom
Mary Jean officiated my wedding at the Arboretum and despite the stress I was under because my outdoor wedding got rained on and was subsequently moved indoors, Mary made the day seemed effortlessly. From the moment she announced me through the end of ceremony, Mary reassured me everything was under control. All my guests complimented me afterwards what a beautiful ceremony and never mentioned the rain. And you know what? I don't remember the rain either :-)
Mary Jean was the minister at my Mother's funeral. She was very comforting and compassionate. Our whole family could feel her warmth and sincerity. She was truly the calm in the heart of the storm for us in this trying time.
November 4, 2014
Mary Jean Valente
A Ceremony of the Heart
Dear Mary Jean,
I can’t thank you enough for officiating at our recent wedding.
From first to last, your deep experience and heartfelt commitment enriched our wedding experience.
I remember our first meeting together. In that conversation, you drew out of us our thoughts and feelings about the wedding ceremony. That enabled you to guide us toward the particular wedding ceremony that was most suitable for us.
In following conversations, you took our ideas for the ceremony and added depth and style to so many elements of the ceremony (the exchange of rings, the reading of poems, the prayers).
At the wedding ceremony itself, your joy was contagious, and amplified all the meaning and feelings of our experience of the event.
Our marriage got off to a great start, thanks in no small part to all you brought so generously to the ceremony.
Thank you, Mary Jean.
Im so happy that we chose Mary Jean to officiate our wedding ceremony. She made our day very beautiful and special. She is a positive, spontaneous, understanding and warm hearted person. Mary Jean made us feel calm and gave us time to just be in the moment!
We found Mary Jean on Wedding Wire and once I called her up on speaker phone we both knew she would be perfect for our ceremony. She answers her emails and phone calls promptly, answers all your questions and make sure you get a ceremony you will not forget. She is kind and understanding and I would recommend her to all my friends!
Thank you Mary Jean for making our ceremony so amazing and memorable! Love always.
My partner and I have been together for 24 years, and quite deliberately never got married. We were happier to live together as two individuals, and we raised two daughters (now 20 and 16) within that relationship. We finally decided to get married as dull stuff like pensions and inheritance tax began to loom larger in our lives - so you can imagine we were not looking for the big romantic wedding! We live in the UK, and thought it would be more fun, if we were going to do it at all, to get married when on holiday in California. A couple of days after we arrived we visited City Hall in Beverley Hills to get a marriage licence, and bumped into Mary Jean who happened to be down there that day. She was very helpful with the formalities of what we had to do to get the licence, and we both warmed to her instantly. She just exudes a sense of peacefulness and friendliness. We took her phone number - we had not yet decided exactly where to get married. We then set off on our travels and a few days before we were due to go home we still had not found an appealing place to get married, so we got back in touch with Mary Jean, and she was again totally welcoming and helpful, and in short agreed to marry us just before we returned home. I had a few conversations with her on the phone, and discussed what we wanted, which was basically the most minimal ceremony that we could, with no guests and just our daughters as witnesses. The day came and we met Mary Jean in a public park in Beverley Hills on a beautiful sunny late afternoon, and we were married. To be honest we were anticipating the marriage as just a necessary legal formality, but Mary Jean created such a beautiful atmosphere through her delightful personality that it turned into the most charming event. For me the amazing thing was that she totally understood what we wanted and made the event an absolute delight to the extent that we could not think of any way we would have wanted to do things differently.
Where do I start, Mary Jean was one of the best decisions we made for our wedding! If you want a completely customized, personal wedding ceremony then Mary Jean is perfect for you. I spoke with several other officiants who all had a formula for the ceremony with prewritten text to insert for each part. Mary Jean will work with you to make a ceremony that is completely unique to you, and she will go back and forth with you (we had 6 meetings/phone calls and 7 drafts) to make sure everything is perfect. She is also a great writer and will literally come up with ideas/wording on the spot. She is a wonderful speaker--she speaks clearly and slowly with heartfelt emotion, but she can also throw in great off the cuff remarks or jokes to keep things lighthearted. She printed out our ceremony and vows in little booklets that make excellent keepsakes as well. She used to be a wedding planner, so she is extremely organized and responsive and really understands how a wedding works and everything that goes on the day of. She only does one wedding a day and arrives an hour early, so you know she is completely there for you and not rushing off to do her next wedding. She also does a great job explaining everything you need to do for your marriage certificate, and she hand delivers your certificate to the courthouse rather than mailing it in. We received so many compliments on our personalized ceremony and how "us" it was, which was something that we couldn't have done without Mary Jean!
Thank you Sharyn and JP,
It was a pleasure collaborating with both of you to custom design your ceremony and I am so happy that you were pleased! It is always my ultimate goal that you have the ceremony that will always be a treasured memory. My love to you both always and remember, I am always here for you!
Mary Jean was fantastic in arranging for our officiant, Tracy, for our wedding. She was extremely thorough, personable, professional, and genuinely interested in ensuring that we had memorable wedding that was personable to us. Unfortunately, our schedules were such that I was not able to meet Tracy until I walked down the aisle (although we did have phone conversations). But Tracy was great in ensuring that our ceremony was focused on us and that it carried our personality. She even spoke a little bit of French for my husband's family (who are from Montréal)! And to top it off, it was a huge help that they hand-delievered our marriage certificate for us afterwards. I would highly recommend both Mary Jean and Tracy to help make your wedding memorable! :)
My husband I was married 36 years ago. When we were getting our wills done we were ask for our marriage license. When I presented the license to the lawyer he stated it was not a valid license due to the lack it was not certificate by the state. I went down to City Hall in Van Nuys and they could not fine it, I was then told to write to the state of California. I received a letter back telling me again to go to the L.A. County Clerk’s Offices. I have been doing this for the last six months when I decide it would just be easier to get married again so I contact Mary Jean Valente of “A Ceremony of the Heart”. I told her my story and she said she would be delighted to marry us with less than a week’s notice but she wanted to inquire about the situation that we were in. The next day I received a phone call from Mary Jean telling me that all I had to do was go to the County Clerk’s Office with two witness that were at our original wedding and we could get a new license. In ninth months of dealing with the county and the state no one gave me that information, but in less than twenty four hours Mary Jean went the extra mile for us and solved our problem and my husband and I were officially married with the proper credentials on our 36 wedding anniversary. What Mary Jean did for my husband and I we will never forget, I can’t imagine what kind of ceremony she would do for a couple she really gets to know. She is truly amazing and a person that cares about you, your spouse and your very special day.
Mary Jean, Thank you for making our wedding day another one we will always remember.
Christine and Richard Krohn
There may come a time, brides, when your fiance, maid of honor, bridesmaids, friends, pets - even your own mother - can't bring the level of calm and assurance that MJ provided me. I was ONE - 1!! - week away from getting married, and the officiant we had originally found was failing our expectations. I found Mary Jean online, we immediately set up a time to talk, and I knew from our meeting she was the one.
Her genuine, heartfelt, and loving demeanor was so apparent from the start. She had great ideas I never even considered, and wonderful examples from which we were able to build our own beautiful ceremony. Beautiful it was, thanks to MJ's support and guidance. Her warmth emanated during our conversations; I mean, she immediately replied to emails and calls, and not only answered my questions and concerns, but always provided such reassurance. A huge plus was MJ never officiates more than one wedding a day. She doesn't churn them out like so many others (trust me, I had a number of email replies asking me my wedding time and suggesting they could "fit" me in their schedule).
We are so blessed to have met her and to have her marry us. Thank you, MJ!! Love you!!