Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley Reviews

82 | New York, NY
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82 Reviews for Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley

Recommended by 100%

82
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5.0 out of 5.0
  • Quality of service 5.0
  • Professionalism 5.0
  • Flexibility 5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Average response time 5.0

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Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley 1
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  • Amanda

    Amanda · Married on 10/21/2018

    5.0
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    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!

  • M

    Marisa · Married on 06/23/2018

    5.0
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    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.

  • E

    Elease · Married on 04/21/2018

    5.0
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    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!

    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!

    Sent on 05/12/2018
    Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley 3

    Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley's reply:

    Elease, thank you so much! This is the perfect review. If they could hand out a Pulitzer for best review, this would be the one that got it. Thank you again. I loved working with you.
  • foodmanandwife

    Claire · Married on 01/20/2018

    5.0
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    Christopher is extraordinary! We didn't really know what we wanted in an officiant but from our first phone call we knew he would set the perfect tone for our wedding day...and he did not disappoint! His questionnaire allowed us to tell our story in our own voices and really take some time to reflect on how special the wedding experience really is. The ease of the whole process was a treat in an otherwise pretty stressful period leading up to the wedding.
    Christopher has an amazing ability to connect with everyone in the room. Countless guests told me how much they loved our ceremony: "Best ceremony ever!" "He was so funny and so thoughtful!" "Really special and personal".
    We would absolutely recommend Christopher!

    Sent on 03/17/2018
    Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley 4

    Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley's reply:

    Claire, thank you so much for this amazing review!!! I loved officiating your wedding. How did you find so many great people to all be in the same room? Thank you for hiring me!
  • Kayla

    Kayla · Married on 10/28/2017

    5.0
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    I was left without an officiant after ours backed out at the very last minute (12 days until our wedding)... and they went above and beyond to help us find someone else, and also to arrange their schedule to try to themselves.

    What amazing people!

  • C

    Cathy · Married on 10/20/2017

    5.0
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    We were referred to Christopher by another Officiant that was already booked. WE LOVED Christopher. He customized the ceremony based on worksheets the bride and groom completed. He then has conversations with them. The ceremony was hilarious and you could tell he put a lot of work into it. So many people came up after and said he was the best officiant they had ever heard. We were in Cop Cot in central park and people were stopping to listen. I was thankful for the humor since it kept me from crying at my daughter's ceremony. I would highly recommend Christopher!

    Sent on 10/31/2017

    Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley's reply:

    Thank you Cathy! You just made my day! I am so happy that my particular style fit the bride and groom so well. Cop Cot is a fun space and inevitably one ends up with passersby paying attention. This just makes it that much more fun. Good luck to the bride and groom!!!
  • C

    Corine · Married on 08/12/2017

    5.0
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    Chris was amazing, patient, funny and understanding. From the moment, we talked to him, we felt like he was the one! We did not want a religious ceremony and Chris was able to customize our wedding down to every little detail. He was a pleasure to work with and even calmed my fears before the ceremony. After the ceremony, everyone raved on what a great officiant we had and were jealous they didn't think of him for their wedding! The ceremony will always be one of my most treasured memories.

    Sent on 08/16/2017

    Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley's reply:

    Thank you Corine! It was a pleasure to work with you and Tyler. It warmed my heart to see how much work your family put into this wedding. Good luck going forward! You have a wonderful life ahead of you.
  • K

    Kendra · Married on 07/22/2017

    5.0
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    Working with Chris Shelley was an absolute dream & SO MUCH FUN. We cannot imagine having worked with anyone else because Chris was a HUGE part in making our special day (and the months leading up) everything we hoped for and more. His process is totally clear, professional, and thorough from the start. Best of all he is just too funny and a really nice guy! Everything is just so smooth and fun that you don't even realize you are working your way through "bureaucratic formality" where in the end the officiant marries you and people sign a paper to make it official. What we had in the end was the MOST MAGICAL, MOST MEMORABLE, MOST SPECIAL ceremony that gave us and all our guests all the good feels...and 100% reflected who we are as a couple. We all laughed, cried, ugly cried, ugly laughed...we would not change a thing and really thank Chris for this. It's really touching to still hear weeks later that our guests enjoyed the ceremony as much as we did and that we had "the best officiant ever." Even before our wedding day, we really enjoyed the planning: Chris will set up an intro call and/or meet-up so everyone can get comfortable with each other and with next steps toward planning the ceremony; he will set deadlines for a really fascinating questionnaire process that prompts all sorts of funny memories and conversations with your partner and really good questions around family dynamics, cultural sensitivities, nuances to be aware of, etc. So important. We would do it all over again & change nothing. We were in such good hands and honestly just had a blast with Chris all throughout!

    Sent on 08/17/2017

    Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley's reply:

    Thank you!!!
  • T

    Theresa · Married on 07/15/2017

    5.0
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    This review is by far the easiest to write because hiring Chris to officiate our wedding made it so special. Our ceremony was totally personalized just for us. Chris shared our story with our family and friends (a nice touch since our wedding included family members I hadn't seen in years) and filled it with a sense of humor that my husband and I both share. Working with Chris was easy too - we met with him way in advance of our wedding, but he was readily accessible and met with us again closer to the date. Our family and friends all commented on how much fun the ceremony was but I think my dad phrased it best: the ceremony kicked off our celebration on a great note!

    Sent on 09/01/2017

    Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley's reply:

    Thank you Theresa! Your wedding was one of the highlights of my summer.
  • M

    Matthew · Married on 06/23/2017

    5.0
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    Chris was great. We talked with him on the phone to kick off the process. The back and forth between drafts of the ceremony script went smoothly. His humor was great when we were at the alter to take some of the edge off. I would highly recommend him

    Sent on 07/10/2017

    Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley's reply:

    Thanks Matthew!
  • D

    Danielle · Married on 06/04/2017

    5.0
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    Where do I even begin? Chris was fantastic in every way possible. He was professional, fun to work with, flexible and AMAZING at writing and officiating the ceremony. He captured our love story PERFECTLY and delivered it flawlessly...and had everyone laughing, smiling and crying tears of joy and sentiment along the way. So many of our wedding guests told us that our wedding ceremony was "the best wedding ceremony they have ever attended." And a huge reason for that was Chris. If you like everything you see and hear about Chris...look no further and don't hesitate. I highly, highly, highly recommend Chris Shelley of Illuminating Ceremonies.

  • M

    Mia · Married on 06/03/2017

    5.0
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    Preparing for the ceremony was my favorite (and most meaningful) part of wedding planning. Mostly, this is because Chris was incredible. He helped create a meaningful, fun ceremony that everyone in attendance enjoyed (and believe me, we had a mixed crowd!). Chris's personality, filled with warmth, charm, humor, and depth, makes him a perfect officiant for any occasion. He took the time to get to know us and created a customized ceremony that was poignant and touching at an unbeatable price. Chris loves what he does, which is why his work was truly unforgettable. I cannot recommend this man enough!

    Sent on 06/28/2017

    Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley's reply:

    Thank you very very much, Mia!!! I had so much fun officiating for you up on that quirky rooftop in the sun. Enjoy your summer!
  • A

    Allison · Married on 06/02/2017

    5.0
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      5.0
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    Chris was great! He really personalized our ceremony and it was the perfect mix of humor and emotion. All of our guests commented on how unique and great he was!

    Sent on 07/17/2017

    Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley's reply:

    Thank you Allison! You had a stunningly beautiful wedding and I'm glad I got to be a part of it.
  • S

    Sunny · Married on 05/27/2017

    5.0
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    Christopher is professional, intuitive, genuine and very funny! We loved the personal story he wrote about us. Our guests loved him too. He is a great officiant with unique gifts. I highly recommend him.

    Sent on 07/16/2017

    Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley's reply:

    Thank you Sunny! It was my honor to officiate for you!
  • Katie

    Katie · Married on 05/13/2017

    5.0
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    We first had an hour phone conversation with Chris, and then decided it was best to meet him in person. After meeting with with Chris, we knew he was the one we wanted to marry us. Chris was very personal, professional and extremely easy to work with. He asked us to fill out a questionnaire about a month or so before our wedding. He then gave us a draft of our ceremony- which was so perfect and fitting we barely had to make any changes. Our guests were truly floored by Chris- they loved our ceremony, and really loved Chris. Thank you for making our wedding ceremony so perfectly about us. Do yourself the favor, stop looking and hire him now for your wedding! :)

    Sent on 07/13/2017

    Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley's reply:

    Thank you Katie!!! I really appreciate it. You were both a dream to work with.
  • J

    Jeffrey · Married on 01/28/2017

    5.0
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    Creative, patient, reassuring and all around amazing! Christopher was a complete pleasure to work with!

    Our wedding was a surprise ceremony that was organized from a distance, another country to be exact. Christopher was very helpful and present throughout the whole process. He managed to script a service that included my partner and guests without having access to them. It was funny, original and all around entertaining. After the ceremony, every single guest asked me the same question, ‘Where did you find this amazing guy?’… He, beyond any doubt, made our simple ceremony a success.

    Extra points for his patience since the event was delayed because of a few hiccups with the venue that we had booked!

    Sent on 02/05/2017

    Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley's reply:

    Merci Jeffrey! It was absolutely my pleasure to help with your surprise. You are beautiful people and deserve a long happy life together. A bientot, Chris
  • M

    Marie · Married on 01/21/2017

    5.0
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    We would recommend Chris to anyone! The ceremony he wrote was personalized, heartwarming and funny. He worked closely with us for several months to make sure it was everything we wanted. You don't hear of many weddings where guests remember the ceremony at all, let alone compliment the bride and groom on it all night long.

    Sent on 03/19/2017

    Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley's reply:

    Thank you Marie! The pleasure was mine. It's always a pleasure to do weddings at The Monastery Event Center. Your wedding was wonderful and I'm very happy for you both.
  • M

    Matthew · Married on 12/15/2016

    5.0
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    Chris was everything we could have wished for. The ceremony he prepared was funny, unique, loving and emotional.
    Ourselves and our guests loved the ceremony. He brought so much energy to the room, made every one laugh and told our love story so well.
    We highly recommend Chris, book him you won’t regret it!

    Sent on 01/07/2017

    Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley's reply:

    Thank you Matthew! It was my pleasure to meet your family and to perform your wedding ceremony. I'm honored that you chose me. Thank you! I'm just sorry I couldn't learn Polish in time for the wedding so I could have spoken more to Joanna's Mom!
  • S

    Stephanie · Married on 12/03/2016

    5.0
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    Christopher came highly recommended from a fellow vendor - and we're so glad we found him! Within the first few minutes of our meeting Chris came off as extremely warm and friendly, and someone who genuinely enjoys his job. We were confident that he could give us the type of ceremony we were looking for: personal, sentimental and fun. And he delivered! Our ceremony was the perfect reflection of who we are. Our families and guests loved it. It was the perfect start to an incredible evening, setting the tone for a warm, loving and fun evening.

    Sent on 12/14/2016

    Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley's reply:

    Stephanie, thank you for these kind words. I'm glad I was able to come through for you and Dimitri. I wish you both the very best.
  • S

    Sarah · Married on 10/29/2016

    5.0
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    We hired Christopher Shelley to be the officiant for our wedding, on October 29, 2016, at Bryant Park Grill. After the ceremony, as we were making our rounds to each guest during dinner, the most common question we heard was, "How do you know your wedding officiant? He was great!"

    We joked that he was Uncle Ned's kid and then fessed up: he was the best-rated officiant we found in New York City. We are from different religious backgrounds, and our wish was to have a non-denominational ceremony with certain flourishes from each faith. Chris worked with us from the beginning to make sure that our wishes came true. He first met with us to get a sense of who we were as a couple. He then emailed us a thorough questionnaire for us to fill out individually so he could use personal details about us and our relationship to write a first draft of our ceremony. His draft was touching and funny and really felt like it was extremely personalized for us. We then worked with him to make additions, subtractions, and edits to finalize the ceremony a few weeks before the wedding day. It was an extremely smooth and fun process!

    In addition to writing our ceremony, Chris also handled the marriage license procedure. We sat with him on the day of the wedding and signed the marriage license in front of him and our witnesses. He then took care of mailing it off to the City Clerk while we were on our honeymoon. It was a relief to come home to the finalized paperwork!

    We would highly recommend Chris to be your wedding officiant. He is funny, positive, and truly cares about making your wedding day memorable and special. He is also very pleasant to work with in the stressful months leading up to your big day.

    Sarah & Matt

    Sent on 11/29/2016

    Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley's reply:

    Thank you Sarah! This made my day. Yours was such a perfect, dream-like iconic New York wedding. I was so proud to be a part of it. Thank you for your trust and your friendship, and for these kind words. Thank you!
  • I

    Ivy · Married on 08/27/2016

    5.0
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    Chris was great and delivered an amazing ceremony. Our wedding guests had made comments about the potential to cry or tear up during our ceremony, but as soon as Chris started to speak, that all changed. The ceremony was full of laughs and everyone loved it! We even had some guests tell us that was the funniest ceremony they listened to.

    Chris was easy to work with. We were not in love with the first draft of the ceremony so he rewrote it until we were 100% satisfied. Chris immediately processed our marriage licence - the Monday after our wedding.

    Sent on 09/11/2016

    Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley's reply:

    Thank you for the kind words, Ivy!
  • User6936604 · 2+ years ago

    5.0
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    Chris Shelley knocked our ceremony out of the park! He made our guests laugh and cry in a single sentence. Our life expressed through his words was amazing and our guests continue to compliment his work from our special day. It was so much fun and very different from your normal wedding ceremonies (which are normally very boring)! We cannot wait for our video so we can hear it all over again. Thank for making our day that much more special.

    Sent on 07/08/2016

    Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley's reply:

    Thank you so much for your kind words! You just made my day!
  • N

    Nishi · Married on 06/06/2016

    5.0
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    I cannot recommend Chris enough. Planning a wedding, no matter how large or small, can get stressful and somehow the ceremony always feels like the spiritual heart of the whole exercise. We knew from the outset that we wanted a special ceremony that combined humor with emotion, with a little New York flair, while keeping our guests entertained. In addition, since my now husband's family is French and do not speak a word of English, we asked Chris if he could indulge us and deliver our ceremony entirely in French. He was such a great sport about it and rose to the occasion - our Central Park ceremony was personalized, charming, literary, funny and entirely what we wanted. To all the couples out there searching fruitlessly for a bilingual ceremony or one entirely in French, you've found your guy! Our French family members were completely blown away. MERCI MILLE FOIS!

    Sent on 07/09/2016

    Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley's reply:

    Thank you Nishi! I'm so happy for you and Christophe, and it was an honor for me to perform your ceremony. I was so gratified that the French speakers were happy!
  • C

    Chelsea · Married on 05/29/2016

    5.0
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      5.0
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    The hardest vendor to find and choose was our wedding officiant. Once we spoke to Chris, we knew he was our guy. Chris is super experienced and guides you through the process seamlessly. He's a true talent in his ability to capture your story, fill it with hilarious comedy (which I needed not to ball my eyes out through the entire ceremony), and heartfelt commentary that would have even the driest eyes in the audience crying. He is a ceremony artist. He brings to life everything you dreamt your ceremony would be as if he was a long time friend. Our guests couldn't stop talking about how beautiful the ceremony was, and how amazing our officiant was.

    Sent on 08/28/2016

    Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley's reply:

    Thank you so much Chelsea! This review made my day. I'm so happy I got to be your officiant and to be a part of your big day. You're awesome! Thank you.
  • User4510661 · 2+ years ago

    5.0
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      5.0
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    When we were searching for a wedding officiant for our ceremony at Battery Gardens, we decided to meet with Chris after reading the overwhelmingly positive and heartfelt reviews on WeddingWire. After meeting with him the first time, we knew exactly what everyone was talking about. Chris is very easy to work with, on top of everything and will walk you through his plan/process very thoroughly. Besides all that great stuff, Chris is hilarious and had us cracking up every time we spoke with him. He had us complete a questionnaire which helped him put together an amazing speech for our ceremony. We had several guests tell us the night of and after the wedding just how funny and on the mark Chris was. He was also a huge help with our vows and with running through a rehearsal of the ceremony the day of. He even took care of getting our marriage license finalized and mailed out. Overall, just a huge pleasure to work with. If you're looking for someone who will make your ceremony memorable, emotional, and full of laughs, we highly recommend working with Chris.

    Sent on 01/11/2016

    Illuminating Ceremonies/Christopher Shelley's reply:

    Thank you so much for your kind words! I've always said it's weird having a job where you can get reviewed publicly - but it's also amazingly affirming to see such positive sentiments out there. Thank you again, and I will keep on trying to make every couples' experience like yours.

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