Mazel Tov on your engagement!

If you have come to my site, it is because you are seeking a warm, deeply personalized, honest, funny, and poignant wedding ceremony that reflects who you are as a couple. You should never feel alienated by your own wedding ceremony. I will help make you and your guests feel at ease as witnesses and participants in your commitment.

With a Ph.D. in Jewish history and culture—including a specialization in secular Jewish culture—I have the expertise and authority in things Jewish AND a willingness to customize tradition in order to honor the couples’ wishes. I will give you the ceremony you desire while keeping you informed of rituals you may not know exist. Learn more about my scholarship here.

I respect all people and their approaches to Judaism, Jewish culture, and other religious or cultural practices. I come to you free of judgment or preconceptions about what a couple should look like and what Jewishness should mean. I just want to celebrate you!

The real collaboration on your wedding day is between two partners; my happy role is to advise you in that collaboration. No matter what kind of life you plan to have together (who says you have to decide today?), your wedding ceremony should be a warm memory of the day you publicly become a family.

Shaina's ceremony so wholeheartedly expressed the hopes and intentions of our marriage. She managed to be both funny and serious, and to help us navigate which traditions felt personal to us. The care she took with our ceremony was a true highlight of our wedding."
—Kara, bride

Book Shaina today!

I’m available anywhere in the Bay Area and I’m open to traveling for you.


Take the reins on building a ceremony or let me customize something for you. I’m comfortable leading the way or adapting to your design.


Free initial phone/Skype consultation.


I devote time to learning about your families’ histories and your personal relationships with Judaism or Jewish culture. Ambivalence welcome!


Up to three in-person meetings, unlimited phone and email access, and all day services on your wedding day.


Your ceremony will be honest and it will be memorable, but it will be efficient—let’s not waste time getting to the celebrating!

About Shaina

My wedding day was about dancing with friends and enjoying delicious food (yup, we had a gelato bar), but it was also about striking a careful balance between honoring both the future my husband and I imagined for ourselves and our independent pasts—our families, the legacies of our personal histories. For me, this meant celebrating my strong Jewish upbringing even though my Jewishness did not look at all like it did in my childhood. My husband and I struggled to find someone who could tailor a ceremony to reflect us, but we encountered resistance from the communities we approached. It felt like we were being asked to choose between a variety of Judaism with which we weren’t comfortable or no Jewish tradition at all!

I want newlyweds to be empowered by the choices they make and not feel like traditions are an imposition. I want their commitment to be fully celebrated for the traditions that hold meaning for them and not encumbered by the ones that don’t. I want to help couples who might not be familiar with Jewish wedding traditions to find a ritual that moves them.

As an expert in Jewish history, culture, and religion and an experienced teacher and public speaker, I have the extensive knowledge of the various traditions that can inform a wedding ceremony, but I come with no personal agenda as to which traditions should matter to you. Learn more about my teaching, speaking, and scholarship here. I am eager to meet with and celebrate all kinds of couples!

Contact

For more information on Shaina’s wedding officiating services, fill out the form below.

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