Hi! I’m Naomi Rose. I’m a multi-award winning wedding officiant in Santa Cruz.
I’m a competent, caring and charismatic wedding officiant who helps couples have a wedding ceremony on their own terms. I take couples under my wing, guide them, and love on them on one of the most important days of their lives. I help couples take back their ceremonies from mindless wedding trends and traditions, and remind them of why they’re doing all of this in the first place! I create ceremonies that palpably and effectively usher couples across the threshold of marriage, so they can feel solid in the next chapter of their lives and relationship.
“By far, our favorite part of our wedding was the beautiful ceremony Naomi created just for us.” -Amanda, Sand Rock Farm
Why I do the voodoo that I do.
I grew up in a very rigid and repressive religious community. As a teenager I started wondering why the messages I was receiving felt so out-dated, heavy-handed and hypocritical. I wanted to see the world in color, not in black and white. So I asked a lot of questions, and pushed back hard, as teenagers sometimes do. I spent those years and the ones following wrestling with the big philosophical, religious, spiritual, and cultural questions. And I challenged oppressive and dogmatic constructs that felt divisive and irrelevant.
Then, in my 20’s, I went on a life changing quest!
I spent 4 years traveling alone through Latin America and Asia searching in earnest. I spent time in Jewish synagogues, Buddhist monasteries, Hindu temples, malkoas, tipis and sweat lodges. Wherever I traveled I saw the importance and necessity of rites of passage, of creating continuity between the generations, of marking big life milestones with intention and care, and of being witnessed, supported and celebrated by community.
I learned that ceremonies - and the rites of passage they mark - are an enduring, universal human impulse!
I returned to the United States and studied every type of healing modality I could get my hands on, completed two years of earth-based ministerial training with the Center for Sacred Studies, became a Certified Life Cycle Celebrant with The Celebrant Foundation and Institute, and apprenticed with master ceremonialists.
“Thank you again for the amazing gift to us of that beautiful ceremony. It was art in action, and it was beyond meaningful.” -Erica, Santa Cruz
Ministering to the churchless.
With more and more people identifying as nonreligious, I recognized that there was a big need for competent, caring and charismatic ceremony leadership, for someone who would adopt couples through this major rite of passage, and help them express their spiritual and philosophical sovereignty. I often call myself a ‘minister to the churchless’ or ‘reverend gone rogue’ because I work with all of those unaffiliated, atheist, agnostic, secular, spiritual-but-not-religious, multi-faith, Jew-ish and God-squeamish couples who don’t have a priest, pastor or parish to go to, but want an enlivening and inspiring wedding ceremony. Love is inherently holy, so there’s no need to overlay it with a bunch of doctrine and dogma if that’s not what’s authentically true to you. And of course there can be wonderment without worship, reverence without rigidity, and devotion without dogma.
“I do believe that if your culture or tradition doesn’t have the specific ritual you are craving, then you are absolutely permitted to make up a ceremony of your own devising, fixing your own broken-down emotional systems with all the do-it-yourself resourcefulness of a generous plumber/poet.” -Elizabeth Gilbert
One hundred wedding ceremonies and multiple awards!
So I took all of that experience, passion, training and talent and began offering creatively reimagined, deliciously refreshing, life-affirming, custom wedding ceremonies to couples who wanted to bookmark this unforgettable life moment with a ceremony that would be the emotional heart of their wedding. I’ve since performed over 100 wedding ceremonies, become a founding board member of the Slow Weddings Network, and won multiple awards on the top wedding websites, including WeddingWire and The Knot.
Woman on a mission!
I’m committed to “finding more insightful ways of comprehending the great human transitions, and reinventing meaningful ways of ritualizing them.” I’m committed to becoming one of those generous plumber/poets that Elizabeth Gilbert describes. I’m committed to inclusivity, and I wholeheartedly welcome couples of all colors, creeds, races, religions, genders and sexual orientations. And I’m committed to being a potent force of feminine leadership in a realm that has, until recently, been male dominated.
“We couldn’t be happier with the ceremony, it is both of our highlights to our wedding and to our life. We truly appreciate you and feel so blessed to have our paths connected. Thank you for pouring your energy into ceremony. It is a blessing to the world.” -Nathan & Alisha, Sequoia Retreat Center
My special sauce.
In addition to the extensive training I mentioned above, I have a degree in creative writing and a background in theater and public speaking, which greatly enhances my ceremony writing and performance skills. I’m a natural bridge between the ancient and the modern, the mystical and the practical, the secular and the sacred. I embody a sort of irreverent-reverence, and bring just the right balance of goofiness and gravitas to my work with couples. I’m also old enough that people take me seriously, but young enough that the millennials still think I’m cool!
My favorite TV show is Broad City. It’s irreverent in the best way! I used to be a professional Sign Language interpreter, but a wrist injury changed the direction of my life and work. My first word was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. For real. I’m the oldest of 5 children, and the auntie of 8 nieces and nephews. I’m a native New Yorker, a world traveler, and an expat at heart. GIF’s are pretty much my love language. And even though I almost died while riding atop a runaway elephant in Nepal, I think that elephants are mighty creatures, and I envision a world in which they are respected, protected and free. In fact, any tips that I receive from couples in 2019 are donated to elephant conservation, preservation and protection efforts. In addition to weddings I perform many other types of ceremonies. Feel free to ask me about those!