Wedding Officiant, Aretha Gaskin of Weddings By Aretha has been in the wedding industry since the 1990s, having officially launched her own business in 2013. With a background in corporate law, Aretha brings a "fresh and modern approach to officiating wedding ceremonies and the overall process of working with couples." Her motivation comes from "crafting and delivering a beautiful ceremony" for her couples, and a moving atmosphere that leaves not only the bride & groom touched but also the guests - creating a unique and unforgettable ceremony experience.
Read all about Weddings By Aretha in this insightful and inspiring in-depth interview.
Name: Aretha Gaskin
Business Name: Weddings By Aretha
What did you do before starting your business in the
wedding industry? I worked in Corporate Law (NYC).
How long have you been in the wedding industry? I’ve been in and out of the wedding industry (while still in corporate) since the 90s. In 2013, I took a leap of faith and officially launched my wedding officiating business.
How would you describe your style? I’m a young, modern Celebrant bringing a fresh and modern approach to officiating wedding ceremonies and the overall process of working with couples.
What motivates you? Crafting and delivering a beautiful ceremony for my couples and having them (as well as their guests) be so touched and moved and remark that they’ve never seen a ceremony like that before. Keeps me motivated and always wanting to raise the bar.
Why should brides/grooms choose you? Because I’m unlike any other Celebrant out there. I bring a high level of professionalism to my business and my work and my approach is collaborative. Working with me, couples get the opportunity to co-create every aspect of their ceremony. Planning your wedding ceremony with me is “an experience” and I truly believe that your wedding ceremony should not be something that you’ve seen before either in a church or in the movies – but rather it should be a fully customized true reflection of who you are
as a couple.
What do you enjoy most about your work? I thoroughly enjoy meeting and connecting with couples from around the world (remotely) and through a fine-tuned process in my business, I enjoy crafting and delivering memorable wedding ceremonies. I also enjoy having a front row seat to witnessing the strength and
power of true love.
Describe a proud moment while working in the wedding industry. I once had a couple from a very religious family but they didn’t want a religious ceremony nor did they want to get married in a church. On top of that, the Bride’s Dad as well as her two Aunts on her Dad’s side were Pastors. Against much family objection, they decided to have their ceremony at a venue instead of a church and instead of family member/family Pastor officiating, they hired me. It gave me tremendous pride that just about every family member reached out to me after the ceremony (in person before I left the venue and via social media) to compliment me on how incredibly beautiful the ceremony was and how they were so grateful that the couple did what they wanted and got exactly what they wanted. I’ve since had many moments like that in my business. Makes me very proud of the work that I do.
What’s the best compliment you’ve received for your
work? A bride referring me to ALL her girlfriends (5 to be exact!) and having them all book me for their upcoming weddings! Then said bride asked me to officiate the memorial ceremony after her Mom passed away. Very humbling.
What are your business goals? To grow my business in a major way, to be the most requested Officiant/Celebrant by couples and to book a maximum of 150 weddings yearly. To launch my Officiant Business School (www.officiantbusinessschool.com) early next year (this is an online 8 week intensive training program for US based Officiants), and to also re-launch my bi-weekly webinars for Engaged Couples. I’d also like to officiate weddings on national TV shows (Ellen, etc.) and to provide wedding officiating services to celebrities.
What’s your favorite part of the wedding industry? Connecting with couples on one of the happiest days of their lives.
What’s your least favorite part of the wedding industry? People thinking that because they can haggle with some wedding industry professionals and get good service for cheap, that they can haggle with every vendor.
Describe your vision of the “perfect” wedding. When the plan, not just for the ceremony (my jurisdiction) but the overall wedding, is executed with such precision that it's flawless! That’s my idea of a perfect wedding!
Where do you find the most inspiration? I find inspiration from being an avid reader, traveling and connecting with people from all cultures.
Is there anything else you would like our readers to know? That I will travel far and wide for my amazing couples and I’m currently taking bookings for 2018/19!
Follow Weddings by Aretha here!