Wedding officiant makes ceremonies a celebration

traditional-wedding.jpgBy Heather Posey
Staff Writer

For those in the mood for love, wedding officiant Alan Katz wants to bring lovebirds together.
A performer and entrepreneur, Katz has made a business marrying couples throughout southern California and being a part of what he calls “the best show in town.”
Since 2003, Katz has brought brides and grooms together, beginning with a couple rather close to him.
“I did my first wedding for a friend. We couldn’t decide which one of us would be his best man, me or one of our other friends. So I said, jokingly, ‘well, why don’t I get ordained and perform your ceremony?’ So I did.”
After getting ordained online, Katz performed his first ceremony, and the positive reaction from wedding guests and the several offers that succeeded the celebration convinced Katz to continue officiating, so he decided to make a small business venture out of it.
One Web site and 1,000 weddings later, Katz and his partners at SoCalOfficiant.com have made a name for themselves as the go-to guys for “Fun and romantic weddings.”
“I like situations where people want to have fun. I mean I’ve been to weddings where people are somber and just sitting there, it’s almost like a funeral,” said Katz. “My best thing is being able to do it in an environment where people want to have fun and laugh and be ready to party after the ceremony’s over and make the ceremony part of the party.”
As certified wedding officiants, Katz and his colleagues represent no religious viewpoint in regard to the ceremony and make no judgments based on beliefs, race, creed, color or sexual orientation.
According to the So Cal Officiant Web site, “If you have the desire to be joined together, we will be happy to help you put a ceremony together that meets your needs.”
“I prefer to call myself an officiant, rather than a minister or a rabbi because it’s what I’m doing, I’m officiating a wedding,” said Katz. “And how I’m officiating that wedding is dependent upon what the people want. Whether they want a religious wedding, a non-religious wedding, whether they want a themed wedding, those are the different types of weddings. So depending on what they want will be what I provide them.”
What the couple wants, though, can be hard to decipher. Katz claims that when a bride or groom contacts him, they often are unsure about what to say when screening officiants.
“Lots of people say ‘hi, I need someone to perform a wedding but I’m not sure what to ask,’ so I ask them about what they want,” he said. “Whether they want a religious or nonreligious ceremony, that’s the first thing. And also whether they want it fun or boring. If they want it boring, I tell them to look somewhere else.”
A lifelong actor and performer, Katz likes to make a production out of his wedding ceremonies, especially when it comes to his themed weddings.
“When I do a wedding, it’s not such a boring thing, it’s a celebration. It’s a fun celebration of getting two people who are in love together, and that’s how I look at it,” said Katz. “We’re kind of putting on a play for everybody out there.”
In his five years as a wedding officiant, Katz has married people while dressed in Renaissance attire and as Cupid, Santa and his personal favorite, Elvis. Also, since he is certified to issue marriage licenses and domestic partnership agreements, he frequently is called to do impromptu weddings at unorthodox locations.
“I’ve done a ceremony at Denny’s. A lot of times since I can do things spur–of–the–moment, I can issue licenses and do everything. People call me at the last minute to do weddings, so who knows where it is going to be,” he said.
Whether standing in a church or along the beach at sunset, it doesn’t matter to Katz, because to him it’s all about doing what he loves to make others happy.
“The reason I do this is when you go to a wedding and you see the bride and the groom look at each other, it’s such an intense love. Any time I am seeing that look between two people, I know I’m doing the right thing.”
For more information on Alan Katz and the So Cal Officiants, call (562) 799-1206 or visit www.socalofficiant.com.

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