OFFICIATING WEDDINGS – PREMARITAL COUNSELING – WEDDING YOGA
Together, let’s get you ready not just for your wedding, but your marriage. I’ve created a practice to join the body, mind and soul through officiating wedding ceremonies, pre-marital counseling and a special yoga practice for weddings! These are powerful ways to celebrate your love and fully acknowledge the support of those closest to you.
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As a Wedding Officiant, I instill an atmosphere of relaxation, humor, and honesty – including only what you want for your special day. I bring a sense of maturity and versatility to all rituals, making it a warm and unique experience for you and your guests.
I approach the ceremony from a secular/non-denominational place, but am happy to include anything from a religious tradition, if you have one.
I certainly draw upon my theatre and public speaking experience and can easily help plan the look, sound and feel of the ceremony. If a choreographed procession is what you want, great. If you need assistance with music or reading selections, just say the word.
The union is the foundation for the ceremony. This is true if it’s your first wedding or a vow renewal. The ceremony can be as traditional or untraditional as you’d like. Together, we will discuss mood and style, the rituals you want and potential inclusion of family and friends and then work largely through email to finalize the ceremony. Fees depend on the size of the party and the amount of customization preferred. Travel expenses (outside the 5 boroughs) are additional.
Have you shared your expectations of the relationship and asked your partner all of your questions in your heart? Are you prepared for the day AFTER your wedding? Even couples that have been together for years feel the chance to speak openly and honestly is invaluable as you commit to a life together.
While I do not require counseling for the couples I marry, I HIGHLY encourage it. Some couples approach me to work on current challenges, but most just want a clean bill of health and tools to help as you grow and mature. Pre-marital counseling sessions are secular in nature and focus on the 7 main causes of divorce in America. We take the necessary time to explore the issues that affect your relationship most.
Individual sessions start at $100, with multi-session packages starting at $380.
These can either be done in-person in the NY area or by phone and online through video chat anywhere in the world.
In-person. Phone calls. Video chat. Counseling to fit your schedule.
Needless to say wedding preparations can be stressful. Adding a custom yoga practice to the planning stages and day of the wedding helps grooms, brides-to-be, and their family, and friends be present, relax, celebrate, and find a deeper enjoyment of the rituals.
While these sessions are fully custom, I like to start with the chakras – or 7 energy centers in the body and go from there. Here are some examples of what we can do.
FOR THE INDIVIDUAL:
This session focuses on the 3rd Chakra (or Manipura in Sanskrit). As the rite of passage of marriage may bring up questions of identity, we will meditate and play with poses that open and balance this center. Prepare to practice (or learn the fundamentals) of Navasana (Boat Pose), Suryanamaskar (Sun Salutation), Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose).
FOR THE COUPLE:
These sessions provide a little couple time and focus on Chakras 2 and 4, Svadisthana or the Sacral and Anahata, the heart. Through breathing together we will open and balance our sexual and compassionate energy centers. Prepare to play with Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose), Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Pigeon Pose), Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose), Upavistha Konasana (Open Angle Pose), as well as some lovely partner poses.
FOR THE BRIDE AND HER POSSE:
This is a more vigorous class that both grounds and connects. Focusing on Chakras 1 and 7, the root and the crown, we will play with some of the brides favorite poses along with Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Pose), Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose), Salamba Balasana (Supported Child’s Pose). This session ends with a powerful ritual that celebrates the bride and the bonds of friendship.
For 1-3 people – $ 95
For 4-8 people – $150
For 9-12 people – $200
For 12+ people – $250
You are planning one of the biggest days of your life. Things are going to get hairy. But for a moment allow yourself to step back and take a breath. Heck, take three. You are going through a Life Changing Experience. You need to be there for it.
Put on your comfy pants, cue the calming music and welcome a community of women going through the exact same thing.
The Zen Bride is a 4-hour workshop that gives brides-to-be an opportunity to breathe and recognize the amazing rite of passage from engagement day to wedding day.
In a safe space, we will celebrate with a community of 12 women processing the same challenges, successes, anxiety and bliss you are. Together we will de-stress with a little mediation and yoga, share our stories, & create and perform a meaningful ritual leaving you relaxed and refreshed and ready to complete the journey towards wedded bliss.
Over the next 4 months, there will be a series of THE ZEN BRIDE MINI. One-hour long intro sessions to allow brides to mix and mingle and learn some of the tools. If you are a wedding vendor who would like to host one of the FREE sessions, or a bride who would like to attend, email hope@perfectunionNY.com
Hope Mirlis is a virtual smorgasbord. A handful of educator, a scoop of performer, a dash of administrator and a whole lot of positive, nurturing energy. After growing up in New York, she spent over a decade in Atlanta where she co-founded a theatre company, ran a catering business, and performed and choreographed at some amazing theatres.
After a brief stint on the West Coast to get her MFA and embrace her inner “chill,” she’s back in her native New York bringing balance and inspiration into marriage preparation and working with grooms and brides to embrace ritual and create unique wedding ceremonies. Hope is a registered NY Wedding Officiant, an Ordained Minister, a Certified Yoga Instructor and has been working with couples across the country since 2009.
“I just love how Hope connects to people and makes you feel calm and connected to the world somehow! She definitely has the ability to bring ease and calm into chaotic and challenging moments.” - Weihaur Ralph Lau
We can’t thank you enough. You helped make our wedding ceremony everything we had hoped for (and more)! Our family commented afterwards on the positive energy you brought to the ceremony; we noticed as well and it made the ceremony even more special for us. We’ve been to quite a few weddings over the years and compared to the other officiants we have seen you went above and beyond what we expected. Thanks so much again for making our day so special.
All the best,
-Eric and Shawna Simpson, Ontario, Canada
Hope was exactly who we needed to lead our wedding. She worked closely with us over the course of two months to design a totally custom ceremony, incorporating all of the elements we wanted. She helped us to focus our ideas and then expanded upon them with her own words. We loved that she was totally open to feedback and would eliminate any phrasing that we didn’t respond to without taking it personally. And on the big day, Hope was just perfect. Sometimes when planning a non-denominational wedding, the ceremony is an afterthought. You focus on the party and the design and when it comes time to pick an officiant you think maybe you should just have a friend do it. I’m SO glad we didn’t do that. The ceremony was absolutely our favorite part of the day and Hope was an integral part of it. We’re so happy we chose her.
-Selene Richholt, New York, NY
I was lucky enough to have Hope not only serve as our pre-marital counselor and officiate our wedding, but also to guide me, my maid of honor and two close friends in a wedding-day yoga practice. Hope got us out of our heads and into our hearts. The focus on breath and heart was so soothing, and was absolutely perfect – just what I needed to settle myself before our ceremony. I felt truly centered, awake and aware, and because of that, I was able to be fully present as I entered marriage. Our ceremony, written primarily by Hope, was deeply personal and full of meaning. She was accommodating and encouraging of the Buddhist tone we were looking for, and provided some lovely touches by way of her own research. I cannot express how grateful I am to have had her support by way of yoga, officiating and serving as a personal centering point for me on that day.
-Angela Aquino, Atlanta, GA
Hope’s teaching has provided me with a sense of safety and trust in class – both in her as a teacher and in my own exploration of my yoga practice. Her immense compassion for her students combined with her no-nonsense, straight-forward instruction are a beautiful combination inviting our most authentic selves to come forward and play in class.
-Eleni Livitsanos, San Francisco, CA
Hope’s yoga classes are creative, challenging and energizing. A thoughtful and intuitive teacher, her many talents and interests are reflected in her approach to yoga. It’s an experience not to be missed.
-Kim Appleby, Oakland, CA
I’ve been taking yoga classes with Hope for the past several months, and it has been a real pleasure. The classes are always varied, as Hope explores the vast world of Yoga and shares her findings with her students. She will often choose themes to organize her teaching for the week. For example, over the weeks we have explored (among others) various chakras, breath, kundalini, spontaneity, music, intention and light. The classes are not overly difficult, but she has the knack of letting each student be at their level, while encouraging each student to explore their own limits. I experienced a real sense of growth and progress in my practice while working with Hope.
-Rosalie Gonzales, Albany, CA
We began searching online for officiants and found only people who were offering cookie-cutter services. After a few frustrating days of this, we came across A More Perfect Union, and set up a meeting with Hope. Before the introductions were far behind us, we already knew we had found the officiant for Our wedding. We had already decided that we had wanted to start things off on the right foot, so we also signed up for counseling. Hope met us for four sessions, and helped us discuss issues which most commonly cause marital troubles and divorce. We both felt the sessions were very effective, and we plan to meet with Hope every so often in the future for periodic marital refreshers/check-ins. Leading up to the wedding, we touched base often with Hope and she put together many drafts. The final version was exactly what we envisioned, before we even knew what kind of ceremony we would want. Since the wedding, one of our most common things we’ve heard was how wonderful our ceremony was, how much it reflected the two of us and how excellent Hope was in her delivery and presence during the ceremony. Hope helped to guide us through the wedding process and gave us a wedding ceremony we only could have dreamed of. We could not give her a more enthusiastic recommendation for other couples!
-Salua Baida & Dave Mack, New York, NY
Hope played a huge role in making our wedding as magical as it turned out to be. We are positioned somewhat anti-religiously, albeit with a very healthy love for the universe in which we live, and Hope was able to really channel our love for one another, our kids, and our lives into a ceremony that really reflected our passion, as well as our desire not to take life too seriously. We would absolutely recommend that anyone that is looking to add a really special and personal touch to the officiation of their wedding invite Hope to perform the ceremony!
-Genia Simkin, Sausalito, CA
I cannot imagine preparing for marriage without Hope’s insight and guidance. She helped me and my fiancee navigate some very important (and sometimes difficult) topics that we would never have thought of otherwise. Through our sessions, she learned so much about us as a couple, and incorporated this knowledge into our ceremony. Because of her care, attention, and presence, what could have been a mundane ritual was transformed into a hand-tailored ceremony and a true celebration.
-Chris Aquino, Atlanta, GA
If you are considering Hope for your ceremony, don’t think another second. She is a true professional and made our day more than special. From our first meeting until our wedding day, she took care of every detail. There are things that come up that you don’t even think of and Hope always had it covered. She created a ceremony that was authentic to us and very memorable for our guests.
-Melanie Rebani, Brooklyn, NY
Hope is a fantastic yoga teacher; working not only to improve your body, but to focus your mind and set intentions for the day, week, month or year. It is a great start to any morning or during a time of transition. Hers is a gentle yoga; great for beginners but also for people who want to go at their own pace, taking each pose as deep as they wish. From time to time she brings fun, interesting suggestions such as yoga to Beatles music or readings from yogis and scholars. With a beautiful voice, her chants will transport you to India and beyond.
-Elizabeth Branoff, Berkeley, CA
Hope’s teaching always challenges my yoga practice, and also makes me smile. She is both humorous and serious, with a clear and supportive way of teaching.
-Justin McCoy, Stevensville, MT