So, I'm pretty sure that the reason sisters exist in the world is to brag about yourself when you don't. Jenny is the first person to tell people that my students love me, that I'm a great mom, or that I survived open heart surgery. So, now it's my time to brag a little about my extremely humble little sister.

Photo from Katie Jane Photography
When Eric and I got engaged a while ago, we had had a friend in mind to officiate the wedding, but it didn't work out...Eric suggested we have Jenny officiate the wedding, since she knew us both (obviously) very well. So, we sat down with her, and came up with a beautiful ceremony and wonderful vows. We still agree that the best part of wedding planning was working with Jenny on that, and our favorite part of the wedding was the ceremony. So, when Jenny decided that she really enjoyed working on the ceremony and marrying people, we were all for her turning her passion into a career! To be honest, I'm her number one fan: I can't think of a person who is more skilled with lovely writing, sensitive to people's emotions, understands crazy families, is extremely efficient (fun fact: when coming up with her company's name we toyed around with the "efficient officiant"!), and really understand the greatness of wedding ceremonies (note: that they are vastly different than weddings). When Cheerleader for Love was launched, and then she did YAY NY, and then she started performing weddings in Central Park, on the Highline, at the top of the Empire State Building at midnight...I could see how much she loved her job. How much she loved seeing the joy in people's eyes when she joined them for life. Not only does she enjoy working with her couples, but she takes great pride in the people she marries. The decision to get married is not an easy one, and she gets matter the couple.

Katie Jane Photography
Katie Jane Photography
Which is why, when she told me the following story, I was quite disturbed.

See, Jenny's company is called Cheerleader for Love because she is a huge proponent of love: no matter who loves whom. Many, in fact, most, of Jenny's wedding ceremonies are between same sex couples. But, the beauty of Jenny is that she never once, not ever, has seen it that way. To her, they are just couples. Just people in love who want to get married. She's just a fan of love, and she wants people in love to be happy. That's her simple mission.

Flash forward to her marrying people for over two years. She was let go from her nursery school position and decided it was THE TIME to really launch her company into a full-time life career. She invested money and time into marketing (you can see her at A Practical Wedding and Offbeat Bride), and decided to take a stab at The Knot...they promised their big numbers, their high traffic, their vendor pages...woo hoo. Except it wasn't all woo hoo: their website is incredibly difficult to navigate (I couldn't find her when I went to look for her), and even with their high traffic...she got one inquiry for a wedding. ONE. Now, let's be clear, it isn't for lack of weddings (she's been doing a ton!), but it's a really poorly mapped out design on their site. Anyway, after you pay The Knot a ton of money for ad space which is hard to find, apparently they call you to check in after a few months. Jenny told them that she had only gotten one wedding inquiry from their site, so the woman at The Knot said she would take a look at Jenny's page to check her stats. Well, apparently, it's not only difficult for the common person to find vendors on their site, but their own people--twenty minutes later she pulls up Cheerleader for Love's ad-space page and says,

"Were you aware that the first picture on your page is of lesbians?"

Okay. Stop.

First of all, obviously she's aware--she set up her page.

Secondly: what's the problem with THAT?

Obviously, there's some issue here. Of course she's aware of the photos she chose to show, she did that for a reason--she's open to performing all weddings, regardless of the couple's sexual orientation. Why would having a lesbian couple, or a gay couple, or a straight couple, deter someone else from hiring her as an officiant? What does it matter what sexual orientation of the couple she has in her photos? A wedding ceremony is a ceremony is a ceremony. Just like love is love is love. This just got my blood boiling. Furthermore, she got an email after that conversation asking her to pay another $1000 to advertise with their special "equality" pages for gay/lesbian weddings. Uh, why can't "those weddings" have ad space on the regular, "normal," ad space? Something about this whole situation doesn't sit right with me. That comment shouldn't have been made. Period.

[EDIT: Apparently, the "paying more for the equality page" is the fact that they are promoting their new LGBT wedding magazine, and you can pay for ad space in THAT...I believe. It was sort of confusing. Just wanted to clear that up.]

Jenny is the Cheerleader for Love because she truly believes in love and the power of the wedding ceremony. She does not see the photos of her couples and thinks, "that's a lesbian couple," "that's a gay couple," "that's a straight couple." She sees her couples and thinks, "they are in love, and I am so lucky to be the one to make them married!"

But, it's a new year (almost), so I'm going to let bygones be bygones, and Jenny is not re-upping her ad space with The Knot. We don't back institutions who don't love love. Speaking of the new year, Jenny is now booking up for 2014. She already has a bunch of weddings for January (hello, she's doing one on NYE! Too cool!). In the spirit of love and holidays, take a look at her brand new website, and pass the word on to any fresh meat newly engaged couples you know. You won't find a more caring, sensitive, wise, and efficient officiant out there. In this new generation of celebrating Hanukkah & Christmas, Easter & Passover, not being able to decide on a religion, believing in your own god/goddess/the internet, and religions of SoulCycle and yoga, here's the perfect addition to your wedding: an officiant who has no agenda except to marry YOU. An officiant who has nothing to preach except your story, and an officiant who only believes in one thing: the power of love.

And, now the braggart sister steps off her soap box.


  1. I'm the one photographing her New Years Eve wedding! I had long suspected The K*ot was not the place for me in terms of advertising; this confirmed it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hey Amber! Looking forward to it! I feel so silly for ever considering them.. I knew they weren't "my sort of people." but a UU minister I met said she did well with I figured I'd try it out. For a lot of money they run a terrible business. I can't wait until I can remove my information from their site!


  4. wait, who are you? booked for what?

  5. Gah! I found this post through stalking @PracticalWed on Twitter (only a little), and now I'm super bummed that Jenny is NY only.

    But, for serious, keep being awesome, Jenny.

  6. You are by far my favorite officiant to work with, and I hope we have tons of weddings together next year!

    Who needs the Kn*t.