Rev. Melodie was born, raised and still resides in Rhinebeck NY. She is the mother of a wonderful daughter, Katie. Melodie currently works for the USPS and loves her job because she is able to meet all kinds of people. Born and raised a Catholic, Melodie has a strong belief in God and all religions from around the world. At the same time she is open to all couples and the ceremony they want performed. She understands that their love needs to be focused on in a wedding ceremony. Rev. Melodie finds being a celebratory minister to be a very rewarding and enjoyable position. Melodie brings comfort and humor into the ceremonies she performs.
See what past clients are saying about Melodie:
Very satisfied with the service provided. The officiant ” Melodie ” was awesome and i would gladly recommend this service to anyone interested.
Kristal and Patrick
One of the best decisions we ever made for the day of our wedding was hiring Melodie. She made helped make a crazy day, beautiful, funny and so meaningful. My whole family is still commenting on how great a ceremony we had that day. Thank you so much
Kerri and Jason
Reverend Danella Abbey is an ordained, licensed spiritual minister who goes beyond traditional limitations to help you create the most unique, loving and personal ceremony.
Each person has their unique spiritual path. It is this understanding combined with pastoral experience, a keen awareness and respect for “Spirit” that has enabled Reverend Abbey to perform unique ceremonies and rituals. If you are looking for a wedding officiant or minister who demonstrates sensitivity, compassion, and open-mindedness, then Reverend Abbey is the one.
Registered in the five boroughs of New York City and the Hudson Valley/Catskills Region of New York, she honors all philosophies and therefore orchestrates spiritual, life partner, non-denominational, traditional, and civil weddings. In addition to these she also conducts, commitment ceremonies, vow renewals and is a wonderful singer who can vocally express your feelings through song.
The love between both of you and the people you choose to include in your celebration is of utmost importance. Rev. Abbey is honored to be your partner in creating a beautiful day to remember.
A wedding is always exciting. A lot of planning and preparation go into action so that the wedding will be memorable meaningful and as one-of-a-kind as the marrying couple. Yet, each couple has consideration unique to them.
There are couples where both partners marry for the first time.
There are couples where one or both partners have been married before but have no children.
There are couples where one or both partners have been married before and have children.
And there are couples who often have children and grandchildren.
This article is dedicated to couples that will have a “blended” family once they are married. That is, children will have a new parent and possibly new siblings.
Many, though not all marrying or re-marrying couples are looking for ways to integrate the children into the wedding ceremony and / or reception in such a way that it will become a Family Wedding. Some people wonder why should a wedding not be dedicated to the bride and groom alone. Why should it not be “Their Day”? There are two main reasons. One of the reason is that children need reassurance. They need to know that they are welcome and wanted by both parents and new siblings. The other, not less important, is that parents WANT their children to be an integral part of the wedding and celebration. We are often asked to suggest ways to involve the children in their parent(s) wedding. The following are ideas, implementation of which depends on the ages / abilities of the children and the degree of involvement the marrying couple wishes to dedicate to them. Children must always feel that they are IMPORTANT especially now, when their parent is marrying a new life partner.
LET’S BEGIN WITH PLANNING AND PREPARATION.
Children who are old enough should be asked to put on their thinking caps and help with the wedding planning and preparations. Their input should always be taken into consideration and if possible acted upon. Children can make recommendations ranging from wedding themes to color schemes. They can suggest favors and help make them. Some parents even let the children help address envelops and / or stuff them. It is also very important to make shopping for the wedding attire a family affair.
WE’LL CONTINUE WITH THE CEREMONY
First come the obvious. If the children or grandchildren are not grown ups, they should be given the duties of a Flower Girl and Ring Bearer. During the ceremony, after the bride and groom exchange vows, they may integrate vows dedicated especially to the children. Children who are old and responsible enough, should participate in the Unity Candle ceremony. Here there are a few options. If only one or two children are involved, they should be given their own tapers and join the bride and groom in lighting the pillar candle. However, if more than two children are involved, they should receive their own tapers but rather than light the pillar candle, light their tapers from it. The candle lighting ceremony is a perfect opportunity for children who are old enough to congratulate the bride and groom and acknowledge the new family union. A friend who recently got married told us about the Unity Candle ceremony at her wedding. She had ordered a personalized pillar candle and seven personalized tapers and gave each child a personalized taper. The ceremony was actually a Family Unity Ceremony. All five children (his two and her three), all above 10 years old, wrote a congratulation and thank you note to the bride and groom. Once the Unity Candle was lit, they took turns lighting their tapers from the pillar and in unison, recited the following: “As I light my candle from the Unity Candle, I feel the warmth, love and excitement of my new, larger family. Thank you Susan (BRIDE’S NAME or MOM or MOTHER) and Bill (GROOM’S NAME or DAD or FATHER) for having given me an extended family to love and be loved by. Congratulations! I love you! It was such a touching experience that there wasn’t a dry eye in the room! Right after the Family Unity Candle ceremony, Susan and Bill exchanged their first gifts as a husband and wife and gave each of the children a personalized Family Unity Ring, and a BIG welcome hug.
Susan and Bill engraved the 3 in 1 ring as follows:
Ring 1 To child’s name
Ring 2 With Love
Ring 3 Wedding Date.
Another way to bestow honor to a teenage or older child is to have a son walk the bride and / or a daughter walk the groom down the isle. The son can be either the bride’s or groom’s and so can the daughter be.
The reception offers as many opportunities for involving the children as there is imagination. There are also the obvious toasts, dances, special responsibilities and tasks.
Intimate Garden, Beach or Backyard Outdoor Wedding Ceremony?
It’s not just nature lovers who are taking part in outdoor wedding ceremonies any longer. Every year, thousands of couples break from tradition and run to the “altars” of lush gardens, sandy beaches and even the comfort of their own backyards.
So, if you’ve chosen to forgo the family church to say your “I do’s,” then the location of your outdoor wedding ceremony is going to be one of the most important decisions you make during the wedding planning process. A great location will set the mood for the whole day and may even play a big part in the theme and colors that you choose. And remember, there is no reason to believe that an outdoor wedding can’t be just as formal and elegant as one held in the grand ballroom of a swanky country club. So, to get you thinking, here are a few outdoor wedding options that are sure to satisfy your wedding day fantasies:
Many state and county-owned parks offer incredibly beautiful garden areas designed specifically with brides and grooms in mind. These “wedding gardens” can offer lush, well-groomed landscaping that will provide the perfect natural backdrop for amazing formal portraits, and other wedding pictures. And there’s no need to spend hundreds of dollars on on flowers for the wedding ceremony. Catch a flower garden during the right season and your wedding ceremony will literally flourish with colorful blossoms.
Beach weddings set the stage for incredibly romantic ambiance and offer a unique opportunity to play up ocean-inspired themes. Picture yourself walking down a sandy aisle lined with conch shells, lit with the warm glow of tiki torches, to the sounds of a steel drum band. The setting sun is your backdrop and, just as it dips below the horizon, you kiss for the first time as husband and wife. This may sound too good to be true but for many couples, this was their wedding day… and it can be yours too.
You don’t have to be a homebody to fall in love with the idea of tying the knot in your own backyard. Many couples are opting for a more laid back approach to their big day by hosting intimate weddings in the privacy of their home. These weddings tend to be smaller, but fewer guests mean you can splurge on other things…like an amazing menu designed to satisfy even the most experienced palate.
As with any outdoor event, weather is a factor. When planning your wedding be sure to avoid seasons known for excessive rain. Keep the comfort of your guests in mind. If you want your friends and family to bless you with good wishes, it’s best to avoid months with excessive hot or cold temperatures. They’ll be so glad you did. With a little luck, your day will go off without a hitch no matter if you select to hold your wedding ceremony on a beach, in a garden or in your own backyard, and you’ll be on your honeymoon before you can say “newlyweds.”
A big Congratulations to all of our couples that were married this winter!
Kimberly & Adam – Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz
Marisa & Erik – West Point Officers Club, West Point
Alicia & Justin – Fallkirk Estate, Central Valley
Michelle & Tim – Ceola Manor, Jefferson Valley
Nicole & Joseph – Terrapin Catering, Staatsburgh
Juliana & Michael – Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, Poughkeepsie
Daisy & Peter – The Rhinecliff Hotel, Rhinecliff
Lauren & William – HVC, Rhinebeck
Amanda & Woody – Ritz Carlton Westchester, White Plains
Filamina & Michael – The Inn at Dover Furnace, Dover Plains
Lys & Tony – Omega Institute, Rhinebeck
Keke & James – HVC, Rhinebeck
Michelle & Lance – Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz
Jennifer & Michael – Villa Borghese, Wappingers Falls
Megan & Brian – Opus 40, Saugerties
Jenny & Kenneth – The Grandview, Poughkeepsie
Renee & Peter – Morgan State House Inn, Albany
Rachel & Ryan – The Grandview, Poughkeepsie
Kristi & Rafael – Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, Poughkeepsie
Congratulations to Kara & John who had Baby Colin blessed at Ceola Manor in Jefferson Valley!
Congratulations to Catherine & Michael who had Baby Sean blessed at the Taconic Education Center in Cold Spring!
Do you feel as though you are not in control of the ceremony? Do you know what is going to be said during the ceremony? Are you being told that special ceremonies, such as the unity candle and remembrance ceremonies are not allowed?
Wait a minute, who is paying for this ceremony? Would you accept your florist saying, “I’m sorry you can’t have roses at your wedding?” No, you would go to another florist.
There is a forgotten vendor called the wedding officiant. Some of these wedding officiants are of a specific faith and others are considered nondenominational and study interfaith. They will assist you and guide you through the process of the wedding ceremony. Most will be very open to theme weddings, destination weddings, and special ceremonies.
The wedding officiant will be a professional who specializes in weddings and ceremonies. They are public speakers and have the experience is in grabbing the attention of your guests, making them feel your affection and love for each other.
Some of the wedding officiants meet with you as a couple, and the write the ceremony specifically for you and about you as a couple. Other officiants will have ceremonies for you to choose from that best matches you as a couple.
Always remember, a wedding is not a wedding without the ceremony. Otherwise you are just throwing one big, maybe expensive party. So don’t just settle for a ceremony someone else wants for you, make it special, make it romantic and funny.
Don’t settle for a ceremony you don’t want, design and develop the ceremony of your dreams. You only get married to your partner once.
Many newly engaged couples have lost more than the occasional night’s sleep while fantasizing about their pending wedding. Romantic heartfelt words flow freely from the sweet lips of husband or wife to be as they exchange the vows of their misty dreams. However, when the time comes to actually pen, or worse; to speak such prose out loud, the words suddenly stall. Gone are the simplistic, archaic, and somewhat subservient somber pronouncements “To love, honor, and obey, till death do you part” of our Grandparent’s day. Such intoning leaves a couple, and their guests, void of the magic which brought them to the proverbial “altar” to begin with. The words spoken at a wedding ceremony should reflect not only the love shared between the couple, but the deep, profound respect and honor they feel for one another at that very moment.
The Officiants at Hudson Valley Ceremonies work very hard to capture the right words that mirror this unique love. Upon meeting a couple for the first time we immediately begin getting to know one another. Where you have come from very often sets the stage for whom you have become, so sharing some stories about your background is usually the best beginning. How and why your lives evolved to synchronize your meeting each other, then revealing the ways your friendship blossomed into love, and furthered onto a serious life-long commitment is vital to writing and delivering a ceremony that will leave all present talking about it for years to come. We provide you with dozens of sample ceremonies, and I develop a personalized, blended ceremony using several options, just as an example of how harmonizing together a Remembrance, Recognition, Wine or Unity Candle service can bring excitement and enlightenment to your ceremony. In the end though, remember the words are yours to edit and ad lib, creating the reality of those musings you only once imagined.
For me, my goal is to bring to life all those rehearsals you played over and over in your mind. After an initial letter of introduction and communication via email, we then meet in person. Depending on the type of Officiant Package a couple chooses, we may meet at their home, a local diner, or here in Rhinebeck at the Hudson Valley Ceremony Office. Meeting in Rhinebeck is a complimentary, no obligation option which allows the couple to also look through Invitations, Save-the-Date, RSVP, and Thank You cards by the hundreds, which we offer clients at our wholesale price. This is a savings of 50% off retail prices. Top that off with tremendous discounts on; Bridal Party Gifts, Favors, Table Settings, Cake Toppers, Themed Napkins, Center Pieces, Honeymoon Travel, and low cost Wedding Insurance along with our discounted Vendor referrals and you need not spend one stressful moment searching for these necessities. You can complete your wedding shopping in that one visit!
After our first meeting, we encourage our couples to continue communication by phone or email, establishing an extended family relationship with us. My motto is “My words to you at the altar, even if scripted, are from my heart.” It is important to me that you as a couple genuinely feel that from me. Your day becomes a special moment in my own life, cherished and remembered; a true privilege and honor to me to be permitted this glimpse into your wonderful life.
Over time we email the ceremony back and forth, editing and adding as your day gets closer, until you both feel that it reflects everything about you and everything you wish said, and to say. The most common question I receive about the Vows section is from the Groom who is most worried that those long promises must be memorized. If I am present at a rehearsal it brings a huge laugh when I tell the Groom the night before the big day “Yes! We expected you to have memorized this by now!” But in truth, the traditional “Please repeat after me” still holds true even in our modern day.
Although we will not actually recite nor reveal the special words of your ceremony at a rehearsal we will coordinate and practice the Processional and Recessional, and go through the sections of the ceremony which cue the Musicians or Ushers as to when and where their participation would be required. Your rehearsal will last as long as need be, until everyone is most comfortable with their varied roles. We encourage older family members to attend, but for those who are unable they are easily substituted for the moment with a younger family member, which also keeps the evening light and fun. This is all about uniting not only two persons, but two families, and communities. It is my belief that such local unity is the key to our global alliances, and what better way to begin that long journey than hand in hand with a partner who shared your dreams and shares your path.
As you share and express your love to the world, I thank you for allowing me to be the vehicle from which you enter and begin this brand new life; as Husband and Wife. Congratulations, and as my favorite Apache Blessing closes; “May your days be long upon the Earth. And so it is.”
Michael & Julianna – HVC, Rhinebeck
Ashley & Mark – Lippincott Manor, Wallkill
Jill & Hoke – Private Home, Stone Ridge
Michelle & Robert – Private Home, Poughkeepsie
Deanna & Sean – Locust Grove, Poughkeepsie
Sara & Robert – The Grandview, Poughkeepsie
Nancy & Chris – Overlook Lodge, Bear Mountain
Jeannette & Merrill – Private Home, Fort Montgomery
Jessica & John – Private Home, Clinton Corners
Robin & Adam – The Roosevelt House, Poughquag
Katharina & Clay – Overlook Mountain House, Woodstock
Erica & Jose – Highlands Country Club, Garrison
Heather & Michael – Bowdoin Park, Wappingers Falls
Mary & Dave – Bear Mountain Inn, Bear Mountain
Christina & Brian – The Sterling, Bethpage
Aimee & Kevin – Holiday Inn, Fishkill
Beth & Eric – Villa Borghese, Wappingers Falls
Jennifer & Kyle – FEAST at Round Hill, Washingtonville
Melissa & Ryan – V.I.P. Country Club, New Rochelle