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Reverend Gary Gudzik Chapel of Saint Valentine

We believe that every person has the right to marry the person they love. Period.

—From Our Mission Statement

See our gallery of happy couples toward the bottom of this page

What You'll Find on This Page

  • You're Getting Married (Introduction)
  • Planning Your Wedding Ceremony
  • Our Services & Pricing
  • Links to Reviews, Awards, and Photo Galleries
  • About Us
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Secure Client Portal Login

You're Getting Married

Congratulations!

You are about to take the first steps in a lifelong journey together, and your wedding ceremony and reception will be events you'll never forget. A professionally crafted ceremony that tells your story and reflects your ideals and values is going to have all your guests raving about the ceremony as much as they gush about that fantastic chocolate fountain at the dessert bar. Reverend Gary has a reputation for making couples very comfortable and bringing both humor and deep meaning to their ceremonies.

We had so many compliments on how beautiful our ceremony was and would highly recommend him to others. We will always be very thankful to Reverend Gary for making our wedding day perfect!

—Laurie & Eric

Sometimes couples get lost in the "party planning" aspect of a wedding. There’s so much to decide—from choosing a venue to picking flowers, music, and photo packages. Of course, these things take a lot of time and attention. You want the best photographer and videographer that you can afford. You want the most beautiful floral arrangements and favors that your budget will allow. In the midst of all your wedding planning, it’s important to remember that no matter how long your stretch limo is or how many servers will be passing out hors d'oeuvres, the wedding ceremony is the reason it’s all happening. Reverend Gary is a professional, ordained wedding officiant with the experience and qualifications to give you the very best service at an affordable price, delivering a completely personalized ceremony that celebrates your love story!

Couples now have more options in designing their ceremonies than ever before. If they're opting not to get married in a house of worship, they can choose a special site for their wedding, or have the ceremony right at the reception venue. They have opportunities never before available at traditional church weddings.

—Reverend Gary Gudzik

The most important thing to remember when planning your ceremony is to communicate your thoughts and desires to your officiant! As with all things wedding related, it’s putting in the work and planning ahead of time that will make the big day run smoothly. Ask questions. Express your ideas. You will be Reverend Gary's primary source for all the little things he needs to know about you in order to make your ceremony stand out. You may not know all the details that go into planning a wedding ceremony, so Reverend Gary can help by guiding the discussion based on his years of experience, but it is your wedding.

Most importantly—Relax. Enjoy. Bask in the glow of your love for one another and the joy that it brings to you and those around you! After you've met with Reverend Gary, he'll take care of the planning and coordination of the ceremony, and make sure everything is perfect on your wedding day.

...a top-quality wedding officiant can make a huge difference in the success of a wedding, the experience of the wedding guests, and the lives of the couple before, during, and long after their big day.

Are Officiants Wedding Vendors? from IAPWO.org

​If you'd like to meet with Reverend Gary to discuss your upcoming wedding and/or book our services, you may schedule a meeting with him in person or via FaceTime or Skype.

Find Reverend Gary On:

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“Marriage gives love a direction, a calling. It promises that love can lead somewhere, to a purpose higher than oneself.”

Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America, by Johnathan Rauch

Planning Your Wedding Ceremony

Types of Wedding Ceremonies

Whether you choose a ​​traditional religious ceremony, a contemporary spiritual ceremony, an interfaith or blended ceremony, or a non-religious civil ceremony, Reverend Gary will work with you to help you determine what you would like on your wedding day. Reverend Gary is also willing to officiate using any custom ceremony you create and provide him with.

It's your wedding day. Let's make it special and memorable together! There's no request too "out of the box" for Reverend Gary. He's done maritime-themed weddings, Star Wars weddings, and even a Game of Thrones-themed wedding, at which he pronounced the couple married, "in the name of Joffrey, First of his Name, King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm...Winter is coming, so heat things up and kiss the bride!"

Long Island's many vineyards make wonderful settings for your wedding.

Religious Ceremonies

  • Traditional Christian (usually based on traditional rituals i.e. Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc.)
  • Nondenominational Christian
  • Nonspecific Religious (mentions God, but not Jesus)
  • Other Religious (Non-Christian) Traditions
  • Interfaith and Co-celebrated
  • Spiritual

Secular (Nonreligious) Ceremonies

  • Non-religious (no mention of God)
  • Civil
  • Nontraditional

Other Ceremonies

  • Commitment Ceremonies
  • Vow Renewals
  • Blended Family Ceremonies
  • Elopements & Quickie Weddings
  • License Signings*
  • Destination Weddings

* If you're thinking of having your cousin, best friend, or co-worker who was ordained online officiate your wedding, you will probably need a qualified officiant to sign your license in New York State to make your marriage legal. There is a brief ceremony involved in order for Reverend Gary to legally sign your Marriage License. Caveat emptor: You'd be surprised how many times Reverend Gary has been asked at the last minute to officiate because someone's "minister" friend wasn't prepared or backed out just prior to the wedding day.

Customizing Your Ceremony

Once your ceremony's basic elements are planned, it's a matter of customizing the rest of the service to your wishes and desires. We can accommodate your family, cultural or religious traditions in many ways. Many weddings also include additional ceremonial acts that reflect the beliefs, values, and personal preferences of the couple.

Remember, there are no limitations! We will work with you to craft a unique ceremony that reflects your wishes. Reverend Gary is particularly adept at making each couple's ceremony unique to their personal love story.

Click the link below to read about several of the optional rituals and traditions that are commonly included in wedding ceremonies:

The Blessing of the Hands is a common part of contemporary wedding ceremonies.

Our Services

Wedding Officiant Services

Our Wedding Officiant Service includes our initial meeting (in person or via teleconference like FaceTime or Skype), unlimited phone, email, and text message consultation during the planning stage, preparation of your personalized ceremony and vows, and the officiating of the ceremony itself. We also send the fully executed marriage license back to the issuing agency (as required by law). Every couple receives a bound copy of their personalized ceremony script and wedding vows to keep with their wedding memories.

Reverend Gary always tries to arrive at least one hour prior to your ceremony start time. This gives him time to work out the details regarding the license signing, setting up any items needed for your unity, rose, or love-letter box ceremony, and attending any rehearsal or run-through with your maître d' or bridal attendant. He will communicate and work with with your other vendors (musician or DJ, photographer and/or videographer) to make certain your ceremony flows smoothly.

If you are having a rehearsal prior to the wedding day, it's usually a practice session for your wedding party's lineup, entrance and recessional. The ceremony itself is not customarily rehearsed. There is no real need for Reverend Gary to attend, but if you would like him to be there and he has the availability, it can be arranged for an additional fee.

We utilize a standard service contract for all our services which specifies our fee and other important information. We find that this minimizes confusion and clearly states the expectations and responsibilities of all parties.

We provide a secure online Client Portal for each client, where we store all your wedding questionnaires, sample vows, readings, and other important documents so you can refer to them at any time. Your Client Portal will be activated after your wedding date is booked.

In the event that your venue requires vendors to carry liability insurance, we are fully insured up to $1,000,000 per occurrence, and can provide the venue with a general certificate of insurance or one that names them as an additional insured if we are given a few days' notice.

Pricing

Our fee generally depends on the location of the venue:

  • Brookhaven Town: $400
  • Islip, Riverhead, Smithtown, Southampton (West of Shinnecock Canal) : $450
  • Babylon, East Hampton, Huntington, Shelter Island, Southampton (East of Shinnecock Canal), Southold $500*
  • Nassau County: $525
  • Brooklyn and Queens: $550
  • Other New York City: $600*
  • Upstate New York, New Jersey & Connecticut: Request a Personalized Proposal Below*
  • Elopement Special: $75-$100 call for details
  • "Cookie Cutter" or "Fill in the Names" Ceremony: Save $100 call for details

* Travel time and costs are calculated into our fee structure. Tolls (bridges, tunnels, highways), transportation (ferries), and parking fees may be additional and will be specified in our Proposal.

Special circumstances will require a personalized quotation (for example: shipboard weddings, skydive weddings, destination weddings, upstate or out-of-state weddings, etc.).

Costumes or specialized garb (suits of armor, spacesuits, Star Trek® uniforms, etc.) must be provided by the couple, and must not interfere with Reverend Gary's ability to be clearly heard, or restrict his movement.

Holidays and holiday weekends may incur a surcharge if not booked at least six (6) months in advance.

Many couples ask us whether "tipping" the officiant is customary. Reverend Gary is a professional wedding officiant, and charges accordingly for his services. If you think Reverend Gary did a great job and went above and beyond your expectations, then a gratuity is certainly appropriate. Although a gratuity is never expected, it is always very much appreciated when one is received. As with many other wedding vendors, we commonly see tips of 10-15% of our total fee.

Marriage Licenses

In order to get married in New York State, you must first obtain a Marriage License. Even for an elopement, a license is required. Licenses from other states are not valid in the State of New York.

A New York State Marriage License is valid anywhere in the state (but if you're getting married in the City of New York, your officiant needs to be registered with the City Clerk like Reverend Gary). There are hundreds of beautiful places to get married on Long Island.

The Best Advertising is a Satisfied Client

It was beautiful! Everyone commented on how beautiful the ceremony was and Reverend Gary was delightful throughout, putting everyone at ease...

—Sue & Charlie

Awards & Recognitions

Reviews & Recommendations

Reverend Gary has been reviewed several times on WeddingWire, TheKnot, and Facebook. He is also happy to provide references from some of the couples he's married. Click the link below to read some of Reverend Gary's many 5-Star comments:

We had our wedding ceremony in a vineyard but still wanted to have a ceremony that had a Catholic religious aspect. Rev Gary incorporated exactly what we wanted...it was beautiful! He captured our guests with humor and added touching quotes that described us as a couple. We received so many compliments on our ceremony.

—Michele & Kristian

Reverend Gary was everything we wanted! He was so easy to talk to and made the process simple. We talked on the phone, facetime, in person and he was always so happy to speak with us and made sure every detail we wanted in our ceremony was included. On the day of, Gary made sure our ceremony was perfect! He put in his own twist after learning about us that made it so personal. We are still getting comments on how amazing our ceremony was and asking how we found him! Gary made our day more special than we could imagine. Thank you!!

—Samantha & Joseph

Photos of Some of our Happy Couples

The link above also has several photos of Reverend Gary and the various vestments and attire you can ask him to wear at your wedding. Generally, you can choose what he'll wear, subject to availability and suitability.

About Us

About Reverend Gary Gudzik

Reverend Gary Gudzik, Vicar of the Chapel of Saint Valentine

Reverend Gary is the Vicar of the Chapel of Saint Valentine. He is an ordained non-denominational Christian Minister, and a Registered Marriage Officiant in the City of New York (No. 1875493). He can legally officiate at your wedding anywhere in the States of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut (among other places).

I get to be a part of the happiest day of their lives. Watching as nervousness gives way to the pure expression of love and joy in their faces is always amazing. To witness that transformation is really special...and to know that I had a part in bringing the moment into being is a wholly rewarding feeling!

—Reverend Gary Gudzik

In addition to being senior clergy at the Chapel of Saint Valentine, Reverend Gary serves as Chaplain to the Port Jefferson Fire Department, Boy Scout Troop 1776, and the Benjamin Tallmadge District of the Suffolk County Council, Boy Scouts of America.

Reverend Gary is a member of the International Association of Professional Wedding Officiants.

IAPWO Code of Ethics

IAPWO Members Agree to:

  • Perform marriage ceremonies in accordance with all local, state, and national laws
  • Provide services to all couples, regardless of race, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, creed, color, sex, age, disability, or country of national origin of any party
  • Utilize a written, legal contract for all client services
  • Establish and charge a professional rate for their services
  • Accurately represent their services to clients honestly and fairly
  • Honor all commitments made to clients, venues, and other wedding professionals
  • Be on time for their weddings, and respectful of couples and their guests
  • Perform all ceremonies without being under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Foster an attitude of support, encouragement, and camaraderie among fellow officiants
There are a number of advantages to hiring a professional officiant. They bring the necessary knowledge, experience, and skill to help you create a top-quality ceremony and deliver it with poise and grace. Ask any wedding planner, photographer, or videographer whether they prefer to work with an amateur or a professional officiant and they will tell you the same thing: definitely hire a professional.

Why Hire a Professional Officiant? from IAPWO.org

One of Reverend Gary's "celebrity weddings" was featured in a blog by television personality Lisa Robertson.

A Fairytale Wedding — June 16, 2015, LisaRobertson.com

About the Chapel of Saint Valentine

The Chapel of Saint Valentine is an ecumenical (non-denominational) Christian chapel chartered by World Christianship Ministries.

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.

— 1 John 4:16b

Our Mission Statement

Our mission is to celebrate the Love of God in all persons. We do this in our individual and corporate worship, in our celebration of the sacraments, and in our relationships with those around us in the world. We believe that to serve one's neighbor is to serve God.

We provide services to all people, regardless of race, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, creed, color, sex, age, disability, or country of national origin of any party.​

We believe that every person has the right to marry the person they love. Period.

The Chapel of Saint Valentine is a member of the International Council of Community Churches.
The ​International Council of Community Churches is an international, intercultural, interracial fellowship of churches and ministry centers which seeks Christian unity in local, national and world relations. As people devoted to following Christ, we are committed to community, to treasuring diversity, to living our faith in service and love.
Reverend Gary has officiated at many special locations, including the Fire Island Lighthouse, Montauk Point, the Stony Brook Grist Mill, and the historic Mariners' Memorial Chapel at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you officiate our wedding at our reception venue?

Yes! Assuming you [will] have a New York State marriage license, it is good anywhere in the state. We are licensed to officiate in the five boroughs of NYC, so we can officiate at any location in the state...from your backyard to the top of the Empire State Building. The best part is...anything goes! It's your wedding...we do it your way!

Can Uncle Joe say a few words during our ceremony?

Yes! Of course, in a traditional wedding ceremony, there are a few readings that can be done. Uncle Joe (or Aunt Sally, or Bert the Cop) can do one or more of the readings. In a contemporary wedding ceremony, these are often poems or song lyrics that have special meaning to the couple. And of course, if you want your friend or relative to give a homily or say a few words of encouragement or a blessing, we can incorporate it into your ceremony.

Can we write our own vows?

Of course! And if one or both of you don't feel like Alfred Lord Tennyson today, we can send you some sample vows to give you some ideas. We recommend getting us a copy of your vows at least two weeks prior to the ceremony date so we can have them printed up for you on card stock. Attempting to memorize your vows is generally a not a great idea.

Can we include our children in our ceremony?

Absolutely! We have several suggestions for the inclusion of either young or adult children. Blended family ceremonies, commitment vows, unity sand ceremonies, etc. can all be excellent ways to include your children. Of course, if you have a special idea, we'll be glad to incorporate it into the ceremony for you.

Do you provide a copy of the ceremony to us in advance?

We will provide an outline of your entire ceremony in advance of the wedding upon request, so that you may review it and/or design your ceremony programs. On the day of the wedding, you will receive a bound souvenir copy of the complete ceremony, including all readings and your unique vows.

We are from different faith backgrounds. Can you still do our wedding?

Of course! Interfaith ceremonies, nonreligious ceremonies, and custom blended ceremonies are some of our specialties. We can help design a ceremony that respects both traditions and incorporates the values and customs of each. We work with a number of rabbis and cantors and can co-officiate an interfaith ceremony if that is what you want. Remember...it's all about you.

We aren't religious. Can you still marry us?

Absolutely. Although Reverend Gary is an ecumenical Christian minister, in New York marriage is actually a civil contract between the parties, and does not require religious solemnization. He is authorized to officiate at any type of wedding ceremony...religious, nonreligious, interfaith...whatever suits you as a couple. More than a third of our ceremonies have been either nonreligious or "religious lite."

Do you officiate same sex weddings?

Yes. We are LGBTQ+ friendly, because we believe that ALL people have the right to marry the person that they love. Period.

How long are your ceremonies? We have scheduled a half hour.

No problem! Of course, since each ceremony is unique, we can't tell you exactly how long yours will be until its actually written. In general though, an average ceremony lasts between 15 and 25 minutes, depending on the particular rituals and ceremonies included. The good news is that provided you aren't waiting on Uncle Ted, who's running late, and we start on time, that means your cocktail hour opens a little early!

Can we elope for insurance or tax reasons and still have a ceremony?

Absolutely! A lot of couples get married sooner than announced. We can marry you now in an elopement ceremony, and also officiate the formal ceremony on the scheduled day (and no one has to know if you don't want them to). If you're already married and want Reverend Gary to officiate at your "official" ceremony, all we need to see is your marriage certificate, and we can perform the wedding ceremony without a problem. It is illegal to perform a "fake wedding," so you actually have to be married already for us to do this.

How long have you been doing this?

Reverend Gary has been ordained since March 2014, and has officiated at nearly 100 ceremonies. He has worked with LI's top wedding vendors at dozens of venues around the island from Long Beach to Montauk.

What do you charge?

Our prices are all based on the distance to the venue. No matter if your ceremony is simple or complex, short or long. We utilize a standard written contract to lay out the terms of our agreement, including pricing. There will never be any surprises.

Find Reverend Gary on:

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Credits:

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