Author Archives: Lois Heckman

Lois Heckman

Lois Heckman is a certified Humanist and Life-Cycle Celebrant who officiates at weddings, funerals, and other ceremonies in the Poconos and beyond. She has performed hundreds of ceremonies and brings a wealth of knowledge to her work. Visit her website: and follow her on Pinterest, and google+


There are three major milestones in the journey of life, at least in my way of thinking. They are birth, death, and marriage. These are times when you need to stop and reflect – whether celebrating or grieving.  Every week I try to share something interesting about weddings, but a friend recently asked if I’d […]

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Ring Those Bells!

Bells have meaning all around the world, and we are all certainly familiar with church bells, where it all began for weddings. They are also rung for funerals; any big life event can be announced to the community through the ringing of bells. I’ve used them for both funerals and weddings. And we ring out the old, […]

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The Wedding’s Off !

I try to stay positive, in this column and in my life. But stuff happens. After all the years of officiating there have been a few times when I got the call: the wedding is cancelled. I feel so sad hearing this or reading the email alerting me to the news.T Unfortunately, most of the […]

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What’s in a Building?

No matter how great or humble, every building has a purpose. I have been thinking a lot about houses of worship.  Considering the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral and the fires at three churches in Louisiana, there couldn’t be a sharper contrast.  I am happy that I had the opportunity to visit Notre Dame.  While I do not […]

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The FUNdamentals of Weddings

A wedding is such a joyous time, having elements that are fun or whimsical, even in the ceremony, can be appropriate – in the right proportion. While getting married is no joke, it is a time of happiness.  And it’s certainly not a competition; having the ‘best’ wedding in comparison to your friends and family should […]

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A Dress from Many Places

Many Americans do not identify with one specific cultural background. I have heard clients say, ‘I’m a mutt,’ or ‘I’m like Heinz 57’ – meaning they are a mix, coming from many places. I tend to think that it’s fine to incorporate something for one piece of your cultural puzzle, as long as you know […]

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The extraordinary importance of the wedding vow

Wedding vows are perhaps the most important element of any wedding ceremony, and certainly deserve close examination. As you can imagine, after 15 years of officiating weddings, many, many weddings, I’ve heard a lot of vows spoken. Some funny, some surprising, some too long, some too short. How do you get the ‘goldilocks’ effect – […]

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Making it work – new spins on old traditions

Last week I wrote about some of the not-so-pleasant origins of familiar wedding rituals, the bouquet and garter toss and cake smashing. Today I want to propose some ways to reinvent and renew customs that can sometimes feel outdated, awkward or even inappropriate. Like family, weddings can be complicated. When a particular tradition doesn’t work […]

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How Do You Feel About These Traditions?

In weddings, as in many things in life, everyone wants to decide what does or doesn’t fit their style and point of view. I was once taken to task for suggesting the garter toss felt weird to me. Some women will still love to do this – it can be fun, sexy, traditional or even […]

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The beauty of Taoism

With so much wisdom around the world, its challenging to sift through it all and find great quotes, inspiration, and readings for weddings. But hey, that’s my job, and I often find words that resonate in Taoism (or Daoism – both are correct). About 20 million people practice this religion, really more of a philosophy, […]

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