The Heart of the Wedding
Interested in buying rights? Click here to make an offer

Rights Contact Login For More Details

More About This Title The Heart of the Wedding


Today's couples and the celebrations they choose come in many varieties.


GERALD FIERST is a civil celebrant who performs 100-plus wedding ceremonies a year. He lives in New Jersey, just outside New York City.


“Gerry Fierst has not written yet another wedding book. He has drawn a new roadmap, drawn fresh routes to old oases, and opened up vistas. In this in-depth, but very practical book, Gerry Fierst is forging new and honest territory in the landscape of love."
- Dally Messenger, soccer star and Civil Celebrant; founder of the International College of Celebrance, Melbourne, Australia

“A wise and fine book by a writer who understands that stories ore a connecting tissue which binds each relationship. Shared lovingly in these ceremonies, story also binds the couple to their community."
-Margaret Read MacDonald, folklorist and author, Seattle, WA

“The Heart of the Wedding reconnects the marriage ritual to our twenty-first century lives. Fierst--celebrant, poet, and storyteller--fills chapter after chapter with examples of ceremonies that show that weddings need not be Victorian relics, but can be filled with a sense of fun and adventure, as well as common sense. Acknowledging our multi-cultural nation where people of every race, faith, and heritage meet and marry, this book celebrates the new America, respecting tradition while finding a contemporary voice to say “I do." By connecting marriage with a larger vision of humanity- past, present and future -Fierst shows us how to celebrate families and selves.”
-Susan O'Halloran, Race Bridges, Chicago IL

“Since the beginning of time stories have been told, enjoyed and used and handed down from generation to generation. I first understood the art of storytelling after hearing and watching Gerald Fierst on stage making the personal into performance and still connecting with every member of the audience. I have been privileged to watch him officiate at two civil ceremonies which turned me from cynical to emotional without even knowing the families involved. Choice is one of today's buzzwords and this is as important for life-cycle events, for weddings should they be religious, civil, registry or none. The stories and information in this book connect the reader with the possibilities while entertaining and informing. I am privileged to be able to commend it highly.”
-Judith Troller, Education Manager, Ivy House, London, UK

“Gerald Fierst's work brings the psalmist to mind: 'The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree.' (Psalm 92:14). The branches of a palm tree grow from its heart, unlike other trees. Like the palm, Fierst reaches out to listeners and readers from his heart, delivering the message with their ears and also with their hearts. Fierst is creative and imaginative. He has the vision and playful love of language that allow him to shape the preparations and process of the ceremony, filling marriage dimensions. This book truly illuminates the celebration of marriage through cross-cultural history, folktale, people stories, and ritual, all infused with practical advice and wisdom. It's a book for all seasons!”

-Peninnah Schram, Professor of Speech and Drama,

Stern College of Yeshiva University, New York, NY