“Samora connected with us immediately. She understood who we were, what brought us together,
and what we envisioned for our big day. She guided us through the whole process
and made it easy for us to relax and enjoy it.” – June 2014
Many couples ask me how I got into officiating. Why Interfaith? Some people want to know if I support Marriage Equality.
I was born and raised in New York City and love everything about it…the people, the culture, and especially the diversity.
New York is a magical place to get married! There are so many amazing venues, landmarks and of course, New York City’s greatest gem, Central Park. I am a hopeless romantic and one of my favorite ways to unwind is watching or reading a great love story. I was born into a multiracial and interfaith family. My mom was raised Jewish (liberal), my father was Muslim (Jazz musician-type) and my stepfather was Catholic. I was the kid who had the Christmas tree and Hanukkah Menorah displayed at the same time. More gifts for me, I guess!! We were by no means a religious family, but I was raised in a spiritual environment. I identify as a non-denominational minister but my unique background has really allowed me to be a bridge and has taught me to respect and embrace other people’s beliefs and differences.
From early childhood, I was always performing and involved in the theater…I studied Opera in college and started working as a professional musician and singer in the wedding business in 2000!
My artistic background exposed me to so many different cultures and lifestyles. I have always had strong personal ties with the LGBTQ community. My mom’s closest friends were Bernie and Frank (my gay uncles) who practically raised me and never missed one performance or graduation. They were together for more than 20 years and never had the legal choice to marry. I am an advocate and active supporter of Marriage Equality. I believe that we should be allowed to love and marry whomever we choose and I feel so privileged when I am asked to officiate LGBT weddings.
Ordained as an Interfaith Minister (2008) via The New Seminary of Interfaith Studies in NYC.
When I enrolled in seminary, I felt drawn to learning more about the different religions and faiths of the world. I was already a mom to two young children and many questions about my faith were coming up for me. The school was founded 30 years ago by a Rabbi, a Catholic Priest and a Swami. Their mission was to address religious intolerance and lack of understanding of the faiths and traditions of others. I knew I had found a community that would support my spiritual path and lead me to a place where I can serve others. Once I became ordained a close friend asked me to officiate her wedding. After writing and performing their wedding, I was hooked! I knew that this was a calling for me and that this would be one of the most exciting and fulfilling careers for me. I enjoy supporting my couples in not only planning your wedding, but also in planning your marriage.
Common Ground Ceremonies specializes in all types of ceremonies.
Our ceremonies are personalized and customized to your needs. We do not provide a “cookie cutter” wedding and pride ourselves on personal service. We specialize in traditional and non-traditional weddings, interfaith weddings, non-denominational ceremonies, spiritual weddings, LGBT weddings, as well as vow renewals. We are located in Manhattan but available to travel and perform weddings throughout the five boroughs, as well as the Tri-State area. For those of you who are going the DIY route and have hired several different vendors, we also offer “Day of Wedding Coordinator” services. This service offers the support to coordinate your vendors, assist with set up and making sure that everything runs smoothly so that you can enjoy your day. (A more detailed description of this service is explained on the services page). And finally, we offer packages that include live music (guitar, strings, piano, vocals, etc.) and photography. Please inquire about my special packages when you contact me!