My Personal Cantor

Danielle and Garrett’s Jewish Interfaith Wedding Ceremony – Why I do what I do

Danielle and Garrett’s Jewish Interfaith wedding ceremony is the perfect reason why I do what I do.

Jewish Interfaith wedding ceremonies are absolutely what I do best, but being a positive resource to my couples is just as important.

Danielle and Garrett's Jewish-Interfaith wedding ceremony is the perfect reason why I do what I do.

Many colleagues ask me why I invest so much time in my individual Interfaith couples. They insist that I can be just as popular, and just as busy, but I don’t need to make my couples a part of my life.


Without a couple like Danielle and Garrett, and without falling in love with some (many) of my couples, my practice would feel empty. Instead, Danielle and Garrett were just like my own family from the minute we met, and I wouldn’t change a thing. They both came to me a year ago, looking for a Cantor and unaffiliated wedding officiant for their Jewish Interfaith wedding and wanting to meet to explore the possibility of my co-officiating a wedding ceremony for them, as D was Jewish, and G was not. They were both raised traditionally, but wanted an equal yet meaningful blend of who they both were as individuals, yet reflecting their harmonious union together. We sat at Starbucks for almost 2 hours (yes, a little longer than the typical initial meeting) and when we left, there was so much love in the air. Danielle called me later to let me know that Garrett specifically wanted ME to do the wedding ceremony, absent of a co-officiant. Rarely is it the groom who displays such emotional preference, but Garrett had a way of opening up to me in that meeting, that preserved a very special place in my heart for him – forever. Through the year, Danielle and I became fast facebook friends, engaging in early morning and late night chat, and sometimes, some personal opportunities to vent, and for me to be a sounding board for her, and even some of her family members. After all, this was a  Jewish Interfaith wedding ceremony, and each of them had family members with strong preferences and religiously traditional ideas, and at times, Danielle and Garrett had to make some unpopular decisions about their wedding, that didn’t please all of the important people in their lives. Together, we worked through it all. Danielle came to my home for coffee one day, to work on choosing a Ketubah, which she purchased from MPArtworks. It was beautiful. She made me such an important part of every decision, and with every twist, turn, and contest that Danielle entered (AND WON!), we built a relationship that would last forever.

Signing Ketubah with Jewish Interfaith Wedding coupleNow, working with Danielle, it’s impossible not to get her – without the rest of the family, and of course – her very special Dad, Jules. Once D and I became facebook friends, I was instantly friends with her Mom, her Dad, and about 100 cousins. (ok – I’m exaggerating) Her dad, Jules, one of the most incredibly fun and sweet Dads I have ever met, included me in some facebook banter, and the rest was history. The year continued, with anticipation of meeting – and celebrating with everyone, and FINALLY – the wedding night arrived – 10/10/10.

Jules and his awesome smile
Jules and his awesome smile

A special date, a special Interfaith couple, and a special family – I knew this was going to be a Jewish Interfaith wedding ceremony to remember. Danielle could not have planned it better. She and Garrett were married at the Boca Marriott, a venue I could not recommend more highly. They were phenomenal, very accommodating, and everything was perfect. They were married at the fountain outside, and they had a platform built on top of the front third of the fountain, so we were elevated, yet the fountains ran behind us.

Side view of harpist and chuppah
Side view of harpist and chuppah

I can’t even tell you how beautiful their chuppah was, courtesy of Dalsimer Florists. Yes, these people are the best in the trade, and when you want over the top beautiful flowers – that’s where you go.

Chuppah by Dalsimer
Chuppah by Dalsimer

They had a harpist for wedding music, who I have played with before, and she is lovely.  We incorporated so many beautiful Jewish traditions, the ketubah, chuppah, sand ceremony and more.  We incorporated the 7 Blessings (Sheva Brachot) with a modern day interpretation on the English.  Instead of circling, I wrapped my tallit around their shoulders, to create a protective circle around them.  It was beautiful.

Tallit and 7 Blessings, Jewish Interfaith wedding ceremony
Tallit and 7 Blessings
Sand Ceremony, Jewish Interfaith wedding ceremony
Sand Ceremony

They performed the biblical ring exchange, on to the right finger, moving each ring over to their own left ring finger, which I think adds so much dimension to the Jewish-Interfaith wedding ceremony.  Overall, it was meaningful, uplifting, and just a tiny bit humorous, as Garrett kept throwing some humorous anecdotes in as I was talking and the 3 of us were giggling like crazy!

Biblical Ring Exchange, Jewish Interfaith wedding ceremony
Biblical Ring Exchange

On to the party!

Their DJ – Shamar Reyes, was amazing, he kept that party going, had everyone out on the dance floor (yes, me included), and played such fun music – you couldn’t help but want to dance! (And that, we did!)  Everything was so perfect, and we really had so much fun!celebrations after their Jewish Interfaith wedding ceremonyCantor and unaffiliated wedding officiant Debbi Ballard dances with the bride's dad at a Jewish Interfaith wedding ceremonyFunny note: D wanted a photo booth SO bad. Dad, Jules, wanted nothing to do with it. D entered ANOTHER contest – and yes – SHE WON. Dad, Jules, still wanted nothing to do with it. IT WAS AWESOME! (Ask Dad Jules about the photo booth – he ended up loving it!) Just ask Lindsay with www.photoboothsocial.com how much fun he had at the party! 🙂 Danielle’s friend, Jonathan Nimerfroh was hired to do photos, and he did an amazing job. (I could not be writing this blog entry without his generous supply of beautiful photos!)  We got a sneak peek just a few days after the wedding, and couldn’t wait to see the rest. D’s dress was designed by David Tutera, also a personal friend, and she looked like a princess. Danielle had her rehearsal dinner at Maggiano’s, in Boca, and after the Jewish-Interfaith wedding ceremony, we all made our way over to Rocco’s Tacos, ANOTHER personal friend of the family, who opened the bar for the after party, and for those of you who know what you do at Rocco’s – the tequila was flowing to say the least! (This family has GREAT friends!)

Rocco on the Bar with Tequila, after the Jewish Interfaith wedding ceremony
Rocco on the Bar with Tequila
Garrett's mom, contemplating Tequila after the Jewish Interfaith wedding ceremony
Garrett’s mom, contemplating Tequila

Yes, I attended all of the wedding events of the weekend. A little unusual, as time rarely permits, but again, this was special. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to describe my relationship with Danielle and Garrett, but I just know it is one that will last forever. They bring a very special brightness to my life, and they made me want to own the responsibility of giving them more than they could have hoped for, for their Jewish-Interfaith wedding ceremony. Without couples like this, I might be happy with just being good at what I do. Danielle and Garrett made me want to go beyond that. That’s why I do what I do. D & G – I love you both! I couldn’t have been happier to be such an important part of your special day! I know we will be part of each other’s lives for a very long time FOREVER!


Want to create your own “dream come true wedding”? Contact Cantor Debbi today to see how you can co-create the event of your dreams.

PS: And don’t forget to stop by our sample ceremonies page to see what your Jewish Interfaith wedding ceremony might look like!

4 thoughts on “Danielle and Garrett’s Jewish Interfaith Wedding Ceremony – Why I do what I do”

  1. Sounds absolutely beautiful! In a world that is fast, cheap, and utterly without character (hat tip to “The View from Saturday” for that line), it’s wonderful to read about someone who is willing to invest her time for quality.

    • Thank you SO much! It’s so nice to hear that, it really is! I just love your site and would love to sign up as an affiliate! Love all the artwork and special products!


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