hi! My name is barbara and be with weddings is my happy place
I love love! As a queer woman who knows the precious value of building a life with the person you love, I am all about a good epic romance. What I don’t love is the strain that planning a wedding can put on a relationship, families and friends, and our mental health.
And I’m speaking from direct experience here. When my wife Tanya and I got married, the stress of it all literally made me sick. At our engagement party, I had four cold sores! It wasn’t cute.
What was even less cute were the nights I spent worrying about family dynamics, the blow out fights Tanya and I had because of planning stress, and the negative impact all the pressure had on my mental health.
I love seeing people, partnerships and communities thrive. But thriving, especially when planning a wedding requires intentionality, lots of support, and an investment of our time and energy.
That’s what Be With Weddings is here to offer.
Loving guidance + respite from the chaos of event details + plenty of support to keep the focus where it belongs: on nurturing, celebrating and sharing your love story!
Right now, while you’re reading this, it’s likely I’m listening to Maggie Rogers (Dog Years was our wedding song), drinking my fourth cup of herbal tea for the day, eating chocolate and daydreaming about making IRL plans to see my people. Tanya is probably at a coffee shop writing poetry in one of their spiral bound notebooks, and Thatcher our cat is sleeping, likely on one or both of our pillows.
It’s a nice life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The official on the officiant
Pre-Marital Coach & Officiant
My work is all about love. I’ve spent the last thirteen years offering emotional and spiritual support through coaching, pastoring, retreats, teaching, storytelling and community building. My commitment to crafting rituals and bringing people together comes from a deep love and celebration of being alive. I’ve supported hundreds of people through my coaching business, Be With, as well as through leadership roles in community organizations, non-profits and religious spaces. I’m an ordained and licensed minister, and hold an inclusive and expansive understanding of Spirit that recognizes the divinity of all people, all traditions and all of creation. I am elated to be merging my interests in intentional living, relationships, spirituality and storytelling through Be With Weddings.
My pre-marital coaching is informed by emotionally focused therapy, attachment theory, Gestalt psychotherapy, and the work of Rob Bell, Brené Brown, Kristin Neff, Sue Johnson and Melody Beattie. My storytelling and officiating is playful, intimate, and custom curated to suit the shape, size and tone of your celebration.
Integrity is one of my core values, and I do my best to work in an anti-oppressive, intersectional, feminist, sex positive, fat positive, poly & kink positive, non-ableist and inclusive way.
my weDDING Story
Our romance began on a NYE living room dance floor in 2011 when Tanya spun me into their arms. We had just met, but in that moment I felt completely at home and as cheesy as it is, knew that Tanya was it! We fell in love geeking out on spoken word poetry, community, spiritual practice and intentional living. Our shared values became the foundation for our relationship, and five years later the core around which we planned our wedding.
We were married during a magnificent wedding weekend in 2017, on the side of a lake, up on a mountain surrounded by love, chosen family and so many friends in our beloved Prince Edward County. Despite the homophobia and heartbreaking family conflict that arose during our wedding planning, our wedding was a rocking party full of love, laughter and community.
Our wedding became a kind of blueprint for our marriage - an example of what’s possible when we dream big, work together, and invite the support of those we love.
My goal is to help you make the most of this precious time. Let’s make sure your wedding is a celebration of who you are and an opportunity to deepen your connection and intimacy.