10 Questions with Elyssa Cherney

WeddingRule Interviewed one of the most popular and highly sought-after wedding officiants in Pennsylvania, Elyssa Cherney of Tackling Torah. Philadelphia based Elyssa is the founder and CEO of Tackling Torah.

Tackling Torah

Officiant - Elyssa Cherney

10 Questions with Elyssa Cherney

1. Introduction: What's your story?

Hi! I'm Rabbi Elyssa Cherney, founder and CEO of Tacklingtorah. I strives to make life's ordinary moments into extraordinary ones. I became a rabbi because I believe holiness is created by helping people find meaning in their lives at moments especially at moments of transition. That can be a major lifecycle moment: birth, becoming an adult, finding a partner, becoming a parent, and death; or at all the moments in-between.

I help couples view their wedding as part of the bigger picture of the role marriage will play in their life. We talk about what their married lives will look like and how they support eachother in their relationship. As a rabbi, I run the organization Tacklingtorah as a way for people to connect with others and help people think differently about what role Judaism can play in their everyday lives.

I consider myself your rabbi for life! I work with many individuals, couples and families as a spiritual guide as they navigate their Jewish journey . When I'm not working on creating holiness, I likely am on the move as a daughter, wife, mother, traveler and car packer extraordinaire.

2. What's your experience as a wedding officiant? How many weddings have your officiated?

I have been doing lifecycle events for the past 10 years. Each year I continue to work with more couples as they navigate this next stage of their lives together. I started with a few a year, and now do around 25 each year. It is truly a feeling unlike any other to get to work with a couple throughout the process and soak in the celebratory day with them and their community. I help them feel grounded during an emotionally intense day. I walk them through all the steps they need to know. I have been known to help with countless other details when I show up too. It wouldn't be the first time I've taught someone how to put on a veil, or anticipated someone needing a tissue as you walk down the aisle.

3. How far in advance do couples need to secure your services?

I generally like to have about a year to help guide the couple and provide premarital counseling. However, I have done weddings with a quick time frame as well. Shortest would be a few weeks, longest will have been 3 years (covid delays on that one).

4. How would you describe your officiant style?

Rabbi Elyssa writes completely personalized ceremonies for your transitional moment of marriage. She spends time getting to know the couples, and shows up ready to help you feel present on your wedding day. Rabbi Elyssa guides couples through these early moments of marriage, and then is available throughout your lives to help you mark Jewish ritual moments as they arise.

Rabbi Elyssa’s ultimate goal is helping you think about the big picture of marriage! Therefore she offers premarital counseling as part of the planning process. Together, the couples thinks through tough questions that will come up throughout your marriage. Rabbi Elyssa then helps you mark this moment in your lives by sharing your unique love story with your community on your wedding day.

5. What are your fees for officiating a wedding?

~$1500. This includes the premarital counseling sessions, virtual assistance throughout and day-of set up and ceremonies.

6. What do you wear when you officiate a wedding?

I generally wear whatever I think will best fit the venue, theme and style that you are going for. Sometimes it is seasonal or black tie. If I'm unsure of what would be the best style for your day, I'll be sure to ask!

7. How many pre-wedding sessions will the couple need to have with you?

1-4

8. Will you be able to create a personalized ceremony?

Yes! I tell your love story throughout the ceremony. Weaving past, present and future in line with the traditions of the ceremony itself.

9. Are you available to travel if needed?

Yes! I travel easily with ~50miles of home and outside of that I make arrangements with the couple.

10. What is your cancellation and/or refund policy?

If there is a situation that occurs I have always been reasonable and done what is best. I base all pricing on time I am putting in. So it would depend on how much work towards the wedding day we've done!

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Awards

WeddingRule Editor’s Choice 2020