I had the pleasure of meeting the amazing Hope Mirlis from A More Perfect Union at #theloveunion wedding event at 501 Union. We recently decided to grab some coffee in the Heights, and while chatting I'm thinking... this lady is wonder woman! I can hardly wrap my mind around the crazy amount of things she manages to do and improve on daily. Wedding officiant, yoga teacher, counselor, multi language learner...is there anything she can't do?! Read more about Hope below!
What led you to become an officiant?
Right after getting my MFA, one of my classmates asked me to officiate her wedding. It was a pretty magical experience, so it started me on a 2-year path to completely change careers and move back to my native New York.
What do you enjoy most about it?
Every couple is very different. It forces me to release my ego and listen to their story. And then I have the amazing opportunity to join with them and their guests and celebrate their love and community and help them tell their story through the ceremony.
Tell us about an interesting wedding experience that stands out?
There have been tons of interesting experiences. But once I surprised one of my couples and sang during the ceremony. In the questionnaire I use to learn how a couple envisions their ceremony, I ask the question “What songs would go on the soundtrack to your relationship?” The groom responded, “All My Lovin’” by The Beatles, so I decided to use a quote from the song in their ceremony. A few days before, I thought it would be nice to sing it instead. They were totally taken aback and the groom in particular got very emotional.
We heard you teach yoga! Tell us a little more about that?
When I used to teach acting and dance, I added yoga to the warm-up I did at the top of every class. I’ve been doing yoga since 2006, but I wanted to make sure that I was teaching correctly. So, I decided to get certified in 2010. I officiated a friends wedding a year later and she asked me to lead a yoga class for her bridesmaids the morning of her wedding. That sparked me to add it to my practice. I now offer a yoga class specifically for weddings. Either for the couple or the wedding party leading up to - or on the big day.
Outside of being an officiant, what things do you enjoy doing? Any special hobbies?
I love exploring the city and trying new restaurants. I am a native New Yorker, but I left for 20 years. Now that I’m back, I need to rediscover my city. Going to museums, seeing some theatre, walking on the Hudson.
Most-wished vacation destination and what do you plan to do there?
Oh gosh, there are so many! Amsterdam, Greece, The Grand Canyon, most of Asia. I made travel more of a priority a few years ago, but my list is very long. This year I am going to Turkey with a good friend. We’re going to lots of the tourist sites, but we’re leaving plenty of time to really take in the local culture.
(I love the next 3 questions, as I ask them regularly and post a list of responses weekly on my blog!)
What do you desire for your business?
To find some great collaborators who want to share an office space - that I can also use to meet with couples and host workshops
What are you grateful for?
Sunshine and hot coffee
Any recent cause for celebration?
I finally did my laundry AND I put my clean clothes away! Sometimes, it’s the little things!
Check out more of Hope's work at www.perfectunionny.com
And follow her on social media!