how do you get from wall street to wedding ceremonies?
Bethel would tell you life should be about doing what you enjoy, not just making money. After leaving the Wall Street life behind (made up of nine years in Tokyo, New York, and London working for two large investment banks - and, yes, she speaks Japanese), Bethel came back to San Diego and joined her family's business. And although working with family was great (usually), she began to realize it still wasn't her passion.
One day in 2006, when having trouble deciding on who would perform their interfaith wedding ceremony, her brother and future sister-in-law asked Bethel. Although not afraid of speaking to a crowd, since she had a background in public speaking, and immensely honored that they asked, Bethel was a little nervous knowing what a big day this was for the couple, their family, and their friends. But, as usual, that didn't stop her from saying yes.
Although Bethel knew she had to figure out how to become ordained or certified, to make the marriage legal, it was more important to figure out what makes a beautiful, meaningful, touching, and memorable wedding ceremony - plus, how to truly celebrate a relationship - and thus, the research began.
She spoke with many married couples about their ceremonies, bought multiple books, and took the time to get opinions from people who performed wedding ceremonies for a living. Bethel also researched the traditions of the religions involved, and, most importantly, spent a large amount of time working with the couple to find out their vision on marriage and for their wedding ceremony.
As you can guess, the ceremony was wonderful and very well-received by both the couple and their guests - and Bethel had found her passion.
In quick succession, Bethel created and officiated wedding ceremonies for multiple friends, making sure to follow the formula of spending time getting to know the couple and making sure the ceremony was personal, representing the couple and their values. She realized that no matter how well you think you know a couple, even when it's a sibling or close friend, you still don't know - cannot truly know - what is "behind the curtain" of that relationship until you take the time to find out (and they really allow you behind the curtain as well).
Bethel now follows that same formula with other couples, be it for their wedding or their renewal of vows (or even sometimes baby blessings or celebrations of life for her past couples) - and still greatly enjoys doing so, many hundreds of ceremonies later. She gets to know them, and finds out what makes their relationship unique, in addition to what they are looking for their ceremony to be (and not to be). Together they create that ceremony, reflecting the couple's feelings for each other, and celebrating their desired traditions. Her joy is truly celebrating all that her couples share, in front of those who matter most to them - and watching everyone enjoy what they've created together!
As a warm and caring person, with a passion for what she does - and as a huge supporter of marriage equality - Bethel looks forward to the opportunity to be an integral part of your most important day.
"She was truly committed to making our ceremony personal and reflective of us as a couple... She had our guests both laughing and crying (us as well). I can’t count the amount of guests that approached us after the ceremony telling us that it was the most meaningful wedding ceremony they’ve ever witnessed and that they really felt they knew our relationship even better afterwards... We feel so incredibly lucky to have found Bethel as she made the most important part of our wedding more special than we could’ve imagined!" - Meghan and Kyler
jason’s unfinished story
Like most people, Jason’s life can be told in chapters. The initial chapter was spent in the suburbs of Detroit growing up with four brothers. In this chapter, Jason learned the ability to compromise and figured out how to work well in a group environment (without too much bloodshed, if you know what I mean).
The next chapter was the "becoming independent" chapter with Jason starting college in Michigan, then stopping college and moving to Florida when he realized he couldn’t take the cold weather anymore. After a year of getting settled in Florida, Jason went on to finish college and earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. This is the chapter where Jason decided that finding what you enjoy doing is more important than just making money.
Then there was the "try this, try that" chapter that had Jason living in South Florida, Las Vegas, and Atlanta, and included working as a business administrator at a travel/tour company, managing a few departments for a not-for-profit, and even owning a small pizza parlor. This is the chapter in which Jason stepped out of his middle child, shy person comfort zone, and learned how to speak in front of an audience, without being too nervous.
The most important chapter thus far began in November of 2004 when Jason moved to San Diego to start a new job. Although moving to San Diego was a long-time dream, and the job was a great-paying gig as a business consultant for a software company, this was the most important chapter because 10 days after he arrived in San Diego, Jason went on his first date with Bethel. The date was pretty amazing and from there the relationship bloomed into the full-blown love-filled partnership it is today.
And, the current chapter began with Jason leaving his full-time job to follow his passions. This includes working with his wonderful wife as a part of Ceremonies by Bethel and having a great time getting to celebrate awesome couples as they enter a new chapter in their lives.
Quick fact 1: Jason went to space camp the second year it was in existence, and loved it…yes, he is part geek.
Quick fact 2: Jason has a car addiction, owning 9 different sports cars in the last 12 years… yes, he is part gearhead.
Quick fact 3: Jason, as part of a training program for a job, spent 6 days in the Loire Valley hot air ballooning over the countryside while drinking French wines. This was the start of his love of travel and adventure… yes, he is part wanderer.
"Many of our family members and friends told us it was the best wedding ceremony they had ever attended. The ceremony was heartfelt, tailored to our relationship, and very professionally delivered... In addition to the great results, the process of building the ceremony was very professional. Jason communicated with us frequently and he was able to involve us in the development of every aspect of the ceremony. We could not be happier with the results and would highly recommend Jason for any couple who wants to have a memorable and heartfelt wedding." - Crystal and Mauricio
georgia & tom – twin oaks garden estate – san marcos wedding ceremony
ann & jackie – bali hai restaurant – san diego wedding ceremony
professional associations and affiliations
ceremonies by bethel is proud to be associated with the following organizations and industry websites:
wedding websites and resources:
Proud Supporter of: Human Rights Campaign, ACLU, EQ/CA
ceremonies by bethel is so proud to have been recognized in the industry, often thanks to reviews by our past couples!
San Diego Women's Foundation - www.sdwomensfoundation.org
Bethel has been a proud member since 2004, serving on the Board of Directors from 2005 through 2010, and again from 2011 through 2017. She is currently the Marketing Chair, as well as an active member of the Grants Committee. Over the years, Bethel has held leadership positions in the Marketing Committee, the Grants Committee, Development Advisory Team, the Membership Committee, and the Board Executive Team, and has served as a member on the Membership, Education, Marketing, Finance, and Governance Committees, in addition to many ad hoc committees and teams, as needed. She also is honored to continually be asked to serve as a spokesperson on the radio and TV, as well as at events, many times for the organization, and so totally enjoys speaking about and for this great organization!
Susan G. Komen for the Cure, San Diego Affiliate - www.komensandiego.org
Bethel has been involved with the Komen organization since 2003, when she first participated in the 3 Day Walk. Since then, she walked it six times (all in San Diego), and crewed it twice (Arizona and Seattle), raising approximately $63,000 for the cause in the process. She also participates in the San Diego Race for the Cure each year, focusing her fundraising now solely on the local Komen organization and initiatives, and has been one of the top fundraisers most years since 2009, adding another approximately $45,000 to her fundraising total throughout all of the years fundraising for the Race, as well as a special campaign for her 40th birthday. She was also proud to serve on the Board of Directors of the San Diego Affiliate, from 2008 - 2012. Bethel is honored and thoroughly enjoys continuing to serve as a spokesperson at events, for corporations, or on TV or radio, whenever needed or desired by the San Diego affiliate.
Bethel and Jason are proud to be supporters of many other local and national organizations, including the ACLU, Human Rights Campaign, EQ/CA, in addition to supporting organizations like the MS Society, Alzheimer's Association, American Heart Association and others through events that friends, family members, and colleagues participate in.
Local Weddings in San Diego County, Temecula, and Palm Springs - or elsewhere in Southern California*
Regional Weddings (such as Northern California, Las Vegas, Arizona)*
Destination Weddings (anywhere in the world)*
Our passports are always updated and ready, and, as certified and very experienced scuba divers, weddings in dive destinations, including underwater vows, are always possible!
* extra cost to cover travel may be required (beyond 30 miles from zip code 92003)
Truly, we are always happy to travel wherever great and loving couples want us to be!
Bethel and Jason are both legally ordained by both the Church of Spiritual Humanism and the Universal Life Church.
This provides the freedom to create a ceremony that means the most to you, without any requirements other than what the state requires. Bethel and Jason are legal to officiate weddings throughout California, as well as in most of the other 49 states.
our couples come from near and far
San Diego has always been a great spot for destination weddings, and even more so since marriage equality returned to California in the summer of 2013. So we have been lucky enough to get to celebrate many couples from all over the country, and thought that it would be fun to show that here! Actually, from all over the world (as we could add Australia, New Zealand, England, Canada, and Germany to this list too)!
** Can you guess which state is the home for the highest number of couples for us (in addition to California, of course)? Arizona, with 22 couples (present or future) as of April 2014. Next comes Texas, with 12 couples. And then finishing up the top three is Wisconsin with six couples. **