I charge $1,000 to help couples write their wedding vows. I've seen some magical and devastating moments.

I charge $1,000 to help couples write their wedding vows. I've seen some magical and devastating moments.
Tanya Pushkine.Phil Van Nostrand
  • Tanya Pushkine is a wedding-vows writer and officiant who was inspired after her own wedding.
  • Her pricing starts at $995 for a consultation and help from conception to delivery of the vows.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Tanya Pushkine, a 61-year-old wedding-vows writer and officiant known as "The Vow Whisperer" based in New York City, about her job. It has been edited for length and clarity.

I graduated from the Juilliard School with a BFA in acting. After a 10-year career as an actor, I ran public-relations and corporate-philanthropy departments at Sephora, L'Oréal, Clarins, and Nestlé. In 2014, I left the full-time corporate world to consult and manage corporate social-responsibility platforms for a number of large companies before pivoting in 2019, when I founded The Vow Whisperer.

I had a blast planning my own second wedding in 2019. It was a lot of work and an exercise in creativity that I absolutely loved, and the positive feedback I received about the ceremony was extraordinary. That was the "aha!" moment for me.

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My pricing starts at $995, which includes a primary consultation to determine what's best for a client's needs. I offer help with vow creation and delivery, officiant services, speeches and toasts, ceremony planning, and public speaking. The standard offering for vows includes help with everything from conception to delivery. Everything is highly customized to each person, so there are no set packages.

I've helped more than 150 couples in the last two-and-a-half years with their vows, coached more than 50 people who had never officiated before, and officiated 75 weddings. I couldn't imagine a better way to spend my days than being surrounded by couples in love.


I consult with couples on how to creatively and lovingly write their vows in their own words

I charge $1,000 to help couples write their wedding vows. I've seen some magical and devastating moments.
Pushkine marrying Dan and James.Samantha McNulty Photo

I don't write the vows for them but guide them as they write and coach them on how to speak in front of a crowd, as many haven't spoken publicly since school. I also assist in the ceremony planning and coach participating family and friends with their speeches and toasts. A large component of my corporate life was spent training executives on how to give the perfect speech and talk concisely and informatively to the media. With this pivot, I've transferred these skills to the wedding party.

I charge $1,000 to help couples write their wedding vows. I've seen some magical and devastating moments.
Pushkine officiating.In Sync Weddings
As an officiant, I'm also often hired to run the ceremony. When there's another officiant, specifically a friend or family member, I'll work with them in crafting the ceremony and guide them through all the logistics to execute the couple's plan seamlessly.

My first clients in 2019 were friends who came to my wedding

They flew me to Jamaica to help rehearse their vows, which was an amazing experience. I immediately created a website and started building up my social-media accounts after working with them. I announced the launch of the business to my very large Rolodex of friends, family, and corporate colleagues I met over the decades, and it quickly took off via word of mouth.

Additionally, I sent cold emails to hundreds of wedding planners introducing myself, and I advertised my business on WeddingWire and The Knot. I also reached out and secured press and interviews on podcasts, including Brides, "Betches Brides," "The Big Wedding Planning Podcast," Elle UK, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Grace Ormonde. People now find me through word of mouth, couple referrals, planners, venues, Instagram, press, podcasts, and Google.

My typical day includes anywhere from 5 to 8 Zoom sessions

We practice vows, craft ceremonies, and edit speeches. I also may have "discovery calls," which are meeting a couple for the first time.


During the wedding season from May to June, the days are very long, as I also marry people and often need to travel. Being a part of the wedding allows me to stage-manage on-site and do a bit of improvisation if needed.

The offseason is a bit slower, but I spend my time speaking with prospective clients, researching wedding trends, and speaking with and constantly learning from others in the industry.

One cute story involved a lovely couple who had identical vows

They had the exact same memories and vows, almost word for word. My process starts with a questionnaire, which I ask people to work on over a period of a month, as it requires a lot of thought, reflection, memories, and anecdotes.

One question is, "When did you know for sure he/she was the one?" This couple chose the exact same moment and used identical language to describe every single detail of that event. As I work individually with each person, since vows should be top secret, I decided to leave it as is. There are pictures of the couple reading the vows hysterically laughing at this coincidence.

Once I was hired to help a couple with their vows and marry them

It was lovely working with them. I get to know all my clients intimately. Writing vows is a bit like affirmation therapy, as we discuss the wonderful elements of their relationship. We crafted the vows together, practiced over a few months, and then it was time to get married.


I drove around four hours to the magnificent venue in Lenox, Massachusetts, and as I pulled into the parking lot, I received a text from the wedding planner that announced, "the groom is a no-show." I walked into the gardens of the mansion where the wedding was to take place and found the wedding planner, the bride (already changed out of her dress), and the photographer sitting there in stunned disbelief.

I stayed for a while hoping to help calm the bride, who was in total shock, and then I drove back to New York City saddened by the state of affairs. Nothing can be more devastating than being left standing at the altar, and my heart wept for this bride.

I wish I'd had a business plan when I started, but I didn't realize I'd started until I was knee-deep in it

But I eventually did write a business plan, and I cannot say enough how important one is to moving any business forward. It's really easy to be afraid of tackling it, but it truly is a thought exercise that helps you actualize and manifest what you want.

I also did a lot of research. I bought a bunch of books on officiating and creating ceremonies such as Christopher Shelley's "Best Ceremony Ever: How to Make the Serious Wedding Stuff Unique" and "Do-It-Yourself Wedding Ceremony: Choosing the Perfect Words and Officiating Your Unforgettable Day" by Dayna Reid. I dug deep into wedding ceremonies both religious and secular and learned about what different cultures value in a marriage ceremony.

I also joined the Wedding International Professional Association (WIPA) determined to meet other wedding professionals and worked my way up to where I am now, serving on the board as director of membership. I get to meet new people all the time in this role. Additionally, I advise all who want to be a wedding pro to attend wedding vendor events such as Party Slate, where it's vitally important to network.