Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Garden of Matrimony

I first met Donna Katsuranis in December of 2009.

She was standing at the head of a very long table talking to a group of business people about her line of work.


Donna is, by trade, a master gardener. Somewhere towards the tail end of her presentation someone asked whether she was still serving as a Justice of the Peace - and I remember being struck all over again by something she'd said earlier in her presentation which suddenly seemed to be a perfect metaphor for marriage.

Lets grow the garden of your dreams.

When I mentioned this to her a few weeks ago, as we sat down to talk about this feature, she smiled knowingly. And I have to tell you .. Donna is one of those people whose smile reaches their eyes.

You look at her and know that this is someone genuine. Someone who will go the distance for people around her.

As she pointed out and named the various shrubs and plants in my back garden, we got to talking about the significance of the fact that she is both a Justice of the Peace and an Interfaith Minister.

It not only allows her to tailor ceremonies to a couple's needs, it actually makes crossing state boundaries easier, as different states have different laws where JPs are concerned.

When I asked about the most touching ceremonies she's ever officiated at, she mentioned two.

Her first one - a few years back - when a cousin of hers wanted to marry his partner and lovingly coerced her into becoming a Justice of the Peace, and one a few months ago which was held at Southford Falls National Park.

"They were touching for different reasons," she explained. "The first one was personal. Someone I grew up with, had a relationship with; who wanted me there at this milestone moment in his life. The second one was touching because there was a child involved. I felt very privileged watching the three-way vows as a new family was forged in my presence."

When I asked Donna whether she had any advice for couples about to tie the knot, she smiled (she smiles a lot) and shook her head.

"Everyone wants to give you advice when you say you're getting married. I really don't have anything to say except do what you works for you. This is the ultimate 'your day'. You won't get another shot at this."

If you are looking for a truly personal experience, sit and talk with Donna for a while.

I can't recommend her highly enough.

You can reach her on 203.775.3054 or via email at dreamgardener@earthlink.net

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