Chicago Wedding's Team
Ordained Officiants for Your Ceremony
ChicagoWeddings.org is a unique service to couples in that the ordained officiants work together as a team and not parts of a referral list. We use the same materials, follow the same outlines and work together. In the event of an emergency, one of our other officiants are available to step up and provide the same ceremony you had planned without interruption of service.
Barry Kolanowski, founder of ChicagoWeddings.org having spent more than twenty years as an ordained minister, felt there was a gap in helping couples, get married, find affordable counseling, dedicate their children, and more because they were not affiliated with a church. So when he started ChicagoWeddings.org over ten years ago, it was to serve those who wanted a ceremony done with warmth, personality and still have religious expression or even be flexible enough to perform a ceremony without any religious references.
Since then he has added his counseling practice, written the book, “The Ceremony Planner”, developed an innovative self-directed workbook for couples, conducts couples workshops three times a year and has been a guest speaker at numerous places.
Nearly a hundred couples per year have found his upbeat friendly personality to be exactly what they wanted in an officiant, counselor and event attendee. He is also committed to being part of his community through his role as a volunteer at a local food pantry, serving on its board and being past president of his Rotary Club.
Rev. Jeff Ginsburg has a warm, friendly and outgoing personality, so much so that when you meet him it’s as though you have known him for years. He was raised in a multi-religious and multi-cultural family which gave him a deep appreciation and respect for all religious traditions. As he puts it, December was a busy month at home. His heart is for helping people come together and so he pursued degrees in Sociology and obtained his Masters in Social Work at Loyola University. He has been on staff at the Marriage and Family Counseling Service for Cook County as well as maintaining a private practice. He became an officiant so to better fulfill his dream of working with couples on the happiest day of their life. Rev. Jeff, completed his training with Chicago Weddings and uses all the same materials in planning the ceremony. But it is his smile that wins your heart.
Janine Nichol, has for the past several years as a non-denominational minister, helped couples put together their vows and perform their weddings. She loves to help couples continue their happiness together, which is also what brings her such joy. You will love her energy and outgoing, yet warm personality. She will listen to you and tailor the perfect ceremony whether it is a small intimate wedding or a larger more extravagant wedding. You will love her professionalism, and joyful attitude from the first meeting.
Rev. Brian Evans began his connection with ChicagoWeddings.org in 2011. He remembers his own wedding with Beth, his high school sweetheart over twenty years ago. Since then, as an ordained minister, he has helped numerous couples prepare for a lifetime of happiness and adventure together. Every wedding is unique and should reflect the one-of-a-kind love that each couple has for one another. Brian enjoys meeting with every couple so that when their special day comes, it’s more than a ceremony, it’s a defining moment. He is an avid marathon runner, and has a passion for the outdoors and adventure.
Rev. Geoff Mitchell, the newest member of the Chicago Weddings team has served as a pastor since he was 21. A former high school football coach, Rev Geoff holds two degrees in a theology from Texas Christian University and follows his Horned Frogs each fall. He loves to preside over wedding ceremonies and to be present for couples at this special time in their lives. He has literally performed hundreds of weddings over the years and his experience is a big plus. From the moment you meet him you are struck by his warmth and accepting personality. He will help take away some of the stress of the ceremony planning as he follows the same guidelines required for all our officiants.
Ashley Abraham, joined Chicago Weddings in the Spring of 2014 as administrative assistant. For the past 10 years she has provided support in this role and most recently served the director of the Small Business Development Center at a local college. She also brings a great deal of wedding industry experience.
Having attended Northern Illinois University with a focus on a Degree in Fine Arts, Ashley also received a vocational degree in wedding event coordination at the International Institute of Wedding Planning. In addition to her educational training, she has acted as assistant manager at the House of Brides and served as the “day of” coordinator while working for Weddings By Denise.
Her extensive knowledge of the wedding industry, working with brides and vendors directly plus her secretarial experience is a great asset to Chicago Weddings. She understands the need to make this a memorable time in the life of the couple and is ready to help any way she can.