Cortney Pasternak | Licensed Wedding Officiant

“THANK YOU SO MUCH! The results were better than we could have imagined. So many of our guests came up to us throughout the evening and said it was bar none the best wedding ceremony they’ve ever attended. On a personal level, you helped make a special day even more incredible for both of us.”
– Clients

Protecting the Sacred – Respecting the Secular

Personalized, meaningful wedding ceremonies, vow renewals, commitment ceremonies, elopements, themed weddings, pre-marriage counseling, funerals, memorials, child namings and welcomings, divorce ceremonies, professional and personal life transitions, pet ceremonies and other rites of passage in West Toronto, Hamilton and the West GTA.

Welcome and congratulations!

My name is Cortney Pasternak and I am a certified Officiant licensed by the Province of Ontario and the Ontario Humanist Society to solemnize marriages in Ontario and conduct other life cycle ceremonies. I provide personalized, non-denominational marriage ceremonies in Ontario which are legally equivalent to a civil ceremony that might be provided by a clerk at City Hall or a Justice of the Peace. I am also a Registered Psychotherapist and couples counselor who offers pre-marriage counseling and psychotherapy, and dating coaching or dating counselling through in part, an Attachment-based lens. The idea is to help you navigate through relationship anxiety, and love more authentically, courageously, and transparently.

Personalized, Humanist Weddings & Other Ceremonies: The Difference

As a Humanist Officiant, I am more of a facilitator as opposed to a spiritual authority figure. The Humanist weddings and ceremonies that I provide differ from many other types of weddings and ceremonies in that they are personalized and informed by Humanist values of equality and compassion among others discussed further below.  I take a creative, collaborative approach. This is your ceremony to be done your way.

Blended, Cross Cultural Ceremony, William Kwok Photography

As someone who was married by a Humanist Officiant, I can tell you from personal experience, that it had great meaning for both me and my husband.  In fact, it was the inspiration for choosing to become a Humanist Officiant myself. Please click on my testimonials page to see what a Humanist, personalized wedding has meant to the many couples and families with whom I have worked.

A personalized ceremony – be it for a wedding, a funeral, a baby naming/welcoming, a coming of age ceremony, divorce ceremony or another life cycle event – is prepared together creatively and in collaboration with couples or families. These may include a specific cultural or spiritual rituals, symbols, traditions, readings, blessings, etc. in any number of languages.

Veil, cord and coin ceremony at a beautiful, summer ceremony at the Evergreen Brickworks

Veil, cord and coin ceremony at a beautiful, summer ceremony at the Evergreen Brickworks

It is designed to reflect the values and belief system of the couple and may include personal stories, history and specific acknowledgements — thus making the ceremony more meaningful to them. No two ceremonies are the same.

Is a Humanist wedding or ceremony right for you and your family?

Humanism, generally speaking, is an ethical, non-religious or secular belief system or philosophy that values human rights, social justice, equality, compassion and respect for all.

Surrounded by park, beautiful architecture and the Bluffs at Guild Inn Gardens

Surrounded by park, beautiful architecture and the Bluffs at Guild Inn Gardens

It also espouses the belief that it is up to us as human beings to work toward making this world better for all of the earth’s inhabitants. These values of course apply to marriage – a partnership based on equality and compassion with shared responsibility and care. As a Humanist Officiant, I welcome interfaith and intercultural couples and families. I also welcome

Two New Yorkers getting married at Kew Beach in Toronto's east end just as New York state legalizes same sex marriage.

Two New Yorkers getting married at Kew Beach in Toronto’s east end just as New York state legalizes same sex marriage.

same-sex couples and families. The inclusive nature of Humanist ceremonies is attracting a growing number of people who feel that Humanist ceremonies adhere more closely to their personal beliefs and philosophies than either a purely religious or purely civil ceremony. Indeed a growing number of interfaith and intercultural couples are also choosing Humanist weddings, not because they are necessarily secular, but because they want an inclusive ceremony that celebrates and reflects the blended or diverse nature of their relationship and of their respective families or communities.

Sea Shell Wedding Cake for a Couple Who Fell in Love Through Sailing
Kyla Eaglesham, Madeleine’s Cherry Pie and Ice Cream

Please contact me via email so we can set up a time to talk more about your wedding, my services as well as my availability and rates. I look forward to working with you.

All the best!


Cortney Pasternak, Humanist Officiant, MA, MEd, RP.
*For a sample of a wedding ceremony I have officiated and other related videos, please visit my FAQ Page page.