I worked for years in the fashion industry in NYC, loving the pace and challenge of creating engaging marketing strategies to grab the attention of curious seekers. My last position was with a wedding dress designer and my passion for creating beautiful narratives to describe the most important garment a bride will ever buy was born.
However, I felt my talent was caged. There are only so many ways you can describe lace!
At the time, I was also writing travel guides on my blog, Brooklyn, I’m Trying, aiming to encourage readers to experience cities through the lens of a modern urban explorer.
One month later I quit my job and started a company that would combine my passion for words, my excitement for travel planning, and my love of love stories.
As a writer, I've always been moved by the power of words to express emotions. And being the one who narrates the words that I’ve written for a couple on their wedding day while witnessing the effect each word has on their closest friends and family is the greatest honor a writer can have.
HLWT is the amalgamation of my talents, my experience, my passions, and all the things that make my heart beat with excitement.
I can’t wait to help tell your story!
Your love is what brought you together and will remain long after the cake has been cut and the last song played. Let’s concentrate on the what’s truly important and craft a professionally written ceremony that will set the tone for the celebration. And as you add memories and chapters to your love story on your honeymoon, we’ll plan every step of the way.
Annyssa uses her talent to harness the often unbridled ideas of a writer and translate them into visual media. You’ll also find her working as an assistant coordinator on wedding days, tirelessly running around venues to allow concise planning to translate into joy shared among guests. She is the key marketing strategist for HLWT’s annual charity event, Elopements for Couples Who Care.
Annyssa’s creative prowess has always lay within the allure of images and their ability to convey emotion, whether in photographs or on screen. With a background in Digital Marketing and Video Production, she found her place amidst a creative cohort in NYC. She landed at HLWT in 2022 through a rather powerful, combined manifestation. But that of course is another story.
Growing up in Southern Texas, Annyssa always dreamed of living in New York. While most people are intimidated by the chaos, she, instead, was drawn toward it. She saw a city with limitless opportunity inhabited by interesting people, and was charmed by the vibrant yet ruggedness of everyday living… because within this storied grid, after any setback in life, you can walk the streets of New York City and still feel like a badass for living here.
Yes. I’m ordained through the Universal Life Church and am registered with the city to perform marriages legally in all 5 boroughs. The ULC ordination is accepted to officiate in *almost all* states. I thoroughly research the laws in each locality before signing a license and have officiated in 9 states and 4 countries to date!
Are you registered as an officiant and able to legally marry couples in NYC?
I do! For destination weddings, I often recommend that couples obtain the marriage license in their home state in the US to avoid complications that often require you to apply in person well before your wedding date. I include the signing of the license in your package. I’m also a certified travel advisor and often help destination clients book guests’ travel through my platform to cut costs and assist with organization. Have Lover, Will Travel is a wedding and travel business, so destination weddings provide the perfect opportunity to use our talents, passion, and knowledge of both sides of these industries!
Do you travel abroad to officiate destination weddings?
YES. I hold my work with LGBTQ+ couples in very high regard because I’ve found that perhaps at some point in your relationship, your story may not have been very easy to tell. Let’s shout it from the rooftops at your wedding! I celebrate unions of all genders and will work with you to craft an intimate ceremony that reflects the beauty of your partnership.
Do you officiate LGBTQ+ Ceremonies?
Yes! I’ll be happy to help you with handwritten vows that will relieve any pressure and help draw out your true, heartfelt emotion. I’ll work with you every step of the way and will make sure that each partner’s vows are matched in tone and length. I’ll also coach you through the delivery so you feel confident when sharing your vows during the ceremony.
Can we share our own vows and will you help us write them?
As a writer, tight deadlines are never an issue for me. I can be hired as far as 1-2 years out from the wedding date, but I’ve also turned over a complete, custom ceremony within 24hours. I’m here to work within your schedule, so there’s no set timeline! Once hired, I’ll set dates to keep us on track as we work through the creation process.
How far in advance should we book you?
Yes! I love vow renewals and the beautiful wisdom that comes from a couple who has been married and want to celebrate a milestone together. The process is similar to my wedding ceremony creation, but with additional opportunities to share anecdotes and the pure appreciation you’ve gained for your partner throughout your marriage.
Do you perform vow renewals?
Not at all! Often couples get “legally” married ahead of their wedding for personal reasons. This won’t change the process or ceremony, and your guests won’t be aware that a legal marriage has already taken place. The signing and filing is included in all of my packages, so there is no price difference if the paperwork has been previously completed.
We’re already legally married- does this change anything?
Yes! I’ve done so many park elopements and love that NYC has beautiful, accessible green areas for elopements. You usually don’t need a permit unless you’ve selected a popular spot (for example, the Ladies Pavilion in Central Park) but I’ll always advise if this should be obtained prior to the wedding. For park elopements, you aren’t permitted to set up chairs or decor, but I’ll work with you and your photographer to naturally capture the scene that you envisioned for the ceremony.
Can we get married in a public park?
I officiate often in Virginia. It is my home state and I have lots of connections in the wedding industry there. However, Virginia does not accept the Universal Life Church as an accepted form of ordination, nor do they allow officiants who are not Virginia residents to officiate more than one time in the state. I work exclusively with an approved, in-state officiant for Virginia weddings so that the license will be signed and legalized, and I will still perform the ceremony.
Are you legally able to marry couples in Virginia?
Yes! My pricing is based on the amount of writing involved in the process. For a standard ceremony with limited personalization, pricing starts at $650. We can always select parts of the ceremony to add personalization to create a hybrid package that matches your vision and budget! For a detailed explanation of all packages, click here.
We only want a simple ceremony, without personalization. Is there a price difference?
Yes! I am passionate about learning, researching, and incorporating cultural traditions in my ceremonies. From the Indian Saptapadi, Chinese veil draping, Scottish Tartan-binding, Jewish 7 Blessings, and of course, the breaking of the glass, I love the added depth that these cultural traditions bring to ceremonies. I also understand the importance of helping families understand and celebrate when two partners are “combining” cultures through their union.
Do you incorporate religious and/or cultural traditions in your ceremonies?
Yes! I lived in Spain for a year and minored in Spanish. I frequently translate my ceremonies in Spanish and am happy to narrate both in English and in Spanish for your guests. I’ll also provide the final ceremony within plenty of time to be translated and printed in any language for your guests.
Do you officiate ceremonies in Spanish?