Veronica Moya Interview by Jen Bush
Veronica Moya had immense business sense since was a teenager – now coupled with entertainment skills. She started out entertaining at children’s parties and then pivoted to the ultimate party, weddings. “I am originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I started my first business at age 17 as a children’s party entertainer. Since that first business venture, my work has expanded, deepened, and spiraled in several key directions—all of which reflect my desire to bring happiness to people.” With minimal opportunities in Argentina, the Great White Way beckoned to her and she moved to N.Y.C. “I love to perform, but the entertainment opportunities are limited in my country, which is why in 2001 I moved to the theater capital of the world. As I was trying to make it on Broadway, I had several jobs, as you can imagine nanny, waitress, receptionist…in retrospect, I can see how life was preparing me for what was to come.” Her journey now had her acting…as an officiant. “During my years as a menial worker, I learned a great deal about myself. My wedding journey started in 2006 when I first learned about the existence of a “wedding officiant.” Back home, we don’t have wedding officiants. I didn’t know this was a thing! I did some research, and I quickly learned what the job entailed and how to become licensed.” It was a natural progression from the work she had been doing. “At the time, I was already well established in the New Age community as an intuitive counselor, teacher, and event coordinator for the Edgar Cayce Center. Becoming an ordained minister was the logical and organic thing to do – and so I did! I became ordained as an interfaith minister, and also licensed as an officiant. I knew immediately that this was something at which I’d excel. Speaking Spanish was a huge advantage, New York is filled with Spanish speaking people! Business was so good, that I decided to make officiating my full-time job.”
Veronica has written a book to assist couples on their big day. The impetus behind writing the book was to provide couples with sound advice to have an ideal wedding within their means. There seemed to be a lack of information for mounting smaller and more intimate weddings. “Throughout the years, I realized that most people would choose to go the frugal or micro-wedding route as opposed to the big elaborate wedding. And after hearing the same questions from couples, repeatedly, I realized that there was not one place where they could find those answers. So, I was inspired to provide good answers and guidance to those couples who are aiming towards a small wedding, and don’t want to hire a $7,000 wedding planner.”
From the heartwarming to the horrible with some miracles in between, Veronica has found the officiant business can sometimes be quite eye opening.
“Yes, I have certainly seen it all. From a regretful groom, who had to be tackled by his mother as he was running away from the altar (A run-away groom if you will); to unhappy parents who would let EVERYONE know how they felt about their son’s new spouse. Pretty sad really. No matter how long I’ve been in this business, you can never get used to this. But I must sadly confess, that seeing unhappy family members acting out is more common than people think. You always see the mother of the groom (or father of the bride) arriving extremely late to the wedding ceremony. So late to the point that we decide to go ahead without them.” Officiating for the couples who are soul mates makes it all worthwhile. “And then of course there are just beautiful couples whose love is so deep and pure that you can feel it in the air. It’s contagious.”
With weddings being such a vast and varied business, Veronica is tackling more areas in future books. “I am already working on volume II. In my next book I am diving into all the different venues that cater for small events and spontaneous weddings. Which are quite a few in Manhattan, but they are seldom considered, because when you do a search for wedding venues, only the BIG & expensive ones come up.
Covid has had a negative impact on every aspect of life. Weddings were no exception. Lucking for Veronica, smaller weddings thrived. “I heard that the wedding industry was hit hard due to the pandemic. However, for us, small wedding folk, the pandemic helped us hit new numbers that we never thought possible. We did a total of 720 weddings in 2021.
With event spaces and reception halls closed, people chose to go the micro route. We did lose all our out-of-town couples, of course, but New Yorkers showed us that nothing can stop love. People were still getting married in 2020 & 2021.
Wedding officiants don’t always take their own advice. ?I decided to elope with my now husband, Brad, in the city that I adore. We ended up going against nearly all the advice that I give to my couples now. Chief among them: it’s your big day—you are supposed to feel pampered and relaxed. If you are running the show, you are not going to be as chill as you should be. This is what elopement companies are for! But both Brad & I were already wedding pros when we met, so we thought we could organize our own wedding ourselves. Not!!
Here is what I would do differently:
- I wouldn’t enlisted friends for jobs that should be done by professionals (e.g. hair and makeup, photography, officiant).
- I wouldn’t change the start time at the last minute (we started 30 minutes earlier to avoid the rain. But that meant that we missed out on the flower girl and the musicians.)
- I would also employ someone whose job is to look after the catering company and to distribute goody bags. I brought mine to the venue, but completely forgot to give them out to people.”
No matter if a couple is straight or gay, the same kinds of wedding problems occur. “Ohh Absolutely!! Of course! People are people. Gay or stray it doesn’t matter. Marriage is a BIG step in anyone’s life. It’s a really big deal! And a wedding creates the same anxiety, fear, nerves, and getters in all couples alike. No matter their sexual orientation, their religion, background, or age group. I see the same kinds of problem play out in all couples across the board. Gay couples are not immune to drama. LOL”
Veronica helps people in other kinds of soul enriching ways. “When I am not designing a wedding, I teach psychic development to young people. I teach meditation classes in schools and afterschool programs in Manhattan, Washington Hights & Queens. I am also a key-note speaker in self-help & business conferences. Hopefully, we’ll have more of those soon. I did NOT enjoy the virtual meetings at all!! “
Veronica has a lovely endeavor on the horizon for the younger folks. “I am now writing a book for young people, on how to connect with one’s inner guidance to access wisdom and fulfillment in life. As I said before, I hope that all in-person events come back to life.”