Debby Rickards loves to create celebrations. Whether it is devising family rituals for her family to celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas, writing a Haggadah with friends or making a Fairy Feast to end the school year, Debby is committed to marking occasions with joy and love. She understands that what is sacred to us is contained in all of our actions, from the depths of our hearts to the smiles on our faces, irrespective of religion or belief. She integrates celebrations with delight, love, inclusion and joy.

Debby is a native New Yorker who has lived in Philadelphia for more than 30 years. She is a proud member of the first class of women at Rutgers College, graduating with a history degree. When her youngest son was born, Debby went back to school and earned a Masters in Elementary Education from Penn and pursued her passion for teaching children to care for each other and the world.  

Debby was raised Jewish, but has always held a deep respect for the spirituality of other faiths, cultures, traditions and value systems. She taught for decades at a Quaker independent school where she found the everyday spiritual life of this community strengthened her own beliefs. The path of “seeking the light in others” is the basis for all that Debby does.  

Debby’s long and happy marriage to Steve inspires her. The joy they found in their own wedding; building intimacy based on mutual respect, appreciation for their different faith traditions and honoring one other is renewed daily through the good times and the more challenging times. They relish time with each other, time spent with their kids, and each moment with their new granddaughter. The growth of family through love has been a wonderfully exciting adventure.  

Debby’s love of books led her to start a reading group more than thirty years ago. The group has been reading together ever since! Besides sinking into a good book, Debby enjoys visiting with friends, taking long walks, singing, and attending the theater.  

Now retired from teaching, Debby is delighted to be with Journeys of the Heart and help couples create beautiful ceremonies to tell and honor their own unique stories.

Personal and reverent

We were nervous about selecting an officiant as we were an interfaith marriage interesting in ensuring both of us and our families would be represented somehow. We were so happy to find Debby Rickards. She was the perfect officiant for us and worked with us to customize our ceremony. We felt it was personalized and reverent to both traditions and families. We could not have asked for more. Many guests said it was the best ceremony they ever witnessed!

Catherine & Corey
Thank you so much Debby! I truly cannot thank you enough for such a beautiful ceremony. It was perfect and everything I had hoped for. All of our friends are raving about how warm and meaningful your officiating was. I have no doubt you may be getting some calls from them in the future!! And thank you so much for taking care of mailing the license back to the city. 
Jen & Brian

Easy, exciting, fun!

My wife and I worked with Debby Rickards from Journeys of the Heart and the experience was wonderful. We wanted a predominantly non-religious/nondenominational ceremony that also showed love and respect for each other’s different backgrounds (Jewish bride, Catholic groom). To say we worried about whether we could accomplish this is an understatement. Journeys of the Heart connected us with Debby and she made the entire process of planning a ceremony easy, exciting, and fun. Debby took the time to get to know us, our story, and our expectations and helped create a beautiful ceremony that both of our families raved about. Debby guided us through the planning process and made us feel like VIP clients. She was available for questions/concerns leading up to the wedding and did an amazing job on our wedding day! She even checked in on us afterwards to provide information about our marriage license and to address any other questions/concerns we may have had. My wife and I can’t say enough good things about Debby and highly recommend her!

Marissa & John

Debby was incredible

We used Journeys of the Heart to select an officiant for our interfaith wedding. We got to meet with Debby Rickards to discuss how we wanted the ceremony to go. She provided the most incredible service that a couple could ask for. She learned about our relationship and truly made us feel comfortable about our big day. She used so many details from our original discussion to create a wedding ceremony that was 100% catered to our specific needs and vision. She was always supportive and let us collaborate with her to make sure the script was exactly how we wanted it.
When it came time for the big day she arrived and delivered the most amazing ceremony. Still to this day, our family and friends tell us that it was the most special wedding ceremony that they’ve ever seen. This isn’t an exaggeration. We loved our wedding and reception, but the Ceremony was absolutely the highlight of our special day. I couldn’t recommend this company enough. Thanks Debby!

Jesse & Courtney

Debby is Wonderful!

We worked with Debby R from Journey’s of the Heart and we can’t recommend her enough!  She was SO kind, professional, sweet and polite!  We had a zoom call with her to go over our ceremony, and she created something that was so personal and beautiful!  We were able to work hand in hand with her to create a ceremony that matched us perfectly.  She also was very responsive through email and checked in often.  Highly recommend!

Megan & Alex

Journeys of the Heart matched my husband and I with Debby Rickards and she was absolutely wonderful. We spoke with three different officiants and Debby was the clear choice from our first initial video call. She took the time to understand our relationship, our outlooks on life and plans for the future. Debby was also very dedicated to understanding what our perfect ceremony would be. We had a small ceremony with just our families present and Debby made sure that everything went smoothly. Our families loved the ceremony and were impressed with what Debby wrote.

I would highly recommend Debby and Journeys of the Heart!

Liz & Sam

Hi Debby,

Thank you so much for helping make our special day so perfect. All of our family and friends raved about how great the ceremony and officiant was!! You were phenomenal and made the ceremony to be exactly what we had imagined and then some!

Again, thank you so much! You helped make our wedding day so perfect!


Katie & Morgan

Thank you for an absolutely perfect and beautiful ceremony. Sorry we didn’t get a chance to connect afterwards, but just know that you helped make our day so so special for us. We will never forget it. Everyone we spoke to loved it so much and so did we.

Thank you a million times and take care,

Jessica & Kevin

Dear Debby,

We wanted to thank you so much for being such a significant part of our wedding day. You walked us through the process from the first time we met and guided us with support and helped us create the perfect wedding ceremony.

You made our special day even more special by your kind and gentle spirit. Your warmth and calm demeanor truly made a difference. We’re grateful and blessed that our journeys led us to your caring heart. The room was filled with love and joy.

With love,

Gina & Camille