Alternate Ceremony

Alternate Ceremony




Who presents this bride for marriage? 
Sponsor says “I do.”
Thank you.  You may be seated.


Friends, we have come together in this place to join in a celebration of life.  One of the happiest things that can happen to us as individuals is to find our life entwined with the life of another in a deep bond of love.  This is what we are here to recognize and consecrate today.  The bond of love that joins ______________ and __________________.


Dear God, at every turning of life’s way, we would stop to seek your guidance and blessing.  We are grateful for the love which you are and which you have placed within our hearts..  We remember that “we love because you first loved us.”  We give thanks that your spirit is expressing through these two beloved friends, not only on this special day, but in all the days to come.  Thank you, God.  Amen.


To all of our guests, we welcome you.  Many of you have come a good distance to be here. Whether you have come from near or far,  ___________ and ______________  have asked me to thank you for being here to share in their happiness today.  They feel very blessed and loved and grateful for your presence here with them on this very special day.


John Boodin, an American philosopher wrote, “We do not understand, but somehow we are part of a creative destiny, reaching backward and forward to infinity – a destiny that reveals itself though dimly, in our striving, in our love, our thought, our appreciation.  We are the fruition of a process that stretches back to stardust.  In us is the longing for unity.  We are impelled by a hidden instinct to reunion with the parts of the larger heart of the universe.”
Just as love has drawn ______________ and ____________ together, it drew their parents and grandparents together. “Love is a thread that joins individuals, families and generations.  Love is a bond that though invisible and seemingly fragile, never ends.”  I would like to invite the families of this couple to stand and be recognized for their support of this marriage.  We acknowledge that a wedding joins two families together as well as two individuals.  It is more than their blood that is joined here.  It is yours as well.  With this marriage, your two families become one, and it is the family unit that will strengthen our world.  May you always be supportive of this marriage.  You may be seated.

_______________ and _______________, in a few moments you will share in the taking of vows that will initiate legally and spiritually your life together as husband and wife.  Several significant words are contained in these vows that I would like for us to briefly consider before the vows are spoken.  The first of these words is honesty.  Honesty simply means telling the truth.  Telling the truth with love is still the best policy.  But there are other kinds of honesty as well.  Being honest about who you really are, letting yourself be known, when you are at your best, and even when you may not be at your best.  This is the kind of honesty that leads to understanding.  Respect and love at their best are based on understanding and trust which honesty implies.

The second word is respect.  Here it means giving value to, holding in high regard, seeing the ideas, dreams, needs and problems of the other person in the same light as you would see your own.  When each of you puts the other first, in a very real sense, there will be respect for thoughts, for feelings, for privacy and individuality, as well as an open sharing of all that your life together will bring forth. 

The third word is love, but I would like to suggest the need for a love that surpasses the experience called “falling in love,” beautiful as that is.  The quality of love that will sustain you in marriage, is well described in the 13th chapter of first Corinthians:

“Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude.  Love does not demand its own way.  It is not irritable or touchy.  It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong.  It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth.  If you love someone, you will be loyal, no matter what the cost.  You will always believe in them, always expect the best, and always speak words that defend and protect the one you love.  All the special gifts and powers from God will someday come to an end, but love goes on forever.”

The last word I want to call to your attention is the word “unity.”  Unity as oneness.  You have come to this moment to declare your desire to be one.  The saying of vows and the giving of rings are outer symbols of an inner joining that began before today and will continue into your tomorrows if you choose to think of yourselves as one.  Not as a unit made up of two halves, but as a unity made up of two whole persons, facing in the same direction, sharing the path toward the same dreams and goals, sharing a life committed to each other in the sacred bond of marriage.

All of this may seem like a daunting task, and in your own strength and wisdom it can prove to be so.  But if you take your belief in God as the one presence and power, the divine intelligence, and everlasting source of love and light in your lives, and build your marriage on this sure foundation, you will know peace and a deep sense of joy and fulfillment in all your days together.

Will you face one another and hold hands?

Groom:  ____________ do you take __________ to be your wife.  To love and respect her, to be honest with her, and to joyfully be faithful to her throughout your life together?
If so, please say “I do.”

Bride:  ______________do you take __________ to be your husband, to love and respect him, to be honest with him, and to joyfully be faithful to him throughout your life together?  If so, please say “I do.”


The circle is the symbol of the sun, the earth and the universe.  It is a symbol of perfection, wholeness and peace.  In these beautiful rings it becomes the symbol of unity, the unbroken circle of love in which your lives are now joined.

GROOM:__________, I give you this ring to wear in faith and joy as a symbol of our unity, so that all may know you are touched by my love.

BRIDE:  ___________, I give you this ring to wear in faith and joy as a symbol of our unity, so that all may know you are touched by my lo

Let us pray:  Dear God, who has made us to be lovers of the world and of each other, we thank you for all quickening of life, all delights of touch and closeness, all pleasure of eye and ear and common desire which make it so splendid to be human.  May we not take these gifts lightly or cease to wonder at their refreshment, or misuse the power they give to us.  We recognize the responsibility we take upon ourselves when we commit our lives to one another.  May we keep our commitments with honesty and in good faith as well as with joy and with enough sense of humor to keep us from taking ourselves too seriously.  We bring to you our questions, our doubts, our fears, releasing them into your loving care, in the faith that you will give us resilience for the days when we need it.  We go forward now to live our lives together each day, in love, in trust, in a common sharing of daily life, and in the encouragement and gracious sustaining of one another, which is our calling and our great delight.  We do pray and consecrate these two souls into the divine friendship of marriage, and we know as you go forth, “the light of God surrounds you.  The love of God enfolds you.  The power of God protects you.  The presence of God watches over you.  Wherever you are God is, and all is well.  Amen.

OPTION:  CANDLELIGHTING (choose from 2 options), (Couple will supply candles and holders)

The candle which has been burning is a symbol of the light of divine love.  As you light your individual candles from the one candle, let this be a symbol that your lives are now joined by the love of God.


Under the authority of the law of New York and with the power vested in me as a Unity minister, and in the name of the Holy Spirit who performs all true marriages, I now pronounce you husband and wife.  You may kiss one another to seal your union.


And now will you turn and face your family and friends:  Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to present to you Mr. and Mrs. ____________________.


Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to present to you ______________ and
_______________ as husband and wife.

Want to book a wedding with me? Call me now at 716-998-8406 or send me an email. I look forward to working with you!