A message from “Rev Deb” .
In addition to all of the other fun things I do, I am also an ordained Interfaith Minister. I’ve been performing weddings since 2000, after completing my Master’s thesis on the power of transformative rituals… isn’t that exactly what a wedding ceremony is? Ironically, when my husband Peter and I were married in 1981, we created our own ceremony with a minister and rabbi – pretty radical idea at the time. I certainly never thought I’d be helping couples do the same, 35+ years later! .
Sometimes the couples I work with are from different faith traditions, and want to find common spiritual ground to celebrate this most joyous of life’s passages. .
Other times, couples are simply looking for a unique, creative way to express their love for and commitment to one another; they want someone to partner with them in creating a very personal and meaningful ceremony with little of the language, music, or visual symbols of a “traditional” wedding.
And of course, I’m delighted to work with same-sex couples who want to sacralize their bond in a special way as well. In all instances, we work together to craft a simple and beautiful ceremony which blends your vision and my expertise.
How many of the following apply to you?
- You are from different faith traditions and want to honor each
- You want to create a ceremony that’s spiritual, but not religious
- You want a simple civil ceremony that represents the essence of who you are
- You want to create a meaningful, symbol-filled ceremony that resonates with your spiritual beliefs
- You’re ready to participate fully in the creation of our wedding ceremony
- You want your ceremony to be about YOU
- You’re looking for an officiant who will take the time to get to know you, who’s knowledgeable and professional, but also creative and FUN! .
“Thank you for all of the work you did for our wedding. Being a part of the process of creating our ceremony made it so much more meaningful and personal, which was exactly what we were hoping for! You really took the time to get to know us, both as individuals and as a couple. Writing our own vows, which may have been the scariest proposition of the entire wedding planning process, was such an amazing experience and we are so happy that we did. We couldn’t imagine getting married any other way!” Love Kim and Steve
How to Create Your Ideal Ceremony .
When you decide to create your own wedding ceremony, the world’s traditions are your playing field. Certainly, you can opt for a creative blend of the religions of your respective families. You may even want to have more than one officiate present to represent different faith traditions. I have co-officiated with Rabbis, Buddhist Priests, and Christian Ministers, sometimes even with 2 others! .
Or, you can opt for a contemporary ceremony which is completely original, drawing on elements and rituals from multiple traditions, including Native American, Celtic, Sufism, Islam, Earth-Centered Spirituality, Hinduism, Egyptian, to name a few. .
You’re invited to bring all your ideas to our first planning session and we’ll also draw from the resources I’ve compiled over the years. If you’re undecided about the location for your ceremony, I have lots of suggestions in the New York metro area as well. This is your ceremony and it will be as elaborate or simple as you want it to be. .
Basic Ceremony Structure
For couples who are looking for a short, sweet, ceremony, these are the basic components: .
OPENING WORDS — brief statement about the meaning and value of love and marriage, personalized to talk about the two of you.
READINGS — affirm and support the opening statement about love and marriage.
QUESTION OF INTENT — asks the couple to promise the community that they will create a stable, lasting marriage.
VOWS — the promises the couple make to each other.
EXCHANGE OF RINGS — blessed by the officiate and exchanged as symbols of the promises made in the vows.
BLESSING — offered by the officiant in support of the marriage.
CLOSING WORDS — a statement of hope for the future.
ANNOUNCEMENT OR DECLARATION— summary and affirmation of what has just occurred. It is followed by THE KISS which marks the end of the ceremony! .
Sampling of Special Wedding Rituals
Most couples choose to add two or more of these unique, personal touches to the Basic Ceremony:
How to Author Your Vows
Once we’ve agree on all the various components outlined above, we come to what I think is the most meaningful part of the wedding ceremony – your vows to each other. Now, I think I’m really good at what I do, but I also know from years of experience that the most powerful part of my ceremonies is when the bride and groom express their love and promises directly to each other, in their own words – something that doesn’t happen in most traditional ceremonies. .
Your vows can be in the form of a two or three-line declaration, a story, poem, or letter… whatever best reflects your personality – the idea is to create a heartfelt declaration that captures your love and excitement in making this joyful commitment. Don’t worry… there’s no memorizing – I’ll hold the book for you to read your own words. They can be as simple or as eloquent as you choose and if you’re feeling nervous or stuck, I will coach you both through the process and have several books I can recommend as well – check the Weddings section on the Resources page. Any couple who’s ever been reticent about writing their vows have always thanked me in the end for nudging them! .
Additional Wedding Services
Marriage Mastery Coaching
Sometimes it’s helpful to have an objective third party hold the space for you as you contemplate the big issues of creating and sustaining a lifelong relationship. Work, family time, children, in-laws, spiritual life… these are some of the areas we can address so you can begin this new journey with confidence and excitement. .
This can be done in 2 or 3 informal sessions, or you might want to consider the more structured “Partners in Life”(PIL) program with a workbook and exercises. For more information on this powerful program, please check the bottom of the Relationship Coaching page. .
And keep in mind that this powerful coaching can be done before OR after your wedding… I’ve learned from experience that the pre-wedding weeks and months can be just a little busy and it’s often nice to give yourselves this marriage support after you’re back from your honeymoon!
Imagine creating a magical web of support the day before the wedding with all of the special women (and girls) in the bridal party. We create an atmosphere of sacred play, allowing them to celebrate what they love most about the bride and giving her an opportunity to thank them for all their love and support. .
Magical Bridal Showers
These are typically arranged with someone other than the bride and provide an opportunity for her friends and family to create a truly meaningful (but still thoroughly fun) celebration for her. Sorry, I’m not giving any details here… it’s a surprise, so have your Maid of Honor call me! .
Whether you’ve been married 5 years or 25 years, renewing your marriage vows can be a powerful re-commitment to all of those promises you made when you were first married… as well as adding some important new insights you’ve gained since then! I’ve created intimate ceremonies with some couples and more elaborate ones for others as part of their larger “Happy Anniversary” festivities. As with the wedding ceremony, we tailor it to meet whatever style fits with your vision of a special anniversary celebration.
Rev. Deborah Roth – Spirited Weddings
.So, if you want to create a personal, meaningful ceremony with a creative, experienced professional, please give me a call at 212-665-9660. or email me so we can set up an FREE introductory meeting!
Deborah Roth, MA, PCC
Spiritual Life Design Strategist, Interfaith Minister.
Circle of One: The Art of Becoming a SELF-Centered Woman (TO ORDER, go to: www.SpiritedLiving.com/co)
The Authentic Woman Playbook: Discovering your Divine Feminine (TO ORDER, go to www.SpiritedLiving.com/books)
“Co-creating success and fulfillment in your life, work, and relationships, while keeping the mind/body/spirit connection flowing.”