Are you an interfaith couple looking for someone to create and officiate a meaningful wedding ceremony that blends both of your faith traditions? Or are you looking for something “spiritual, but not religious” that allows you to express your love for and commitment to each other in a unique, creative way?
The wedding ceremony is perhaps the most important part of your big day, but finding the perfect language, music and symbols can be overwhelming and stressful. ***(see below). I can help you craft just the right words and rituals that will best capture this pivotal moment as you officially embark on your new life together.
Let’s schedule a phone conversation so I can hear more about what you’re looking for.
*** [This may also be true when you are looking to commemorate other important moments – baby blessings, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, retirements, or any other such passages that you wish to celebrate – check out Other Ceremonies for more information.]
How many of the following apply to you?
Over the years, I’ve heard virtually every concern from my couples, regarding their different religious traditions, personal preferences, and parental/family considerations. Here are just a few areas we can work through together, and I love to hear yours, too!
- 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
- Your parents (either or both) aren’t so sure about your doing a “non-traditional” ceremony
- 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!
If any of these apply to you, let’s definitely talk! Just email me at Deborah@SpiritedLiving.com
[box] “The wedding ceremony you presided over for Chris and Catherine was absolutely phenomenal! So many wedding guests have telephoned, written or emailed to sing your praises. It truly was an extraordinary service! I have never witnessed a more meaningful wedding service, ever.Thank you for making this wonderful day and
A Word from “Rev. Deb”
In addition to all 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.
I’ve been a Wedding Wire Couples Choice Awards Winner since 2012, and you can read my glowing reviews there! And, you can read more of my reviews as one of The Knot’s Best of Weddings vendors for the past 5 years as well.
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.
“Deborah created the most personal and intimate wedding ceremony we could ever have imagined. She was a delight to work with – warm, down to earth, and truly inspiring. Deborah listened to what we had to say, gave us wonderful ideas, and incorporated all beautifully into our ceremony. She was eloquent and poised on the day, with just the right amount of playful. Our guests commented repeatedly on how beautiful the ceremony was; we feel so incredibly lucky to have found her!” Avery and Aileen
Basic Ceremony Structure
If you 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 Structure:
[box] “My now-wife and I were deciding between using a friend as an officiant or going with someone more experienced, and our “external” search began and ended with Deb. We loved her vibe and energy and instantly knew she was the right person to marry us. She was a true professional throughout the entire process, providing us with a road map of where we were going and holding our hands – as much or as little as needed – throughout the journey. She was warm, insightful, and funny, and took a genuine interest in us throughout the process. And when it came time for the ceremony, she was of course at her best – flawless in execution, eloquent in delivery, and charming as always. My wife and I cannot possibly recommend her anymore enthusiastically.” Ann and Scott [/box]
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 to address so you can begin this new journey with confidence and excitement.
When we first start working together, I send all of my couples a comprehensive “Pre-Marital Relationship Assessment” and ask that they each complete it separately and discuss it. If there are areas or issues that you’d like some additional support with, we can do that in 2 or 3 coaching 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 relationship support 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 wedding gift after you’re back from your honeymoon!
[box]There is not enough we can say about Deborah. Finding her was a blessing. She is a warm, kind person with amazing energy who helped us create a special wedding ceremony. Not only that, she’s been coaching us with our relationship which we find so much fun and important in building a strong healthy marriage. She is passionate about what she does and it shows. We had so many people after the wedding comment on how beautiful and unique our ceremony was, everyone wanted to know where we found her! We felt very secure and comfortable with Deb and would highly recommend her to other couples looking to create a personalized Interfaith ceremony.” Joyce and Patrick
Imagine creating a magical web of support the day (or month) 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 OR Bachelorette Parties
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 (or whoever is coordinating your Shower or B-Party) 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.
[box] “Deborah Roth was the best wedding officiant my husband and I could have ever found. Having waited 24 years to be married and for New York to pass marriage equality, it was one of the most meaningful and wondrous experiences of our two lives. We cannot say enough about how Deborah made the experience seamless and wonderful for us and our family. We thank her for making us feel so comfortable and for making our day filled with the magic we had hoped for”. Lee and Greg
THE TODAY SHOW
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Deborah Roth, MA, PCC
Spiritual Life Design Strategist, Interfaith Minister
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