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A Unitarian Wedding Ceremony

General Information

A Unitarian wedding ceremony is a unique celebration of the joining of two people on their life's journey. There is no set liturgy or format but rather each ceremony is a creation by a team made up of the couple and the Lay Chaplain. The ceremony uses elements which are meaningful to those involved. The result is an honouring and celebrating of the joining of families, the commitment between two people and the blessing of whatever it is that gives meaning and substance to their lives. A couple need not be members of a Unitarian church or fellowship in order to be married in a Unitarian ceremony.

Our Lay Chaplain will meet with the couple wishing to be married to discuss the kind of service they would like to have. The Lay Chaplain will provide a Guide to Marriage Ceremonies containing many selections of readings, vows and blessings. The couple may choose the elements they feel best express their situation or may adapt what they find to their own liking.

The elements in a marriage ceremony can include any or all of the following:

 Opening Words
 Address to Family and Friends.
 Affirmation of intentions
 Address to couple
 Exchange of Vows
 Exchange of Symbols
 Reading or Meditation or Prayer
 Pronouncement & signing of the register
 Candle Lighting and children's affirmation
 Closing Words

Unitarianism places great emphasis on individual freedom of belief.

A Unitarian marriage ceremony, is based on the personal integrity of the participants, rather than on institutional forms. Inclusiveness is highly valued and Unitarian ceremonies strive to honour different religious backgrounds and cultural traditions.

Couples getting married in a Unitarian ceremony are welcome to explore the Unitarian Fellowship of Fredericton to see if it is a place where they can cultivate a deep and meaningful spiritual life. Attendance at services is not a pre-requisite to having a Unitarian wedding ceremony.

Place of Ceremony

A Lay Chaplain will travel to various settings to perform a wedding. the homes of couples, parents, and of friends. Outside settings such as parks, beaches and gardens may be selected, but alternate plans should be made in case of inclement weather.

The Ceremony

The Lay Chaplain will provide the couple with a Guide to Marriage Ceremonies which contains many selections of readings, vows, and blessings. The Lay Chaplain will work with the couple to create a ceremony that is meaningful to them.


Professional musicians or friends may provide the music or recorded music may be used. 

At an informal wedding the couple may choose not to have music. If desired, however music can be played before the ceremony while the guests are arriving.

Marriage Certificate

The Lay Chaplain will provide the couple with a Marriage Certificate after the ceremony. Official certified copies of the Marriage Certificate(wallet card size) can be purchased from the Vital Statistics Office for a small fee.


In a commercial setting, it is recommended the bar be closed and no alcohol be served prior to the ceremony.

Photos and Videotaping

Guests may take photos or videotape the ceremony as long as they are unobtrusive and do not detract from the atmosphere of the ceremony. The final decision rests with the couple being married.


The essentials are a room for the ceremony itself, and a desk or table for the signing of the registration and register.

In a home setting you may wish to switch off the telephone to prevent interruption.