function of ritual

There are many different styles of weddings and every couple needs to seek out that particular kind of wedding that will really reflect who they are and satisfy their unique needs for meaning - with the right balance of formality/informality, elegance/charm, solemnity/humor, intimacy/participation, drama/simplicity. Below are descriptions of some of the most popular styles of ceremonies that I do. Feel free to describe to me what it is you're looking for and we will work together to make it happen.

I see the wedding ceremony as the opening chord of the great symphony of your marriage, as the opening lines of the first chapter of the rest of your life together. The creation of a ceremony is a work of art that must last a long time and be a source of inspiration for years to come. ~ Rev. Rebecca



A ceremony incorporating elements of different faith traditions is a true hallmark of American life - reflecting the "melting pot" of our population. By artfully blending aspects of the rituals and readings representing the cultural or religious backgrounds of both individuals, you can honor your origins  while laying the groundwork for the respectful blending of two belief systems for the duration of the marriage. 

Over the years I have crafted ceremonies for every imaginable combination: ~ Christian/Jewish, Jewish/Buddhist, Buddhist/Catholic,  Catholic/Protestant, Protestant/Muslim, Muslim/Humanist, Humanist/Pagan, Pagan/Hindu, Hindu/Christian ~ and the list goes on. Love clearly overcomes every difference! 

For some couples, it may be necessary to have two, separate ceremonies in order to honor the integrity of the ritual as a whole, or to obtain the services of a rabbi or priest, who are sometimes bound by their religious orders to perform weddings only inside a temple or church of their own tradition. However, there are many liberal ministers and rabbis who are happy to officiate or co-officiate a ceremony that blends elements from both religions.

What is a Humanist Wedding?

All weddings are humanistic in the deepest sense ~ that is they are reflections of two human beings who are striving to live into a great covenant based on mutual love and respect. A Humanist wedding, in contrast to a religious wedding, is based on this purely human sense of integrity and does not call upon a supreme being to condone the "blessedness" of the marriage. For many people, especially that growing population who consider themselves "spiritual but not religious," this is an important distinction!

If you are one of those contemporary couples who want to define your relationship outside of the old traditions of God-ordained unions, then seeking a humanist or humanistic basis for your ceremony is a wise step. This does not mean that your ceremony will be lacking in a sense of reverence, elegance or wonder. It means that what is being "worshipped" - that is what is being given worth (the actual definition of that word) - is the Love that has brought two people together in a profound sense of joy and mutual aspiration.


Being true to your political and spiritual leanings should not be neglected when designing your own wedding. In fact, it's the perfect place to make your statement. Here at the start of your new life together you can lay the foundations for making "green" the keynote of your new lifestyle. 

Making your eco-sensibility a centerpiece of your wedding ceremony is not hard and makes a powerful statement. In addition to influencing your choices around location, the dress, invitations, the ring, the decor, the food, etc. it can even be included in your vows, as it shows that you recognize that human love exists within the context of a sustainable world around us and that our respect for another person calls us to expand our vision beyond self-interest and towards a better planet for everyone.


The Celtic tradition is so rich in myth, mystery, ritual and a sense of the poetic that many Americans with Irish, Scottish and Welsh ancestry love to incorporate some of that romance into their ceremony. The beautiful tradition of Handfasting - that was popularized in the film "Braveheart" - is often used in weddings. The sharing of the loving cup or quaiche is also a wonderful ritual to show your trust and commitment.

For the more adventurous, the thrill of the sound of bagpipes at a wedding will always be remembered, or the lilt of a fiddle or the merry sound of the Celtic harp. You can bring some of your Irish spirit into your ceremony and find new depth and beauty by doing so.

What is a Gay Wedding?

A same-sex wedding is exactly the same as any wedding: it’s romantic, personal, memorable, and now legal in all 50 states. I’ve been officiating gay weddings for 20 years - long before they became legal - and am so grateful to be able a proper wedding ceremony to every couple who have found their true partner for life!

We create a gay ceremony the same way as any other wedding and can use any of the readings, rituals and special touches that you’ll find on these pages. I do have a collection of poems written about gay love, so if you want to have words that are very close to the heart of the gay experience, we can add some of those as well.


There are many reasons that having a large, public wedding may not be right for you -- from the practical considerations of time and expense, to the emotional reasons of desiring privacy and an intimate focus.

Over the years I have taken special joy in working with couples to create these small, intensely personal ceremonies where the entire focus is the love that has brought them together. My own memories of these occasions is deepened by the realization that I am often the only witness to their vows, and I carry that with me like a treasure.

Just because you've chosen to elope does not mean that you have to sacrifice having a ceremony that is meaningful and memorable. If the thought of having a stranger at the county clerk's office read some words to you and hand you a sheet of paper to sign does not feel special enough, then defining your ceremony on your own terms may be the way to go. After all, your relationship is more than the legal bond. 

The importance of the ceremony is in no way diminished because of its diminutive size, but takes on all the luster of a precious gem, held in the hands of those who love and are loved.