What are the customs of Unitarian weddings? Why do they do the things they do? What do you need to know about a Unitarian wedding before you attend?
Unitarian wedding services are similar to those of more orthodox religions in many ways. There's a processional, hymns are sung, Bible passages are read, and the couple is joined in matrimony. But the main thing that separates Unitarians from other religions is why they believe people are married.
Most American denominations hold that the marriage is a holy act. These churches believe that the vows are holy vows, that they mean something in the eyes of God. Unitarians do not believe this. Instead, they believe that marriage is done between two people because they feel that's what they want to do in their own lives and in the lives of their neighbors. They don't do it because they feel they "have to" in order to coincide with a religious rule. They aren't trying to acquire the acceptance of God.
Before the Unitarian wedding, ministers will talk with the couple and ask them why they want to get married. The ministers will encourage them to find their own methods of making this unity of marriage holy.
There really is no right or wrong way to conduct a Unitarian wedding ceremony. The bride and groom have the choice of what words are read. They may choose Jewish readings or Christian ones. In fact, the readings don't even need to be religious at all, as long as they will hold special meaning for the couple. The couple also has the option to not play any role in designing the service; the minister will design it for them. Unitarians weddings, nonetheless, are typically filled with music and prayers.