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Spiritual is a state of being which allows us to experience directly the shared connection we have to each other, to all of humanity, to all of creation. Being in the presence of the soaring peaks here in Jackson Hole, witnessing the palette of nature’s colors in the land with the wildflowers and the wildlife, opens hearts and evokes a sense of communion and awe.

What an appropriate backdrop for honoring the union of two souls in marriage. This is the setting in which I am so fortunate to officiate weddings.

My focus is working with couples who enjoy creating a spiritual wedding ceremony as an alternative to religious ritual. A spiritual ceremony draws on universal wisdom about love, and marriage blessings from all the world’s traditions.

The couple chooses from readings and wedding customs that resonate most deeply for them. They also write their own vows. The collage of elements in the ceremony may or may not also include aspects of the couple’s religion. The intent is that each part of the ceremony is personally meaningful to the bride and groom so that their ceremony is a congruent outward expression of the inner union of two hearts. This is what makes a wedding a tender and sacred event.

Many couples include a Couple’s Soul Reading with me as part of their preparation to marry. (See the section on Soul Readings for Couples on this website.) This session can be done on the phone or in person. The Reading expands the possibilities for deep, soulful intimacy, and opens new perspectives for supporting each other as individuals and as a couple.

Here is an excerpt from a beautiful Apache wedding prayer that many couples include in their ceremony:

"Now the two of you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth for each other.
Now there is no more loneliness,
Now you are two persons,
But there is only one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling,
To enter the days of your lives together,
And may your days together be good and long upon the earth."

Carol Mann is an ordained Reverend of the Universal Life Church.