Unity Shot Wedding Script

Groom holding a union shot glass.
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  • ~12 Minute Ceremony

When planning a wedding ceremony, couples often choose to add symbolic rituals representing them coming together as individuals to form a union. Examples include a tree planting ceremony, a ritual candle lighting, or a sand ceremony. But another contemporary option is becoming increasingly popular: the unity shot ceremony. What does this ceremony look like, and how is it performed? This guide will explain how the unity shot ceremony works, and provide a sample script that can be used as-is or modified for the occasion.

Creating a Ceremony Around a Unity Shot

A unity shot involves the spouses-to-be enjoying a shot glass of their favorite beverage together as part of the wedding ceremony. It’s analogous to a couple enjoying a shared glass of champagne at the reception, except it’s part of the marriage ceremony.

Traditionally, the shot glasses are filled with the couple’s favorite type of hard alcohol. However, the ABV level is not a requirement – they could be filled with any type of beverage. The couple may also choose to pour a third shot glass and ask the officiant to join in the occasion. As with most wedding details, it’s up to the couple to decide specifically what they want included in their ceremony.

Keep these tips in mind as you flesh out a unity shot wedding ceremony script:

  • Unique and personalized: The couple can drink a beverage that they like or that holds a certain significance to them and their village. Also, shot glasses can be customized for their big day.
  • Symbolic and representative: A unity shot has a celebratory element much like a toast; however, the beverage can be anything, including something cultural like Jamaican sorrel or Japanese sake.
  • Informal and practical: Other symbolic elements, like a tree planting, can be logistically tricky. The unity shot is an affordable alternative that requires fewer materials.

As you’re finalizing details with the couple, be mindful of possible venue restrictions and guest sensitivities when it comes to including alcohol in a wedding ceremony. You can use the following script as a starting point for a unity shot wedding.

Introduction

Officiant (to everyone):

Good morning/afternoon/evening, everyone. We are gathered here today to marry _________ and_________ in the eyes of the government and to help them kick off their lives together as a married couple.

Officiant (to couple}:

_________ and_________, you’ve decided to marry and live as one. This is a big moment for you that we are privileged to witness and be part of. Before we get to the important details, we will have a reading:

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Reading

Officiant (to guests):

“My whole heart. Will be yours forever. This is a beautiful start, To a lifelong love letter.

Tell the world that we finally got it all right. I choose you. I will become yours and you will become mine...

We are not perfect. We’ll learn from our mistakes, And as long as it takes, I will prove my love to you. I am not scared of the elements. I am underprepared, but I am willing. And even better, I get to be the other half of you."

-”I Choose You” by Sara Bareilles

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Declaration of Intent

Officiant (to couple):

_________ and_________, this is a formality, but we want to make sure we do this right. Is it your intent to be married to each other as spouses, according to the laws of the state?

(Couple audibly says “yes”)

(At this point, two people will each bring a shot glass containing a beverage to the officiant. They could each be representing one side of the couple’s “village.” Within each glass could be the exact same beverage, or two different ingredients that mix well together. In this example, one person could carry a shot glass of spiced rum. The other could carry a shot glass of cola. They bring the shot glasses to the officiant, who combines the liquid from the two shot glasses into a larger glass from which the couple will drink together. This can be done with any two-ingredient cocktail, such as rum and coke in this instance).

______________________________________________________________________

Unity Shot and Pronouncement

Officiant (to couple): _________ and_________, you both bring your individual personalities, dreams and hopes to this union, represented by a shot glass. As a pledge of your unity, you will each take a sip from the drink created by combining these shot glasses.

(The couple takes a sip of the combined drink.)

(To couple): Here’s to a forever-long adventure of life, love, and happiness.

By the power vested in me by the Universal Life Church, I now pronounce you married! You may kiss!