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Unity Temple will offer free weddings on Valentine's Day

Updated: 2014-02-10T18:58:51Z

By MELISSA SCHUPMANN

The Kansas City Star

Lovebirds looking to tie the knot can do so free of stress and expense this Valentine's Day, thanks to Unity Temple on the Plaza.

On Friday, couples of all faiths and lifestyles can get married or renew their vows free of charge in a 15-minute ceremony.

The annual tradition began after Rev. Duke Tufty, senior minister and CEO of Unity Temple on the Plaza, noticed the toll planning a wedding was taking on the couples he counseled.

"It takes on a life of its own, so I thought well let’s simplify this," Tufty said.

No more pricey venues, flowers, or food; just a simple registration process and a meeting with the priest beforehand. Couples also are required to bring a State of Missouri wedding license.

"It’s stress-free," Tufty said. "It just makes for a beautiful wedding experience."

Couples can add their own personal touches by selecting specific readings and vows, bringing their own minister or music and inviting family and friends.

Unity Temple also offers holy unions for gay couples, even though they aren't recognized as married by the state.

"It’s a commitment ceremony where they are recognized as committed to each other," Tufty said. "It's not recognized by law, but it gives them something."

The "marathon of love" will take place 10 a.m. to 6 at 707 West 47th Street in Kansas City. Couples have until 4 p.m. Tuesday to register.

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