Ceremony and Vow Ideas

nonreligious ceremony ideas?

hey there, i'm looking for help from nonreligious ladies.  My fiancee and i are writing up our own service, as we want to make this day our own.  Our officiant and location are nonreligious and, therefore, have no restrictions.  We'll deffinately have the officiant greet everyone, exchange vows, and rings, and have some readings... maybe include a unity ritual of some kind.  Any other thoughts for what to put into a wedding?  Has anyone else completely created their own ceremony?

Re: nonreligious ceremony ideas?

  • We wrote our entire legal ceremony, but took a couple of Pagan rituals into it.  It was outside, so that, for us was religious (Mother Nature, you know :-).   We used the outline of Intro, intent (required in some states, where you say there are no encumberances to either of the couple), vows, ring exchange, pronouncement.   We threw the cakes and ale ritual in there, too.  Just google words you know you want along with the term "marriage ceremony" and lots of other ceremonies come up.  We sort of just took parts from others' ceremonies, changed some of the wording, and had ours from there.
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  • I am doing a non religious ceremony also. We hired a judge to do it and we wrote the whole ceremony ourselves. Instead of a reading from the Bible we are having a poem read. I would google love poems. We are doing "I will be here" by Steven Curtos Champman.Another idea is to google non religious ceremony readings and you will be able to find ideas.Best of luck to you!
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  • We also have a completely non-religious ceremony and wrote the entire ceremony ourselves based off of several resources. Our officiant and venue are non-religious as well.  The entire ceremony is written out in my bio.  We were looking for another ritual-type thing to stick in there, but we never found one that really meant a lot to us, so we didn't want to just stick one in there just because.  Anyway- with the short ceremony and the two readings, it should be about 20 minutes max, which is fine with us! check out my bio for more info.  GL! 
  • jessi:  it amuses me that you're having a "non-religious" ceremony with a reading by one of the most popular Christian singers performing today.There is a decidedly Christian line in the song I Will be Here:I will be true to the promise I have made To you and to the One who gave you to me I personally think the song is lovely and very appropriate, but it is a Christian song.
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • Trix1223 I understand that it is a religious singer. I knew that. I am just saying we are not reading any Bible verses and the convocation is not religious... Just because I have one poem in the whole wedding ceremony that is religious, does not make it a religiouis ceremony.
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  • Hi, I normally just lurk, but my FH and I are also doing a non-religious ceremony. We got tons of ideas off a website called indiebride.com.Good Luck!
  • We are also doing a non religious ceremony and wrote it ourselves.  I found a lot of helpful things just by googling "wedding ceremony" and things like that.  Email me if you want (srblack72 at gmail dot com) and I can email you what we came up with.Good luck!
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  • ours is also non-religious and the judge performing our ceremony was SUPER helpful and had a lot of good resources, my favorite blessingwe're including is this (sorry for the long post!):Cardinal Directions:In times past, virtues were assigned to the cardinal directions; East, South, West and North.  It is in this tradition that a blessing is offered in support of this ceremony.Blessed be this union with gifts of the East. Communication of the heart, mind, and body, fresh beginings with the rising of each sun, the knowledge of the growth found in the sharing of silences.Blessed be this union with the gifts of the south.  Warmth of hearth and home, the heat of the heart's passion, the light created by both to lighten the darkest of times.Blessed be this union with the gifts of the West.  The deep commintments of the lake.  The swift excitement of the river.  The refreshing cleansing of the rain.  The all encompassing passion of the sea.Blessed be this union with the gifts of the North.  Firm foundation on which to build, Fertility of the fields to enrich your lives, a stable home to which you may always return.Each of these blessings from the four cardinal directions emphasizes those things which will help you build a hapyp and successful union.  Yet they are only tools, Tools which you must use together in order to create what yous eek in this union.    
  • Mine is completely non-religious and the whole thing is in my bio.
    KRHagen November 2009
  • So, we didn't want to do the unity candle ceremony either, and found this: http://www.projectwedding.com/wiki/show/wine-and-chocolate-wedding-ceremonyNot sure if this fits you and your FI, but it is going to work perfectly for us. HTH,Lindsay
  • We created our own ceremony.  If you send me your email address I'll send it to you.  You should also ask your officiant for guidance and suggestions, they should be able to help as they've done lots of nonreligious ceremonies before.
  • We, too, are having a non-religious ceremony.  We are having it at the same site as the reception which saves money and no church pressure. We have it planned: short & sweet.  There is a children's book that I was in love with and we read it together when we first met.  That was how he asked me to be his girlfriend.  So we are doing a reading of that little children's book for our readings ("And now a reading from the book of Boynton" haha).  As for vows, we are singing the song "Anyone Else" from Juno to each other. We just wanted to make it ours.  Good luck!!  Be creative :)
  • hey, my fiance and i are agnostic so we don't want any kind of religious stuff in our ceremony either. there are plenty of samples of non religious ceremonies online. we are having a friend get ordained and marry us, we are having a couple people read some poems or short writings on love and marriage and we're not doing a unity candle [to me it has a religious connotation and also our ceremony is outside, so it probably wouldnt work], we are probably doing a sand ceremony which would be a nice keepsake.
  • Ours was completely non-religious, but to make it more inclusive of religious family members, we asked our officiant to give fifteen seconds or so to let people send us prayer or good wishes. I really enjoyed this, and although I'm not religious I do believe in the power of prayer/sending good thoughts!
  • although FI and i are not really religous our families are so i won't be completely non-religious.  but instead of doing a unity candle (don't really care for it) we are going to be lighting a candle in rememberance of our grandparents who have passed.  it will be surronded by pictures of them.
  • Just updated my bio and put the ceremony in.
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    2010 Highlights
    9/26 Adirondack Marathon 5:11:37 (major knee pain, but hey, I finished!)

    2011 Races and Results
    5/29 Buffalo Marathon (5:25 - not pretty, just trying not to get heatstroke!)
    9/25 Adirondack Marathon (take 2!)
    One of these days I'll have a good marathon!
  • We incorporated some extra music into our ceremony. Maybe there are some songs you wanted to use at the reception that you couldn't figure out where to put them, but they mean a lot to you -- you can break up your readings with songs.
  • Instead of a unity candle, we are doing a Hands Ceremony. The officiant will say the following:Bride, Groom, please face each other and take each other’s hands so that you may see the gift that they are to you.These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you that are holding yours today on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and always.These are the hands that will work along side yours as together you build your future.These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief temporarily comes your way.These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy.These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.These are the hands that will give you support and encouragement to follow your dreams.These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times.These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.These are the hands that will lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into the eyes that are filled with overwhelming love for you.And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
  • I just got married 3 weeks ago, and while we had a religious ceremony, at the end we chose to do a handfasting ceremony.  Someone already posted the words we used ("these are the hands...") as an answer to this question, so I won't repost those.  Handfasting is an ancient celtic/pagan ritual where a couple "tied the knot" by having their hands bound together for a year and a day in a trial marriage.  If you google it, there's lots of info, but a lot of the ceremonies i found had a lot of pagan/wiccan-type language, so it took a while to find appropriate wording for our particular ceremony.Anyway, at our rehearsal dinner, we had all of our family and friends write messages to us on 3 different ribbons, then I braided them together.  During the handfasting, the officiant wrapped our hands with the ribbon first, and he gave one line ("these are the hands that will...") and then each of our parents came up and wrapped our hands and gave a line ("these are the hands...") and then finally the pastor tied the proverbial knot.  It was really special, and everyone commented on how it was so different.  I'm not sure if what we did actually makes sense, but it was one of my favorite parts of our ceremony bc it was so personal.I've also seen someone post on here that they had a ceremony at the end of their service where they had both wrote each other a love letter (basically why am i marrying you letter) and they put those letters and a bottle of wine in a box.  The understanding was that they'd open it either when they had their first big fight or on an anniversary, whichever came first.  I forget whose bio i saw that in, but i thought it was a really cool idea, too!A great source of online info for non-traditional brides may be Offbeatbride.com.  Seemed to have some interesting articles and ideas that are a little less "mainstream" than what you find on theknot!  Good luck!
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