Ceremony and Vow Ideas

Self Uniting or Having a Friend ordained? Which would you do?

Hello! :) This is my first ever post on The Knot! I have read many helpful threads on here but have been too shy to publicly post until now....

Anyway: Wedding is Sept 3rd 2016 in Chadds Ford PA.

 We initially wanted to have a friend become ordained via the "Universal Life Church" but now realized there is an option to do a quaker "Self Uniting" thing.

Have any of you lovely ladies done these?

I'm not sure what the costs/hassle for these option are. I'm also afraid of the clerk at the Delaware county giving us a hard time for both.

My fiance & I don't want to be married by a religious figure and worry it might be too late /expensive to have a judge marry us.

Re: Self Uniting or Having a Friend ordained? Which would you do?

  • I always thought the self-uniting thing was pretty neat.

    I'm Catholic, so this wasn't an option for me, and I loved my Catholic wedding.  

    But... even in a Catholic wedding, the bride and groom technically bestow the sacrament upon each other... it's not actually the priest.  So I do really like the idea of the self-uniting ceremony where the couple is officiating the marriage themselves.  I'm not actually sure of the logistics since I've never seen one, but unless you have a good friend/family member who you really want to marry you, I'd choose self-uniting.

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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
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    There was another Knottie who self-united, but I don't think she is around anymore. My husband got ordained with ULC so he could officiate his best friend's wedding. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • Hello! :) This is my first ever post on The Knot! I have read many helpful threads on here but have been too shy to publicly post until now....

    Anyway: Wedding is Sept 3rd 2016 in Chadds Ford PA.

     We initially wanted to have a friend become ordained via the "Universal Life Church" but now realized there is an option to do a quaker "Self Uniting" thing.

    Have any of you lovely ladies done these?

    I'm not sure what the costs/hassle for these option are. I'm also afraid of the clerk at the Delaware county giving us a hard time for both.

    My fiance & I don't want to be married by a religious figure and worry it might be too late /expensive to have a judge marry us.
    Call the clerk and ask. If you don't want a religious figure, I'm not sure I understand why you would ask a friend to get ordained. It feels a little weird to me personally. And the clerk can put you in touch with a JP so you can find out about expense/timing. This is something you should have lined up when you booked your venue to ensure you will be able to get legally married that day. Call and find out! You don't have any reason to sit and worry when the answers are a phone conversation away.
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    holyguacamole79InLoveInQueensernursejSP29
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    Hello! :) This is my first ever post on The Knot! I have read many helpful threads on here but have been too shy to publicly post until now....

    Anyway: Wedding is Sept 3rd 2016 in Chadds Ford PA.

     We initially wanted to have a friend become ordained via the "Universal Life Church" but now realized there is an option to do a quaker "Self Uniting" thing.

    Have any of you lovely ladies done these?

    I'm not sure what the costs/hassle for these option are. I'm also afraid of the clerk at the Delaware county giving us a hard time for both.

    My fiance & I don't want to be married by a religious figure and worry it might be too late /expensive to have a judge marry us.
    Call the clerk and ask. If you don't want a religious figure, I'm not sure I understand why you would ask a friend to get ordained. It feels a little weird to me personally. And the clerk can put you in touch with a JP so you can find out about expense/timing. This is something you should have lined up when you booked your venue to ensure you will be able to get legally married that day. Call and find out! You don't have any reason to sit and worry when the answers are a phone conversation away.
    A person getting ordained so they can perform a wedding doesn't necessarily make them "a religious figure." My agnostic husband certainly isn't one, and there were no religious references in the ceremony he performed.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    charlotte989875DrillSergeantCatSP29
  • I guess I'm thinking of ordination as inherently religious, but I suppose it doesn't have to be since it's presumably the only way a layperson can become qualified to perform a legally binding marriage. Less weird thinking of it that way.
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    AddieCake
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
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    I guess I'm thinking of ordination as inherently religious, but I suppose it doesn't have to be since it's presumably the only way a layperson can become qualified to perform a legally binding marriage. Less weird thinking of it that way.
    I agree. There should be another term such as registered or certified to perform weddings. Ordaining does give it a religious connotation.
    AddieCake
  • I got married in PA, but I have never been to a self-uniting marriage.  I do know that you have to tell your county clerk before you begin the marriage application if you plan on doing this.  I'm not 100% sure that PA allows for an "online" minister, so I would call and check on that before your friend starts that process.

    As a final note, PA does allow any Judges (current or former) as well as current or former Mayors to marry.  We had a local Mayor preform our ceremony and he didn't ask us for a large amount of money, but that we make a donation to "Meals on Wheels" or another charity I can't remember at the moment.  Anyway, there are many options available to you if you want a non-secular ceremony and if you are unsure about anything the best thing to do is call the clerk.

  • Your wedding is in September, you've got time if you wanted a JOP to perform the ceremony to book it.  My recommendation would really be to contact the Clerk and find out what the specific rules/requirements are for confirmation's sake since you're a couple months out and go from there.   
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  • Hi! I just got married in PA using a self-uniting license. Also, @cowgirl8238 is correct - PA doesn't recognize online ordination.

    We had a non-ordained friend perform our ceremony for a number of reasons (we really wanted him to be involved, we couldn't imagine trying to create a ceremony to perform by ourselves, etc.). He was awesome, and was kind enough to take care of the license mailing while we honeymooned. Something like this might be what you're looking for!

    PS: the clerk in Delco can't give you a hard time about the license - it's illegal for them to do so. If you're still nervous though, come to sunny West Chester and the Chester County courthouse will take good care of you. :)

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  • Where cost is your reason for considering these options... you can likely find a low cost officiant. In my area, the officiant fees range from a donation to $60-$450.00. I think we paid $150. I paid $60 for my first one.    

    But, if you want a friend to perform the wedding, and online ordainment isn't recognized locally, what if they became a JP? In my state, it is $75 for a 5 year commission. I've considered getting it in the past for unrelated work reasons. 
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    You'll never be subject to a cash bar, gap, potluck wedding, or b-list if you marry a Muppet Overlord.
  • Try looking for some buy/sell wedding boards in your area & do a post "iso officiant for this date" and see what kind of response you get back.

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