Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Non-denominational Ceremony Ideas??

My fiance and I are looking to have a non-denominational ceremony, however, I have no idea what to do.

I have always envisioned a beautiful ceremony with readings (not necessarily biblical) and music, etc. I could work around this given our wish list but I have no idea who to have as the officient. Any ideas?

I have a Christian faith but he doesn't have a faith. Who in the world do you have conduct the ceremony?

Appreciate all ideas!

Re: Non-denominational Ceremony Ideas??

  • Options
    Squirly has a lot of non-religious wedding readings in her bio:
  • Options
    We found an amazing officiant in our hometown who subscribes to many religions and faiths. She truly created a perfect ceremony for us. Search "non-denominational wedding officiant" in your area and see what you find. We were so pleasantly surprised at how fantastic she was after meeting her. Meet with a few and you'll find your perfect fit!
  • Options

    Our venue provided us with a list of officiants that have overseen ceremonies there before. They are not "recommending" them, it's just a list of people familiar with the venue who have presided before. It mostly had chaplains, deacons, etc. 

    If you have a venue, ask if they have something similar. Otherwise, ask family members and friends for anyone they might be able to recommend. 

    Most officiants want to please their couple, so they'd include as much, or as little, religiosity as you wanted.

    Prior poster's suggestion about justice of the peace is fine too.

    Good luck.  

  • Options
    The key is to find an officiant in your area. Basically, you can take the same structure for the 'religious' ceremony and include all secular language. Use poems instead of bible readings, don't include the word God etc. That way your audience will still recognize it as a 'typical' ceremony - just not oriented towards religion but focused on you and the love you share with your fiance.
  • Options
    Just because you don't have a clergyman doesn't mean you can't do what you're planning (readings, music, etc)

    1)  Ask the girls on your local board to recommend wedding officiants.  

    2)  Google "wedding officiants" for your area.  There are some "wedding ministers" (meaning all they do is weddings) who are flexible and will perform any kind of ceremony you want.  They're totally open to doing a civil ceremony that don't have any religious references at all.  Many of them have websites that describe the different kinds of ceremonies they perform.

    3)  For venues, look for a site where you can have both your ceremony and reception.  For example, a historic house where you can have the ceremony in a beautiful garden with an elegant indoor atmosphere for the reception.  The possibilities are endless.  Again, I would ask the girls on your local board for recommendations.
  • Options
    We had FI's uncle ordained to perform the ceremony.  (We're submitting the paperwork to the county today, hopefully everything goes through in time...)  We're only planning on having one reading, a sonnet from Shakespeare.
    This is a neglected planning bio.
    This is a belated married bio, with no reviews yet because I'm lazy.

    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
  • Options
    We are planning on asking a friend to become ordained to marry us.  We are having classical music, guitar, poetry, one biblical verse, and all the typical candles and ceremony decorations.  I don't see any reason you can't have a beautiful meaningful ceremony without religion in it.

    My favorite reading is about how each others hands are so important in our lives (while we hold hands).  We are omitting the prayer blessing our hands afterwards.

    FYI: many people consider "non-denominational" to mean Christian, but not a particular sect.  Not sure if this is what you meant.

    I never know what to call myself.  Spiritual... non-religious? 

    Good luck!
  • Options
    Most non-demoninational officiants are actually titled "celebrants" so that could help in your search.  I'm using one because I'm southern baptist and my fiance is catholic so eventhough we're both christians we're pretty much on opposite ends of the spectrums. 
    If you find a celebrant and they are like mine they will have reading after reading for you to look through and use or get inspiration to find your own from.  Celebrants believe that rituals and celebrations are important but don't necessarily need to reflect a particular religious belief.  They are also generally educated with a degree like a normal religious officiant would be, but they tend to have degrees in religion in general instead of a particular type, or spiritual and metaphysical science. Hope this is helps you find what you're looking for.
  • Options
    The best thing is to find an Interfaith Minister to help guide you.  Often they work with couples just like you and will customize a wedding ceremony that will suit you both.  Take time to interview them and make sure that you are both comfortable with whoever you choose.  If you want a spiritual but secular wedding ceremony, this may be a good direction to pursue.
  • Options
    FI's brother is ordained and has done weddings for a few friends before. I'm so glad he could do it for us because otherwise I wouldnt have a clue who to use either!

    Planning Bio
  • Options
    sdvorasdvora member
    First Comment
    edited February 2010
    We're having a non-denominational ceremony, too.  A friend of ours became "ordained" online to perform the ceremony.  He's asked us to submit stories to him about the first time we met, and how FI proposed, and anything else that we think is important.  Besides that, FI and I are writing our own vows, and we're also throwing in a couple of traditions to honor both sides of our family:

    (1) His background is Irish, and in his family, the have a tradition of drinking from this Celtic silver loving cup -- the man drinks from the top, while the woman drinks from the bottom.

    (2) My background is Jewish, and we're doing the traditional "breaking of the glass" at  the end of the ceremony. (My parents were never religious, and none of my brothers married Jewish women, but my dad was still tickled that we were doing the glass breaking, as he had done at my parents' ceremony)

    Are there any family traditions that you could work in?  Your respective families will eat it up. :)
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards