Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Officiant Questions

We have us a fun sitiuation in that we (my fiance and I) are not followers of any one religion and need to find someone to marry us. Yes I know there are those people out there who wed people for breakfast lunch and dinner but we're thinking to opt against these people who've made a fine business of wedding people. Not that we have anything against them, my fiance just has a religious family.

Question is, how in the world do you get someone from a church to marry you when you don't know the first thing about churches? I think we would be looking for someone of the catholic religion.

I've heard to ask friends who go to church and we will do that, but I need more idea. This has to be a fairly common problem, no?

Re: Officiant Questions

  • I am Catholic and in my area a Catholic priest will not marry you unless at least one of you is Catholic and a member of that parish.  Just to let you know but every diocese is a little different so it wouldnt hurt to ask in your area.
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  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    If you and fi want to get married in the Catholic church, you should start attending Mass and register at the church. You will also need to complete a marriage preparation program before you will be allowed to confirm a date for your wedding.There may also be other requirements, depending on your situation. This is not just a matter of shopping for a priest or church.

    Pardon me for saying this, but it seems hypocritical to have a priest marry you, if neither of you are religious. The marriage ceremony should be about your beliefs, not his parent's.

                       
  • Agree with PP.  If it is that important to you both to get married by a catholic/christian priest or minister then start attending church and then go through their process of getting married there.  You can't be non-religious and then decided to have a catholic priest marry you.  Unfortunately it does not work that way.  Why dont you get an officiant and do a non-religous ceremony?
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  • Part of getting married in the Catholic church is agreeing to live a Catholic lifestyle and raise your children Catholic. I actually believe it's something you agree to in the ceremony in front of the Priest and your guests. I don't think lying in a church is a good way to start your married lives. It's also extremely disrespectful. 

    My FI and I were both raised devout Catholic. FI went to Catholic school from kindergarten up, I used to be a Catechist. We have both separated from the church a bit in our adult lives, and have opted against having a church wedding because out of respect for the church, we don't want to pledge to do something that we might not in fact do (raising our kids Catholic, etc.) later on in life, if we decide to go back to the church, we will have a priest bless our marriage and grant us the sacrament of marriage, but that will probably just be a little thing, no celebration or anything.


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  • It's a bit funny to me that you don't want to use an officiant that makes a business out of marrying people, yet you want to make a church official turn himself/herself and their church into a business of marrying you and your fiance. A church and it's officiants are not vendors that you choose because their ceremony suits you, or the building is pretty. This is a very sacred thing that many people take seriously. I think it's inappropriate and disrespectful to utilize them as such.

    You probably didn't mean anything by it, but I hope you reconsider your plans. If there is a religion that you or your fiance has interest in, then certainly put together a ceremony that incorporates the aspects that you believe in. You can likely find a non-denominational officiant, or a "rent-a-priest" that could marry you and customize the ceremony to your liking. You could also find a chapel (on a campus or something) that is non-denominational to use. But please don't hold your ceremony in a church and have a church officiant marry you if you do not believe in the faith. That would be an awful thing to do.
  • I'm also confused and agree with Riss.

    You need to look up what your state allows as far as who can marry you. Here a Notary Public can do a ceremony. One of H's family friends happens to be one (she got certified for another friend's wedding) and she did it for us. She certainly isn't in the business of marrying people since she wouldn't let us pay her. Surely you know someone like this? Or find someone with an acceptable status and offer them money for their services.
  • You won't find anyone who doesn't make "a business" out of officiating. Every church I called wanted me to do 4 hours of marital counseling, or attend their church every sunday for at least 6 months beforehand. They want people in the pews- people=tithes!! I am a non-denominational christian, and we have an officiant who only charges $70, because she was disgusted with how difficult it was to find one when she was getting married, who didn't want something outrageous in return.
  • You have (roughly) 3 options:
    1) start attending church and ask the priest/pastor there if they would do it
    2) hire someone (you can google wedding officiants) but it sounds like you don't really want that
    3) have someone become ordained and do it.
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