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Ceremony and Vow Ideas

Ceremony Officiant

So we are getting married at an outdoor venue. We want a Christian ceremony. My problem is this.

I'm 42 (will be 43 when I say I do) and this is my first marriage. When I was growing up my best friend's father was the pastor at our church and my childhood dreams are all mixed up with having someone that I know very well perform my wedding ceremony (he is no longer an option as I haven't seen the man in 25 years so I can't really say he "knows" me anymore). At this time we don't attend a church and don't have any friends who are in the clergy or JPs. I thought about having a friend get ordained on-line to perform the ceremony but my fiance said he thought he would feel weird having one of our friends marry us... would be distracting to him during the service.

So thoughts? How does one find a clergy member to marry them with no background. Can you really do it online? What's the interview process like? How do you get a feel for the person in one meeting? Ugh! Feeling overwhelmed!


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Re: Ceremony Officiant

  • manateehuggermanateehugger member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited October 2013
    Are you looking to join a church? Some pastors might feel a little ambivalent to marry you if you aren't planning to become active in any church. They'll likely want to sit down and have a chat about your faith and probably require some form of pre-marital counseling. 

    So I would either start by emailing a couple pastors in your area simply google up " non-denominational Christian wedding officiants." And you kind of treat them like any other vendor you've talked to. You ask them first if they are willing to do ceremonies outside the church, what a typical ceremony looks like, fees, rules, if there's a wedding you can attend to see the pastor in action (most churches allow for anyone to attend ceremonies), etc. And you just chat with him to get a feel for him. Think about it - if the pastor is warm and pleasant in a 30 minute or so interview, he/she will probably be warm and pleasant for your 20-30 minute ceremony.  

    You might google around for a couple ceremony templates you like to help guide your discussion with him. 

    ETA: And I think a lot of people get married by people they don't know very well - it's not a huge deal. We're getting married in FI's childhood church, and I have never met the pastor who will marry us.
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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited October 2013
    Our minister was the husband of one of my colleagues. I had never met him before I asked him to officiate for us, and my husband met him at the rehearsal. If you don't already KNOW a clergyperson, you're just going to have to accept that they won't really know you all that well. 
    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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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I will touch on the "friend becoming ordained" portion.  H and I picked a very close friend to marry us. He became ordained online and we talked with him on how we would like the ceremony to go.  In no way was him being up there with us distracting to myself or H.  In fact, it was very meaningful and sweet.  He was able to touch on stories in our lives because we have known him the entire time that H and I have been together.  It was probably one of the best choices that we made.

    Kerigirl9
  • Kerigirl9Kerigirl9 member
    Knottie Warrior 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited November 2013
    Thanks for the info Maggie. I'll pass it on to my fiancé and see if it helps to sway his opinion.
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  • I will touch on the "friend becoming ordained" portion.  H and I picked a very close friend to marry us. He became ordained online and we talked with him on how we would like the ceremony to go.  In no way was him being up there with us distracting to myself or H.  In fact, it was very meaningful and sweet.  He was able to touch on stories in our lives because we have known him the entire time that H and I have been together.  It was probably one of the best choices that we made.

    Definitely this. It isn't a distraction at all. My husbands aunt officiated our wedding and it was so personal and great. I couldn't imagine a complete stranger marrying us. If you can have a responsible friend or family member be ordained online that would be best.



  • Do you have a specific friend in mind?  Do you know how that friend would feel about it?  I thought about asking a friend or family member to do this but decided against it.  My reasons were that the people I would ask all had a faith that was important to them and that they practice on a regular basis.  I felt asking them to become ordained in a way that was not consistent with their faith would be inappropriate.
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  • thejucheideathejucheidea East Nashville, Tennessee member
    Tenth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    One of our close friends who was ordained online officiated for us and it was actually one of the best things about the ceremony. I was really nervous about our wedding and it was nice hearing her voice only while looking only at my husband the whole time.

  • The person I was planning to ask is a friend of mine but we get together with her and her boyfriend on a fairly regular basis so my fiance knows  her well. She would be fine with getting ordained as she has no official affiliation with any one arm of christianity. She is very well-spoken and thoughtful which is why I think she would be so great at this as she would take it very seriously and also bring a lot of personal touches to the ceremony.... still working on changing fiance's mind... :)
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  • I also agree with Maggie. Fi and I are having his sister marry us. Luckily in Florida a notary can marry you and that only costs about $100 to become one. We both love the thought of having someone close to use marry us, plus his sister and I are of the same faith. :)
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