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Ceremony and Vow Ideas

Non-religious officiant?

My fiance and I do not subscribe to any religion, and it would be silly for us to have a religious ceremony. The problem is, we do want a nice little wedding that isn't in a courthouse. How do you go about looking for a non-religious officiant? All of the officiants in my area, according to The Knot, are religious.

Re: Non-religious officiant?

  • MayDay513MayDay513 member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    edited August 2013
    My fiance and I do not subscribe to any religion, and it would be silly for us to have a religious ceremony. The problem is, we do want a nice little wedding that isn't in a courthouse. How do you go about looking for a non-religious officiant? All of the officiants in my area, according to The Knot, are religious.
    WTF TK ate my post.

    I would suggest. Google, Yelp, when we went to pick up our marriage license paperwork we were given a list. Does your venue have any recommendations? Sometimes other vendors can recommend people they have worked with at weddings before too. Other places I would look is like the local wedding show, and like craigslist you'll find some interesting things on there.

  • Ahh, really good advice, thank you!
  • I would just do a Google search.  In many areas, you can also have a friend or family member get ordained online to marry you.
  • Check out the folks listed as religious officiants.  If the listing doesn't specify a "common" religion, you may find that they are part of a "looser" congregation with broad, open views and will do a civil wedding.   I know a lot of the officiants I looked at had an affiliation to some faith but would pretty much customize weddings to fit the couple.  Do ask about charges....I saw some that seemed really high (like $500).

    And ask on your "local" board....mine is small but questions do get answered. 

    Make sure to check the law in your county/state before planning on anything non-standard.  For example, PA does not recognize "internet ordinations" but does allow self-uniting marriage (basically, you marry yourselves...people sometimes technically do this but then have someone meaningful preside at the ceremony)

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  • You can also ask a close friend or family member to become ordained for the day and then you have a lot of freedom to write the ceremony as you want.
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  • Many judicial officers will also perform weddings away from the court house and do a very lovely job.  
  • Some officiants will do both religious and non religious weddings - have you check websites of the officiants you've looked at who are listed as religious? We are having a non religious ceremony and our officiant is listed as officiant and minister on The Knot. 
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Agreed- the religious officiants may also do non-religious weddings (our officiant is a minister, but our ceremony is not religious). Likewise, a JOP will come to your ceremony site to officiate. 
  • We're in the same boat as you.  We are having a close friend of ours get ordained over the internet.  It's only about $15 dollars and it allows you to have complete creativity with what is said and done at the ceremony.  It may not be the best choice for you but I think it allows us to keep the ceremony as personal as possible.

     

  • If you go the friend route-make very sure it is legal in your state. It isn't everywhere, and you don't want to find that out the week before your wedding and be scrambling. That has happened.
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