I decided early on that I wanted a completely secular ceremony in an outdoor setting. I want the day to be about what it should be about: our love for each other and our commitment.
FI was raised Catholic. I can't tell how much of it is still with him as he never attends mass and I know he doesn't identify with some of their core beliefs. We don't really discuss religion but from what I gather he believes in some form of an afterlife and that's about it.
I was raised non-denominational Christian and rejected most everything since around age 13.
This said I have so many questions for you ladies:
FMIL casually stated that she would be hurt if we didn't marry in a church. FI told her I'm not religious and she thought that didn't matter since my parents are. I just don't want any prayer/god talk at my wedding because if it's not a part of my life, why should it be in my wedding? I don't want to feel awkward and out of place.
FI mentioned that he thinks getting married outside of a church, but by a priest would be nice. I'm not wholly comfortable with that either as I'm sure they would pray, mention god, etc.
Bees, help me. Or at least send hugs.
Neither myself nor my FI are religious and some members of our family like to think they are, but they aren't :) We really didn't discuss our planning with anyone (since we're only having 6 witnesses with us). We actually got our officiant through an elopement package offerred by a local Inn, but there are a lot of officiants on the internet, the Knot has a list of some in different areas. There are priests that will marry you and will give you a secular service, just have to make sure they are comfortable doing one.
I think no matter what, a secular ceremony will be much shorter than a religious. I have seen people do the sand ceremony to lengthen it. You could have people read poetry, can't think of one of the top of my head but there is plenty to choose from.
Fi and I both attend church regularly and believe in God - but we too have opted for a secular ceremony, apart from one prayer :)
We want a short ceremony - as it will be an outdoor wedding in the middle of July, so have cut out the readings and anything "religious". I've heard of people reading poems, or a special paragraph from a book/play etc in place of religious readings. Perhaps have certain people come up and saying something about you and the groom instead?
Thankfully there is a company in our province where you can hire an officient without jumping through hoops / being preached at, etc. They don't judge - they just marry whoever wants to get married ;)
We are not trying to please the religious people we've invited, so I'm not going to be much help there :\ I personally do not feel anyone has the right to be offended because I don't want religion in my wedding?
I hope you can figure something out for yourself that will please everyone - but most importantly, you!
My uncle, who is a minister, is marrying us, but we have asked to take the god out of it. Instead of the prayer, we're going to have a moment of silence. Instead of "in front of God" we're going to have "in front of friends and family". You could probably find a minister/priest/whatever who would marry you. My uncle said that since we're getting married outside, and not in a place of worship, he has no problem with us taking the god out.
Also, I don't know what time you need to fill for the ceremony. Make it short and sweet! Everyone is looking forward to eating and drinking! =)
Readings are definitly an option, you can use poems, or romantic passages from novels instead of religious ones. You could also have the officiant tell "your story" to your guests before starting the vows, and/or you could say a few words to eachother before starting the vows. We planned on doing that, but were both bawling too hard at the time, so he took pity on us and skipped over it :)
We also had a wine ceremony where the officiant poured some wine, and we shared it, he read something about the giving and receiving of love etc... it took about 5 minutes or so, so not a huge time filler, but we eloped so that was fine by us.
A wedding can still be spiritual without being religious.
Our celebrant has most of our ceremony penned and it includes a short talk about what defines a marriage, the marriage intent, our vows (which we're not writing) and exchange of rings, a Native American wedding blessing, pronouncement and a marriage blessing.
It looks like this will take about 10 minutes. We're eloping so I'm fine with that. You can always add music and a candle, sand, wine box, or handfasting ceremony. I really like the handfasting. :)
Since we're eloping out-of-state, I found our celebrant online but you can go to the courthouse of the county/city in which you're getting married and they can provide a list of celebrants/officiants.
Good luck to you and do what makes you happy. It's your day. :)
I wouldn't call our wedding "secular", I would say it is contemporary. I wrote our ceremony from stratch, included a quote from a book about love called "Two," our own personal vows, then a ring ceremony.
During the planning process, never forget that it is your wedding. You don't have to do anything you don't want to do.
However, we did decide to include a very short, very non-descript "blessing" at the beginning of our ceremony to appease the older more conservative family members. If you're totally opposed to it, then no big deal. You'll just have to deal with the backlash that may or may not come after.
If your FI wants to at least be married by a priest you have to compromise on this. You state that he is catholic, and while you are not religious and may not want anything god-related mentioned at your wedding, it's his wedding too and he clearly wants the priest, otherwise he wouldn't have mentioned it.
I googled "secular wedding ceremony" and have been gathering various poems and readings I might use. We are writing our own vows and specifically attending to the language used in the ceremony so it is clear we plan to have an egalitarian marriage. We're having a close friend of ours get ordained online and marry us. And most imporantly, I have had to stand my ground and repeatedly tell my parents politely, but firmly, that getting married in a church would not reflect our beliefs as a couple, and assure them that it will still be a beautiful and joyous occasion.
As far as pleasing my parents, I have considered asking my dad if he would like to say a prayer before the rehearsal dinner, but even that would make me uncomfortable. However, I don't want to be completely dismissive of the beliefs that are so important to them, so it's something I'm continuing to reflect on.
We had a secular ceremony. A family friend married us, and we didn't do anything to fill up time -- no readings, no songs, etc. Our officiant interviewed us and wrote the entire ceremony without our help (it was a surprise the day of!), and it came to about 15 minutes or so. It was a PERFECT length for us... and our guests raved about how personal and touching it was!
I can't be much help on the "pleasing others" bit. We didn't worry about it, but then again, no one expresses any concerns. Most of our friends and family are spiritual but not religious, or agnostic or atheist. Our devout people, including my grandma, are all incredibly non-judgemental. We were very lucky in this way!
Sometimes I think some of the concern about secular weddings is that they could be seem as flippant or less solemn than a religious ceremony. While they could but, I suppose, I've never seen it happen!
Mr. LK and I match you and your FI in history and current views. We wrote our own ceremony so that we could choose the exact words that felt right to us, and we had a friend get ordained online to perform our ceremony. While I know that Mr. Lk's Gramma would have loved to see us get married in a church, it just wasn't going to happen. And since we paid for everything ourselves, no one had a right to speak up and say a darn thing. :) Here's a link to our full ceremony text: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/our-ceremony-full-text
Last year I attended a secular wedding performed by a minister! The couple just asked her to make it secular, she said fine, so they hired her. She gave the regular speech about the couple and love and marriage, then they did some poetry readings and did vows. It was great!
My sister is getting married next year and is having a friend get ordained online to officiate.
If your FI however is feeling like maybe he wants some elements that remind him of weddings he grew up with, maybe you can incorporate some readings that are from religious sources but don't actually talk about G-d or the church, or do something like a unity candle which I've seen in a few Catholic weddings. There's probably something out there that will make him happy but not conflict with your needs.
I wrote our ceremony, and my brother officiated, adding in his bits as well, and it was perfect. We did have a reading (Adam Sandler's "I Wanna Grow Old With You") by DH's grandmother. We also did a sand ceremony. Honestly, writing the ceremony made it SO special because it was so about us and specifically for us. And having my brother officiate (he's not ordained in anything but awesome brotherness) was the only thing I -knew- would be included in my wedding since I was little.
Do what's best for you. Even the most reglious people will still tear up at your ceremony and be happy for you.
We had a non-church wedding. We do use the word God in it once or twice mostly because we both believe in some kind of higher purpose/power, but we strongly dislike religion. My parents were initially really dissappointed/upset that we weren't getting married in a church. They got over it though. We really just had one conversation about it that involved tears. Some time after they came back and said we love you and while we are disappointed, we want you to do what you think is best. (They're amazing parents.) We used a combination of pagan (native american) blessings, one christian prayer that we like and has meaning to us and a lot of our friends, some secular readings and a handfasting. Our ceremony lasted about 12ish minutes, which is a good amount of time. I found our officiant online through a google search I think. She did a great job. Here's the ceremony we came up with in case anyone cares to read it. Most of it is pieced together from things I found online and then edited in a few spots:
Love is one of the highest experiences that we as humans can have, as it adds depth & meaning to our lives.
Marriage is the joining of two people – the union of two hearts. It lives on the love given to each other & thrives on the joy of each new day. The day to day companionship, the pleasure in doing things together & the delight in exchanging experiences are a continuous & central part of what a man & a woman that love each other can share.
And so we are gathered here today because we love and support Emily & Erik & their decision to become husband & wife. We rejoice that they have found each other and that through each other, they have come to know the power of love. We celebrate this union of their hearts, minds, bodies & souls and wish them great joy.
And so it is only fitting & appropriate that you - the families & friends of Erik & Emily be here to witness & celebrate their marriage - for it is the ideals, understanding & mutual respect which they bring to their marriage that have their roots in the love, friendship & guidance you have given them.
They wish to thank you for joining them here today as each of you have been special to their lives.
Marriage is the voluntary & full commitment of two who will love each other for a lifetime.
It is a covenant of faith & love between a man & a woman requiring openness of life & thought, free from doubt & suspicion, & commitment to speak the truth to one another.
In marriage two lives are intimately shared and the blending of the two must not diminish either but rather enhance the individuality of each partner.
Marriage therefore should not be entered into lightly, but wisely, deliberately & with careful consideration for both oneself & the other person.
I, therefore, charge & require before these witnesses;
Erik, do you come here today of your own free will & without reservation to give yourself in marriage and have Emily be your wife; to love & comfort her, for as long as you both shall live?
Do you Emily, come here today of your own free will & without reservation to give yourself in marriage and have Erik, be your husband; to love & comfort him for as long as you both shall live?
Having made their intent known, who gives their blessing for this woman to be married to this man?
With the sky as the roof of your most sacred cathedral, and the earth at your feet to hold you , and the trees and plants to surround you and embrace you, Blessed be this union with the gifts of Air,
for openness and breath, communication of the heart,
and purity of the mind and body.
From the east you receive the gift of a new beginning
with the rising of each Sun, and the understanding
that each day is a new opportunity for growth.
Blessed be this union with the gifts of fire,
for energy, passion, creativity and the warmth of a loving home.
From the fire within you generate light, which you will share
with one another in even the darkest of times.
Blessed be this union with the gifts of water,
for your capacity to feel emotion.
In marriage you offer absolute trust to one another,
and vow to keep your hearts open in sorrow as well as joy.
Blessed be this union with the gifts of earth,
which provides sustenance, fertility and security.
The earth will feed and enrich you, and help you to build a stable home
to which you may always return.
Prayer: Please turn to the back of your programs and let us say the Prayer of St. Francis together:
Lord, make me a channel of thy peace -
that where there is hatred, I may bring love -
that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness -
that where there is discord, I may bring harmony -
that where there is error, I may bring truth -
that where there is doubt, I may bring faith -
that where there is despair, I may bring hope -
that where there are shadows, I may bring light.
that where there is sadness, I may bring joy -
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort, than to be comforted -
to understand, than to be understood -
to love, than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. Amen
Reading: Reader one comes up and says: A reading from The Art of Marriage by Wilferd Peterson
The little things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say, “I love you” at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is doing things for each other,
not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice,
but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation ,
and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo
the wife to have the wings of an angel.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience,
understanding and a sense of humor.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere
in which each can grow.
It is finding room for the things of the Spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which
the independence is equal, dependence is mutual,
and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner,
it is BEING the right partner.
This is “The Art of Marriage”
The couple will now exchange vows
Vows: I, Erik, take you, Emily, to be my lawfully wedded wife, secure in the knowledge that you will be my constant friend, my faithful partner in life, and my one true love.
On this special day, I give to you in the presence of God and all those in attendance my promise to stay by your side as your faithful husband in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, as well as through the good times and the bad.
I promise to love you without reservation, comfort you in times of distress, encourage you to achieve all of your goals, laugh with you and cry with you, grow with you in mind and spirit, always be open and honest with you, and cherish you for as long as we both shall live. (Place ring on finger)
I, Emily, take you, Erik, to be my lawfully wedded husband, secure in the knowledge that you will be my constant friend, my faithful partner in life, and my one true love.
On this special day, I give to you in the presence of God and all those in attendance my promise to stay by your side as your faithful wife in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, as well as through the good times and the bad.
Ring Blessing: As circles have no beginning and no end, rings have naturally come to symbolize eternal love within the union of mind, body, and spirit that constitutes the sanctity of marriage. They are freely offered as gifts of faith and hope as visible signs of the promises given this day. May these rings be blessed and hold the dreams Erik and Emily share for their union. May the shiny metal mirror the sacred vows made between them, now and forever. (Bride and groom take rings from moms)
“With this ring I thee wed with all that I have and all that I am.”
Reading: Reader 2 comes up and says:
The Blessing of the Hands: These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and as in today, tears of joy. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children, the hands that will help you to hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
Closing Prayer: (apache Wedding Blessing) Now you will feel no rain,
for each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth for the other.
Now there is no room for loneliness,
for each of you will be [a] companion to the other.
Now you are two persons, but there is but one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place to enter into the days of your togetherness.
And may your days be good and long upon this earth
I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.
I present to you for the first time Mr. and Mrs. Erik Lastname.
Sending you hugs! I can't give you much help on negotiating with family who want a religious ceremony, as our family didn't give us any grief on that score (for which we are so very thankful.) However, it does sound like you need to make sure that your FI is OK with a secular wedding -- it sounds like he may feel a little bit torn about not including his Catholic heritage. But that's for you guys to figure out.
On to the secular wedding aspect, because this I can advise on! Even though our wedding was not at all religious, it didn't seem weird to our guests because we followed the basic structure of a Protestant wedding ceremony. (Not that you HAVE to do this, but we wanted it to "feel" like the weddings we had grown up with.) Here were the components of our roughly 25 minute ceremony:
People told us that this was one of the most beautiful ceremonies they'd ever seen, which was REALLY nice of them and completely unexpected. Even a few religious people told us how lovely a ceremony it was! So it is possible to please these folks -- then again, all of our religious people are Protestant, so other than no God and no hymns, this wouldn't have been THAT weird. I don't know how Catholic ceremonies are different -- it's possible that if you're expecting to see a priest up front, nothing else will do!
One thing that we didn't include but have seen included at other secular weddings is a short space of time included in the ceremony in which people are invited to pray quietly, to meditate on the meaning of marriage, or simply to think good thoughts for the couple.
@OP, I can't help but you've already gotten some good advice here so I send hugs, and I sincerely hope everything works out!
We're doing a completely secular ceremony:
Readings (2, both poems about lurve. :))
Rite of Marriage
Exchange of Rings
Should be about 15-20 min and then--party time!
Sincere thanks to all the lovely ladies that replied! You've given me some ideas to think about as well as share with FI to see if we can reach a compromise. I also plan on writing decently long vows that I want to be the focal point of the ceremony. I mean, shouldn't our promises to each other be the main thing celebrated?
Sending you hugs! I'm about to deal with same thing and not sure how it will be taken.
I have no advice on the family issue as neither of our immediate families can be described as anything other than nominally Christian (and even that's a stretch). But I highly recommend the book The Wedding Ceremony Planner by Judith Johnson. FI and I are writing our ceremony and it seemed like an impossible task at first because we're both deliberate about the written word and neither of us feels comfortable using the kind of flowery language that is often found in homemade ceremonies. I wanted something meaningful without being overwrought, poignant without being soppy, something that touched on universalities without being cliched...not easy, especially without the time-tested words that are used in religious ceremonies. Anyway the book is helpful because it lays out the suggested structure of a ceremony and then gives lots of examples of passages for each section of the ceremony, many of which are secular or vaguely spiritual without being religious. You could even copy and paste different sections, editing the selections to make them more reflective of your taste and circumstances. I found it much easier to have examples of language I liked as a jumping off point as opposed to staring at a blank page.
Oh, we are having a friend (ordained online) marry us. I just wasn't keen on the idea of calling up a complete stranger to do it, and I was worried that a stranger would ad lib or editorialize too much.
Edited to add: we don't have a reading per se, but we have part of a Pablo Neruda poem incorporated into the ceremony text. There are tons of good secular reading options out there!
You've gotten some wonderful ideas! Just remember that it's your FI's wedding too so if he wants a religious reading in there, I really think you should let him have it. Also, just to note, a Catholic priest will not do a secular ceremony and will not do one outside. So that might solve your issues there. You could, of course, try another Christian demoination though. Having one religious reading my also help appease you FI's relatives. First Corinthians is a very popular reading that's both beautiful and universal.
I'm not having a secular wedding, but I've been to several. Most have someone read a poem or a passage from a book. I've been to a few where the bride and groom have a friend sing a song. They've been shorter than the religious ones but still very lovely.
As far as a specific reading goes, are you guys nerds by any chance? I heard somewhere, don't remember where, of a couple having a reading from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. It would go something like this:
A reading from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
I wish we could do it, but I'm getting married in the Catholic church and they are kinda picky.
I send numerous hugs!!! FI and I are both atheist, we wrote our own ceremony so that there was ZERO mention of god. His parents are religious, my mom at least pretends to be (meaning she goes Christmas... and that's it....)
Anyway, we found our officiant online. We aren't having any readings, but you definitely can. Our ceremony is short, about 10 minutes. And I'm fine with that, there's no religious junk filler IMO.... :)
And honestly I'm not worried about making the family happy, they don't seem particularly upset, but I don't think they know a lot about our ceremony other than we wrote it and we're not getting married in a church. They're aware of our beliefs and respect them as much as they can given their thoughts on the subject. Our ceremony isn't blatantly disrespectful to those that are religious, it's just not mentioned!
Yes, just to echo@RunsWithBears: Catholic priests are actually not allowed to celebrate weddings outside of a church, so if it's important to your FI to be married by a priest, you guys will have to sort some things out.
One possibility: you could have a very small ceremony with just yourselves, the priest and two witnesses, to satisfy FI's wish to be married by a priest, and then do your big family-and-friends celebration outdoors, however you please and with whoever you want to officiate. The ceremony with the priest would be the official legal marriage ceremony, so technically you would already be married for the wedding celebration. I know that might not be ideal in your eyes - but it also frees you up to have anybody do and say anything you want - all the restrictions on what you can do are removed, because you've already taken care of the formalities.
I was raised pretty hard-core Catholic, but it's been 10 years since I emphatically told my mom I didn't believe in it (after pretending to her I was a believer for a good 7 years before that). So she was not surprised we're having a secular ceremony. My fiance was not raised in any religion. I really feel for you having to navigate this very tricky emotional water with your future in-laws while trying to stay true to yourself (and plan a wedding - hard enough as it is!).
AS others have said: the most important thing is that the ceremony represents both you and your fiance. You need to discuss and understand his views and beliefs, and he needs to get yours. If you are going to spend your life with someone it's important that you know what each other believes. It shouldn't come up when you are having kids, dealing with deaths in the family, or even worse (hopefully many many years from now) when you are dealing with each others' aging and death. Have a talk and make sure his idea of marriage, whether Catholic, secular or in between is represented. It will be easier to reason with your in-laws if you can present a clear and united front.
You have to find a balance that you're comfortable with. We are both atheists and were agreed from early on that we'd have a secular ceremony, so I can only really tell you what we did with our ceremony.
It isn't your or his parent's wedding! If they want a church wedding, they can have a vow renewal.
It always pisses me off when people push their own beliefs and wishes on other people's weddings!
It is YOUR day. Do what makes it special for YOU TWO. I would have been wildly uncomfortable in a church, or with any mention of god. We had a short 10-15 min ceremony with two readings, and my mom married us. She talked a lot about the two of us as individuals finding one another, and what marriage means to us. Then the readings came. We wrote our own vows, and then that was that!
We didn't really worry about offending anyone, and as far as I know, no one was (not even super religious grand parents)
Our ceremony was short..which is great, I mean has anyone ever complained about a short ceremony?
We had each mom do a reading (madelein l'engle and kahlil gibran), our officiant was my best child hood friend--which was sooo awesome, he did such a great job, he got certified online.
we had a arm-knot thing ceremony, just cuz DH liked the symbolism, we said our vows to each other and that was about it!
By the way, my grandma was horrified when I told her that the ceremony is probably only going to be about 15 minutes. Horrified. She said it needed to be at least 30. For what? 3-4 minutes for the bridesmaids/groomsmen and me, and then the ceremony itself.
LOL also I carried a big fat leather copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy with me down the aisle---which I'm SURE fooled a lot of people as it looks like a Bible---our "theme" was books.
After hearing what a lot of you have said, writing my own ceremony, or rather writing with with FI, sounds like a really great idea. He's much better with words than I am and I'm sure together we could come up with something that would please us both. I think the fact that a priest won't marry us outside of a church pretty much solves my problem as I know he doesn't want to get married in the church.
I'm also thinking we could pick out some readings together to maybe make the ceremony last at least 20 minutes. I don't think my mom would be too happy if it was only a 10 minute ceremony.
I had an outdoor secular ceremony (with a strongly raised catholic FI...and his 2-mass-a-week family). We received so many compliments regarding the beauty and simplicity of the ceremony. We didn't "fill time," but rather let our words be what they may. Everyone, including our officiant (who is my BIL...my sister's husband...internet ordained) cried when we exchanged our rings and promises. Here is the text of our ceremony, beginning to end. I took bits and pieces from all over the internet to write it:
[Addressing the guests]
Please be seated.
Good morning, family and friends. We have come here today to celebrate one of life's greatest moments and to cherish the words that will join Mr. Lulu and Ms. Lulu in marriage.
On behalf of Mr. Lulu, Ms. Lulu, Baby Lulu and Bitty Lulu, thank you for joining us. We are so happy that you have come to share in their joy today. By your presence, you celebrate with them the love Mr. Lulu and Ms. Lulu have discovered and you show your support in their decision to commit themselves to each other.
Marriage is a bond to be entered into only after considerable thought and reflection. Today, Mr. Lulu and Ms. Lulu demonstrate their devotion to each other by dedicating themselves to a life together.
Today, they show their respect for each other by setting forth to honor the vows they will exchange. Today, their lives, which began on separate paths, will be joined as one.
[Addressing Mr. Lulu and Ms. Lulu]
Mr. Lulu and Ms. Lulu, my hope for you is this: That you have many long years to delight in each others' company, to feel gratitude for your good fortune in having found and loved each other, to make a home together that is sheltering and welcoming, and to love and be loved by the friends and family who have come here today to support you.
Family and friends, you form a community of support that surrounds Mr. Lulu and Ms. Lulu. They are counting on each of you to uphold them in loving each other.
Always stand beside them, never between them. Offer them your love and your support. Encourage them when encouragement is needed and listen to them when they ask for advice.
In these ways, you can honor this marriage.
Mr. Lulu and Ms. Lulu, the symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another
“You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed –
well, I meant it all, every word.”
Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, accomplice, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another over the years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this - is my husband, this - is my wife.
[Addressing Mr. Lulu]
Mr. Lulu, do you take Ms. Lulu to be your wife?
Do you promise to be her faithful and loving partner in life?
to cherish your marriage and love her more each day than you did the day before?
to trust and respect her, laugh with her and comfort her, and love her through good times and bad?
to communicate openly and honestly, and to listen carefully?
Do you give your hand, your heart, and your love, from this day forward for as long as you both shall live?
[Mr. Lulu responds, "I do."]
[Addressing Ms. Lulu]
Ms. Lulu, do you take Mr. Lulu to be your husband?
Do you promise to be his faithful and loving partner in life?
to cherish your marriage and love him more each day than you did the day before?
to trust and respect him, laugh with him and comfort him, and love him through good times and bad?
[Ms. Lulu responds, "I do."]
[Addressing Baby Lulu]
May I have the rings please?
Mr. Lulu and Ms. Lulu, may your wedding rings be forever a reminder of the vows you have made to each other here today. Treasure them, for they symbolize your love for each other.
Mr. Lulu, please place this ring on Ms. Lulu's finger and repeat after me:
“Ms. Lulu, I give you this ring
as a symbol and reminder of my love for you
and my commitment to our marriage.
My love is yours now, and for all the days before us.”
Ms. Lulu, please place this ring on Mr. Lulu's finger and repeat after me: “Mr. Lulu, I give you this ring
In the honesty and sincerity of what you have said and done here today, And by the authority vested in me by the state of California, I now pronounce you husband and wife! Mr. Lulu, you may now kiss your bride!
Friends and family, I am privileged to present: Mr. and Mrs. Lulu
We're having a secular ceremony, which fortunately is fine with our immediate families at least. I would recommend looking into Unitarian Universalist ministers. They don't really have a dogma and are very open towards different beliefs, but their ministers are called "minister" some of them wear robes (not all) etc etc. Might give more of a religious flavor without actually having something you are not comfortable with.
Or, as PPs have stated, Google is your friend. I wrote our whole ceremony by reading othre people's and taking what I liked. We're having a friend get ordained to marry us, so no experience on that end either. It'll be great. You can make it personal to you--as it should because it is YOUR wedding and YOUR marriage, and should reflect you both. And if you ever think you're being too weird, check out offbeat bride. I love offbeat bride, a ton, but some of those couples think way out of the box. (in a good way!)
@MrsLulu, I love your ceremony! So well worded and from the heart.
@S.Elizabeth.G: Thanks. The briidal party walked down the aisle to Canon in D and I walked down a long aisle to Joy of Man Desiring. Both of those songs took about 3 minutes each. Then the ceremony was about 15 minutes long, because we really tried to slow down and absorb what was being said. If you wanted to make the ceremony more recognizable to your Catholic guests, you could include a section after where I had the "community of support" language for an interactive portion with the guests. Like in Catholic ceremonies where they ask the congregation to voice their support of the union.
@bridalprincess: Out of curiosity, what is a ring warming ceremony?
I haven't read all of the other comments, but keep remembering that it is your day and your ceremony is meant to reflect the values of you and your fiance and what your union means to the two of you.
I was also raised Christian and went to a Christian university. At times, I think people felt threatened or intimidated (and when it involves a family affair like a wedding I could see people being offended, though not justifiably so) when someone doesn't share their beliefs. I don't know if you've tried it or if it would even help, but perhaps you could remind your family, and FI his, that this is an expression of what is meaningful to you and that you aren't rejecting their beliefs and that you don't have to live your life the way they do for their beliefs to be valid. I wouldn't quite use those words, but letting them know it isn't a personal thing or a rejection of them, but you getting married in a way that means the most to you.
The officiant my FI and I are using is a professor where I went to school, but he is very open minded (he was the prof. in my World Religions course) and believes there are many paths to God/many ways to live a life of meaning. After taking that course, I knew if it would be possible, I'd like to have him officiate my wedding someday because of his openness.
As for time, we are having people who exemplify the type of love we have read things that have inspired them or helped them be better partners. We are also doing a ceremony that involves us putting two wine bottles and notes about why we love each other in a wooden box. Should we have difficulties and need to, we can open the box, read the noet stating why we originally chose to marry the other person (while enjoying a glass of wine) and then come together to make a decision/talk it out. If we don't need to open it for that reason, we can do so on our tenth anniversary in celebration.
Best of luck and remember that this ceremony is about your and your fiance and your union :)
@canaryCane: I love that idea (of the sealed box) so, so much. I may think about doing that.
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