Post # 1
Hi, I am sorry if this post sounds confusing but I am really confused. Neither I or my fiance are religious and have been trying to figure out who will officiate our wedding. We are confused as to our options. Since we are not religious, we do not want a priest, pastor, rabbi, etc. We think a justice of the peace might be too impersonal. We saw something about civil celebrants, but those are expensive and a little impersonal. We thought we found the perfect solution to have my brother (whom I am very close with) officiate the wedding. In order to do this, he would have to be ordained. We saw that some other bees have gotten friends/family ordained by different religious organizations online and were really interested. I see only 2 problems with this.
1) Is it a little contradictory to have a religiously ordained person (even though the ceremony will be non religious) to perform the ceremony when we are non religious?
2) I saw that somewhere the Pennsylvania does not recognize an ordained person that does not have a congregation.
Do I have any options? Help?
Post # 3
Check out this site, it has a LOT of good references.
Your brother can do it online and can be ordained through a non dominational church or even through a church that has no believe in higher powers (aka personal spirituality vs. religion).
Good luck, hope this helps!
Post # 4
@Schatzie821: Thank you so much. I will check that out. That fixes problem #1, I just have to check to see if Pennsylvania will recognize our marriage if it is performed by my brother.
One more question, so the marriage license does not make your marriage legal? You need the marriage license and then marriage performed by someone to make it legal? I hope these aren’t too stupid of questions.
Post # 5
The person who marries you will have to fill out and usually send in your marriage license for it to be legal. My fiance and I are not religious either and our DJ is an ordained minister, so we figured hey… why not have HIM marry us as well.
Getting ordained online is simple and easy. As long as your brother is ordained with some organization, it will be fine.
Post # 6
@Schatzie821:Thank you and congrats to you on your Dj/officiant find!
Post # 7
If Pennsylvania does not recognize an ordained person that does not have a congregation, then someone ordained online cannot be your official “officiant.” However, Pennsylvania has what they call a “self-uniting” ceremony, which means that the two of you can agree to be married without an officiant at all. Even if you chose to have your brother conducting a ceremony, you wouldn’t have to worry about his credentials if you went through the self-uniting procedures.
Post # 8
The online church that we used to ordain our BIL (and the one we used when DH got ordained to perform his sisters’ weddings) has two principles:
1) Do good.
2) Religious freedom for everyone.
It’s the Universal Life Church–I don’t think it’s hypocritical to use because, while we are not religious, we believe in both the tenets of this particular organization. It’s not like DH and BIL got ordained in an online Christian church. I wouldn’t worry about that part.
Before we made the decision, I was a little confused about what Tennessee would allow, because the wording of their marriage laws seemed to preclude this type of thing. So I just called the office that issues marriage licenses (in our case, the Office of the County Clerk) and asked. They were really helpful and we determined that a marriage performed under these circumstances would be totally legal. I suggest you do the same thing so that you get the answer straight from the horse’s mouth and you’ll know for sure that your plans will work!