Post # 1
I’ve been having trouble finding an officiant who isn’t already booked. And some of the fees seem so high! We are from the Pittsburgh area, but our wedding will be in Butler (near Gibsonia). We are looking to have a personal, spiritual, and nonreligious ceremony.
Thanks in advance for anyone who can help!
Post # 3
@goldie602: Some ideas:
If you don’t already have a location booked, see if you can get married at a wedding chapel. Wedding chapels are Vegas-style places in which all they do are weddings, all day, every day.
If you have a location booked, see if you can hire one of the ministers from the wedding chapel to officiate at your location.
Also, if you have any Unitarian churches close by, they might be able to come out and officiate for you without requiring pre-marital counseling.
Post # 5
@Bunny_the_Bride: Thanks for the advice. I don’t think I have heard of any chapels like that. We do have a location booked and we are looking for an officiant since we aren’t having a relgious ceremony.
Post # 6
How about having a close friend or family member do it? One of our best guy friends is getting ordained for a day… it’s $25 I think for the day of license. We did this because we wanted it to be personal and special as opposed to a JP who doesn’t know us individually or as a couple. Maybe this could be an option for you!
Post # 7
I’m sure someone has already recommended him.. but Rev Mark from A Simple Vow has been great so far. If he’s booked you could even try asking him if he has recommendations,
Post # 8
Have you checked out the “vendor reviews” tab on this site? I looked there and found a lot of options for officiants.
Unfortunately for us, most of them were out of our price range ($250-$400 for a half an hour ceremony PLUS extra for a rehearsal — yikes!!) but there are a lot of options.
Have you also considered finding a local mayor to marry you? I was hesitant with this idea at first but a friend of mine recommended an older woman mayor who married them a few years ago. I spoke with her on the phone and she said she LOVES doing weddings and is open to all of our non-traditional ideas so I am really excited to have her perform the ceremony. The best part is, she only asks for a $50 donation to the animal shelter she founded.
I’d give you her name and number but she’s the mayor of White Oak, which is preeeeety far from Butler and I’m not sure she’s willing to travel that distance. Ask around the community, though, there may be local officials who could do this for you.
Post # 9
@goldie602: In many Pennsylvania counties, they will give you a self-officiating license and you can just have anyone conduct the ceremony without being ordained. Some counties will only grant this license to Quakers so you might have to call a few counties.
Post # 10
Yes, you can have anyone you want marry you. No, you don’t have to be a Quaker (it’s actually illegal for the government to ask you that- and the ACLU will back you up) to get this type of license. If you are interested in a self-uniting marriage license, look up the specifics on the county’s website for where you will be getting married. I believe you have to say certain words (like “I take you to be me husban/wife”) but maybe not.
If you’d rather not have to design a whole ceremony for yourself, I recommend Rev. Larry from meaningfulmarriages.com . He’ll be our officiant in October. He has a set ceremony you can go with or you can specialize it as much as you want. I’m really excited about it!! haha
Post # 11
One more vote for a self-uniting marriage. My husband and I did this (our close friends helped officiate), and it was awesome.