Post # 1
SO and I are staunchly unreligious. However, in my culture, a lot of people get married in a church (I think for nice photos, LOL and because it’s so symbolic/pervasive in pop culture).
SO’s family is not religious but they celebrate Orthodox Christian holidays because it’s in their culture. I always assumed we’d be getting married in an Orthodox church, like SO’s older brother did…but he’s totally against it. He said he wants the ceremony to be as unreligious as possible. Ok, I’m cool with that.
He also said he doesn’t care about seeing me in a wedding gown, because he’d rather see me in the red Chinese dress all day – he thinks it looks nicer. Um, no. I’ll change into the red dress at some point, but I’m wearing the gown. I need an excuse to wear a white wedding gown because it’ll be my only opportunity to ever wear one, so I need to have some kind of ceremony, LOL.
…but then what ceremony would we have? And where would it take place? Do we write the whole ceremony ourselves as well as our vows? I wouldn’t know where to start! And what kind of officiant would we use? Where would we find one?
What was your secular ceremony like?
Thanks for the advice! 😀
Post # 3
You can have a secular ceremony anywhere you want, indoors, outdoors, whatever. A lot of reception venues have a place for a ceremony to take place as well, but you could have them in different places.
There are secular officiants you can hire (I think they are county clerks or notary publics?) to perform a ceremony or depending on where you live a friend or family member can be ordained online and perform legal weddings. Just because they are ordained as a minister does not mean they have to perform a religious ceremony, and most do not.
Depending on the officiant they may have a “standard” ceremony and vows or you can come up with your own. Many bees have posted their secular ceremonies here and you could take inspiration from that as wel.
Post # 4
@pixiecat: Thanks for the advice! Am going through a lot of the posted ceremonies – there are so many great ideas! 🙂
Post # 5
Hey where are you in Canada? I’m in the GTA and we just searched for “Humanist Wedding Officiants in the GTA” on Google and got tons of them. They belong to the Humanist Society of Canada and can solemnize legal weddings. Our officiant sent us a basic ceremony script that was really very nice, and we further customized it with our own vows and readings. I could send you the asic script if you like? Or really, there are a bunch out there on the internet as well, try looking on the blog “A Practical Wedding” – they actually have archives of scripts!
I am also from a family that is Orthodox Christian (I’m eastern european) but that’s only in name, none of us are religious, lol. And my FI’s immediate family are non-religious. Our ceremony is fully secular, and is taking place in this really nice old building with beautiful architecture… it used to e a “temple” but now it’s just a museum, so that worked for us 🙂
Post # 6
@MrsSnowMountain: I’m also in Toronto! That sounds like a really cool venue. 🙂 I’ll know what to look for now – I’m actually waiting and don’t need to find an officiant just yet but was curious. Thanks for the tip! ^.^
Post # 7
I specifically looked for an officiant who would be willing to do a secular ceremony, and I asked about it at our meeting. I paid attention to wording and how open-minded they seemed. Ultimately, I picked one of the officiants who is listed under the Vendors section on the Bee (she was also on wedding wire), and she was amazing. She had no problem when I told her we wanted a completely secular ceremony, and already had sample ceremonies on hand.
Post # 8
We hired a humanist celebrant I found on either here or theknot who wrote the most wonderful ceremony for us. He based it around a series of short-answer questions we both filled out for him. No deity was mentioned in the service; the only sort of reference to religion was the note that both my husband and I believe this life is all anyone gets. So the ceremony focused on our love story and how we met and such. It was personal and a little bit funny in places. So many people told us afterwards it was the best wedding ceremony they had ever heard. So I’d highly recommend finding a humanist celebrant with whom you click.
On a more morbid note, we’ll be seeking a humanist celebrant anytime someone in my extended (all atheist) family dies. Really. They’re awesome.
Post # 9
I’m also in Toronto and I’ll second the Humanist Association for a secular wedding. We got our officiant from there. He had a ceremony template which outlined the legally required things that he had to say and included various optional parts. We weren’t allowed to change any of the legally required stuff, but he said that we could do whatever we wanted with the optional things. He also gave us a huge list of readings/poems that we could choose from but was totally cool that we provided our own. We met with him before the ceremony to go over all the details and do a quick run through since we didn’t have any kind of formal rehersal dinner or anything.
City Hall in Toronto (the room + officiant) costs $250 and the Humanist cost $275 and he came to our venue (a cafe) so for me it was totally worth it. They will go where ever your venue is. Your venue can be pretty much anywhere you want.