religious officiant/non-religious bride and groom

posted 3 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
Member
1734 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1998

I had an officiant who wasn’t flexible…we fired him, and he was a friend.

If it’s legal where you’re at (it’s legal in my state), get someone ordained online through the Universal Life Church. For the vast majority of people, it’s free; in some states, you might need to order a $20 certificate as proof it was done, but that’s about it.

That way, you can get a backup and you can have someone who is more likely to respect your wishes. We’re also non-religious and I found having prayer or anything religious incorporated into our ceremony to be a farce.

You’re in a tricky situation in that this guy is an uncle, so firing him would have to be done very tactfully. I would go the roundabout way, though, get a friend officiated and just say, “Our friend told us he/she wants to do it, and we’re so excited! I’m sorry, I know you put so much time into helping us out.”

 

Post # 4
Member
1168 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

 

 

@Brace2014:  No I havent had to deal with that. Maybe if you could find a very non specific prayer you wouldnt mind as much. There are MANY prayers out there that are so general and so non-specific they arent very religous at all. 

 

Post # 5
Member
4441 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall

@Brace2014:  A prayer is by definition not non-religious.  Please, if this is important to you go get an officiant that is not affiliated with a church/temple/mosque/whatever.

 

Your ceremony makes you husband and wife, do you really want that third party thrown in there if you two don’t believe in him?

 

Do you want this to adversely affect your relationship with FI’s uncle?

Post # 6
Member
722 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

We are in a similar situation. My FMIL’s cousin is a Methodist minister and FI and I are not religious. We agreed to have him marry us because it meant a lot to FMIL. The minister sent us samples recently of the wording and order of service and we were not pleased with all of the religious wording. He told us “I’m a Reverend so there has to be some religion.” Ok fine. I just sent him exactly what we wanted with our own vows and readings. We decided a quick prayer or two will be ok just to make him and FMIL happy. The funny part is my FILs never took FI or his brothers to church. Not sure why this was so important!

Post # 8
Member
9949 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Brace2014:  My uncle is an Episcopal minister, and he married us.  I told him, “I’d like to respectfully take the religious part out, if that’s okay,” when I first asked whether he’d do our marriage.  He was absolutely okay with that.  If your fiance’s uncle is not, find someone else.  It’s worth it!

Post # 10
Member
3538 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I’d definitely have to ask him to omit the religious stuff, or respectfully decline his offer to be your officiant and find someone else.

One of FI’s really good friends has been ordained (online) for a few years.  We asked him to officiate ours, and FI and I are writing the ceremony ourselves. 

Post # 12
Member
9949 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Brace2014:  What denomination is your fiance’s uncle?

Post # 13
Member
4576 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@Brace2014:  I can promise, beyond almost any shadow of a doubt, that he will talk about god being the foundation of a marriage. He is a pastor and those who are so “convicted” tend to not budge on things like that. I grew up in an incredibly religious home and church and cannot imagine a pastor being willing *not* so say things about a Christ-based marriage, etc.

I would seriously find someone else, this is not something you should have to compromise on. Period.

Post # 14
Member
2565 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

If you want a completely secular ceremony you need to tell him that, if he is unwilling to perform such a ceremony you need to let him know “thanks, but no thanks” and find someone else.

Post # 16
Member
2878 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Eeek awkward.  My mom suggested having her (Methodist) pastor marry us, and I was hesitant, as FI and I are both atheists.  However, I sent him a draft of our ceremony with not a single mention of God and his response was that it was lovely and he was looking forward to the wedding.  I was so relieved.  I feel like of all things, your wedding ceremony needs to represent you, so I’d talk to him again about taking out the prayers, and if he won’t, get a friend ordained.

Leave a comment


Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Find Amazing Vendors