Post # 1
This is my first post (been lurking for the last week). I never thought I’d really use a wedding website as a community (other than looking for vendors) but I was amazed at how much I could relate to the powerful words of Mrs. Cheese, Mrs. Peeptoe, Miss Mary Jane among others. So… the long-term Boyfriend or Best Friend and I are discussing next steps. Given our ages (me mid-thirties, he mid-forties) and our desires to start a family soon, we don’t want a long engagement. We’ve started talking about the wedding and doing some initial planning.
We’re both really drawn to the idea of a small civil ceremony at City Hall but there is a part of me that is conflicted about skipping the religious traditions. I’m not super religious by any means, but consider myself spiritual. Plus, blessings never hurt whenever you are undertaking any major endeavor, right? He’s not religious at all but comfortable having a religious ceremony if I want one. I’m an encore and had all the traditional stuff at my first wedding but we were both too young, immature and clueless to get what marriage really was. My parents and his are comfortable with whatever we decide.
Was curious if any one else grappled with this decision and how they resolved it for themselves?
Post # 3
Welcome! I don’t have a specific answer to your question, unfortunately. My fiance and I are having City Hall ceremony (in SF too, go figure!) because we both knew we did NOT want to deal with the hassle of planning a full traditional wedding.
I guess what you need to think about is how important any religious aspects are to both of you, and how difficult it will be to involve them in your ceremony. Are you thinking of having a church ceremony, or just a religious ceremony in another venue?
A city hall ceremony is certainly the most basic and low-key option, and you can waltz in there pretty much anytime and get married. Having a church ceremony may take some more planning based on the availibility of the church and your officiant.
Post # 4
I was in a similar situation. I’m an encore and the formal ceremony was less important to me but my now husband was the oldest and last child in his family to be married so a more formal ceremony was important to him. However, neither of us was a regular church-goer and becuase we had a destination wedding as well, we felt that having a stranger perform our ceremony wasn’t what we wanted. So, what we did is have a small civil ceremony the morning of the wedding with a local judge and then my husband’s father performed a ceremony that we created which generally followed the religious ceremony but we added some more modern and personal elements. It worked out beautifully, with the possible exception that the judge forgot to send in the marriage license for a month!
Post # 5
You can still have a ceremony that reflects your spiritual beliefs — maybe even write it yourself — and find an officiant who will work with you. There are plenty of non-denomentational officiants you can find on the web. There’s on on Weddingbee Pro, Jessie Blum. Check out her posts. http://www.weddingbeepro.com/author/jessieblum/
Another option is to have a private, religious ceremony, maybe in the pastor’s study. If you find a church where this is an option, that could be really special. You can sidestep some of the overt traditions and just have the meaning you want.
Post # 6
Thanks everyone! Great ideas. I think what I might do is what Noodlie suggested — after City Hall, have a very small religious ceremony. There is a priest that married my best friend and her husband (whose ceremony I loved). He can perform a small ceremony at home.