(Closed) Non denominational brides

posted 10 years ago in Beehive
Post # 3
218 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

i’m planning to have one of FI’s friends marry us off, two of his friends are ordained (spelling?) from what he tells me.  I too already had to add a stupid tea ceremony to the wedding… oh well whatever… thank *whoever is in charge wherever they are* that no one from either of our family are religious…

Post # 4
385 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2008

I know how you are feeling. I was raised Catholic, but no longer practice. My husband’s parents are Baptist and he occasionally joins them at church. That being said, we’re believers but do not fit the "traditional" religious stereotype. I wanted a somewhat religious ceremony, but my husband wanted to be married on the beach. So a Catholic ceremony was out of the question. His parents would have died had we not had a minister perform the ceremony (i.e. I briefly considered asking my sister). (they basically told us we were going to hell b/c we were living in sin so long that’s how serious they are about their religion and beliefs)…  Then, trying to find someone who can officiate but still has an ounce of credibility while performing the ceremony was a toughie. Yellowbook- toss it out the window. Online and craigslist… ummmm no. 

I finally talked it over with my hubby and we agreed that his parent’s minister would be best to do the ceremony, as he is a Pastor and does in fact do weddings all the time. When we met him, I expressed my desire to have a religious but still personal ceremony. Follow the feeling of the traditiona, but include a little of us, because we aren’t "church goers". 

He basically let me do my ceremony from scratch, parts of it I pulled from about 15 or 20 different websites (indiebride I beileve was my main source of inspiration) and we wrote our own vows, while utilizing traditional vows as the inspiration.

The pastor was VERY accommodating to our requests. It just so happened that he was totally cool with it and just wanted to give us the best marriage ceremony he could and help us be joined with God. And that’s all that I needed to hear. (even though the In Laws totally got the stinking win there!).

We gave him a sort of script to use and blank places that we asked him to say whatever he felt like fit there. We chose two secular readings and one adaptation of a biblical reading. The pastor included an additional reading (the one that the husband is the spiritual leader in a christian marriage, don’t know which one but that’s the message). It was great, exactly what we wanted, his parents were happy because God was in fact with us that day and there was not a single dry eye in the Gazebo (even the men). 

If you want to give your Future in laws a little win, come to a compromise. I knew I would hear it for the REST of my life if we had a completely secular ceremony. So I just found the way that it was comfortable to me.  If you are uncomfortable, tell your FH that he needs to make his parents back off.

My advice, contact a few local churches- start with non-denominational ones, then lutheran, then methodist. (IMHO this is the best order b/c I’ve personally found them to be most liberal with weddings in that order). Find a pastor who understands your dilemma and is willing to help give you the ceremony you and your FH want.  

PM me if you would like any more help or would like a copy of our ceremony transcript. 

Post # 5
44 posts
  • Wedding: September 2018

My husband and I were raised in religious families (Him = Roman Catholic, Me = Episcopalian) but we went the non-denom way and wrote our  ceremony and were married by a very good friend of ours (who we appointed as our deputy marriage commissioner for the day) My husband’s grandmother (who is 90 and has Alzheimer’s) kept asking him why he didn’t get married in a church. 😛 Our ceremony was meaningful because we did it our way. We took the time to include the sayings and meanings we wanted in our ceremony. 


You need to do what YOU are comfortable with and ignore the snide comments. Your wedding is about you and your Fiance not what anyone else wants. We didn’t worry very much about what other people thought, you can’t make everyone happy.


If you want to see/read our ceremony  I can post it here or email it to you.

Post # 6
21 posts
  • Wedding: October 2008

I was raised Roman Catholic but no longer practice anything. My FH is not religious, and borderline athiest. So we’re having an officiant do our ceremony and making it completely free of any religious/spiritual undertones. Many of my friends’ recent ceremonies have been the same. However, a friend of mine who is religious and has never been to a non-Catholic ceremony, was just blown away that people can get married by someone other than a priest/minister! She keeps asking what our ceremony will be like.

I am excited to design our ceremony from scratch and be able to choose whatever readings/music/etc that *we* want instead of being bound to church rules. (Disclaimer: not that *all* churches are restrictive, by any means, but I’ve heard the complaints of some friends who were given very short lists to choose from for readings or music when marrying in a church.)

So far, the Grandmas seem okay with it all 🙂

Post # 7
1246 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Fiance was raised Roman Catholic and is now an atheist. I was raised Protestant and am now agnostic. We’re getting married otuside by a Justice of the Peace and are very, very happy with that decision. : ) It will be "meaningful" because we’ll be married!

Post # 8
193 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Fiance and I weren’t raised in religious homes (although my mom considers herself to be "spiritual" and FI’s mom was raised Catholic).  We’re getting married by one of our friends who got ordained online.  Luckily, we haven’t run into any snide comments yet.

Since there won’t be any religious readings, prayers, or songs, our ceremony will probably be pretty short.  I think we’re going to do a ring warming and maybe a reading or two from children’s books.  Not too stressed about how meaningful it is to others… we’ll be happy to get everyone to the cocktail hour early!

Post # 9
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

My husband is Jewish and I am Christian.  Let’s just say I’ve had a wide education in my "religious" experience.  I was baptized Catholic, regularly attended a Lutheran church in my childhood, and went to a non-demoninational church (contemporary, evangelical) most of my adolescent/adult life.

My husband’s immediate family observes major holidays (loosely), but doesn’t regularly go to synagogue.  They are more cultural than religious observers.  I have never been invited to synagogue and I have never even been to a Jewish wedding.  Because of this, I was uncomfortable with the idea of being married in a Jewish ceremony.

 My husband and I wanted to have a spritual but not religious ceremony.  Our good friend, a practicing Buddhist, aggreed to marry us.  This was the perfect blend of religious fusion… exactly what we were looking for.  We wrote most of the ceremony and borrowed traditions from both of our faiths.

 In the end, I’m slightly annoyed that his side hijacked a lot of the ceremony.  I agreed to not have any references to "Jesus"… pretty much the foundation of my faith.  The vows were pretty neutral.  We ended up with a ton of Jewish traditions:  a chuppah, a ketubah, the 7 blessings, and breaking of the glass.  At the reception they had a motzi and the hora…. the first time I had even heard of these things was when our vendors asked if we were doing them.  I didn’t want any of it — if it wasn’t important enough for my husband or his family to request it (or even explain it to me!), then it shouldn’t be in my wedding.  I felt squeezed out of my own wedding — the compromise really wasn’t fair in my opinion.

My only advice would be to stand your ground and make sure the ceremony is meaninful to you and your husband.  Whatever that means to you is personal and doesn’t have to involve the families.  Keep it as simple as possible.  In the end, the ceremony is the start of your marriage together and should reflect who you are and your mutual respect for eachother.


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