(Closed) non-religious bees… how did you choose your officiant?

posted 8 years ago in Secular
Post # 3
7429 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

We got my brother ordained and he officiated

Post # 4
73 posts
Worker bee

In PA using an ordained friend is only semi-legal. There is case history going both ways, so we didn’t want to take the chance. Since that was our original plan, we needed to figure things out fairly quickly. We just did internet research and found a few people who said they would do secular ceremonies in the town where the wedding is being held. We contacted them and based on availability and their responses, we were able to pick one. He sent us choices for our ceremony and a basic outline so we were able to pick parts without any mention of religion.

Post # 5
1212 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I found a list of secular humanist officiants in our area and picked the one nearest to us. She’s wonderful by the way!

Post # 6
3621 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I was recommended a marriage commissioner who does religious & non-religious ceremonies. She gave us a package with all sorts of ceremonies and we put ours together through her package.

She was awesome. However, if I did it without the rec. I would just search marriage commissioners in my area, find out which ones have done non-religious ceremonies, and then I would give them a call and get a feel for their attitude.

Post # 8
2696 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I as going to go with a non-denominational minister (as alln5051 mentioned above, PA laws can be strict,) but a friend of the family is a federal judge who really like to preform them, (and who may be doing it for free/cheap…?) so that was an easy decision. He said he has his own ceremonies that he likes but he would do whatever we wanted and he would work with us, so yay!

Also, he’s Jewish and agreed to do a wedding for a couple raised protestant/agnostic, so thats a pretty fair sign that he won’t get religious on us. 😉

Post # 9
7310 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

A friend of ours got ordained to perform our ceremony. But before we asked him we made sure to have a back-up plan because we didn’t want our friend to feel pressured in any way. We just researched officiants on wedding wire based on their reviews and looked for those who would allow us to write our own ceremony because I already had a ceremony draft done.

Post # 10
6392 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

I just looked under the vendors section in Weddingbee and looked at a couple websites before I found a guy who really seemed to mesh well with what we wanted. He did turn out to be awesome :). 

Post # 11
3525 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

We looked online, weddingwire, google, called local town clerks (they usually have a list of officiants and judges who will officiate weddings). At the end we asked a close friend of ours to marry us. Best decision EVER!

Post # 12
679 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

I found ours through weddingwire.com.  She’s an ordained wedding minister and can perform religious ceremonies, but will customize any ceremony that people choose.  She has a bunch of examples of christian, secular  and mixed ceremonies.  There were also a bunch of judges listed when I was looking for an officiant.  I will say, we were not specifically looking for a non-religious officiant, it just happened that way. 

Post # 13
385 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I looked up Justices of the Peace online and tried to find reviews, and just picked one.  We met him, and he seemed fine and had a nice voice, so we went ahead and booked.

Post # 14
10285 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

Like some of the PP’s, we had a loved one get ordained to marry us and it was one of the best things we did. There’s nothing like having someone you love marry you. The alternative was to pick some random schmuck out of the phone book and that didn’t appeal to me at all. Why would I want to pay some stranger $300 to pronounce us husband and wife with zero emotion behind it when my cousin could get ordained for free and be emotionally vested into the whole thing? She got chocked up a few times but it just added to the whole feel of the ceremony. She was super nervous but she kicked ass and EVERYONE the fact that we were married by a family member. If it’s legal where you’re from and you have someone in mind, do it! Trust me, you won’t regret it.  

Post # 15
5110 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2011

My grandparents were florists for 43 years before they retired and every sat we would deliver alter arrangements to the church we are getting married at for the Sunday service. The pastor was always so nice to me, and in a way watched me grow up even if it was just for a few minutes every Saturday lol. I remembered how awesome he was, and told Fiance we set up a meeting and I am so glad that we did. He is awesome!! He did great pre marital counciling sessions with us and really wanted to make our ceremony everything that we wanted! I cant wait to have him marry us!!

Post # 16
2947 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

@starbuck: Or word of mouth! 🙂

We’re actually meeting one of our possible officiants this evening and she does secular ceremonies in NYC. PM me if you’d like the info. She’s AMAZING. 

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