Post # 1
Hi everyone! I’m hoping all you NYC bees will be able to help me out.
My fiance and I are non religious… to be more specific, he’s an optimistic agnostic and I’m well seated in the atheist camp. Does anyone have any suggestions for officiants who won’t bristle at being asked to completely nix religious references? I’m not talking about just skippng the bible readings, I’m talking about avoiding words like "blessing" or "divine" and not showing up in the traditional officiant vestments (you know, with the robes and the shawl).
We’ve tried the New York Society for Ethical Culture, but their materials felt a little "establishment" for us… basically, it seemed just as rigid as a church, only without mention of any particular god.
Many people have suggested a "pagan" ceremony, but we do have some very religious people attending our wedding, and I think they might be really displeased with that. I certainly don’t want to offend anyone.
There has to be someone who will say, "Do you love her? Do you love him? Great, let’s get this show on the road."
Thanks in advance everybody! I really appreciate your help and advice.
Post # 3
- Wedding: July 2018 - Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers
Hello lizochka! I am working with Reverend Alma Daniel and she has been very accommodating with our requests to remove any mention of "God" or anything too "devotional." I blogged about her here.
Post # 4
I’m not from NY but, a friend of mine just got married and she was in the same situation as you are: agnostic fiance.
So what they did is: her brother got ordained online and did the ceremony with some beautiful texts and her or his grandfather, I can’t remember came up to read a religious text to make the religious people happy. She said it was great.
Because it was her brother doing it though I think they made a quick trip to the courthouse the same day to get officially married by law, just in case.
Post # 5
I also just went to a wedding where a friend of the bride and groom performed the ceremony (he too was ordained online). There were still religious readings, but nothing over the top. It was a quick and easy ceremony and was just so much more meaningful for everyone involved. I don’t know if that helps you, but good luck. 🙂
Post # 6
I had a non-religious ceremony and I used Pastor April. You can reach her at [email protected] . We worked very closely with her to develop a ceremony that reflected our relationship, but since neither of us are religious, we made sure she new the simplicity we were going for. At the end of the day, April was fantastic and she became more of a friend than a vendor for us. Best of luck!
Post # 7
Thanks for the feedback, everyone – you guys are the best! We are definitely going to follow up with Reverend Alma Daniel and Pastor April as suggested above.
Post # 8
we used rev. hilda geico and she was awesome. [email protected] do a google search for her name to read other reviews.
Post # 9
I second Hilda Geico and add Carissa Templeton ([email protected]). Hilda recommended Carissa to us when she was booked.
Post # 10
If you havent found an officiant, I also recommend Pastor April. She was great to work with and she made putting together the programs really simple. It was one vendor I didnt have to worry about.
Post # 11
WE used Rabbi ross. While he is a rabbi, he is all about doing whatever you want (we are an interfaith couple). When he showed up to our wedding, we even asked him not to wear his robes, and he was happy to do whatever we wanted. He has done weddings in Klingon!! REally, this guys is fabulous and is there to do what you want. Surprisingly, we got a ton of compliments on both Rabbi ross and the ceremony he created for us.
Post # 12
lizochka, if neither one of you are religious why have a pastor or reverend at your wedding?
I’m not religious either, but it would make me uncomfortable having them there, people whos "job" it is to spread the word of god at my wedding.
I’m in NY too. Plenty of non-religious occupations are approved to perform marriage ceremonies.
"According to Section 11 of the Domestic Relations Law, an officiant must be an authorized, officially ordained member of the clergy or a public official in the State of New York such as a mayor, city clerk, deputy city clerk, appointed marriage officer, justice, or judge. In New York City, an officiant must be registered with the City of New York. Ship captains can not perform marriage ceremonies in New York State."
Call the city offices and ask them to email you a list of people that perform marriage ceremonies.
Post # 13
ditto to missCamera. i’m having a mayor do our ceremony and he has the standard stuff he has to say, but we can add or delete anything on there. plus, he’s gonna wear a suit, not a robe
Post # 14
Hi, just wanted to add to Miss Camera’s posting. My husband and I had Honorable Judge Evelyn LaPorte from the Supreme Courts of Brooklyn. We too are non religious and all she read was this beautifully true meaning of the commitment and love we should share now that we will be united as one.
If you would like me to send this to you via email as well as Hon. Judge LaPorte, please let me know and I will forward the information.
Post # 15
- Wedding: September 2007 - Westbury Manor
Just wanted to add that Pastor April was absolutely wonderful. We had a non religious ceremony and she really made it perfect and most importantly made us feel at ease.
Post # 16
Hello – My fiance and I too are now looking for a judge/ mayor or the like to marry us this June (2009). Although there seems to be a surplus of non-denominational ministers who will perform non-religious ceremonies, our hope is someone linked only to law/ gov’t. If anyone has any contact lists, please let me know!