(Closed) What’s the same-sex wedding equivalent of the officiant, ceremony?

posted 8 years ago in LGBTQ
Post # 3
Member
2208 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Its the same thing. Whatever you can imagine, there is a same sex marriage that does the exact same thing. Well, except big formal church weddings, probably. The only real difference I’ve noticed is that the officiant uses more gender neutral terms and does not say “lawfully wedded spouse.”

Post # 4
Member
3098 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

Well, our friend became ordained online and married us. What made our marriage “legal and binding” (we’re straight) is that our friend signed our marriage certificate and mailed it back to the courthouse. I guess if  you skip that step, it won’t be legal and binding?

Post # 5
Member
5263 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

We’re having a non-religious officiant, hopefully through Celebrant Foundation, but we are still looking around. Our marriage will be legal since we’re straight (grr, not going to vent here but tempting!) but I know most of the Celebrant Officiants also perform gay marriage ceremonies, they’re just not legalized. 

Post # 7
Member
5263 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

I would think you’d have as much creative freedom as you’d like with it, the officiant certainly wouldn’t have to be licensed. I honestly don’t think our wording would have to be changed much, but our ceremony isn’t made up of the traditional vows. 

Post # 8
Member
2208 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

No, you can have anyone you want run the ceremony. Why not? There are no laws about non-legal weddings. You could have a poly wedding with your toaster, as long as you don’t want to make it legal.

Post # 9
Member
3316 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

If you’re in a state that recognizes common law marriages, you need to be careful, as claiming to be married and cohabiting could cause you to be legally married.  Otherwise, so long as you don’t get a marriage license, you can have whatever ceremony you like.

Post # 10
Member
118 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Actually, there are laws about non-legal weddings – officiants can get in trouble if a ceremony is said to be a legal wedding ceremony, but isn’t for some reason.  Now, I don’t know any officiants who have had this happen to them, or who would turn someone in, but some officiants do hesitate if you tell them your ceremony is simply that – a ceremony with no legality behind it.  The fees and legal issues for stuff like this falls on the officiant, not on the couple, which is why many pro officiants often hesitate about performing a wedding ceremony that is implied as a legal wedding without actually making it legal.

With commitment ceremonies for LGBTQ couples, especially in places where they cannot legally marry, there is a bit more leniency.  But for you, Veganglam, you’ll want to discuss it with your officiant as well.  As long as it is made clear that you’re not trying to defraud anyone by not getting married (i.e., your friends and family know it isn’t a legal ceremony), you should be fine, and your officiant should have no issue with it.  But there may be some wording they would want to use to let the guests know that it is a commitment ceremony and not a legal marriage.

As for what your officiant will do – well, they’ll do everything they would do in a normal wedding ceremony!  You’ll probably want them to do an introduction and an address, vows and ring vows, tell stories about you and how awesome you are, maybe have some readings, some traditions or rituals.. whatever you want.  That’s up to you.

Of course, I am also coming at this from a professional officiant stand point.  If you have a friend officiate, who doesn’t legally have the ordination to actually solemnize your marriage and you work with them to write your ceremony, it may be a bit different – but I did want to warn you that some pro officiants can get a little testy about weddings that are purported as actual weddings but are really commitment ceremonies with no legal ramifications.

Post # 12
Member
118 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Veganglam, in New Jersey, where I perform most of my weddings, any officiant who performs a marriage or a remarriage in NJ without the license is subject to a fine of up to $500.00 and/or imprisonment for up to six months.

The thing is that if you’re having a having a vow renewal or a commitment ceremony with your friends and family witnessing, it’s not like someone is going to call the town hall and turn the officiant in (especially if you’re being up front with everyone that it is a non-legal ceremony to begin with), so it’s not a huge issue, BUT there are officiants who are hesitant to do it because of some statues on the books in New Jersey.

So.. the repurcussions are for the officiant (I’m not sure what the laws are in New York City and New York State, where I also perform cermemonies).  Again, if you’re going to make it clear that it is a non-legal commitment ceremony and not legal wedding, you should be fine, but it is something you will want to discuss with your officiant to make sure they are OK with it.

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