My partners and I are planning on having a wedding/commitment ceremony in September and are having trouble searching for a wedding officiant. Has anyone had a commitment ceremony and if so how did you find a person to preform the ceremony? This is the most important first step for us in planning our special day. Any help would be greatly appreciated! :D
When I used to entertain fantasies of being married, I thought about this a lot. I went on a date to a wedding once, and we met the minister after, at the reception. She had only met the couple the night before, and was showing us a book she had of different ceremonies (it was a beautiful leather notebook). It made me feel very sad. I realized that I would never want to be married by someone who didn't know me, and likely they would have to know me pretty well.
Since your commitment isn't going to be legally recognized, and not likely recognized by any religious institution, you could have anyone do it. Do the three of you have some dear friend? If you were considering having someone be a best man or maid of honor, perhaps it would be better to have them officiate. It's easy enough to be ordained by the Universal Life Church (I am. I am also ordained by the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (parmesan be upon him) which I absolutely love, and I think would be perfect for a poly commitment). If ordination is the sort of thing that's important to you.
You could search for wedding ceremonies on-line, and you could even conduct your own. You could have each one, in turn, read whatever, and make your promises to each other. When my mom and step-dad got married, they had the congregation affirm their support for the union, in a sort of call and response. I absolutely adored that, and should I ever, I want to incorporate that.
I would think any officiant who does commitment ceremonies (if same-sex marriage isn't legal where you live) would probably be open to this. A lot of UU churches are poly-friendly so if there is a UU congregation near you, that may be an avenue to look into.
For our wedding we did a semi-traditional Christian ceremony, but also had a handfasting in the middle of it. The pastor wasn't familiar with that (shocking, right?) so we had the best man (his cousin) do the actual tying while the maid of honor (my sister) read the meaning of everything that was going on.
So, it depends on whether you want it to be someone ordained or not. Since it isn't going to be legally recognized that isn't really required and you can pick someone who knows you very well to personalize it. There is all kinds of info online about various ceremony styles so that you and/or the chosen officiant can choose aspects that fit you.
I agree, anyone you care about, who speaks well to officiate.
There are many ceremony resources online
My Sunshine and I used to be altar boys (ok, I was the first girl so they changed it to "mass servers"), so I hope to persuade our former priest to officiate.. he left the priesthood to get married himself, so he may be up to it... (I hope, I won't ask until after my divorce & annulment are in, though Sunshine will still also be happily married)
Handfasting. . . alternatives to traditional wedding. . .advice?
So I need some advice from those with knowledge in alternative wedding ceremonies.
I've tried googling and researching but all I seem to be able to find religious, superstition, or wiccan based alternative to traditional marriage.
We want to have a ceremony that simply represents us and our bond and unification with regards to the fact that this is a poly relationship. We do not want to involve any form of religion or superstitions whatsoever.
So here are my questions:
What is a historically accurate Handfasting that does NOT involve wiccan beliefs or the beliefs or any one "religion?" Please keep in mind i know nothing about handfasting other than what i have read via google and so far it just seems silly to me or too intensely "belief" based.
I am french/irish and my fiance is Scottish. . .I'd like to incorporate non-superstition/religion based traditions from these cultures into the ceremony but am very unfamiliar. suggestions?
Are there any other types of alternative ceremonies?
I am not the type of person who likes to make up my own thing lol i am looking for at least a mold to follow that I can tweak with ideas from other ceremonies and put it all into one gorgeous ceremony.
I do know that I will be wearing a traditional wedding dress and my fiance a tux. My husband is still unsure about if he wants a role or not so i need suggestions in that department.
I'm open to any and all suggestions! But let me mention once more that all suggestions should be religion/belief and superstition free. Our ceremony is simply about love and making the commitment to spend our lives together honestly and freely.
Here's a few notes & links I put together for my ceremony next year:
The Colours Of Handfasting
In the traditions of Celtic handfasting the couple's wrists are bound together
using ribbons of thirteen different colours.
Each colour has it's own special meaning:
Red: passion, strength, lust, fertility
Orange: encouragement, attraction, kindness, plenty
Yellow: charm, confidence, joy, balance
Green: finances, fertility, charity, prosperity, health
Blue: tranquility, patience, devotion, sincerity
Purple: Power, piety, sanctity, sentimentality
Black: strength, wisdom, vision, success
White: purity, concentration, meditation, peace
Gray: neutrality, canceling, balance
Pink: unity, honor, truth, romance, happiness
Brown: earth, grounding, talent, telepathy, home
Silver: treasure, values, creativity, inspiration
Gold: energy, wealth, intelligence, longevity
You might be interested in reading about marriages that don't require an "official" to preside. Not all states allow such marriages but since you are already married to someone else it seems as though the legality is irrelevant.
My MIL and SIL were both married under a "Quaker license" in Pennsylvania which allows two people to marry themselves without a third party. (Wikipedia article on "Self-uniting Marriage".) Perhaps your husband would be interested in being a narrator / master of ceremonies at such a wedding? Introducing you and explaining the nature of the ceremony, and lending his blessing to the event?
Look for Humanist Celebrants (or Officiants) in your area. Most Humanists are secular, although there is a branch of Spiritual Humanists, but the officiants usually write the ceremony according to what you want. Go here to find a Humanist Celebrant: http://humanist-society.org/celebrants/
You could also look for someone affiliated with the Society for Ethical Culture. Go here to find links to local Societies: http://www.nysec.org/links
We incorporated a sand ceremony into our wedding. It was a traditional wedding overall, but the sand ceremony can be done in any context.
You can also go through the whole "official wedding" process, just without the license and officiator. Change the vows as necessary to match your arrangement.
There seems to be some good info here: http://www.nonreligiousweddings.com/handfasting.html
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