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Who's to marry us?

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Old 09-26-2009, 11:20 AM   #1
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Hi everyone! I haven't been on much. My life has been pretty busy as of late. My partner and I recently got engaged and we started the wedding plans. And we hit a bit of a bump and we need some ideas.

My man and I are not Christian, we're Wiccan. So we pretty much knew right off the bat that we wouldn't have a wedding in a church. We went to the courthouse, to learn about the marrage license and such and we found out that we no longer have a justice of the Peace that will do weddings. They told us. "You have to find someone on your own to marry you because the court no longer provides this service."

Go figure...I asked the lady at the desk to repeat herself just to make sure I wasn't mistaken. I figured the court marrying you was a given. So other than going out of town, are their any other options. We really can't afford to have the wedding away from town.

We're pretty dead set on having a Pagan style handfasting and I think it would be awkward in a church (even if we were allowed) even if it was a nondenominational.
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:33 AM   #2
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My husband went to http://www.themonastery.org/ to become ordained online and has officiated one wedding and is doing another in December. Both weddings are/were for good friends who didn't go to a particular church and wanted to have a friend do it for them.

You'd have to check out the laws in your state, but this may be an option for you.
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:41 AM   #3
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I was thinking of having a friend become ordained in fact, and marry us. But my one friend is very religious and I think she would be uncomfortable plus her family would have a horrible hissy fit. (I've invited her family because I've known them and my friend for almost 17 years.)
I don't really have any other friends, maybe a family member would agree? I'll have to ask around.
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Long term goal- revised after baby

240 goal - 02/17/10
Had a baby- 06-01-12 gained 46 pounds.
234 lost baby weight 3-21-13
220 goal = half way!
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:45 AM   #4
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Go to Vegas
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:47 AM   #5
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I love your 5lb bats!!!!!

I deeply respect your decision not marry in church, it wouldn't suit you or them! Kudos for having principles.

I know I live in a galaxy far away but it seems impossible that the state, by which I mean the government, not the geographical US state you live in, does not provide for people to get married. 'Arizona encourages living in sin' would look great in the newspapers, wouldn't it? (Not that I think it is sin but it would still make a good headline.)

Is there a county or state (US state this time) website you could check on? There might be government officials who travel to you for the ceremony.
How about your local wiccan community? Are there elders there who could help?
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:50 AM   #6
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Find a Priest or Priestess who's ordained (maybe on Witchvox) and have them come to wherever you are.

Edit: Witchvox does indeed have such listings. Just go to your state and select clergy.
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:57 AM   #7
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Go to the church of religious science or the Unitarian. They are non-denom.
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:59 AM   #8
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My partner is looking online for a Priest or Priestess who is willing to travel here. we were just looking for other ideas in case we can't find one.
We don't have any elders here. (that I know of) we live in a very Religious community, mostly Mormons and catholics so it's been difficult to even find other pagans/wiccans in the area. (that are over the age of 18)
we're crossing our fingers that we can find someone.
I have heard of witchvox Frigg, can't believe I never thought to look there. @.@
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Hardest part of working out, is that first step out the door.

Long term goal- revised after baby

240 goal - 02/17/10
Had a baby- 06-01-12 gained 46 pounds.
234 lost baby weight 3-21-13
220 goal = half way!
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Old 09-26-2009, 12:32 PM   #9
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There are alternative options! I had a minister of a church called the spiritual growth center marry us - she did pagan, gay, standard, etc weddings. My brother and sister in law got married by someone of the universalist variety. If you just do a search for churches in your area I'm sure you'll come up with someone who isn't christian.

Also- just a little plug for us Alternachicks- there's an entire Pagan group under alternachicks in the support forum if you ever want to pop in! They might even have more suggestions.
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Old 09-26-2009, 02:44 PM   #10
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When I was trying to help someone find an officiant for their wedding, I had the most luck just googling "wedding officiant <name of city>" or "wedding celebrant <name of city>", believe it or not. A lot of people who perform weddings just set up their own web pages, and might not be on any of the lists you've found. I found people who do purely secular weddings, Wiccan weddings, etc.
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:58 PM   #11
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Thanks for all your ideas everyone! I'm going to check out as many of those as I can. We found a few promising one's on Witchvox but we still need to contact them to see if they are willing to travel, as the closest one is over a hour and half away.
Googling also sounds like it may bring up some good hits. I'll keep everyone updated ^.^
__________________
Hardest part of working out, is that first step out the door.

Long term goal- revised after baby

240 goal - 02/17/10
Had a baby- 06-01-12 gained 46 pounds.
234 lost baby weight 3-21-13
220 goal = half way!
218 goal = Lowest ever weight!
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:54 AM   #12
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My husband and I are not religious (he's more atheist, and I lean toward agnostic) at all. And we were married on a beach last year, and I found the person to marry us on a wedding website for the area we were married at.

He was a non denominational reverend, and would do any sort of ceremony you wished to have. He asked us what we wanted, and if prayers were ok etc. And let us read what he wrote, and make any changes we wanted, before our wedding day.

And while same sex marriages aren't allowed in MI, he even performs commitment ceremonies for same sex couples. Which I thought was pretty cool.

So, if the leads that you have now, dont work out, dont discount a "reverend/pastor".
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Old 09-27-2009, 11:59 AM   #13
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that's true, i believe the lady that did our ceremony was also a reverend. She also let us pick what she wanted us to say, because we were very set on having a wedding w/o prayers/god/etc... but one that would not upset his very religious family. We did a good job, I don't think they noticed that it was missing. If they did, nobody said anything. We got married outside and it was lovely. I'm pagan and he's somewhere between agnositc and atheist. It would have been cool to do a handfasting, but I don't think he would have been happy with it and as I continue to learn marriage is about compromise, not just what I want. lol.
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Old 09-27-2009, 12:44 PM   #14
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My husband and I were married by a notary! We were married in Florida though, and I have no idea whether notaries can perform marriages in every state.
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Old 08-03-2010, 02:39 AM   #15
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As someone else stated, you can be married by a notary or the State and then have a personal private ceremony. The other option for more public affairs might be to have someone from the UU officiate as they are able to bridge the gap between multi-spiritual needs of both the bride and groom, respectively.

But, in essence, I think you will find in many states that although a religious official might be able to perform the marriage it must be notarized etc. and that is the actual "official" marriage. In my case, our marriage cert was notarized and then we were married by comm unity ledger which is where all attending ppl swear to uphold, validate, and basically witness the marriage.

One other thing to keep in mind, especially with Lughnasadh being so close... In basis a handfasting by and of itself is a trial marriage and not necessarily that dissimilar from the modern experiment of living with someone for a year or more to make sure you don't kill each other. The main difference is that it was just made "official" to the community. In older occurrences, children might even be handfasted as a way to promise them to each other and secure agreements between two different groups of people. Marriage, though, is the formalized mostly permanent bond that is secured between two people - so handfasting and then later a formal declaration of permanancy. In Ireland, there used to be SEVEN different kinds of marriage and even the right to dissolve the marriage if desired. Basically, if the other marriage partner did not pull their weight and live up to their obligations it was grounds for divorce.

Of course, all of that is probably about as clear as mud, but I just wanted to say that there is alot of room for variation. Have a handfasting and refer it to the cowans as an engagement party. Then, later on, (plus this gives time for planning) hold a marriage ceremony and formalize your contract. Remember (even though this thought can be upsetting to some.. but others will understand) you can love someone and even bear their children... but when it comes to marriage it is a business contract and the formalization of the unity between two groups of people. Examining the nature and meaning of your relationship will add clarity and perspective on how you should proceed.

Plus, there is nothing wrong with getting your marriage license and then the two of you going off into the woods to recite your vows and then returning and hosting a reception/festival to commemorate your joining. Sometimes things can also be kept private and what is shared within your hearts is personal. Lots of different ways to proceed.
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