Can I Still Have a Spiritual Wedding Ceremony if I Don't Belong to Any Organized Religious Group?by Maripat Quinn on 02/17/15
It used to be if you didn't belong to a Church, Temple, Synagogue or other House of Worship your only other wedding option was to go to a Justice of the Peace, Judge, Ship Captain or quickly join up somewhere religious, hoping you'd be perceived as "in good standing." Unless you got married in a House of Worship, you'd never get any sense of spirituality in your wedding service. You would receive a Civil Service. They all read the same 2 paragraphs, then wish you well.
Now there are additional options. They falls between the full blown religious wedding services and the civil services. A certified Wedding Officiant has the legal authority to perform wedding services within a certain geographic area, usually within a state or county. Some Wedding Officiants are also Ministers. This means they have been ordained by an organization that is certified to do that. Ministers can be either represent a specific religious point of view or they can be non-denominational, which means they don't represent a particular congregation, but do have a point of view. Not all Ministers have congregations either.
Everyone's Minister.org has a ministry of all ministers who don't want to have congregations, who are also officiants. They are like minded in that they believe Everyone has the right to marry in the way that they wish to marry, as long as they are 18 years or older and are marrying of their own free will. These ministers perform wedding ceremonies, vow renewals, baby namings, dedications, and they teach.
These kinds of ministers will take their direction from you in terms of spirituality, religiosity, combining religions or other creative elements. They are particularly skilled in Interfaith Marriages, which requires a specialization in Comparative Religions, either by degrees or certification. If your minister doesn't have this, there may be unintentional insults and cross-cultural catastrophes at your wedding.
So, yes, you can still have a spiritual or religious wedding outside of a traditional House of Worship. Choose your minister wisely and don't simply rely on one telephone call to determine the person who will perform the most precious ceremony in front of all your friends and family. Don't let anyone force you into doing something where you don't feel comfortable. Your wedding is your day, not theirs. You carefully chose a life partner. You can choose a Minister who will make you and your beloved look back on this cherished day and remember it fondly for the rest of your life.