Question: A religious or non-religious ceremony?
Answer: There’s so much pre-wedding work to do that it’s easy to make the mistake of leaving the ceremony until the last minute. This would be a shame, because the ceremony is the centerpiece of the celebration. The words spoken by you and your fiancé and by me as your wedding officiant are the words that send you into the world as a married couple. They should be well chosen, with your own tastes and personalities in mind.
One of the choices you face in crafting your wedding ceremony is how religious to make the ceremony. While I studied and was trained in a mainline religion, I also studied how to craft contemporary and alternative wedding ceremonies. I offer my couples the flexibility to customize their ceremony to range from the traditionally religious to a more contemporary, “civil” one.
Some of my couples have asked me to avoid any mention of God, prayers, Biblical scripture, etc. While that may suit their needs and preferences, here’s the advice I offer. Also, consider the family and guests whom you have invited to attend your wedding ceremony. If, for example, your grandmother and grandfather attend, and they were raised in a traditional religion, then they will likely expect to hear some religious language.
At the end of one such secular, highly contemporary wedding ceremony, a guest came up to me and said, “I didn’t hear you mention God at all!” He was clearly surprised by the non-religious ceremony that my couple had chosen. In fact, the final blessing did include the word “God”, but by that time he had concluded that he was not comfortable with the ceremony he had just witnessed.
The bottom line is this: if you have guests/family who expect some religious components, then consider compromising! It’s a small price to pay to make everyone happy!
Given my experience and training, I can help you design a ceremony that will not only meet your expectations, but those of your guests.