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Since marriage is often rooted in religion, it can seem difficult to plan a non-religious wedding. You may even feel envious of all the questions that religious couples know the answer to from the get-go. They know to research religious ceremony venues. Check! They know which traditions they can incorporate. Check! AND they know who of their religious background can officiate. Check! It may seem daunting to find an officiant for your wedding, but there are some unique options for non-denominational couples that can be as dear to your heart as a religious officiant is to others’.


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Check State Laws

Before you begin looking for an officiant, you need to check state laws. Each state has certain people who are qualified to officiate. Wedding Wire released a concise overview of “Marriage Laws by State.” Be sure to check it out, as they have the main points of every state. ALL. IN. ONE. PLACE. Generally speaking, justices of the peace or judges can perform the ceremony; however, many couples choose to have their friends or family officiate for them. If you live in a state that allows you to get ordained, this is the fastest way to legally perform a ceremony. In fact, it can take only a few clicks with certain sites! Just the thought of it only taking a few clicks makes my millennial brain SO satisfied.


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Choose Who to Officiate

Who you pick to officiate your wedding is a big deal. This person is someone that is going to set the mood for your ceremony. If you are nervous about the embarrassing stories that your brother might bring up or the inappropriate jokes your college roommate might make, sometimes choosing an officiant outside your social circle is a good idea. If you are looking for a person who doesn’t know every embarrassing story about you, consider a celebrant. Celebrants are nonreligious and are certified to perform ceremonies.

That said, it can be touching to have a friend or family member become ordained and perform your ceremony. This makes it much easier to add personal touches to your ceremony! Make sure to consider telling this person what is and what isn’t a good addition to the ceremony. If you have a certain tone or feel, it is best to communicate this early so that they can plan accordingly. The Knot made the marvelous suggestion of becoming ordained by the American Fellowship Church, who ordains people to perform non-denominational services. Having good chemistry and someone you can jive with is essential, so look to those around you!


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Write Ceremony Script

Writing a ceremony script can be beneficial no matter who is officiating. This allows you to structure your big day and determine what is on and off the table. Weddings have a very consistent structure and if you are having someone get ordained, it is important they understand what is expected of them. You don’t have to feed them phrases word for word, but help them out with a tone and a structure to go by. With your guidance and their flare, your ceremony will reflect your life and the people within it!


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Finding an officiant for a non-religious wedding ceremony can be easy and oh-so-touching! Just make sure you look over the laws in the state that your ceremony will be held so you aren’t asking, ‘Wait, was that legal?’ In our experience, finding out you’re not actually married can put a damper on the party. But, hey! Maybe that’s just us.

Our purpose at Weddings in Athens is to show the outstanding selection of Athens, Georgia wedding vendors such as wedding photographers, videographers, florists, wedding planners and venues. We hope that our information will be helpful to you as your plan your Athens, Georgia wedding.  Please contact Weddings in Athens if you would like to have your listing added. Please follow us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/weddingsinathens.

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