The answer to what is a non denominational wedding is in the name itself; it’s essentially a non-religious wedding ceremony. We will discuss what this means in more detail below, and we’ll also include a non-denominational wedding ceremony script to give you an idea of what to use.
And speaking of weddings that are not religious, consider browsing our blog for more discussions of these ceremonies. For example, do you know what is a spiritual wedding ceremony?
Everything To Know About What Is A Non-Denominational Wedding
A non-denominational wedding refers to non-religious marriage. This wedding ceremony does not include any religious practice or religion, and the officiant who’ll perform it is not required to be under any specific religious denomination.
That being said, what do you include in a non-denominational wedding ceremony? It still has the expected elements of a typical ceremony, but you don’t need to include prayers and readings like in a traditional religious wedding.
A non-denominational wedding ceremony is also sometimes considered a secular wedding ceremony because of the absence of a religious wedding officiant. Therefore, the couple can personalize the entire ceremony with the elements they want to include.
Expect that a non-religious wedding can be as short as half an hour or less because it does not have some traditions. But of course, the choice is up to the couple regarding how long they want their non-denominational wedding ceremony to last.
How Do You Get A Non-Denominational Wedding?
- Talk with your partner regarding the type of ceremony you want to have
- List the elements you want to incorporate in your non-denominational wedding
- Make sure that you still accomplish all the wedding legalities so that the union will be legal
- Discuss with your families that you want a non-religious wedding
- Plan with your officiant the secular that you want to have
- Decide on the wedding date
- Set a wedding budget
- Book the wedding venue and other wedding vendors
- Plan the number of guests that you want to have in your non-denominational wedding
- Create a wedding day schedule
What Happens In A Non-Denominational Wedding Ceremony?
- Pre-ceremony or interlude: A non-denominational wedding ceremony will have a waiting time before the actual ceremony; this is when the guests find their seats and talk to each other, so consider reading about what is a wedding prelude to knowing what music to choose to set the tone of the ceremony
- Wedding processional: The choice is up to you regarding the order of the processional, but of course, it’s traditional to have the bride and her father arrive last
- Official welcome: The officiant will set the tone of the ceremony as they greet the guests and make the opening statements
- You can choose to include any speech, song, or, even reading in this part of the ceremony even without religious tones
- Vow exchange: Even secular weddings have the couples exchange their wedding vows for its symbolism
- Ring exchange: The couple can choose what binding ceremony or any ritual they want to symbolize their union
- End of the ceremony: The wedding officiant will make the final remarks and officially announce the newlyweds
- Recessional or wedding exit: You can make your wedding exit as lively or unique as you want to set the tone for the wedding reception
Is A Non-Denominational Marriage Legal?
A non-denominational, secular, or non-religious wedding is still legal as long as you accomplish all the necessary documents for your state, like the marriage license and marriage certificate. Note that the laws per state vary regarding the witnesses and the officiant who can perform your wedding.
Furthermore, couples tend to choose a non-denominational wedding if they are limited or can’t provide the requirements like ordination and communication in some religious weddings. Other than that, the union is still legal as long as the officiant and marriage documents are valid and recognized.
Sample Non-Denominational Wedding Script
Please feel free to modify the pronouns and orders of the couple according to the type of wedding you have.
Family and friends, thank you all for coming with us today to celebrate this occasion of uniting [names of the couple] in marriage.
Declaration of Intent
Do you [groom’s name], take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife, to love her, comfort her, keep her, in sickness and in health, to have and to hold, for as long as you both shall live?
Do you [bride’s name], take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband, to love him, comfort him, keep him, in sickness and in health, to have and to hold, for as long as you both shall live?
[Couple’s names] have chosen to symbolize their unending love with rings.
[Groom’s name], as you place this ring on [bride’s name]’s finger, please repeat: With this ring, I pledge you my love, now and forever.
[Bride’s name], as you place this ring on [groom’s name]’s finger, please repeat: With this ring, I pledge you my love, now and forever.
By the authority vested in me by [name of the state], I now pronounce you husband and wife.
And that’s it! You just learned what is a non denominational wedding, which is a non-religious or secular wedding.
The ceremony still has the elements like the processional and vow exchange, for example. The only difference is there are no religious traditions incorporated into the wedding.