Your New York Wedding Ceremony

Your Philosophy

Perhaps you are exploring this site because of your self-reliance and your independent thinking. You are free to do and say whatever pleases you both.

Non-religious Ceremonies

You may have considered that attraction to another person, "falling in love" and wishing to mate and sustain a long term relationship, even though love may generate what might be considered deep "spiritual feelings" really has no connection to any specific religious belief.

Write Your Own Ceremony

This is clearly part of our being human. Those emotional, mental and physical dimensions of our humanness evolved from our very beginnings, and therefore existed long before any ceremonies developed to acknowledge them.

All Traditions Are Honored

You and your partner may have quite different backgrounds and traditions that you will wish to accommodate in the promises that you make to each other, and in creating a beautiful wedding ceremony that will be pleasing to you both. Your Chaplain will help you to do this and will incorporate any tradition you wish.

Elements of a Legal Marriage Ceremony

The following is a bare-bones description of the three essential elements of any legal Marriage Ceremony:

  1. completing the legal requirements
  2. the spoken words and the enactment of the Wedding Ceremony
  3. the addition of any personal elements.

Whether the wedding is a small private affair or a very large Wedding event, the legal parts of the ceremony are as follows:

  • ASSEMBLY, STATEMENT OF PURPOSE - The Officiant, after stating her/his credentials, announces that we are here for the Wedding Ceremony of NAME and NAME.
  • WITNESS AFFIRMATION - The Officiant determines the presence of the Witness(es) and asks for their participation.
  • The INTENTION to MARRY or CONSENT - The Officiant asks the Couple individually if they are prepared to enter into a legal Marriage at this time.
  • THE VOWS - The Officiant asks the Couple to each state that they accept the other person as their legal Spouse.
  • DECLARATION - The Officiant then states that this contract has been entered into by these two persons, and that we have witnessed this agreement.
  • SIGNING - The Couple, the Witness/es and the Officiant, each sign the Marriage License.
  • THE PRESENTATION - The Officiant presents the newly Married Couple.

This concludes the list of legal requirements for your Ceremony.

Form of the Ceremony

The Wedding Ceremony form can be altered and adjusted to suit your own circumstances and preferences. Your own wishes are most important! You should feel free to be creative and innovative, and make your Wedding meaningful and unique to yourselves and your friends and family.

Rings, Music, Poetry, and other rituals are all optional. Do and say what pleases you! At any point during your Ceremony, You may wish to address the assembled guests yourselves, or ask a friend or family member to make remarks, to offer poetry, readings, music, or other contributions.

The tone can be formal, informal, humorous, family-oriented, or anything you choose, as long as the required elements are included. The Officiant may also read appropriate selections, as you request.

Often Couples choose a non-religious Ceremony because they have distanced themselves from their Parents' Faith. Or because they are still strong in separate beliefs and so cannot favor one over the other.

Elements of any Faith preference tradition can be incorporated into your Ceremony. Sometimes this can be very pleasing to other Family members in attendance. It's your day; do as you wish!

A Fun Thing to Do

There's a fun thing that is very popular: that's for each of you to speak spontaneously "from your heart." Your partner will not know what you are going to say, and that makes for some very precious and memorable moments.

Give it some thought…about what would please you both to say or have said in your very personal wedding ceremony, and if you should need help getting started, just let us know and we'll be pleased to send you some sample ceremonies for review.