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Old 02-28-2014, 01:26 AM
 
59 posts, read 114,811 times
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Could someone please provide a description or outline of the general proceedings for a civil marriage ceremony, a non-theistic one that would be officiated by a Judge or a Justice of the Peace at the local court house? I haven't attended a wedding in over 20 years, and I've never witnessed a non-religious civil ceremony, so I don't know how they normally proceed.

My partner of 21 years and I are about to be married in a civil ceremony officiated by a judge. We'd like to declare our own vows, so I would like to understand where that fits in to a generic civil ceremony.
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Old 03-01-2014, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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You can probably find your states requirements on line.

You come with your marriage license, each of you answer a question or two, you and a witness or two sign a statement and you are done in less than two or three minutes. Everything else is "fluff".
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
607 posts, read 1,152,400 times
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Here is the typical structure of a wedding ceremony -

1. Words spoken by the officiant - a welcome and a few words about marriage
2. A reading. If you're religious, this would be a bible verse, if not, likely something from literature that talks about marriage.
2. Vows
3. A symbolic thing - lighting a candle, pouring of the sands...(completely optional)
4. The kiss!
5. Recessional

I'd recommend picking up the book A Practical Wedding. They have some suggestions for writing your own wedding ceremony.
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