by Joshua Lewis Berg from Humanist Celebrant
* Through study and life experience he has come to define his life philosophy as humanism.
* He is certified by the Humanist Society, an adjunct of the American Humanist Association and has officiated numerous ceremonies in Los Angeles,
Savannah and around the country.
Can We Include a Prayer Even if We’re Not Having a Religious Ceremony?
As a humanist celebrant, I won't reference the divine or quote anything in the bible that does so. However, prayer comes in many forms. Prayer is really just positive thought so, meditations or readings on things like love or community are equal to prayer. If you have religious family who you want to acknowledge, there are ways to do this. First, you can include a religious prayer read by them.... Read More »
Who Can Legally Marry a Couple?
In the USA, each state has specific rules about who can marry someone In Michigan, where I live, the officiant must be “an ordained minister, magistrate (a civil officer with power to administer and enforce law — Justice of the Peace), mayor of a Michigan city or a judge.” Personally, I am ordained by the Humanist Society, which is an ordination recognized by almost all 50 states. I would check... Read More »
What shall Dads do at a Wedding Ceremony?
Anyone may participate in the ceremony with a reading of some sort, and that includes dads. In American, it is also tradition for the father of the bride, to "give her away". The grooms parents will walk down the aisle first in the processional and then take their seats. The brides mother will walk next, accompanied by an escort, usually a male relative. Sometimes the bride's father may also escort... Read More »
Should I Include Personal Vows in My Ceremony?
When a couple writes their own vows, it's always more meaningful. However, I don't pressure my couples to do so if I feel they don't want to. If they are on the fence, or anxious about it, I let them know I will help and guide them. Whether they are gung-ho or tentative about doing it, I always provide worksheets, helpful guidelines, and as much personal advice as they want.... Read More »
Should I Pick a Male or Female Wedding Celebrant?
I think you should first look for officiants that meet your needs financially and denominationally. Then, choose a few to meet in-person and hear what they have to offer and how they present themselves. Your choice can then be based on how you get along or the energy you feel. Gender should not really be an issue. Joshua Lewis Berg
Does the Celebrant Have to Stay for the Wedding Reception?
The celebrant takes their cue from the family. If they are invited to the reception, they may or may not accept. As a celebrant myself, I usually don't stay, even when invited. The celebrant has a close relationship with the couple and sometimes that puts the couple in a position where they feel they must invite me. Although I very much appreciate this, I realize they are probably doing it... Read More »
Do a Wedding Celebrant Do the Same Job as a Registrar?
Good question. No, although there are many registrar offices that will officiate, in America, they are primarily the legal representative of the county where you will register your license. A celebrant only officiates the wedding, although they are responsible for mailing the signed license paperwork back to the registrar for filing. Joshua Lewis Berg
Does a Wedding Celebrant Need to Attend Our Wedding Rehearsal?
A wedding celebrant does not need to attend the rehearsal. A wedding planner or the location representative can run the rehearsal. The rehearsal is most often a run through of the processional and recessional. It always helps for any participants to practice their readings at a rehearsal so they are not reading it for the first time at the wedding. The day of is very emotional and without a trial... Read More »
Is the Filing of the Marriage License Supposed to Be Part of the Wedding Officiant’s Responsibility or Do I Need to Hire Someone Else to Do It?
The wedding officiant is responsible for filing the license, usually by return mail. The couple is responsible applying for the license with the local clerk in their county of residence. Although requirements are standardized state by state in the U.S., each county usually has their own processes and rules. So, check the website of your local county clerk to find out how to apply. If you want a certified certificate... Read More »
I Plan to Take My Husband’s Surname, Will the Wedding Celebrant Help Me Submit My Application for My Marriage Certificate?
The celebrant usually does not help with this but should be able to answer any questions you may have. In Michigan, you can purchase a certified copy of your wedding license through the clerk's office and the State has information online about how to proceed to change your name. Joshua Lewis Berg