Legal Weddings in Utah

What kind of wedding ceremonies do you do? 

I have been the wedding officiant or minister, if you prefer, at many different types of ceremonies, and always say that even if I am using similar words, every single wedding is unique and different.

My most popular ceremony type is a basic non-denominational wedding ceremony that incorporates some language that acknowledges the Four Elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. I do call upon Spirit, but in general, I use neutral language such as "the spirit of the Divine" or refer to the Elementals as "Great Ones".

Here in Utah, many people are sensitive to cultural differences and therefore want to have a ceremony that will be accessible to people of many different religious backgrounds. I do not publish my ceremonies online because I have spent many years writing and perfecting a very unique spiritual ceremony.

I am happy to work with you to create a ceremony that will exactly fit your needs and beliefs, or you can use one that I already have written. During your free consultation with me, you will be able to read different samples of ceremonies that I have performed, including my standard non-denominational wedding.

I have performed a huge range of ceremonies, from very planned and elaborate traditional weddings with tuxedos, to casual summer back yard barbecues and last-minute elopements.

How do I customize a ceremony?

There are many ways to make a wedding ceremony your own and to incorporate symbolism that is suited to your desires. Here are just a few ideas that have come up in the past for couples that I have worked with:

  • Family - Depending on the desires of the couple, some have wished to include their families or special friends in parts of the ceremony. This can take many forms. Some things that other couples have done have included having the mothers exchange a baby photo of the bride and groom, giving the mothers or grandmothers a rose or other flower or having both sets of parents exchange some kind of token or memento of the day. Of course, there is also the old standby of having friends or family members perform a short reading or musical performance as well.
  • Children - Some people wish to find ways of including the couple's children, whether or not they are from other relationships, in the ceremony. In some that I have done, this has been as simple as giving each child a piece of jewelry, or some other token or memento, or, if they are old enough, they can exchange "family vows" with the couple to help bond the new family together. Bringing children into the ceremony is something that can help them to feel included and cherished.
  • Friends - Having a set of close friends is a huge asset to any couple, and there are ways to acknowledge their importance in your ceremony beyond having them be a bridesmaid or groomsman. One example that stands out is a couple who had four of their closest friends symbolize each Element, and each friend brought a symbol of that Element to the wedding altar.
  • Specific Traditions - If you have a specific Tradition or Path that you follow but do not have anyone close who can perform a ceremony in that Path, it can be difficult to have the ceremony that you really want. Please rest assured that I have extensive knowledge of many earth-based traditions, including Druid, Asatru, Shamanic, Pagan and Celtic Wiccan, and can work with you to ensure that your traditions are represented. Some examples of this that I have done in the past include writing a ceremony that honored the ways of the Druid and bringing Buddhist ideas into another.
  • Some of the more standard stuff - I also have performed many of the more "standard" wedding ceremony ideas, such as Unity candles, Sand Jars and jumping the broom.
  • Your own vows - I always encourage each couple to write their own vows, and I can give you a set of sample vows to work from if you are feeling uninspired or intimidated by that idea. However, I don't require this, and you are welcome to simply choose an existing set that you feel represents your relationship.

What happens when I contact you?

Unless you live out of the area, I will generally suggest an in-person meeting so that you are comfortable with me and my services. During our free consultation, I will give you some ideas of what we can do and provide you with a set of sample vows, and also give you a set of wedding tips that many couples find useful. If you choose to have me do your ceremony, we will fill out a "wedding contract" and I generally will ask for a $50 deposit at the time of signing. You are not obligated to sign anything at the free consultation, we only sign the contract when you decide that you want to have me do your ceremony. Please feel free to take home what I have given you, think it over, talk between yourselves and then contact me with any further questions or to arrange for a second meeting.

Why do we sign a contract with you?

The wedding contract serves two purposes. For me, it is where all the information about your wedding, including the date, time, location and your contact information is collected and stored for easy reference. For you, it is my guarantee to you that by committing to do your ceremony, your date is filled on my calendar and that I make a promise to you that no matter what, I will consider it my duty to find a replacement minister for your ceremony should anything happen to me, or a situation arises where I cannot fulfill my duties. During your consultation, you should feel free to ask me any questions that you have about the wedding, no matter how silly you think they might be, and you may want to bring a pen and paper to take notes about what we discuss.

What about Elopements or last-minute weddings?
I can perform elopement type ceremonies and offer a discounted rate for these quick, casual weddings provided you use one of my pre-written ceremonies. You may do your own vows or pick from one of my samples for these ceremonies. I can be contacted as little as two hours before the ceremony, depending on the day and time, although I do discourage you from calling me in the middle of the night. Generally, I can travel to your location provided it is within or very near to the Salt Lake County metro area. I don't offer a consultation for elopements.

Are you able to do real "legal" wedding and handfasting ceremonies here in Utah?

Yes! In Utah, the legal requirements as per the Utah State marriage statute is briefly summarized as "Ministers of the gospel or priests over the age of 18, of any denomination, who are in regular communion with any religious society may perform marriages." As a minister of the Church of the Sacred Circle and the Reverend for our membership, I qualify under the definition in the Utah statutes to do so. The state does not dictate (nor could it) what the content of the ceremony should be, and therefore a handfasting is a perfectly legal joining ceremony under the laws of the state of Utah. It's very much up to you what you would like to have in a ceremony.

 What about legal weddings outside of Utah?

Many US states have similar statutes to Utah's, but you may wish to contact your local county clerk who will have more information about who is acceptable as a wedding officiant. However, as a ordained minister of an established 501 (c) 3 church, my credentials should be accepted in most states.

If you are still unsure, or if you would just like to talk to me about your ceremony, please feel free to contact me via my pages on Wedding Wire, Facebook or the Rainbow Wedding Network and I will be more than happy to discuss your needs and concerns.