CFI certified Secular Celebrants may now solemnize marriages in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Oregon, and Washington, DC. We are taking action to become legal to solemnize marriages in other states.
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Margaret Downey has been conducting marriages and other secular ceremonies since 2001.
Margaret is committed to secular principles and will guarantee that every event in which she is involved will be non-religious. For more information about Margaret and the celebrations she officiates, go to her website which is listed above.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania allows for a couple to obtain a Self-Uniting Marriage License. This provision allows couples to use the services of a Secular Officiant without government interference. This is not the case in most other states.
According to California Family Code Section 400, if you want to have a Secular Officiant perform your wedding ceremony, he or she must apply to become a “Deputy Commissioner of Marriages.” Doing so would grant Margaret the authority for one day to perform your ceremony. In order to become a deputy commissioner of marriages, Margaret would first obtain the application for appointment issued by the County Clerk.
To complete the application, Margaret will need the following information: date and place of ceremony, the bride and groom’s names and mailing addresses. She will need to provide a brief description of why she is seeking deputy commissioner privileges, sign and date the application, then return it to the county clerk. In most counties, a fee must be submitted with the application form. The fee may vary, but $85 is a typical amount. The application must be submitted at least six weeks prior to the ceremony. Read more: https://oureverydaylife.com/how-to-become-a-marriage-officiant-in-california-12173891.html
Jim Underdown is the Executive Director of the Center for Inquiry West and a certified secular celebrant. He has also taught Secular Celebrations Workshops at CFI in Los Angeles. He written for Free Inquiry and Skeptical Inquirer magazines and been a spokesperson for both Secular Humanism and Scientific Skepticism since 1999.
In the past 20 years, Jim has performed approximately 40 non-religious wedding ceremonies, both in and outside California. He has also officiated at several memorials and a few baby-namings.
Jim believes ritual has value because certain life events are important and deserve special attention – even for those who do not practice any particular religion. Secular celebrants are appropriate for people who prefer that religion not be mixed in with their momentous events.
Each ceremony he conducts is unique and written for that specific couple with the couple’s involvement. Jim encourages his clients to be creative and to tailor their wedding to fit their personalities and desires. Just because it’s an important occasion doesn’t mean it can’t be fun!