Secular weddings

  • #1
Pythagorean
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(was supposed to be secular, sorry, iphone keyboard)

In Alaska, every resident can marry two people together once, though we don't allow common law marriages.

But what do people do in the lower 48? Does an ordained minister still have to be present?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Chi Meson
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In most states, all you need is a notary public (aka "justice of the peace"). Some states make a distinction between the two, but it's still a person who took a test and has a special embosser.
 
  • #3
AlephZero
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but it's still a person who took a test and has a special embosser.
Which body parts get embossed :rolleyes:

In the UK, there is a national legal body called the Registry of Births Marriages and Deaths (aka the hatch match and despatch office), and their registrars legalize civil (secular) weddings.

Until a few years ago the process had to be done at the Registry office premises (which are in all medium sized and larger towns) but now any location can apply for a license to perform marriages, and many hotels, tourist attractions, etc, are licensed (and of course they make good money by fleecing the participants!)

Ever since the Registry was set up (some time in the 19th century, I think) church weddings were effectively sub-contracted to churches by the Registry, and "signing the Register" is the final legally binding part of the ceremony, after the religious part is done.
 
  • #4
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First we had a traditional Chinese ceremony at her eldest brother's house, then we went to Taipei city hall for a civil ceremony. I don't speak Chinese so you can well imagine my surprise to find out I was married.
 
  • #5
Pythagorean
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So you got Shanghaied?
 
  • #6
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In Colorado, you can co-sign on a mortgage on a house and move in together. I don't think there's a minimum time requirement.

Not very romantic, though. The least the couple could do is exchange vows at the top of a 14-er they've hiked together.

I don't know how it works with apartments. In addition to co-signing the lease, they actually have to hike a 14-er.
 
  • #7
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Unitarians pull out all the stops (and that's just while playing the organ.)
 

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