Below are some frequently asked questions about secular ceremonies. If you don’t find an answer to your question below, please get in touch with me and I’ll do my best to help.
How much do you charge for a ceremony?
I feel that being a Celebrant is a public service and not a money-making venture. However, my time, like yours, is valuable. Basic fees are listed below but may not include things like extra travel.
Typical Wedding – $100 (non-refundable $50 deposit required to secure a specific date)
Includes initial consultation, email help with customizing the ceremony, rehearsal, and ceremony
To see the cost of a ceremony plus travel to various locations in southeast Idaho, please look at the officiant page on IdahoWeddingCelebrations.com.
I don’t feel that lack of funds should prohibit a couple from having a meaningful ceremony. If the rates above are truly out of your budget, contact me and we will work something out.
If you would like a ceremony other than a wedding, please contact me for rates.
What kind of ceremonies can you perform?
Humanist Celebrants can perform ceremonies that any other clergy can perform. The majority of ceremonies are weddings but I can also perform:
- Renewal of Vows
- Divorce Ceremonies
- Baby Naming / Welcoming
- Life Cycle Events
- Inspiration / Reflection
- Memorial Services
Please contact me for more information about a particular ceremony.
Do I need to join your church?
While I am ordained by the Humanist Society, which is technically a religious organization, I do not have have a “church.” I do not require anything from you, other than a reasonable fee, to perform your ceremony.
I am Catholic/Methodist/Pastifarian/etc, will you still perform my wedding ceremony?
Yes! Your religious background, or lack thereof, is immaterial. Your wedding is about the commitment between two people, not the beliefs of any organization.
It should be noted that some religions may not recognize a marriage that takes place outside of the church. If this bothers you, I would suggest that you talk to a minister/priest/etc about what it means to be married in that particular religious organization.
Rest assured, your marriage will be recognized by the government, provided the proper documents are signed and fees paid.
I have no idea how to plan a ceremony. Can you help?
Planning a secular ceremony can be particularly daunting task because you don’t have a religious tradition to prescribe what the ceremony should look like. Please take a look at the Sample Ceremonies on our sister site to get some ideas. You can mix and match different ceremonies and readings to create a celebration as unique as you are.
I will be happy to help if you have any questions.
Is a Humanist/secular ceremony legal?
Yes. When it comes to the state of Idaho, all that matters is that you have a marriage license signed by a “an authorized clergy member, judge, or other designated official.” I, as a Humanist Celebrant, am recognized as an authorized clergymember.
Go to https://idahoweddingcelebrations.com/how-to-get-married-in-idaho/ to see the steps required for obtaining a marriage license.
What areas of Idaho do you serve?
I live in Pocatello and primarily serve the surrounding area but have performed ceremonies as far away as Pennsylvania.
If you would me to perform a ceremony outside of the Pocatello/Idaho Falls area, please contact me. While I may request to have my travel costs paid, it likely won’t be a problem.
If you live in the Boise area, please contact D.G. Van Curen, who is a Humanist Celebrant who lives in that area.
Do you require premarital counseling?
Churches or religious groups will often require couples to undergo some sort of premarital counseling before they can get married in the church. This generally serves two purposes: to ensure the couple is ready for the commitment of marriage and to educate them in the church’s beliefs regarding marriage as an institution. As a secular humanist, I have neither a church nor any requirements for counseling.
While counseling is not a requirement, I do think that talking with a trained counselor can be beneficial to just about anyone, including those preparing to get married. I am not a trained counselor but I can point you towards some resources to help you find a secular counselor, without making a specific recommendation, if you would like.
Do you perform same-sex marriage ceremonies?
Absolutely! I have long been a proud ally of the LGBT rights movement.
While I will happily perform a ceremony for same-sex partners, the state of Idaho does not recognize same-sex unions. Hopefully this will change soon. If you would like me to perform a commitment ceremony before same-sex marriage is legal in Idaho, I will perform a “quickie” marriage ceremony and sign the legal documents for you for free once it becomes legal.