• Zachary McKenzie

What is a Secular Wedding?




I am often asked what is a secular wedding. Many describe a secular wedding by what it is not, but this does little to answer the question. Yes, it is true that a secular wedding often leaves out certain religious elements and wording. There won’t be a sermon, vows before god(s), consumption of the sacred beverage, or prayer. This leaves the couple with little to go by.


When I am asked by couples I tell them that a secular wedding is “their wedding their way”. That may sound like it came straight out of a Burger King commercial, but the beauty in a secular wedding is it is completely up to the couple what their wedding looks like. There is no need to succumb to religious or even cultural customs and norms. Secular weddings are centered around the couples’ personalities, values, and interests.


Now, this may seem daunting, especially if a couple has never experienced a secular wedding, but this is where a secular officiant/celebrant comes in. It is the secular officiant job to help craft a ceremony that is just for the couple. Secular celebrant/officiants will meet with the couple to get an understanding of their personality, dreams, expectations, and concerns. Some couples already know exactly what they want while others prefer to be presented with options to choose from.


A secular wedding can be anywhere at any time. A secular wedding can be big or small. Short or Long. A secular wedding is crafted in a way to be true to the couple’s personality and vision. Want to include your guest into your ceremony instead of them just being spectators? Include a community blessing. Despise the idea of being given away but still want to recognize your parents, including a secular parent blessing. Do you want to symbolize your union? Include a unity ceremony (The sand ceremony is a personal favorite). It is your ceremony your way.


Leave the ritual, cultural, and social expectations of religious wedding ceremonies behind and have a secular wedding ceremony that is perfectly crafted just for you.




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Zachary McKenzie is a secular Celebrant and Chaplain endorsed by the Humanist Society.  Zachary McKenzie is a full-time Prison Chaplain.  Zachary McKenzie crafts and conducts secular weddings, memorials, vow renewals, and baby welcoming ceremonies in Wisconsin.  Zachary McKenzie is based out of Fond du Lac, WI.