J and I are non-religious people. I am an atheist. J doesn't really call himself anything, but he has made it clear he is a non-believer. While I won't discuss what that means for some of our family members, I will say it means we're having a secular ceremony.
Since we don't have any constraints on our ceremony as far as religious requirements or customs, I thought it would be nice to write our own ceremony. I want to incorporate a few readings, the hand fasting, and the exchanging of rings and vows. I already have a draft and J has looked it over, but asked for more time to digest it. I would like us each to write our own vows, an idea J's not entirely comfortable with. I think I may need to compromise on that somehow.
We made our first wedding related purchase this weekend...ribbons for the hand fasting! It wasn't a big purchase, but it somehow made things seem a little more set...if that makes sense. I'm still keeping an eye out for some sort of autumn related ornament that we can affix to the top knot. Something decorative isn't required, but I just think it would be nice. In the end, I may end up with silk leaves or something. We'll see. It was important to me to make the hand fasting ribbon because I want to use the hand fasting in a very specific way during the ceremony.
We're struggling with an officiant/celebrant for the ceremony. Originally, we wanted to ask a friend of ours who is a JP. Now, we're not so sure he'd be comfortable with our ideas. While he can perform a secular ceremony, I know that he, personally, is a rather religious individual. I don't want to ask him to do anything that would offend him or his religious beliefs. I don't think a hand fasting would, but I'm not really sure how open-minded he'll be about it. At the suggestion of one of my bridal party members, we're considering asking another friend of ours to become a secular celebrant. If he agreed, we would, of course, cover the cost. We have to research this a little bit more. Fortunately, we still have a lot of time to check this out. I think our first option will be to openly and honestly tell our original choice exactly what our plans are to see if he would be comfortable with it. If so, we have our officiant. If not, we ask our friend about it. If that fails...well, we'll cross that bridge if we come to it.