You are here:

Weddings/Justice of the peace


I am baptized Catholic and my fiance is not baptized at all. He was married once before and we are not able to marry in the Catholic church because they would not grant us an annulment. With that said I would still like to get married in a church. How do i go about finding out who and what church will allow non members to marry there? Can a justice of the peace marry you in a church?

Some churches allow non-members to marry, some do not.  Often, different churches of the same denomination within the same city will vary.  In this case, the only substitute to making the calls yourself is to consult an expert in your particular wedding market.  

I would suggest that you start by calling your local 'non denominational' Christian churches.  I find that, where I am, the Methodist and Presbyterian denominations are more open to non members marrying at their church.  Some may allow a justice of the peace.  If you want to get married in a church, however, consider simply allowing their resident pastor to officiate.  Often when they know a church home is important to a couple, they will spend the time to help you find the perfect balance.

There may be former churches that are now private wedding or banquet venues in your city as well.

Look for churches that are advertising in your local bridal magazines...that may be a big tip off regarding their openness to non members.

Keep a list of who you've called, and, their policies or rules to help make the search more simple.

Start with churches that are in your desired part of town and work from there.

Do consider calling a local Bridal Consultant to inquire about single hour consultations....time with this experienced professional can really help you understand your options.

There should be a few 'wedding celebrants' or 'officiants' in your area that are not affiliated with a specific church.  Type 'wedding minister' and the name of your city in a search window and see what pops up.  These officiants may also know which churches will allow non members to marry in their church AND bring their own officiant.  

It is very possible to do what you're trying to do, but, it is going to take some research.  You can do it yourself or you can pay someone who already knows the area to narrow your list.

Good luck!!  Let me know what you end up doing!


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Ronni Johnston


I can easily answer any questions related to wedding planning, bridal consulting, wedding officiating including ceremony and vows ideas. I have a strong suit in discussing decorating, logistics and theme weddings. Discussing the issues of budget, maximizing the value of the budget and avoiding unnecessary expenses is a common subject. As a bridal consultant issues involving family issues and social expectations fall into my epertise as well. I can answer many questions involving wedding vendors but would be limited to the 'end user' side of technical services such as wedding photography, videography and various forms of digital services, like the specifics of setting up a slideshow. I understand and can answer questions involving when it should be used, who we should hire to do it, but the set up and which equipment to best use I would be referring to a vendor.


I have owned and operated my own Bridal Consultant company, Perfect Touch Custom Weddings since 2004. I have worked, and continue to work as a wedding officiant for over 17 years. I am an Accredited Bridal Consultant and Certified Wedding and Event Planner. I teach a wedding and event planning class at the local community college through Lovegevity's Wedding Planning Institute. I am the director the the Association of Bridal Consultants Local Networking Group - Wichita. Outside the wedding industry, my event planning experience is extensive including planning 3 yearly educational conferences in a multi-state union, album/cd release parties, concerts, renaissance fair in a private setting, trade shows, wakes, funerals,memorial service, retirement parties, high impact birthdays and much more.

Association of Bridal Consultants, current status Accredited Bridal Consultant.

The KS/Mo current edition of the Knot Winter Issue of WedPlan KS

In this industry, my educational credits are the designation and training for Accredited Bridal Consultant with the Association of Bridal Consultants. I also have the designation of Certified Wedding and Event Planner.

Past/Present Clients
We do about25 to 50 weddings per year as either full service or day of only. We perform well in excess of 100 wedding per year as officiants. My clients have ranged from elaborate weddings with budgets in excess of 100K and 8 hour receptions to simpler affairs with tight budgets - sometimes even the cake and punch variety. We've had clients with unique themes and clients who ask for most or all of their wedding planning to take place in very short periods of time. Our typical wedding is 175-200 guests, a budgget in the 30K-50 range. This past year, there have been smaller weddings with guests of 100-150, budgets in the 15-25K range. The largest wedding guest count we've handled was just over 600. We've handled several wedding with more than 200 and 300 guests. "We" means my company where sometimes my partner has to handle the day of details because I have one of my own but I have been responsible for all planning and supervise all details for each wedding.

©2016 All rights reserved.