Welcome to NonTraditional Traditions! My name is Bobbi and I am a Humanist Celebrant. My purpose and intent as a Humanist Celebrant is to lead life cycle event ceremonies for non-religious individuals.
I’d like to give you a brief background into what motivated me to become a Humanist Celebrant and why I believe it’s an important role to play in society today.
When my second husband and I got married, we did not want a religious ceremony so we opted to say our vows at a local Justice of the Peace office. Our ceremony was simple, basic and short. We repeated vows that were not personal to us, but they were the “norm” so we just went with it. It was more important for us to be married than how we got married. But it got the wheels turning in my head that there HAD to be an alternative for couples who didn’t want to have a religious ceremony but wanted something more personal and unique than a “court house wedding”.
I did some research and found out that I could be ordained online so in 2010 I became an ordained minister through Universal Ministries out of Illinois, USA (then later I was ordained through ULC). I was uncomfortable with the title of “reverend” but for me it was bearable in order to fulfill what I believed to be my purpose.
My business as an officiate grew in leaps and bounds! Couples were drawn to me because I was compassionate, creative, encompassing of their ideas and belief systems, but most of all I respected them, their relationships, and what they wanted to create for their weddings. It felt good to officiate over 20 ceremonies and grow my business through word-of-mouth recommendations! But I kept having that nagging feeling that I wasn’t being authentic. And for me, being authentic is more important than anything else. I needed to find a way to officiate without being ordained under a religious title.
Finally, in 2017 I decided to make 2018 the year where I would fulfill a promise to myself. That promise was to find three jobs: one to pay my bills, one to keep me creative, and one to fulfill my life’s purpose. I fulfilled the first by obtaining a job with a chiropractic office and I put more effort into the second one which is creating keepsake pregnancy belly casts. But for the third job, to fulfill my life’s purpose, I was having difficulty obtaining.
It wasn’t until I did a Google search for “non-religious wedding officiant” when I found what I was looking for. I was directed to a Humanist Celebrant in my same state of Pennsylvania, USA. I emailed her and she responded warmly and offered me the information that I needed to become a Humanist Celebrant.
I contacted the American Humanist Association, joined, and received a warm welcome! After reading a few books and magazine articles on Humanism and taking a couple of free online courses, I knew I had found what I was looking for! Not only was I going to be able to continue officiating weddings, I could also be part of an incredible organization devoted to being compassionate, caring, empathetic, and responsible for our fellow man.
Once I realized that Humanism mirrored my beliefs, ideals and world views, I filled out the application to become endorsed as a Celebrant. My telephone interview went great and within a few weeks, I received my endorsement as a Humanist Celebrant!
Now, what I do and who I am are synonymous!!!
I am looking forward to continuing to do what I love by officiating weddings and giving couples the kind of personal and unique, one-of-a-kind ceremonies that truly reflect them as a couple, rather than a belief system. Not only will I do weddings, but other life cycle events as well. I look forward to assisting non-religious individuals with their Funeral or Memorial Service planning, Baby Naming ceremonies, or any other life cycle event.
The name of my business is “NonTraditional Traditions” because life cycle events are tradition but they way they are performed no longer has to be. And that’s my life’s purpose and what gives my life meaning!
The purpose of this blog will be to share ideas about nontraditional ceremonies as well as share with you the ceremonies I have already performed or will perform in the future.
I look forward to sharing this journey with you!
Thank you for reading!