I was disfellowed in 2010, because of having a girlfriend outside the congregation. In 2011 we had a marriage at home affairs and in 2012 I was happily reinstated with my wife. I was jobless then and she wasn't yet baptized. In 2013 she was baptized and this year we'd love to have a wedding ceremony and a special talk at the JW assembly hall. Is this allowed or not?

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    This is a very localised question - why don't you just ask one of your congregational elders this question? Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 9:55
  • @bruisedreed: I think this is a perfect question. It's about a personal situation, but it's asking about established rules within the JW church. It's exactly the kind of question we like to answer here.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 10:15
  • @Flimzy I'm not saying it's off-topic (and I haven't VTCed), but the reality is there is not likely to be an accessible written policy of the JWs that covers this exact question; we have very few JW experts on the site and unless there is a clear policy, the local elders may be just making up their own minds about what's appropriate in this situation anyway. My hunch is they'll allow it, but surely the best way to know for sure is just to ask them. Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 10:43
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    @bruisedreed: If it is the case that there is now formal policy on such things, that would make for a reasonable answer. The fact that we have few JW experts (a fact I'm not sure I entirely agree with) doesn't mean the question is bad, though. If the question were asked of Catholics (which almost certainly do have a written policy on the matter), I suspect it would not raise the same objection.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 10:47
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    @brenda, does your avatar name reflect your gender? because if it does then that puts a whole new twist onto this question...
    – ShemSeger
    Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 23:29

1 Answer 1


If I understand you correctly, you are actually already married, but would like a Witness marriage ceremony to acknowledge that.

The fact is that Witnesses recognise civil marriages as valid. If you married before returning to the faith, then you are married in their eyes. In fact, such marriages are also perfectly acceptable for those within the faith. My sister married in a registry office. Both she and her husband were and are baptised Witnesses, and no one has suggested that their marriage is in any way invalid because they did not marry in a Kingdom Hall.

So the direct answer is No, you cannot have a marriage ceremony in your situation.

However, it is possible that some form of acknowledgement, or “renewal of vows” ceremony could be held. I have never heard of such within the Witness faith, but congregations’ bodies of elders have broad latitude (especially for weddings and funerals) to accommodate local customs. There is a handbook for elders, but it’s private, so I can’t tell you what it says about this. I have seen it, and can tell you that it’s a slim volume. I would guess that it doesn’t cover this situation, in which case your local body of elders would have to use their discretion.


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