I recently went to a wedding of one of my boyfriends old friends. It was quite religious with an opening prayer, lots of references to what the bible says about marriage, songs that were religious, more prayers and all that nonsense. 

My boyfriend, who is an atheist, mentioned that he would want that for his wedding because "it's tradition and there would be hell to pay from my family if there wasn't". I personally don't want all that garbage poisoning my wedding, and as for the family, it would be our wedding and not theirs. Why should we do things we don't want to placate them?

My question to you is, what would be right for an atheist? What is your opinion on how an atheist wedding should be? What is your opinion on having a religious wedding to satisfy family members?

Tags: atheist, prayers, religion, wedding

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I would like a proper wedding, one with a cake and flowers and vows and family members all there. But I refuse to try and satisfy everyone when it's my wedding. 

Congratulations on your 40 year marriage, its rare these days.

That's beautiful.

Is that you Blaine? That's so cute

Yea I know what you mean, life is too short

This is so what I want when my boyfriend and I marry! Just the two of us celebrating what we know we have and want for our future. My boyfriend, however, really connects with tradition, so I'm sure we'll settle on a simple wedding. I keep trying to convince him that a ceremony under a tree and then a picnic reception would be fabulous, but he's not so sure our guests would love blankets as their tables/chairs. I think we could pull it off with just a few tables for grandparents and such.

My question to you is, what would be right for an atheist? What is your opinion on how an atheist wedding should be? 

My wife and I are atheists and had a secular wedding. We couldn't find a Humanist minister to perform the ceremony so we went with an atheist Unitarian minister. We had the wedding outdoors in October with a theme of nature and leaves of autumn. We chose 'readings' from scientific and literary figures including Mark Twain. We wrote our own vows and pronouncements, and included a subtle reference to Star Trek (live long and prosper). We had a candle-lighting ceremony and gave harvest-themed gifts to the wedding party members.

We even put bowls of legos on all the tables at the reception. There were lego towers everywhere.  We didn't want a DJ or dancing but we had a classical guitarist. We told him to play any classical tune he wanted, but no hymns, nothing religiously themed, and absolutely no references to God. It all went great.

We figured it's our wedding. So we did it our way.

What is your opinion on having a religious wedding to satisfy family members?

My wife and I are both the sole atheists in our devoutly religious families. We told them we were writing our own vows and having a woman Unitarian minister. (We didn't mention she was a lesbian or mind that many of them incorrectly assumed she was a Christian.)

We wondered if some of them might protest or even refuse to come. We figured that would make a smaller wedding and thus be easier. But they all came to the wedding and had a great time.

If you're going to do it, do it on your own terms.

This is how I feel, that it's my wedding and should be planned around what me and my partner want. 

Your wedding sounds amazing, almost along the lines of what I was thinking. Love the lego idea!

You were not born to please others. You first, then others. So no religious weddings if you don't want it.

When I got married, it was by a Justice of the Peace.  I absolutely refuse to be part of any religious ceremony, including any marriage under the auspices of an entity in which I do not believe - God."  Think about it: if I recite the lines,"...so help me God," I've just given myself permission to not regard the marriage as a binding contract.  It's as though I signed the marriage license,"Donald Duck."  It renders it meaningless to an atheist. 

You make a good point. Another reason for it not to be included in a proper wedding.

I say just go to a court house and then just use the money to take a long trip to Mexico or something.

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