I just got home from my dad's wedding. It wasn't fancy, cause my dad and now step-mom don't have much money. It was small, there was food and music. In fact she didn't wear a dress. But everyone was still very pretty! the colors were lavender and white.
But it was in a church and God and Jesus were the main focus, etc etc.
So I've been thinking about my wedding. I know I want to get married before I'm 30. I also know I want absolutely no religion involved.
I already have my colors picked out, my dress (which will not be white), I know where I want it to be and my flowers and etc etc.
But how do you have a wedding with no religion involved, if religion kind of is the point of a wedding?
The union is the point of the wedding; the religious aspect is highly variable and completely unnecessary.
As is typically the case, the governments I've lived under regulate marriage. As such they have also been obligated to ensure that there are officiants available who will provide non-religious ceremonies without discrimination.
Here's a website that has a great idea for Atheist weddings: http://www.ehow.com/how_2090411_plan-atheist-wedding.html
Sometimes though, there are atheists who get married to people who belong to a religion, but irreligious. That means, their worldview and thinking is atheistic/agnostic, but they decided to keep their religious affiliation for the sake of loyalty to the clan and tradition, so there will be times atheist must engage in a religious wedding. An atheist just has to not mind the nonsensical religious words sputtered by the priest, and just enjoy your union without caring about the religious aspect. In any case, I don't see atheists bursting into flames when going inside a religious church.
Religion isn't the point of a wedding. The point of a wedding is to declare a lifelong commitment to a partner in front of your family and friends. (And also to sign the paper for the legal privileges, if you are so able.)
Both my mother and I had non-religious weddings (nb: I am divorced now; she and my stepdad are still going strong 15 years later.) Mom got married at a wine garden; I got married at an old historic building on my college campus. Our officiants were members of the Universal Life Church - you can get ordained on the internet. =) (As a matter of fact, I am going to officiate my friends' secular wedding in October.)
The important part, though: We wrote our vows to state what WE thought was important in our marriages. We didn't need to pray to any god for assistance or approval, we didn't have to promise to have children... we wrote vows that meant something.
It's a social construct filled with artificial symbolism as a substitute for original thought. If you truly love someone, the exchange of metals, minerals, and plants are not the foundation and should not alter the relationship.
I agree. I have been with my bf/significant other/life partner for nearly 6 years and there is no marriage in our future. Not only is religion a factor in this but also the government. No one but us should be able to declare our love valid. We don't need a ceremony, costumes, etc to make sure our relationship is at that point. We are what we are. Just because we aren't married doesn't mean we aren't exactly like a husband and wife. I think we are more than that.
It's going to get interesting when we have kids because I do have a side of the family who are very conservative christian-like and they will not be happy campers. Too bad for them!
I respect others decisions to have a wedding, though. I have a close friend who is not religious and is having her wedding in a garden setting.
My sister is currently planning an atheist wedding. She's already informed my Mormon family that no references to God are allowed. Her best friend is marrying them (got ordained on the internets) it's being held in a hall instead of a church, and it's going to be very non-traditional.
The only religious things I tend to notice at weddings are the church, minister, and God references in the vows. Receptions usually consist of drinking, eating, and dancing so it's really not hard to remove God from a wedding, particularly if it's not held in a church.