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?
My girlfriend and I are are both atheists and are getting married in June. To give you an idea what we are doing: Our wedding is going to be outside at her uncles, officiated by a government official. We decided a semi-formal dress code too, her in a dress and I will have dress pants, shirt, tie and jacket. We wrote our own vows mostly on enjoying life's rich experiences together.
Your last sentence shows the essence of the problem. I got married as an atheist and it was not in a church. My reason for doing this was that I wanted to show that I was committed to her. Both of us considered it a lifetime commitment evidenced within the legal framework.
We lived together for many years prior to this decision and just decided to make it formal. Nothing really changed for us. Our friends and family knew that we were a couple. In our case we got married and then shared this with everybody afterwords. It was a 'no frills' commitment.
While I do not expect that other atheists would do the same thing, I do appreciate that some may want to celebrate this formal commitment with all the bells and whistles. This does not mean that one should do it in a church setting but one could always have a secular celebration at a great location letting everybody know the expected dress code. There is certainly not a lot of secular ceremonies to draw on. Planning this occasion will be very special.
I would say that that you should go for it
Since you've got your whole athiest wedding planned out already, can you spare some ideas? I just got engaged on December 20th, and I'm clueless... Fiancee wanted a wedding, we met in the middle and decided on something very small... family only or something close. What did you decide about venues and vows?
My wife and I had a god-free wedding as well. We hired an officiant that would do a secular ceremony, rented a hall to hold it in, replaced verses with poems and meaningful readings from literature, wrote our own vows and added some personal touches. We traded rings at the beginning in a medieval tradition, did hand fasting, toasted with a German wedding cup, etc. In all reality, the biggest things are the officiant and the venue. Once you have that taken care of, it's all downhill, and chances are it will still be beautiful and religious family may not even notice that god wasn't invited.
My wife is spiritual, though I'm not. That being said we went Unitarian and wrote our own vows.No direct mention of religion was made...We got married in a local hotel. Not as bad as it seems. I think the hotel used to be a small flour mill in the 30's. When it was converted over to a hotel in the 50's they kept as much of the original architecture as possible.
To echo everyone else, I disagree that religion is kind of the point of a wedding. A wedding is an important tradition in all cultures, and you gotta do it at least for the benefit of friends and family (and for getting all those domestic gifts), if nothing else. But it's kind of like celebrating Christmas; you can absolutely do it sans religion.
My wife and I came up with what I think is the awesomest, socially-acceptable workaround for the traditional religious officiant: SHIP'S CAPTAIN. We got married on a yacht that specializes in special events like weddings, and offered the option of being married by the Captain. It wasn't even that expensive -- a package deal that included food and everything but the photographer was only like $6k. None of the ceremony or vows were religious at all. Instead the Captain referenced the "nautical tradition", which was awesome.