Yes, I was raised to believe that marriage was about love and commitment and I still believe that. As a young catholic woman they tried to brainwash me into believing it was also the only venue for sex, reproduction, and parenthood. Ah, religion.
As an adult, I see marriage has quite a few legal and social benefits too.
No one should participate in marriage.
Unless of course you look around at your life and are more than willing to part with half of your friends and belongings.
They can be fairly traditional and often mimic traditional church ceremonies for the most part. It's just that there aren't prayers and the vows don't mention god. Instead they are about the couple and what's important to them. Some may include some science bits. Poetry readings are popular. Some people including pagan elements like hand fasting, ring warming or candles.
Here are some atheist wedding vows:
A secular ceremony is 100% up to the couple. You can mimic a religious ceramony or you can make it as fun or informal as you want. In ours, we played with the format some, rings (Celtic in design) at the very beginning at the back of the hall (medieval tradition) and walked her to the from, we had poetry readings, hand-fasting, vows of our own writing (I even made a touching/humorous mention of astronomy/nuclear fusion in mine) and selected our own music (came in to a slowish Celtic instrumental and left to the Carmen Overture).
No mention of god, no church, but still beautiful.
extremely unrealistic. I am a women of my word. I don't see it as religious act. To me it's just a way to have the government acknowledge your union. It is what you make of it. You can't let other people define your life.