Owing to the fact that we are a small (but mighty) minority, I am sure most of us who are married has faced the dilemma of religious vs no religious wedding ceremony. So I have set up a poll to determine what percentage of us have actually had a religious ceremony, and why.
I will share by story first. When I got married I was determined not to have a religious wedding. My wife-to-be, luckily for me and my pending nuptials, was not a very strong believer and so acquiesced to my wish. There were only three ways that we could have a non-religious ceremony: 1) Go to city hall; 2) Have city hall come to us (obtain the services of a justice-of-the-peace); 3) Rent a man-of-the-cloth (Reverend). Number 1 was out of the question, as I had already imposed upon my wife and she wanted to have an ‘old-fashioned’ wedding. Number 2 was out of the question as we did not personally know a JOP. So it was down to number 3 and funny enough you can find these folks in the Yellow Pages, which is what we did. At our first meeting to talk about the wedding, the good Reverend was duty-bound to offer us 3 different ceremonies, with High, Medium, and Low religious content. At the time I didn't realize it was low content – I thought it was no content. Right before the wedding I was perusing the ceremony one last time and, as I got to the end, there it was – “May God bless…”. Needless to say, the jerk that I am, I went running to the Reverend to have him remove that last (and only) reference to an imaginary being. To his credit, the Reverend was a good sport and didn't give me any grief and we had a wedding ceremony depleted of god. Funny enough, to this day religious members of my family (the majority, on both sides) think that we had a ‘normal’ ceremony likely due to the fact that the Reverend was wearing his collar. A lot of them even commented on how wonderful the ceremony was, not realizing, I am sure, that there was no mention of god whatsoever. By the way, we are coming up to our 20th anniversary, and my wife is no longer a believer; I did not consciously try to convert her, she got there of her own accord.
So I am curious as to how many of my atheist friends out in the world wide web (yup, I'm that old) have had a religious wedding ceremony. If so, was it because of some pressure? And what was the source of that pressure? So I have set up the poll to ask three basic questions:
1) Were you or your spouse (or both) atheist at the time of your wedding?
2) Did you have a religious ceremony?
3) If you had a religious ceremony, what was the reason?
If you don't feel like strolling over and participating in the formal poll, you could respond here (or do both). I'll report the results of the formal poll after a good sample size has been reached.