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Atheist weddings, and Religious/Atheist weddings
11-30-2009, 07:11 PM
Post: #1
Atheist weddings, and Religious/Atheist weddings
I will admit, my reason for posting this is almost purely selfish, with a little bit of curiosity of other's opinions thrown in.

1. How would an atheist plan a wedding? Just a justice of the peace or something more?

2.Would you be comfortable marrying someone who was not an atheist? If so,would you feel comfortable getting married in a religious ceremony, even if you didn't follow or believe in the religion?

3.If you would get married in a religious service, would you be more comfortable in a justice of the peace wedding or something else?

My SO proposed, and he offered to have a religious wedding for me, but I can't help but feel I'd be ignoring his non-belief, or saying my beliefs are more important if we have a religious ceremony. I'd feel like our wedding was all about me, rather than about us. He doesn't get it, so I thought I'd ask other opinions.
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11-30-2009, 07:28 PM
Post: #2
RE: Atheist weddings, and Religious/Atheist weddings
These are very interesting questions! My suggestion would be to ignore his wishes, as it's your big day. I've seen the Sex and the City film, it's just easier to let Carrie have her own way... Right, to be sensible.

(11-30-2009 07:11 PM)Clementine Wrote:  1. How would an atheist plan a wedding? Just a justice of the peace or something more?

Same as a religious one I guess. Pick a place that's allowed to have a wedding, invites, lovely dress, etc. In the UK all you need is a regstrar to do the legal stuff, and you do your own vows. I'm not married, so I might not be the best person to ask, but friends have had non-religious weddings over the years that I've attended.

(11-30-2009 07:11 PM)Clementine Wrote:  2.Would you be comfortable marrying someone who was not an atheist? If so,would you feel comfortable getting married in a religious ceremony, even if you didn't follow or believe in the religion?

I personally would. In fact, I'd probably think it quite cool to do so, as it would be boring if you both agreed and sat around watching Dawkins documentaries.

I'd be happy to go through a religious ceremony, as I have a lot of respect and interest in rituals, but if your partner does not then it could be strange. I'd certainly want to write my own vows though, as that's personal and has more meaning than repeating things about God that you don't believe.

(11-30-2009 07:11 PM)Clementine Wrote:  3.If you would get married in a religious service, would you be more comfortable in a justice of the peace wedding or something else?

I don't know the options to be honest.

(11-30-2009 07:11 PM)Clementine Wrote:  My SO proposed, and he offered to have a religious wedding for me, but I can't help but feel I'd be ignoring his non-belief, or saying my beliefs are more important if we have a religious ceremony. I'd feel like our wedding was all about me, rather than about us. He doesn't get it, so I thought I'd ask other opinions.

Your wedding is all about you!

I'd suggest a compromise really, but if he's happy with the religious wedding then I reckon that'd be cool. Maybe do religious vows, plus personal ones you write yourselves. As you can tell, I think the vows are important.

Hope that's of some small use.
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11-30-2009, 07:39 PM
Post: #3
RE: Atheist weddings, and Religious/Atheist weddings
(11-30-2009 07:28 PM)Zagreus Wrote:  These are very interesting questions! My suggestion would be to ignore his wishes, as it's your big day. I've seen the Sex and the City film, it's just easier to let Carrie have her own way... Right, to be sensible.

(11-30-2009 07:11 PM)Clementine Wrote:  1. How would an atheist plan a wedding? Just a justice of the peace or something more?

Same as a religious one I guess. Pick a place that's allowed to have a wedding, invites, lovely dress, etc. In the UK all you need is a regstrar to do the legal stuff, and you do your own vows. I'm not married, so I might not be the best person to ask, but friends have had non-religious weddings over the years that I've attended.

(11-30-2009 07:11 PM)Clementine Wrote:  2.Would you be comfortable marrying someone who was not an atheist? If so,would you feel comfortable getting married in a religious ceremony, even if you didn't follow or believe in the religion?

I personally would. In fact, I'd probably think it quite cool to do so, as it would be boring if you both agreed and sat around watching Dawkins documentaries.

I'd be happy to go through a religious ceremony, as I have a lot of respect and interest in rituals, but if your partner does not then it could be strange. I'd certainly want to write my own vows though, as that's personal and has more meaning than repeating things about God that you don't believe.

(11-30-2009 07:11 PM)Clementine Wrote:  3.If you would get married in a religious service, would you be more comfortable in a justice of the peace wedding or something else?

I don't know the options to be honest.

(11-30-2009 07:11 PM)Clementine Wrote:  My SO proposed, and he offered to have a religious wedding for me, but I can't help but feel I'd be ignoring his non-belief, or saying my beliefs are more important if we have a religious ceremony. I'd feel like our wedding was all about me, rather than about us. He doesn't get it, so I thought I'd ask other opinions.

Your wedding is all about you!

I'd suggest a compromise really, but if he's happy with the religious wedding then I reckon that'd be cool. Maybe do religious vows, plus personal ones you write yourselves. As you can tell, I think the vows are important.

Hope that's of some small use.

It really was of use.I just can't see our wedding as being all about me. I'm considering sort of a Justice of the Peace thing legally, with no religion involved, and then a religious service, but even that presents hurdles because no way his parents would come to a Vodou ceremony.

I don't know.But you have given me things to think about!
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11-30-2009, 07:56 PM
Post: #4
RE: Atheist weddings, and Religious/Atheist weddings
Could you not do the non-religious one with family, etc, and then do the religious one just you guys and perhaps close friends, etc? The latter could be the more intimate, with 50% his ideas and 50% your Vodou ceremony, and have the other one as a legal wedding and a big celebration of your love? (God I sound soppy!)
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11-30-2009, 08:00 PM
Post: #5
RE: Atheist weddings, and Religious/Atheist weddings
(11-30-2009 07:56 PM)Zagreus Wrote:  Could you not do the non-religious one with family, etc, and then do the religious one just you guys and perhaps close friends, etc? The latter could be the more intimate, with 50% his ideas and 50% your Vodou ceremony, and have the other one as a legal wedding and a big celebration of your love? (God I sound soppy!)


But it's a good idea! You really have helped. And heck,if I'm spending $300 dollars on silk and trim to make my damn wedding dress, I might as well get more than one use out of it,right?
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11-30-2009, 08:28 PM
Post: #6
RE: Atheist weddings, and Religious/Atheist weddings
(11-30-2009 08:00 PM)Clementine Wrote:  But it's a good idea! You really have helped. And heck,if I'm spending $300 dollars on silk and trim to make my damn wedding dress, I might as well get more than one use out of it,right?

Damn right! We want pictures too! When's the wedding? Late next year I guess?
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11-30-2009, 08:31 PM
Post: #7
RE: Atheist weddings, and Religious/Atheist weddings
(11-30-2009 08:28 PM)Zagreus Wrote:  
(11-30-2009 08:00 PM)Clementine Wrote:  But it's a good idea! You really have helped. And heck,if I'm spending $300 dollars on silk and trim to make my damn wedding dress, I might as well get more than one use out of it,right?

Damn right! We want pictures too! When's the wedding? Late next year I guess?

Yeah, something like that, September of Next year is the plan thus far, but all the planning makes it look like a year is not enough time.
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11-30-2009, 09:40 PM
Post: #8
RE: Atheist weddings, and Religious/Atheist weddings
(11-30-2009 07:11 PM)Clementine Wrote:  I will admit, my reason for posting this is almost purely selfish, with a little bit of curiosity of other's opinions thrown in.

1. How would an atheist plan a wedding? Just a justice of the peace or something more?

2.Would you be comfortable marrying someone who was not an atheist? If so,would you feel comfortable getting married in a religious ceremony, even if you didn't follow or believe in the religion?

3.If you would get married in a religious service, would you be more comfortable in a justice of the peace wedding or something else?

My SO proposed, and he offered to have a religious wedding for me, but I can't help but feel I'd be ignoring his non-belief, or saying my beliefs are more important if we have a religious ceremony. I'd feel like our wedding was all about me, rather than about us. He doesn't get it, so I thought I'd ask other opinions.

First off, congratulations! And it's impressive that you two are so thoroughly taking each other's perspectives into account. This sounds like a great relationship.

To answer your questions:

1) I don't know. I've never been married, and I've never been to a non-religious wedding.

2) I would prefer to marry an atheist/agnost, but it's not a dealbreaker; if I met a religious girl who was otherwise everything I wanted in a woman and our relationship was such that I'd want to marry her, I wouldn't let religion get in the way.

3) Again, I would much prefer a nonreligious ceremony, but as far as I can see if you have an atheist and a religious person marrying, it makes the most sense to have a religious ceremony. I mean, to me as an atheist, I just see the presence of religion in a wedding as yet another unnecessary but ceremonially meaningful part of the process -- much like the ENTIRE CEREMONY. I mean, considering how much other meaningless tradition is packed into a wedding, it would be pretty shallow of me to draw the line at the mention of God.
Again, it wouldn't be my preferred way to get married, but I wouldn't take offense at the idea.
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11-30-2009, 09:57 PM
Post: #9
RE: Atheist weddings, and Religious/Atheist weddings
(11-30-2009 09:40 PM)Geoffrey Taucer Wrote:  First off, congratulations! And it's impressive that you two are so thoroughly taking each other's perspectives into account. This sounds like a great relationship.

To answer your questions:

1) I don't know. I've never been married, and I've never been to a non-religious wedding.

2) I would prefer to marry an atheist/agnost, but it's not a dealbreaker; if I met a religious girl who was otherwise everything I wanted in a woman and our relationship was such that I'd want to marry her, I wouldn't let religion get in the way.

3) Again, I would much prefer a nonreligious ceremony, but as far as I can see if you have an atheist and a religious person marrying, it makes the most sense to have a religious ceremony. I mean, to me as an atheist, I just see the presence of religion in a wedding as yet another unnecessary but ceremonially meaningful part of the process -- much like the ENTIRE CEREMONY. I mean, considering how much other meaningless tradition is packed into a wedding, it would be pretty shallow of me to draw the line at the mention of God.
Again, it wouldn't be my preferred way to get married, but I wouldn't take offense at the idea.

Hmm, thank you! Some definite food for thought, and thanks, we like to think we have a good relationship too.
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12-01-2009, 01:24 PM
Post: #10
RE: Atheist weddings, and Religious/Atheist weddings
(11-30-2009 07:11 PM)Clementine Wrote:  I will admit, my reason for posting this is almost purely selfish, with a little bit of curiosity of other's opinions thrown in.

1. How would an atheist plan a wedding? Just a justice of the peace or something more?

2.Would you be comfortable marrying someone who was not an atheist? If so,would you feel comfortable getting married in a religious ceremony, even if you didn't follow or believe in the religion?

3.If you would get married in a religious service, would you be more comfortable in a justice of the peace wedding or something else?

My SO proposed, and he offered to have a religious wedding for me, but I can't help but feel I'd be ignoring his non-belief, or saying my beliefs are more important if we have a religious ceremony. I'd feel like our wedding was all about me, rather than about us. He doesn't get it, so I thought I'd ask other opinions.

I'm on the flip side of this, as my fiancee is religious with a religious family, and I'm an atheist. We're planning on getting married by a JP, but that doesn't preclude us from having a ceremony.

So speaking as an atheist going through this same problem, allow me to suggest a few things to you.

1. Marriage is a civil union. Very little about modern marriages have anything to do with marriage in bible times. And quite frankly, the bible already says you shouldn't be marrying an atheist. Clearly your love is stronger than that, and that is wonderful, I'm not trying to talk you out of it, but realize a marriage is a civil union.

2. For you to have a secular wedding does not deny god. If you have a ceremony without sacred trappings, it is no more a denial of god than when you watch TV, or eat a meal, or walk down the street without sacred trappings. I'm assuming that your vows will not include something like, "And we solemnly understand that we are married by our own choice, and that there is no god in heaven at all." That would be rather silly.

3. To have a sacred wedding does require your atheist SO to deny his beliefs, because a sacred wedding requires you both to acknowledge the presence of a god, and his authority over you. Now if he's fine with that, more power to you. Personally, I am not. I tend to be a rather outspoken atheist, and I would not feel comfortable being married by a preacher who claims divine authority.

The wonderful thing about atheism is that it's not a religion. There is no atheist dogma, no atheist sacrements, no atheist ceremonies. All that is required to be an atheist is to not believe in god. That makes it very easy to deal with an atheist - as long as you're not spouting off about god all the time, you very well would never know the difference. Christians do not have to proclaim that there is a god constantly. My advice to you would be, let your wedding be about the two of you. Certainly don't deny who you are, but neither do you need to proclaim it this once, just as he won't be proclaiming who he is.

I'm back baby! Thanks for everyone who sent me PMs asking what had happened to me.
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