When god isn't on the guest list - Secular/Atheist Weddings

Any thoughts or ideas on a secular wedding?

How did you plan your secular wedding?

As secularism continues to rise in the United States, more couples like the Longs are deviating from a traditional wedding blueprint that includes prayers, blessings and biblical passages.

"A secular wedding can be exactly like a religious wedding with two key differences: no mention of any deities and no recitation of supposedly sacred texts," said David G. McAfee, author of "Mom, Dad, I'm an Atheist: The Guide to Coming Out as a Non-Believer and Disproving Christianity and other Secular Writings."

"Many secular weddings have vows, flowers, rings, a reception, a kiss at the end," he continued. "Although most religions have incorporated marriage rules and ceremonies into their faiths, the act of marriage itself is not a religious one; it's a human one."

Venues, readings and vows are just some considerations for atheist couples or couples planning secular weddings. Others struggle with how to break the news to relatives or meet their demands, especially if those loved ones are helping pay for it.

Some couples provide relatives with opportunities to say a few words within set parameters during the ceremony or reception, said Ed Buckner, former president of American Atheists and current chair of the Atlanta Freethought Society. He has performed several atheist weddings over the past decade and emphasizes that it's important to talk about it ahead of time, openly and honestly.

"You need to stop and think about what you want to accomplish. Are you trying to publicly commit to a lifelong union with your partner on your terms, or do you want to please others?" he said.

"I would argue that if you don't believe in God and have God blessing the celebration, you're participating in a sham. But, there are ways to to acknowledge God for others, if that's what you want," Buckner advised.


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We had an atheist wedding but my dog was the only wedding guest.

maybe that is the best kind of wedding to have.

Yeah, my ex-wife (we were both agnostics) started the website www.secularweddings.com some years after we divorced for people who didn't want church weddings.

She too is in the SF Bay Area and I recommend it.

Thank you for the website link - I will look at it.

That is a good website to start- I see much need there for people who don't want religious weddings.

I've only had one big church wedding in my life and it was the last one in 2005. You would think that would be special or something, but it was done because the wife wanted it. I've also had a private wedding with as little people as possible, and JP weddings where you slip the guy a $20 for the ceremony.

In my very first marriage nobody knew nothing until we announced it in person later. People need to consider that churches did not take over marriages until the middle ages. The current mindset about 66 books they call "the bible" has taken well over 2000 years or more to become what is is today with Constantine being the biggest influence in his time.

Yes, I agree - I think Justice of the Peace wedding is the way to go.




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