Last Updated on October 25, 2021 by Guillermina
Today, we’re going to be looking at having a wedding without religious aspects. You may be an atheist (like me!) and that is completely fine. Your wedding can still be as formal and special, as any religious wedding is. But what may need to be changed to have a wedding without any religious aspects? Let’s take a closer look.
How Do Atheists Get Married?
A wedding between two atheists, or a couple that wishes to have a non-religious wedding holds the same principles as a religious wedding. You both wish to spend the rest of your lives together and want to make a commitment to show your love for one another. There is no place in a non-religious wedding for a higher power. This will all depend on your faith (or lack of it), culture, and tradition.
It’s important to tell the officiant who is marrying you that you do not want your vows to contain any religious undertones or words when you have your meeting with them beforehand. You may wish to scrap that tradition altogether and write your own vows for one another.
Non-Religious Aspects To Consider
There are several points to consider to start planning your wedding. To ensure it maintains non-religious throughout, here’s some things to bear in mind.
Atheist Wedding Officiant
At a religious ceremony, it’s usually quite self-explanatory who will be marrying you both. Whether it’s a priest, rabbi, or any other religious officiant. At a non-religious ceremony, the answer is: it’s up to you! It can be a legal official (such as a judge) or a secular officiant. Or if you’d like a family or friend to marry you both, that’s an option too! It’s easy to be ordained online now – and there’s nothing religious about it at all. You can find out more about becoming ordained here.
NOTE: Please check your country/state’s laws as to who you can allow to marry you and your partner.
You may have always dreamed of getting married in a church. While that may still be available to you, it may come across as disrespectful to request a church ceremony if both of you are non-religious. However, if this is something you’d like, speak to the church and discuss their feelings around it. I would highly advise not having a church wedding if you’re both atheists.
Outside of a church (and any other place of worship), you can choose to have your wedding almost anywhere if you’re looking for a non-religious wedding! Hotels, castles, beaches – the world is your oyster. As long as it’s meaningful to you and your partner, that is the most important thing.
NOTE: Again, before deciding on the place of your wedding, check your country/state’s laws to ensure where your wedding is taking place is legal.
There are lots of vows that include God and religious aspects throughout. When discussing your wedding with your officiant, be sure to disclose to them that you’re both not religious and would like your vows to reflect that. Be sure to remove any religious readings and hymns that may be seen as “standard” where your wedding is taking place.
And if you’d like something truly original, writing your own vows and choosing your own readings is a great way to veer away from the religious side of a wedding ceremony.
Wedding Ceremony Ideas – Non-Religious
If you’re looking for some alternative ceremony ideas that stray from “traditional” altogether, here are some great non-religious ceremony ideas, that still convey your union, and love for one another, beautifully.
- Sand Ceremony. Each of you chooses a different color of sand and mix the sand into one container. The idea behind it is that now the sand is mixed together, it’s almost impossible to make separate, just like you and your new life partner
- Candle Ceremony. Candles are extremely popular in non-religious weddings and can be utilized in a range of ways. You each light a candle, with a large, unlit candle in the middle. At the end of the ceremony, you each light the large candles with the small candle you lit earlier. This symbolizes two becoming one, and your unity.
- Tree Planting Ceremony. Not only is this a beautiful idea, but it’s good for the environment too! Each gets soil from a place that’s special to you (or your garden if that’s easier!) and plant a tree in the combined soil. Over the years, you can watch trees grow, just like your relationship continues to. It’s symbolic and is a landmark you and your partner can cherish forever.
- Tying the Knot Ceremony. We often refer to a wedding as “tying the knot”, so why not take that in it’s most literal sense? Bind your hands together (and your children if you have them), to show that you are eternally bound together, and choose a knot that is special to you. Go wild with colors and materials!
There’s a range of other ceremony ideas that are non-religious over on the Confetti website. From water ceremonies to wine ceremonies, to love letter ceremonies – there’s so many to choose from, that can be personal to you.
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I hope this article has helped you to understand how easy it is to get have a wedding without any religious aspects. The most important part of any wedding is declaring your unwavering love for one another, and committing to spending the rest of your lives together. As long as your wedding has those principles, your marriage is just as perfect as a religious one.
Did you have a non-religious wedding? I did! If so, what ideas do you have for any future bride and grooms? Was there anything that didn’t make the list that you think is worth sharing? If so, please feel free to leave any suggestions in the comments below. You may be helping out any future couples with their own wedding day.