An Atheist Wedding? Good God!

In the planning for our wedding
We had made the usual list
Of the people we’d invited
Making certain none were missed
From your little cousin Hanna
To my scary uncle Todd
There was one, though, uninvited:
We had left no room for God.

We would build our world together
We would make our solemn vows
We would share with one another
All that time and life allows
You and I were getting married
So we really found it odd
There were some who thought a marriage
Needed you, and me, and God.

We’d be legally united
By authority of state
What our love had joined together
Lack of God can’t separate
With no need of church approval
With no priest to give his nod
We’d be married—just as married
As the ones who called in God

And there’s really nothing missing
Cos we’re married just the same
Though we didn’t take our wedding vows
And swear “in Jesus’ name”
See, our vows are to each other,
And that doesn’t make them flawed
Only two of us got married
Cos we saw no need for God.

SO, yeah, CNN had a story up on atheist weddings. Seriously, I would have thought this the non-est of the non-stories, but there ya go. Marriage certainly precedes Christianity (but you wouldn’t know it from the comments at CNN), and will likely survive it as well. The last two weddings I went to (my niece and nephew’s weddings) were both secular, and were both beautiful. It was wonderful to attend weddings that were about the couple, and the families, who were gathered there, rather than about some ancient verses in a book. Really, First Corinthians 13 can be retired for a generation or two, and then maybe it will be beautiful again; as is, it is a stale cliche, and may as well be two minutes of static noise.

I vaguely remember attending some religious weddings–I videotaped my sister-in-law’s Catholic wedding (by her request), happy for the excuse to wander around with a camera while everybody else was praying. That wedding was not about the couple, it was about the church. No fun at all.

Why have a wedding that you don’t enjoy? My niece and my nephew did it right. Beautiful, wonderful ceremonies–laughter, and joy, and tears (that might have just been me). The difference? No God.

Want a beautiful wedding? Step one: Don’t Invite God.


  1. Reverend PJ says

    Some of my favorite memories are of conducting weddings for my friends and students. All of the weddings were secular and focussed on the couple getting married. Oddly the last religious wedding I went to was one of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life, with the bride’s after officiating and focussing on the fact my friends would soon be sleeping in the same bed. I had never been to a wedding where I was certain that the couple would rather be anywhere but at the wedding.

  2. Johnny Vector says

    My favorite weddings to attend (besides my own better one) have been those of actors. No gods anywhere near them, unless you count Brad, who’s a Broadway god in my opinion. Oh God, we beseech thee: Places!

    But yeah, those who recognize that the wedding is a performance, to allow your friends and family to share in your joy, are the ones who have the best ones. (Admittedly there’s a special joy when the couple would not have been allowed to marry 3 years ago. Or in one case, still had to sneak across the river to D.C. for the official ceremony. But even if SSM were old hat, doing it for the real friends rather than your imaginary one is always better.)

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