Post # 1
Neither my FI nor I are religious and wouldn’t want to have a religious ceremony of any sort. However, the area where we are getting married is extremely liberal and almost every church is available for any type of weddings. A number of them are gorgeous and would make for a beautiful ceremony.
Is it strange to have a non-religious ceremony in a church?
Post # 3
@Kir32: No, I am a nondenomintal Christian and would have my wedding in a church if the churches around here offered such a thing!
Post # 4
Are you wanting non-denominational or non-religious? Two different things.
Post # 5
@Kir32: I actually have to agree with Birdee106 if you mean having a non-denominational ceremony then I think it would be fine but non religious might not be welcomed.
Post # 6
I voted that I think it’s strange, but I meant that more in the sense that it’s unusual. It is up to the church itself if they are willing to have you. It would be appropriate to ensure that they understand you want to use their church solely because of its appearance, location, or whatever attributes are important to you, and that it will be a civil ceremony. If the church is happy to have you use their building for that purpose, I would say there’s no problem. If you have a lot of religious guests, some of them may find it in bad taste, or offensive, but that depends on your family and friends, and none of us know them, so we can’t tell you how they would feel or react.
Post # 7
@Birdee106: +1. There’s a big difference between non-denominational and non-religious.
Post # 8
I think it’s strange. However, if you tell the church that you don’t want to have a religious ceremony and that you want to use it because of looks only and they are okay with that I think you can go ahead if you really want to. Some guests might think it’s odd though, but you would know them better than us.
Post # 9
Nondenominational sure. But non religious in a church? That would be odd. And I guess your guests know you aren’t religious so having a ceremony at a church would be odd. And when I say church I mean somewhere that regularly holds religious services. There are lots of chapels and “churches” that are that in name alonw and are really event venues with architecture similar to a church but not an actual house of worship. That also would make sense.
Post # 10
Oh I’ve always used them interchangeably. This would be a non religious ceremony. This area is extremely LGBT friendly and that is one of the main reasons that churches allow all sorts of ceremonies.
All of the churches allow these ceremonies. There are only a few guests coming who I would consider to be religious.
Post # 11
This is the third time I’ve written this response. I guess it’s going to be one of those days! I appreciate OP broaching the topic, and I don’t want to offend anyone with my response.
If the churches in your area are comfortable hosting a non-religious (as opposed to non-denominational, or interfaith) wedding ceremony, then you have your answer. Might the guests think it strange? I would, personally. To be honest, I’ve always found it a little … well not “offensive,” that’s not the right word…. but anyway, to use a place of worship because of its attractiveness just seems off to me. (And I’m nobody anyway, so my opinion doesn’t matter, except that you asked.) For some, a church is just a (beautiful) space, but for others, it means something more.
I was irritated a while back, actually, when an outspoken athiest acquaintance mentioned he and his fiancee were looking at churches to hold their wedding, because of the great architecture and how awesome their photos would look. Truthfully, the first thought that came to mind was, “A space for worship isn’t a photo prop!”
OP, it sounds like you’ve approached the situation with respect for the spaces, and it sounds like those in charge of the spaces are comfortable with hosting a non-religious wedding, so go forward from there. Some of your guests might think it strange, but as long as you’re being respectful of the space you’re using (even though you’re not using it for a religious purpose), I don’t see any real problem.
Post # 12
I’m Agnostic, and we are having an outdoor, secular ceremony.
The phrases “non-religious” and “non-denominational” are not interchangeable.
Non-religious literally means no religion. Secular.
Non-denominational means Christian with no specifics. Baptist, Methodist, Catholic are all denominations, so a non-denominational ceremony would be a Christian ceremony that is not specific to any one of those.
Post # 13
We’re having a secular (non-religious) ceremony. Despite having a couple of beautiful houses of worship in our area that would have been ok with a secular ceremony, we made the choice to not have the wedding there. We both were very uncomfortable encroaching on someone else’s sacred space unless we’re there for a specific reason (someone else’s wedding, a funeral, that sort of thing). It just felt wrong to essentially say to someone “I know this building is dedicated to the worship of your deity, but we just like the architecture, and your deity isn’t welcome in our marriage.”
However, if you’re ok with that, and the church doesn’t care, then you have your answer.
Post # 14
- Wedding: August 2013 - Wynn Las Vegas
I think this would be strange.
Post # 15
I think a non-denominational but still religious ceremony in a church is not odd. However, I find a non-religious ceremony in a church to be odd. I’m not religious but it seems disrespectful to me.
Post # 16
My first response would be that it is odd and it is a bit disrespectful but that wouldn’t really go along with my faith so I’ll take the new approach I’m trying to merge into.
So long as you do not disrespect the church, so long as you do not disrespect the faith during the ceremony or even reception if you are having it at the church, I don’t see a real issue there. It can be an easy line to cross over to take care in not saying or doing anything disrespectful to the faith as you wish no one would say or do anything disrespectful toward you for your faith.
I understand this is your wedding day but do remember that a church is far more important than a wedding day to those of the faith so if there was any disrespect shown or blasphemy there will be a great chance that your wedding will be called off or there will be a great deal of drama. Just remember to use caution when you are in the church.
I have been realizing more and more in the last few years that Christians are their own worst enemies when it comes to the faith. They want everyone to follow the faith but they are so exclusive and so judgemental they don’t take the time to know or care about any who does not follow their faith and how in the world do they expect to be deciples of God when doing this?
So instead of saying “No, a church is for Christians only” I will say “Yes, go for it just please respect the church while you are doing so” because even if it’s for a wedding or a party or anything of the sort, having a non believer step foot in a church, to me, is a beautiful thing, so long as there are no plans to disrespect the faith in the process.