Post # 1
We are non-religious so we’re not getting married in a church or having any bible readings. I went to a wedding last fall that was along the same lines as how ours will be and the ceremony was over in 15 minutes, TOPS. It was crazy! I want something longer than that, something with more substance and meaning. I haven’t decided yet if we’re going to have readings (do non-religious weddings even have readings?). I was REALLY into the sand ceremony thing but now I’m leaning away from that. I’d like to have something similar to it, a little something extra that will give us a nice keepsake from our wedding ceremony but I have no clue what else there is. I know there’s unity candles and a ‘love letter exchange box’ but do any of you girls have other ideas?
Post # 3
You could look into handfasting… or do a reading from a poem/song.
Post # 4
I’ve heard of a wine box ceremony which is described really well here.
My sister had a (almost) non-religious wedding and there were 3 non-religious readings done. Here are a few different examples:
Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog
I Like You
And here is a pretty long list of readings.
Hope that helps!
Post # 5
We’re also doing the wine box ceremony. I didn’t really want a long ceremony so we’re saying our vows, doing the wine box ceremony, exchanging our rings, having a quick reading and then we’ll be finished :]
Post # 6
We’re having a Jewish ceremony, but a lot of the traditions can be adapted to be non-religious. e.g there are 7 blessings – each has a theme related to the couple, community, or world. Our rabbi suggested we can have the readers write their own text along these lines.
Post # 7
You can definitely incorporate readings in a non-religious wedding!
We had a non-religious ceremony and it was longer than 15 minutes, it was about 25-30 mins. I’m a writer, he’s an English teacher, so we incorporated a lot of literature. Our officiant talked for a bit about love and the story of how we met, but we wrote this part based on Tom Robbin’s “Still Life with Woodpecker” novel–the section that starts “How to make love stay.” We had 3 readings–all poetry, including the poem @babyboo posted, “Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog” by Taylor Mali–everyone loved that poem. We said our vows, did the ring exchange, had communal vows for our guests, and jumped the broom.
Post # 8
I attended a secular marriage and the ceremony was about 20 minutes tops (with the signing etc). One thing that shortened the ceremony substantially? The vows
“I _____ do not know of any lawful impediment that would inhibit me from entering into lawful matrimony with _______.
I ______, do take _____ to be my lawfully wedded ____.”
That was It!
I totally respect any bride or grooms desire to keep their vows personal or between themselves, but it was a surprisingly short ceremony, and the guests looked a bit surprised as well.
I think if you are writing your own vows that it would significantly extend the length of the ceremony, let alone any readings. There are a ton of poems about love, fidelity, marriage etc that are secular.
A big favourite here on the bee seems to be The Union, though there are a ton more. It depends on the whole vibe of your ceremony too; serious, sweet, romantic, fun, etc there are poems and readings for everything.
There are even Dr. Seuss inspired vows out there!
My FH & I will be writing our own vows, having at least 2 readings (as we cannot decide which we love more etc), and a handfasting for our ceremony. We are also looking to include some sort of “family” ceremony or ritual to include or son in the ceremony that isn’t the typical unity candle or sand ceremony.
We don’t want to have a ridiculously long ceremony, but definitely want it to be longer than 15 or 20 minutes.
Post # 9
We did two non-religious readings, wrote our own vows, and incorporated the wine box ceremony. The whole ceremony probably ran about 25 minutes. But hey, it was hot out and sometimes short and sweet is appropriate!
Post # 10
Thanks for posting “Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog”, by Taylor Mali.