Post # 1
okay so recently i’ve been having some major insecurities about our wedding i dont want to burden fiance with, so hopefully the hive can help. basically, i was raised in a home without any religion at all in massachusetts, which is pretty liberal generally speaking. his family is basically the polar opposite. southern, conversative, and extremely extremely christian. as he got older he stopped believing, and because of this neither of us feel comfortable with religion having a part at our wedding. a friend is officiating, and we are writing the ceremony ourselves. while this is definitely what we want, recently ive become very concerned his parents and family wont think of it as a legitimate wedding. i love his family dearly and i don’t think they would actually say anything, but i hate the idea of them thinking less of our marriage if we break away from their idea of what the ceremony should be about. i just need an honest opinion about whether my feelings are valid.
Post # 3
A couple of years ago, my college roommate got married. She was never really into religion, and he wasn’t a practicing member of his faith, so they had a wholly secular ceremony, which they wrote themselves.
It was one of the most beautiful ceremonies that I’ve ever been to (and I’m a Christian, if that makes a difference). I absolutely bawled. The ceremony and their vows were still so special and sacred, even without being infused with religion. It was amazing and totally legitimate. 🙂
Post # 4
My cousin got married with a secular ceremony. I definitely thought the ceremony was lacking in substance and emotion and it just all felt like there was a huge missing element but I don’t think any less of their marriage at all.
Post # 5
When we went to meet with the pastor at our church, I asked for a copy of the order of service and the marriage vows our (very large) church uses. He looked at me and said “There aren’t any.” We have a list of the basic elements that need to be in the service in order for it to be considered a marriage (the only thing that really has to be there are the vows and the ring vows), and a list of 10 vows that we could use. He told us to mix and match and to create our own if we liked.
What I’m trying to say is that you can do whatever you want with the ceremony; the most important part is that you pledge to spend the rest of your lives together.
Post # 6
I feel the same way you do, but ultimately you have to do what feels right for you.
My Fiance and I, our families support and love us, but they would rather us have our wedding in a church. They also wish that we practied thier religion. But they respect our decisions and love us anyway.
I hope they won’t think any less of your marriage, but I’m sure they have a different opinion on what a wedding ceremony “should” be.
As long as the ceremony is about your love for each other, there doesn’t need to be anything else.
Post # 7
Maybe there are ways of incorporating elements, that capture your spirituality, or even just the overwhelming emotional significance of what you’re doing, without being overtly Christian. Perhaps your officiant could do something like a “blessing” instead of a prayer, that sort of thing. The night before our wedding we had a kind of “welcome bbq” that our officiant was there for, and before we ate dinner she gave a prayer that wasn’t really religious, but spoke more to the hugeness of this event and being thankful for everyone who was there to support us, to family and friends, etc. Technically it was a prayer, but my two most secular friends came up to us afterward and told us how moving it was and how much they liked it. Maybe you can look at some Christian elements of weddings (prayers and blessings for example), and instead of using them to ask God to bless your marriage, use them as a way of asking your friends and family to support and bless your marriage.
Post # 8
I have officiated more weddings then I can remember. Some have been religious and some secular. Although my religious ceremonies are usually longer than my secular, due to multiple prayers and blessings. I can say that none of my ceremonies are lacking substance or feeling. My suggestion is to do an Act of celebration (unity ceremony (handfasting, rose exchange, sand)) and add a secular reading (poem, Native American blessing or quote from your favorite author). Find the parts and the wording that have greatest meaning to you. Do not feel that your ceremony is less valid than a religious ceremony. It is only important that it is valid to you and your Fiance. If you are confident then his family will accept it must easier, if there is even a concern in their opinion.
Love is powerful, let it shine in your ceremony and no one in their right mind will question it.