(Closed) What traditions/rituals/etc. did you do for your non-religious ceremony?

posted 5 years ago in Ceremony
  • poll: Did you do readings during your non-religious ceremony?
    Yes [what'd you do?] : (11 votes)
    61 %
    No : (7 votes)
    39 %
  • Post # 3
    64 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    My Fiance and I are each picking a reading and those will be the only ones done at the ceremony. Oh, and they’re a surprise to each other (I picked an abridged excerpt from one of the Lemony Snickett books).


    As far as rituals I reccomend NOT doing a unity candle for an outdoor ceremony! Even the tiniest bit of breeze can ruin that but there are so many other things you can do. A sand ceremony, sharing a glass of wine, tying a knot, sealing a box with love letters you’ve written to each other (to be open on an anniversary), a hand fasting (I’ve seen ones where the parents tie the knot around the couples hands), etc.  A sand ceremony or stone ceremony can be great if you want to incorporate your families because you can have each set of parents add some sand or stones to the vase before you and your Fiance.

    Post # 4
    748 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    I have friends that are having two poems read at their ceremony. I’ve thought I’d do the same, maybe a book excerpt. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Post # 6
    2375 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    As of right now, we are planning on having readings, undecided on which ones – there’s so many to choose from!  And we’re doing the wine box with the letters.  The challenge will be finding a wine that will age well for 5-10 years (depending on when we want to read them). 

    Post # 7
    1448 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    What about signing your marriage license together?  Secularly-speaking, I can’t think of a “ritual” or “tradition” that would be more important than that, as it ritually as well as legally binds the two of you together.

    We’re doing a reading – Taylor Mali’s “How Falling In Love is Like Owning a Dog” (FI and I met at a dog park).  We’re also doing a Chinese tea ceremony, but that will be at the rehearsal dinner.

    Post # 8
    11233 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013

    We’re doing a handfasting, although I guess that’s religious. We’re having some Celtic readings done by the officiants, as well.

    Post # 9
    818 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    We aren’t doing anything like a ritual. We have one reading (“Union”) and a ceremony we wrote. I’m glad someone already mentioned the unity candle because as a fellow outdoor bride I would have warned you because it sounds like it just never works out! 

    I definitely suggest the love letters box which I have also heard IN conjunction with doing wine or adding wine into the box ๐Ÿ˜€ I would love to do this but I really don’t think Fiance and I would be able to wait. Especially if there is wine sealed in there ;] and I don’t want the ethical dilecommand being silly and superstitious ๐Ÿ˜› sounds like you like that idea which is good and totally secular. 

    Post # 10
    1880 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    IMO readings are boring. So we just had a judge marry us, short ceremony, aaaaand that was it. I didn’t see the need to add anything that didn’t have special meaning to us. It was only maybe ten minutes long, including the remarks the judge said beforehand, the entire thing may have been twenty minutes with the processing in and out. Lots of people commented on how they enjoyed how short it was. My husband and I haaaaaate long ceremonies and always spend the time checking our phones or playing tic-tac-toe in the bible with the little church pencils, so we didn’t want our ceremony to inspire that in people.

    Post # 11
    3572 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    We had two non-religious readings from literature.  We gave flowers to our moms to show our thanks for raising us.  Lastly, we planted a tree together.  The entire ceremony was 20 minutes.

    Post # 12
    543 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    @PrincessBride27:  we are not doing readings, we are not religious, and my brother in law got ordained to marry us. we were toying with the idea of the wine box ceremony thing (idk the real name). where we each write a love letter, and put them in a box with a bottle of wine, and nail it closed. during our first big argument (or an anniversary of your choice) you open the box, read the letters, and drink the wine. 


    we decided not to do it because we want to keep our ceremony short, and simple. but i love love love the idea!


    my Brother-In-Law will say something about marriage, then declaration of intent. then our own vows and ring exchange which is written into our vows.. then we’re done!


    Post # 13
    2286 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: Central Park

    We did two readings, one before and one after. They were a quote from our favorite book and Union by Robert Fulghum. We did a traditional celtic handfasting with a cord I made, and we sealed the ceremony with a broom jump. We wanted a ceremony that would mesh with DH’s agnostic beliefs and my Paganism and our reverend did a fantastic job.

    Post # 14
    1902 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    There’s a good post in the Secular board for favourite secular wedding readings, if you really want to do one.

    We didn’t incorporate any traditions/ceremonial things into our wedding ceremony – just the basic “Do you take her? Do you take him? Sign here and you’re done!” Like some of the previous posters, hubby and I hate long ceremonies, so we made sure this one was just the bare basics.

    Post # 15
    724 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013


    @PrincessBride27:  We are doing a “unity candle” ceremony with our two families, and it’s supposed to symbolize the union of our two families.  We are also doing the “love letter wine box ceremony” where we each write a letter to each other and seal it up in a box with a bottle of wine to be opened on our 5 or 10 year anniversary.

    Post # 16
    294 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    I’m doing a ring warming ๐Ÿ™‚ You pass the rings around for each person to impart their well-wishes and energy into them. 

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