Our wedding ceremony was admittedly what some might call “aggressively atheist,” and my bridesmaids noticed that a few people looked…surprised? I think those who didn’t know us especially well expected we would do what our own parents did and go with something more standard and semi-religious. We certainly are not in peoples faces about our atheism, but we wanted to be VERY clear about who we are and a wedding is a great time to make yourself known. Feel free to steal these atheist wedding vows!
Our non-religious wedding ceremony script
On behalf of the (groom’s family) and (bride’s family) families, it’s my pleasure to say welcome to you all.
We are called here today to celebrate the joining of two people who possess questioning natures. We celebrate the union of two people, of two hearts, but also of two minds making a conscious and deliberate choice to experience the great joys, and commit to the great sacrifices, of lifelong marriage.
Bride and Groom don't believe there is an eternity waiting for them after this life; there is only this life.
So, to give oneself in marriage for this lifetime isn't a way station on the way to some heavenly eternity — it is all there is.
It is a commitment to be together until they no longer exist, until they are nowhere and nothing.
When no edicts are handed down from the skies, and no promises from the universe are expected, each decision a person makes for his or her life bears more weight and consequence; two such people who make a decision to love one another until death have made a momentous commitment, fully of their own volition, with all the importance that an individual life can hold.
Today we celebrate the union of two people who know fully that human life is finite, and that therefore we should waste no time in spending those precious years with those we have chosen to love.
Only two people who know that life is lived here on earth, and only on earth, can fully offer each other their own eternities.
At this time, Groom and Bride have some words that they would like to share with each other…
Our non-religious wedding vows
In the words of Carl Sagan:
The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff. Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious… In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another. For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.
Bride and Groom, Do you each take the other in marriage and agree to support, comfort, share truth, laugh, and respect one another today and for the rest of your days?
Bride and Groom:
Make it so.