I'm getting married in October. We're both atheist and don't particularly like the idea of some dude in weird robes trying to give his imaginary friend credit for our union... Doing it at the courthouse is pretty lame, and they won't allow 200 guests. I guess there's always a ships captain, or we can get a friend ordained online for $39.99 (lol)... Anyone have any creative ideas? If you're atheist and married, who married you?

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A couple who lived together without formal marriage for over 20 years finally got pregnant at age 44, had the baby at 45, & the guy had to legally adopt his own son!

Well, we have a 3 month old son already, so we already gave the government and the church our middle fingers on that front.  :)  I did not have to "adopt" my son, but I did have to fill out a single form at the hospital that established both my "paternity" (which makes me legally the father) and also my son's "legitimacy" (which lets him inherit property from me.)

Getting married can definitely be argued as a bit of a crazy little song and dance, as it does not in itself cause you to be better people or be decent parents.  You have to decide to do that and make it happen if that's what you want.  We're getting married mainly for the legal reasons that some have already pointed out, plus I think the idea of committing to someone in front of a crowd and promising to take care of each other is a good thing.  Even though we all know there are no fire and brimstone consequences if our "vows" are broken, it's more like making a promise to each other.

Thanks for the ideas  -- I am definitely going to look into some of these options...  I didn't think about Unitarians...

The solution is simple - get legally married as a private affair at the courthouse, then get as creative as you want to get in a ceremony with as many guests as you want! Have your cat marry you two if you want. It's not like it's illegal to hold a mock ceremony, and you will already be legally married.

That was my first idea, but the fiance already shot it down.  Apparently our "real" anniversary would then be on the courthouse date, and not on the day that we had our big party.  She says she wants the anniversary to be the day of the party.  it would drive her nuts, and I'd probably end up having to remember both dates for the rest of my life, which I definitely want to avoid.  Back to the drawing board.

I get that. My girlfriend and I have been together for a few years. Our first date anniversary is pretty sacred to her, and is treated no different than a wedding anniversary. I asked if we could let that one go if we get married .... no dice. Between her birthday, valentines day, sweetest day, anniversary of first date day, and a future wedding anniversary day, she's making out like a bandit.

My 48th anniversary is July 1st. I think that's the only one to bother with, & the 2 of us going for dinner out is enough.

Yes, I remember the day we met, the day I got my engagement ring, the first solstice gifts, etc., but I see no need to celebrate all of them.

Matt, please keep up posted on what you decide and how it goes!

Hopefully you'll find this amusing if not directly useful.

When we decided to get married, we intentionally wanted a schlock 'wedding-mill' elopement style wedding (we both have adult kids, we've been through the traditional route before). Anyhow Gatlinburg TN is the Vegas-wedding capital of the east, so we called places there.

Some did not want to do a non-religious (too bad, a drive -through wedding would have been a hoot)*, but we found a guy who, though actually some sort of pastor, was more than willing to do non-Christian as well as secular weddings. So we did a wedding on a mountain, just us and the dog. Even our kids did not know about it till afterward.

*[ footnote side point:   It's true, legally since they were not a church, there would possibly be a 'discrimination' issue by refusing to perform. However I believe that (aside from immediately essential services), no one should be forced to enter a business contract against their will. If someone does not want to do atheist weddings, or gay weddings, or whatever, there are plenty of people able to provide that service. 

Besides, I'd much rather deal with someone who WANTS to deal with me than someone who is force by law to do so (and forced to pretend to want to). Lawsuits over situations like this are BS.]

I like the quiet wedding idea.  We considered it, but eventually decided to just throw a party.  I'm surprised the drive thru wedding places wouldn't do non-religious.  Sounds like they take themselves way too seriously.  We have our location already.  We met at a beer tasting at a local brewery, so we're getting married there.  So... At least we don't have to worry about running out of beer.  And yeah, as you've pointed out, I don't have time or the desire to argue with someone who wouldn't actually WANT to marry us our way.

A judge married us in my mom's friend's condo.  It was a gorgeous condo.  I came down the stairs, and we got married in front of the fireplace. :)

Search on "Secular  Weddings".

I was married by an ordained minister of the mail order church that started an industry, Kirby Hensley's Universal Life Church. We put on something quiet to listen to, the pastor passed a J, and we recited the things we liked about each other and the promises we would keep. Rev. Strachan pronounced us a team and the crowd of misfits and scene makers trickled in only to be astonished that either of us had done such a thing.

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