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Trance24's avatar

Where do you get married if you are Atheist or Agnostic?

Asked by Trance24 (3311points) May 27th, 2008

I’m an agnostic, and do not believe in the bible. I also don’t attend church. When I decide to get married, and still want to have a wedding with my family where do I go to get married? Do I only need a legal paper to say I am “married” or do I need a priest? I want to be married but do not want the church involved, because I simply do not practice religion.

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21 Answers

marinelife's avatar

You can have a judge or justice of the peace perform the ceremony.

New Jersey permits “every minister of every religion” and many civic officials (including judges, mayors & township committee chairpeople) to solemnize marriages.

Any ordained minister, and clerks of the peace. If you have your marriage ceremony at the office of the Clerk of the Peace, there is a $20 fee for the civil marriage ceremony.

You can rent a non-religious hall or room in a hotel for the ceremony or you could have the ceremony itself at the officiant’s office and then a reception elsewhere.

Have a wonderful wedding!

Cardinal's avatar

I expect anywhere anyone else would marry. Doubt the pastor would be as judgemental as you think.

MisterBlueSky85's avatar

Marina said everything. Great response!

I guess I have anything to add, it’s that atheists and agnostics get to be creative about this sort of thing. You’re not bound to a church anymore, so where would you like to have a wedding? Have fun with it!

gailcalled's avatar

My son got married in our living room. We used the local Justice of the Peace; she came here in her robe; my husband played the piano, we had lots of flowers, friends, family, the dog in a rakish pink bow, Fluther Ben (aged 6) in a cast on one leg, (interested mainly in the cake).

Bride and groom read vows to each other, JP said the official words, then my son stepped on a glass wrapped in a napkin, everyone yelled Mazeltov and we went outside for champagne, salmon, and strawberry short cake. Ben liked his cake. The young crowd changed to shorts and played frisbee.

gailcalled's avatar

I would add that if you are a member of the Society of Friends (Quaker), the Meeting has the power invested in it by the state to marry people.

jstringham21's avatar

How about a nice wedding outdoors. Have a judge marry you.


Go to Vegas and get married in a chapel Elvis style.

Trance24's avatar

@jstringham21: Yea an outdoor wedding was definitely on my agenda. Outdoor weddings are always really nice.

Besafe's avatar

I seem to get the words art gallery or museuum. I see a very hip doings.

As a licensed minister I can marry and bury—what order would you like those? Just teasing.

hearkat's avatar

I was married in Virginia by a “Court Officiant”— we eloped there, went to the courthouse and paid $20 for the license; and another $20 for the Officiant’s services. This was 17 years ago, so I’ll bet prices have gone up.

The courthouse clerks called the Officiant and she came and met us there, and then offered to perform the service in her home so it would be a nicer setting. It was lovely.

nayeight's avatar

Im an athiest and I have two ways I would want to get married. One, rent a huge yacht and get married on it by the captain! Afterwards have a big boat party/reception with string lights, dancing & lots of booze. After the party, kick everyone off (except maybe another couple or two) and go so someplace nice on the yacht for my honeymoon. Two, spend my. “wedding money” on a down payment for a beautiful home and have a small ceremony/party in the backyard. I would probably get a judge or whoever to marry my hubby and me. A simple exchange of vows or whatever is all you need I guess.

whatthefluther's avatar

We flew to Las Vegas on a Saturday, caught a city clerk at City Hall that was licensed to perform the ceremony, she grabbed a security guard to be witness and it was a done deal in about 20 minutes.

wildflower's avatar

We met up with our families in Rhodes, Greece (flew in from 4 different countries) and got married in the Town Hall with a reception in the hotel most of us were staying in.

Supergirl's avatar

We are getting married in my parent’s yard. We are agnostic/atheist as well, so my Maid of Honor’s father, who is a Superior Court judge is marrying us.

Trance24's avatar

@Supergirl that sounds wonderful. Good luck. And thank you ! =]

Nimis's avatar

We were married by our friend. Many counties will let you become an officiant for a day.

oratio's avatar

I guess anywhere you feel would be a good place to give your life to someone in the presence of your loved ones.

A friend got married on a beach.

I think I want to get married in a church though even though i’m an atheist. Always wanted a church wedding. Maybe that seems weird. In Sweden the church was a state institution until quite recently and every citizen was automatically a member, even though we are considered more or less 80% atheist. The church is of course deeply rooted in our culture but more in a traditional sense than anything else, and so the church is the natural place to get married for most people (those who actually get married these days) From this year gay couple can get married in the churches too which is great.

hearkat's avatar

@oratio: I am an agnostic, but I love the architecture and acoustics of churches.

oratio's avatar

@hearkat Oh, me too. And the peace.

GIFTownP's avatar

a courthouse.

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