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To get married in a church, even if I'm not religious?

(124 Posts)
WoolSkye Sat 27-Aug-16 20:08:48

I'm technically Christian, but I'm not actually religious. My dad is buried at a certain church, I'd love to get married there, as he obviously isn't here to walk me down the isle. I'm just wondering if it's unreasonable?

GeneralBobbit Sat 27-Aug-16 20:11:09

It's completely fine

You don't have to believe to celebrate your love somewhere special to you

And even though you don't believe in God, I promise he's dead chuffed you're there grin

PurpleDaisies Sat 27-Aug-16 20:12:16

What do you mean by technically Christian? Do you believe in God?

You don't have to be a Christian to get married in church but if it's outside your parish the vicar might require you to attend for a while beforehand or come to some sort of marriage preparation. What does your fiancé think? Would you be happy making religious vows?

OrianaBanana Sat 27-Aug-16 20:13:10

If they'll have you, I would say get married wherever you and your STBDH want.

It's a lovely idea to be married close to your DF.

DrLockhart Sat 27-Aug-16 20:13:34

Make an appointment to speak to the vicar. They will talk to you and you can be honest about where you are at with your faith. I did this. Started going to church and carried on after I got married. That was two years ago. I love Jesus - and I enjoy going to church. It all started very similar to your OP, I wanted to get married in a church but also wanted to be comfortable and find my faith (I just didn't know it at the time).

Arfarfanarf Sat 27-Aug-16 20:13:49

Well, you'll be making vows before a god you dont believe in but then so do a lot of people.

Are you in the uk? If so it's really more culturally christian than christian capital C, iyswim. So people do the whole christening, wedding in a church, christmas, easter, pancakes thing and tick christian on forms but never see the inside of a church from one year to the next.

So if you want to use a church for your wedding, because your dad is buried there is a better reason than because it looks pretty/ i want a big white dress.

Velvetdarkness Sat 27-Aug-16 20:14:01

I think yabu. You're not a Christian if you don't believe in the trinity. Having been christened means nothing (and isn't even biblical).

However the CofE will be happy to marry you for a fee, so go ahead.

manicinsomniac Sat 27-Aug-16 20:15:36

YANBU - as long as you are comfortable with it there's no reason for the church not to be. Anybody should be welcome in a church for any reason.

bikerlou Sat 27-Aug-16 20:15:41

We just went to the registry office in our jeans and paid £100 to get married. We wanted to spend our money on our house not a wedding.
But whatever makes you happy :-)

WoolSkye Sat 27-Aug-16 20:17:20

I was baptised smile I don't believe in God, no. I know the vicar pretty well, as I'm always at the church (to see my dad) and he's often pottering about! Of course I'd be happy to make the religious vows smile

PurpleDaisies Sat 27-Aug-16 20:18:37

If you don't believe in God you're not a Christian, whether you've been baptised or not.

Definitely chat to the vicar and see what he says.

olives106 Sat 27-Aug-16 20:19:18

Yes, you can. You have a right to get married in your local parish (CofE) church, or in any CofE church where you can demonstrate a legal 'Qualifying Connection' under the Marriage Act 2008. It doesn't matter if you're Hindu, Atheist, Jewish, whatever. The vicar shouldn't even make you do marriage preparation, though they might suggest it.

Lots of advice on the yourchurchwedding website, including legalities:

MrsJayy Sat 27-Aug-16 20:19:58

Yanbu you are entitled to get married where you want the church is significant to you and that is all that matters imo

WoolSkye Sat 27-Aug-16 20:20:24

Genuine question, why do people mind so much about other people giving their baby the option, so would rather them not baptise them, etc. when it doesn't mean anything anyway then? I always tick I'm Christian blush I didn't realise.

CannotEvenDeal Sat 27-Aug-16 20:21:20

Of course I'd be happy to make the religious vows... to a God you don't believe in. confused

ohidoliketobe Sat 27-Aug-16 20:21:39

You have the right to marry in the parish church of the parish you live in or have lived in for 6 months+, or your parents married in, and a couple of other reasons -

You're not unreasonable no. It sounds a lovely way to involve your father.
We married in our parish church. I'm not practicing Christian. DH is confirmed and parents attend every week. The Rev was just pleased someone wanted to use his church and we were pleased to find a venue to hold our guests that wasn't part of a hotel package or the ropey local registary office. We had 'school hymns' which people loved singing and the Vicar didn't make it overtly religious in his non scripted spiel. It was lovely.

Queenbean Sat 27-Aug-16 20:21:42

You'll have to hang out in the church for aaaaages before to convince them you care about religion

SellFridges Sat 27-Aug-16 20:22:13

If you don't believe in God then the vows you take on your wedding day in a church would be nonsense.

I appreciate you would like to feel close to your father on your wedding day, but I would look for other ways. Can you stop off at his grave with your new husband on your way to the reception venue? Or I had my DF's wedding ring sewn into my wedding dress (it was my something old and something borrowed), that might be a way to know he is with you.

Rumpelstiltskin143 Sat 27-Aug-16 20:23:07

You don't believe in God but you're willing to take vows. You've got to be kidding. You'll lie to get something you want! Grow up.

olives106 Sat 27-Aug-16 20:23:55

No, you don't Queenbean. Everyone who lives in England has an absolute right to be married in their local parish church by laws which go back to medieval times. They can be of any faith or none. As long as they're legally entitled to be married (over 16, not close relations, etc) and haven't been married before (in which case the vicar has the right to refuse to marry them, but most vicars will do marriage after divorce) they have a legal right, no matter what their beliefs.

Pineappletastic Sat 27-Aug-16 20:24:37

I couldn't do it, I'd have felt like a massive hypocrite, but I am definitely an atheist despite being christened. I'd have felt like making my vows 'in front of' a God I didn't believe in somehow made them invalid. I also felt that it was somehow disrespectful to actual religious people.

But if you're happy, and the Vicar's happy, then go for it.

CannotEvenDeal Sat 27-Aug-16 20:25:18

My friends' experiences echoes Queen over olives .

Just saying.

olives106 Sat 27-Aug-16 20:26:39

I am legally right. There might be some vicars who behave like arses, but they can't refuse to marry you or insist on conditions, though some try it on.

WoolSkye Sat 27-Aug-16 20:27:18

I'm quite grown up, thanks hmm

GailLondon Sat 27-Aug-16 20:27:20

YABU. You want to lie in your vows on your wedding day? Declaring your commitment to a god you don't believe in? Not a great start to a marriage

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