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Would you get married in church if you're not religious?

120 replies

Dogmum94 · 20/10/2018 09:58

Basically what it says really. Currently planning our wedding and need to decide. Our local church has a lot of meaning to DP and his family due to tradition more than religion. His family are Christian but not practicing, I was christened as a baby but wouldn't class myself as Christian, perhaps atheist maybe.
5 generations of his family have been married there, he was christened there and his DGM's funeral was held there and it's also where she is buried.
To me it just doesn't feel right getting married there when I'm not religious, and I'm worried other people/guests will think the same too but it means so much to his family

OP posts:
Singlebutmarried · 20/10/2018 10:00

What does it mean to your DP?

You’ve talked about how you feel and his family feel, but not about how the person you are marrying.

IsTheRainEverComingBack · 20/10/2018 10:02

Other way round but I’m the religious one marrying my non-religious/agnostic fiancé (from atheist family) in church. It’s very important to me to be married in church, for DF he just wants to be married to me, the venue is irrelevant. In fact marrying in church is non-negotiable for me, as he doesn’t believe it doesn’t matter one way or the other.

I think it’s absolutely fine for you to marry in church in these circumstances, it’s upholding a tradition and it sounds important to your DF and his family. It’s not like you’re both atheists who just want to marry in a church because it’s pretty.

Howdoyoudoit31 · 20/10/2018 10:03

Nope I wouldn’t.

LittleBookofCalm · 20/10/2018 10:03

People do, I am sure the vicar/priest doesnt mind

LittleBookofCalm · 20/10/2018 10:04

It is probably church's bread and butter

Justlikedevon · 20/10/2018 10:04

I don't think it's ok but everyone does it for a nicer service and prettier pictures so I'm in a minority.

CarryOnScreamingValenta · 20/10/2018 10:04

My husband and his family are Christians; I'm an agnostic. When we were talking about getting married I said I'd be happy to get married in a church, but not to pretend to the vicar that I was a believer - if the vicar was prepared to marry us on the basis that I was a non-believer but would support him in his faith, I would go along with a church wedding. My husband was fine with a register office, so that's what we did - his family seemed fine with it too.

LittleBookofCalm · 20/10/2018 10:05

DH wanted a church wedding for his departed mother's sake

Dogmum94 · 20/10/2018 10:06

@singlebutmarried as stated in my op 'Our local church has a lot of meaning to DP'

OP posts:
PrincessWire · 20/10/2018 10:06

Unless my intended worshipped there regularly then no, I wouldn't. I think it's so hypocritical to get married or have a child christened in a church if you don't normally set foot in it.

IsTheRainEverComingBack · 20/10/2018 10:09

Oh and God definitely won’t mind Wink

Cookit · 20/10/2018 10:09

Yes meaning but is he actually religious? Does he believe in God?

I think one of you should to have a church wedding.

PinkHeart5914 · 20/10/2018 10:09

No I wouldn’t!

LittleBookofCalm · 20/10/2018 10:10

if it means so much to his family you should, dont listen to mumsnet opinions, they will be divided

Thesearmsofmine · 20/10/2018 10:10

No I wouldn’t and didnt

Babdoc · 20/10/2018 10:10

Why don’t you meet the minister of the church and have a chat?
One option is to have a civil ceremony elsewhere, then have a simple service of blessing for your marriage at the church.
Our own minister recently did this for a couple who flew all the way to the U.K. from Australia, because the husband’s ancestor married in our church in 1780, and is buried in our churchyard.
The couple thought they would be alone with the minister and just exchange rings - but the congregation secretly baked and iced a cake, made kangaroo shaped biscuits, catered a mini reception, provided flowers and a photographer and we all dressed in wedding finery! The couple were bowled over - it was a lovely service, and a nice demonstration of Christian hospitality.

Dogmum94 · 20/10/2018 10:11

@Cookit yes he is a Christian

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Crazyeyes3 · 20/10/2018 10:11

I don’t believe in god and when I have been to a church wedding the words mean nothing to me as all about god. This is why I wouldn’t get married in a church.

Gogogadetmumoftwo · 20/10/2018 10:13

I’m a vicar. Lots of people get married in church who aren’t regular church-goers but you should be aware that it is a service. So if you have no faith at all it might feel uncomfortable. Most people I marry have some faith in God even if they haven’t been to church since they were little. Personally I think church weddings are fantastic (biased!) and the concept of God joining you together makes it even more special. Go have a chat with the vicar of the church as see how you feel afterwards.

You might be able to have a wedding blessing after a civil ceremony if you wanted a compromise. Some people even do this the same day as the civil service.

GoopWrithing · 20/10/2018 10:13

I did. It was what DH wished for, and I had no strong emotions against it. We married in the same church where my parents and siblings had married, too, which felt like a nice family tradition kind of thing.

I was more ambivalent about faith back then, though. I don't think I'd do it now.

MrsJackRackham · 20/10/2018 10:13

If you're not a believer then it's just a building to have your wedding in. No different than an hotel or registry office. If the minister or vicar is happy to conduct the service without you making any false promises or swearing you'll bring your children up Christian then there shouldn't be any issues.

LittleBookofCalm · 20/10/2018 10:14

are weddings your bread and butter @Gogogadetmumoftwo , I guessed wildly?


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Cookit · 20/10/2018 10:14

Well if he is I think it’s fine.

Personally I wouldn’t because having moved away from the church is important to me and I would feel like relatives would take me marrying in a church as a sign that I did, deep down, really remain a committed Christian. But if you have no moral objections I don’t think the church should have any since one half of the couple is a Christian. If anything surely they’d like it and take it as a sign that you would support his religious beliefs and be open to raising children with a faith?

TisConfusion · 20/10/2018 10:15

No. I wouldn't want a religious service as I'm not religious.

mindutopia · 20/10/2018 10:15

No, we aren’t Christian (though our families are) and no, we didn’t. If you are being dishonest in your vows, by pledging to believe in something you don’t, it seems like a shaky foundation for the start of your marriage. Find a way to plan a wedding that’s true to what you both believe not just something that keeps the family happy (otherwise sets a terrible precedent for all the other things you’ll be expected to do to keep the peace). We were probably the first people ever in our families to not have a church wedding (had a registrar ceremony to make it official and then a humanist wedding). People loved it, even very traditional grandparents, and still talk about how interesting and personal it was and it’s been nearly a decade now.

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