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Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.
Congratulations to the happy couple, may they always know where their towels are.
I hope they answered the question “Do you take this . . . .” with “42″?
I’m an ordained pastor (The Church of the Big Lebowski) and I’ve done a couple of weddings. The book I like to hold is my old Dungeon Masters Guide. It looks properly ‘bookish’. It’s old and worn, so it has a nice antique feel. It’s large enough to hold a full 8.5×11 sheet of paper, so I can print a cheat sheet for the ceremony.
Last wedding I did, one of the guests came up to me before the ceremony and said ‘Is that the Dungeon Masters Guide?’. I cautiously replied that it was. He responded with ‘Oh man! This is going to be the best wedding EVER!’
Also, at that quiet moment before the wedding starts, and it’s just me and the groom, I had him a 20 sided dice and whisper ‘Save vs Magic or be married for the rest of your life’.
I found a copy of this book at a used book store in Kyoto for 8 bucks.
With the small, contrarian exception of the white dress (hasn’t Queen Victoria held sway long enough?), agreed! Was married a few weeks ago (in deep red) by a high school friend who became a Universal Life ‘Goddess’ for the occasion, and I will always treasure our personalized, secular humanist ceremony. So much more special when you embrace the things that mean something to you and chuck out that which doesn’t. Best wishes to the cool couple!
I think I’d use my copy of Thus Spake Zarathustra.
I bought it N-th hand from a used book dealer, so it’s appropriately old, leather-bound tome creaking with age and wisdom. ^_^
“…and now we shall read a couple of words of wisdom from the Good Book.”
Sould have more, DONT PANIC on the cover.
I have two copies of the complete…, one just like the one pictured. I have never cracked the spine on it because it is more of a sacred text than the 4 editions of the bible and Book of Mormon that we own. Douglas Adams actually wrote that book and we all know that he IS a God!
I don’t know.
Sure weddings should be a fun day for everyone – but there should also be a little bit of seriousness taken. It is a lifelong commitment that is at many points very difficult to maintain (though granted a little light hearted perspective does help at times). Also many people are fighting very hard to get the rights that it endows – it’s like spoiling your vote for trivial reasons.
I just feel that the Hitchhiker’s Guide demeans it a little – you don’t actually need a book, do you? I’d leave that to the Christians.
Spoken like a man who lost his towel. Clearly any couple who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still know where their towels are is clearly a couple to be reckoned with.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is NOT demeaning! It contains a lot of universal truths. Depending on the passage(s) read, it can be very appropriate for a wedding.
Congrats to the couple, and a million internets to them for not giving an in-air copulation for tradition (excluding the white dress, obvsly)!
I’m actually sort of jealous; my husband and I got married largely due to pressures from our conservative Christian families and had a traditional Christian wedding ceremony, complete with readings from the Bible and prayer.
I don’t resent them for “making” us get married, but I DO wish that “our day” had reflected more of our character (especially since we were both non-theists by the time the wedding planning started).
Seriously, wedding should be an awesome day where you’re surrounding by the people you love doing things that are important or symbolically important to you/you relationship. If you want to read from Hitchhiker’s Guide and prance down a grassy path in a meadow IN your towel, then by all means.
This bullshit that if it feels heavy and slow it must be “serious” and the couple must be “taking it seriously” needs to cease and desist. It’s my hope that individuals who decide to get married have ALREADY had the the serious and heavy conversations about whether or not to get married; wedding ceremonies are supposed to be celebrations, but I don’t think if you peeked into a Catholic wedding you’d ever see that.
I happy to be married. My husband is awesome. But I do wish that the memories I have of my wedding day are more significant for me than for my mother, and dispensing Jesus’ blessing on the both of us is in no way, shape, or form significant to us atheists.
Moral of the story: if you can, wait to get married. Wait until you know who you are, what’s important to you, and have the cash to fund a giant, all-day party…and then get married. Design your ceremony/celebration however the heck you want it (the piece of paper from the government is the most important part anyway), and go for it. Don’t let people guilt you into doing things that aren’t meaningful for the sake of “tradition” – create your own, and own it.
My wife is a theist, though she hasn’t attended church in almost a decade. When we got married I consented to a church wedding, mainly out of deference to her family. Honestly, I didn’t care about that part. As far as I was concerned, we had already dedicated ourselves to spending our lives together. The ceremony was just a formality.
The reception, on the other hand, was another matter. I wanted a big party with good food and plenty of fun so we could celebrate with our friends and family. We actually did pay for the whole thing ourselves, so we had a lot of leeway.
It went pretty well. If I could do it over, I might ask that we tone down the religiousness of the ceremony a bit.
I seriously hope the best man and the maid of honor are holding on to their towels for them.
I’m sorry, but there’s more to a wedding than a load of jokes. In fact, marriage should never be taken as a joke. It’s *partly* because people have taken marriage as a joke that there is so much divorce
Yes to the reading. NO to that hideous suit.
I do weddings as a Humanist Celebrant (www.humanist-society.org) and I don’t use any books at all–just the ceremony the couple writes to use. I do offer a 5-second ceremony too: “Do you want to marry?” “Yes” (couple in unison). “Fine, you’re married.” Legal in every state.
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