This weekend my cousin got married, so I went back home for just a couple of days for the ceremony and reception. I’d never been to a wedding before but it was brilliant! They hired out this beautiful hotel in Cheshire for the reception, not far at all from my house, whilst the ceremony itself was in their local parish church (CofE).
As I say I’d never been to a wedding before and quite a few times during the ceremony my right eyebrow was raised about as high as it would go. Time and time again the vicar would say something like “God brought this couple together and he will nurture their love”, or there’d be a reference to the Song of Solomon, or even Ephesians (just the nice parts though, they missed out all the bits about man being the head of his wife). Fortunately there was no mention of “love, honour and obey” in the vows but still they were done explicitly in the presence of God and there was a big elaborate blessing of the rings and lots of prayers offered up for the newlyweds, and they even went and knelt at the altar for a long time whilst a hymn was sung. I happen to know my cousin doesn’t really care much for religion, she’s not against it but AFAIK she doesn’t go to church and it’s not a big deal for her. I was really shocked that so much should be attributed to God on the one day that you’d hope everything would be about the couple involved and their dedication to each other. And this is in a CofE church, I shudder to think what a Catholic one must be like!
So I look forward to having a humanist wedding. There are a few complications though.
1) Having a nonreligious wedding in the first place. As I’m sure I’ve blogged before, my family is quite a big Catholic one. It broke my grandmother’s heart when my eldest uncle married out, and I think my mum would feel similarly.
2) Names. I’m not exactly the kind of person who does things for tradition’s sake, and I don’t really have any particular attachment to my surname, it’s only shared by my immediate family since my dad doesn’t really have any family on his side. So I would have no problem changing my name (or double barrelling it but I think it’s long enough) if my future wife really liked hers or if it were better than mine. I suspect this would meet with some resistance from the parentals.
3) On a similar vein, traditional things with little purpose or that we don’t agree with would also be out the window.
4) What if whoever I marry is religious? That would be very difficult.
But whatever, I suppose I’d better meet someone first, heh.