She wore a white dress; he wore a tuxedo and her family wore kilts in honor of her Scottish heritage. After they exchanged vows and rings and sealed the deal with a kiss, an officiant in a black robe pronounced them husband and wife. Then, they dined and danced the night away at an Atlanta country club with their closest friends and loved ones, culminating in a midnight confetti drop.
Missing from the guest list: God.
The Longs are atheists who did not want gods or religious texts involved in their marriage celebration. But apart from the non-church setting, the only hint at an deliberately non-religious wedding was contained within their vows and readings. These included selections from Shakespeare, Robert Burns and the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, which they felt "beautifully expressed the social and secular significance of marriage without any appeal to religion," said Joseph Long, a lawyer in Tampa, Florida.
"We felt it made the point well that you can have the sanctity of marriage without having to fit into a particular group," he said. "It basically states that marriage is extremely important in society for a variety of reasons, regardless of what someone's god thinks about it."
As secularism continues to rise in the United States, more couples like the Longs are deviating from a traditional wedding blueprint that includes prayers, blessings and biblical passages.