I have always been pretty ambivalent about my beliefs. I grew up Jewish, but not very religiously so. My parents were essentially atheists, but they believed in celebrating the holidays for the sake of tradition. They wanted to keep a sense of connection to their own people, and anyway they were used to the trappings of Judaism. So when I was getting married, I was very ambivalent about having a Jewish wedding. On the one hand, I didn't really see any need for it in my own spiritual life. I thought that I had my own relationship with God, and I didn't need any particular religious doctrine telling me what to do. On the other hand, however, I did not want to upset my relatives. My grandmother in particular would have been crushed if I hadn't had a Jewish wedding.
The problem was that the woman I was marrying was not Jewish. This alone ended up causing some scandal in my family, as neither of us intended to convert. Eventually my grandmother had forgiven me, but it had taken a long time. After much discussion, we decided to have a Jewish interfaith wedding. Half of it would be according to Jewish custom, the other would be according to Catholic custom. That way, we could keep both of our families happy.
Planning for the Jewish wedding was my favorite part of it. Although I have never had much of an appreciation for the religion, I have, like my parents, a certain respect for the cultural trappings. I love Jewish ceremonies, Jewish food, and Hebrew prayers. I even like the tuneless chanting of the cantor. It makes everything seem old, holy, and serious. To me, this is not a religious appreciation, but rather a nostalgia for the customs and traditions of my childhood. All kids like that stuff, and some of it sticks with you as you grow older.
We did not sign a Jewish marriage contract or use Hebrew wedding vows, but in many respects it was a traditional Jewish wedding. All weddings are festive occasions, but Jewish weddings are quite a party. My favorite part is when they lift the bride and groom up on chairs, carrying them around. The songs are beautiful, and the atmosphere is pleasant. As the drink started flowing, all of the controversy over my wedding vows began to dissipate. By the end of the day, everyone was happy with the way the wedding went.