Post # 1
I think what I am seeking here would be advice from any bee who is going through this. I have posted before that my wedding will not be in a church. Not to say that Fiance and I completely disregard religion, but we don’t belong to any sort of denomination or feel particularly connected with any religious doctrine at this point in our lives. We want to celebrate our marriage as just that, the celebration of us, our love and our loved ones.
A little background, I grew up in the Catholic church, and always went every Sunday with my family. I went to a Catholic high school and was religious until I got to college when I was open to other ideas and began exploring my own feelings and thoughts about faith. I have come to the point in my life where I am comfortable with what I believe and FI’s beliefs are similar.
Our wedding ceremony and reception are planned in this very special place to us. It is where our first kiss was, where we first said ‘I love you’ and where he proposed to me. It means a great deal to us to be married there. Unfortunately, my mom and some family members do not/ cannot understand this decision.
What can I do to help them understand or how can I make them see why this is important to me? Please, any advice is most welcome. Thanks in advance, Bees.
Post # 3
I feel like that you explained on here is enough! Just tell them the same thing
Post # 4
So they want you to have a traditional Catholic mass in a church?
Post # 5
@napabridekelsey: Yes. And both Fiance and I don’t want that. I want them to understand and be supportive, but at the same time, I do understand that it kind of hurts for them too.
Post # 6
It’s not their wedding. They had theirs already, and got to make it all big and churchy and whatever. I say you explain to them exactly what you just wrote here and if they can’t accept that then the problem is with them. You have to put your foot down on things like this so that the day is YOURS and how YOU want it to be. I think that if they love you and are told why it’s so special to you they will probably understand. It’s not really up for discussion, right? So they will just have to deal with it, and hopefully in a graceful manner.
Post # 7
How many people have their wedding in a church and still have their marriage fail? I can understand their feelings about it, but when you boil it down… it’s just a location. It doesn’t have any impact on the outcome of your lives together. Good luck talking with your family!
Post # 8
I know this may be tough, but you are getting married and even though this may sound very old school, this is the start of your new family, that is seperate from the one you shared with your parents. You don’t need to explain it to them, but I understand wanting their support. You are an adult and have made this choice for the start of your new family and they shouldn’t be swaying you to change those decisions. Let go of your guilt about it and it will be easier to deal with.
Post # 9
In a way, I very much understand. My sister wanted something similar (although they are religious… they just wanted their ceremony somewhere sentimental) and my family put up a HUGE stink about it. My sister and her Darling Husband basically got bullied into having their ceremony at our church.
At my wedding, someone from my family told the DJ to turn the music down, so the dancing never happened… yup. No dancing when we really wanted it.
So, what my sister and I have learned is to do what you want and be VERY FIRM otherwise, you’ll end up regretting it.
Post # 10
- Wedding: September 2011 - Mackinaw Valley Vineyard; Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts
Are you having a priest or minister perform the ceremony? Perhaps that would appease your family enough to see past the fact that the ceremony is not in a church.
Post # 11
@mspony: We were thinking about having an episcopal priest perform the ceremony (FI was raised in the Episcopal church) but I worry they still wouldn’t be appeased. Maybe that’s just it, I shouldn’t be appeasing them or worrying about what they think if it is something that both Fiance and I truly want for our day. I just want them to be happy and supportive. But I guess you can’t always expect that or get that from everyone. Thanks, Miss Pony, that is definitely something to bring up. 🙂
@piglet_625: Thank you, I definitely needed to hear that reassurance and I am sorry for what happened at yours and your sister’s weddings.
It is difficult not to feel guilty about this. But you all are absolutely right. We need to be firm and strong if it is something that we really want.
Post # 12
My in laws were unhappy we weren’t being married by a man of the cloth (I’m not religious)- it’s a long story, but we ended up not telling them the mayor of our city was going to marry us. When asked, my husband pretended like this was something that just came up and he didn’t think to tell them. Sometimes keeping people out of the loop is the best decision 🙂
Post # 13
I don’t really know what you can say that will make them happy with your decision. But maybe if you can understand their concerns, you might be better able to address them.
To Catholics, if you are Catholic and not married in the Catholic Church (unless you get a dispensation), your marriage is invalid. And I’m guessing that is what they are concerned about. To them, you will only be legally married, so you will be essentially “living in sin.” They don’t want a church wedding necesssarily because they have something against a simple ceremony in a place that is meaningful to you, but because they are afraid your marriage won’t be valid.
But…that rule only applies to Catholics. If you can convince your family that you are no longer Catholic (and that Fiance never has been), then even according the the Catholic Church, your marriage will be valid, no matter where you marry or who performs the ceremony. Of course, then they probably won’t like that you aren’t Catholic, but that’s an entirely separate issue.
Alternately, you can have the wedding you want and then agree with your parents that you will at some later time have the ceremony convalidated. Of course, this would mean you’d have to be willing to do that…and it doesn’t sound like that’s the case. You’d have to decide if you really want to go through with something you don’t necessarily believe in to make your parents happy…and I can’t answer that for you. The Church would also require you to do all the premarital counseling they require of all couples…but it should ease your parents’ concerns.
Unfortunately, simply getting married in an Episcopalian church likely won’t satisfy your family. It would really not be any different (to them) than you getting married by a Justice of the Peace. Again, it’s probably the requirement that Catholics marry in a Catholic Church to have a valid marriage that’s the issue. The only ways to do that are to marry in the Catholic Church, marry outside the Church with a dispensation from the Church, or just not be Catholic and marry wherever you want.
Post # 14
@Neva: I have never heard of a disspensation, what is that? Also, thank you for clearing that up for me. I sincerely did not realize that this was the case.
Post # 15
I didn’t read the responses, but I am of the mindset that if people are giving you grief about your decisions, they are in the “this is my/our decision, end of discussion” camp. If they can’t be supportive, they don’t get to talk to you about it. For some reason, it seems like when it comes to weddings, people feel like they can spout their opinions out whenever they want about whatever they want, and they don’t understand that your wedding decisions are personal.
I’m sorry things can’t be easier. 🙁
Post # 16
@micahg: A dispensation from canonical form is simply permission from a Catholic Bishop to marry outside the Catholic Church, but still have the marriage recognized by the Church. Unfortunately, to get one, you kind of have to work with a priest and they don’t grant them for what they consider “frivolous” reasons. I don’t know that you could get one (but, hey, it doesn’t hurt to ask!) to be married in the spot where you were proposed to. They are usually granted when one party is not Catholic and it is important to them to be married in their own chuch or by a clergyperson of their faith (i.e, your Fiance says its very important for him to get married in the Episcopal Church or to be married by his uncle who is a Baptist minister).
Honestly, it sounds like you no longer consider yourself Catholic. If that’s the case, maybe explaining that to your family is the way to go. I’m guessing they understand that two non-Catholics aren’t bound by Catholic rules and can validly marry outside of the Church. If both you and your Fiance are baptized, but not Catholic, your marriage will still be considered a sacrament (if that’s important to your parents). Even if one of both of you aren’t baptized, the marriage would still be a valid natural marriage in the eyes of the Church. Of course, there are no guarantees they will be as supportive or understanding as you like, but as the other posters have said, it is your wedding in the end and your decision to make, not theirs. I’m sorry that you are dealing with all this.