Post # 1
Some background: My fiance and I don’t affiliate with any particular religion. My parents raised me Catholic for about half my childhood before they switched to an Episcopalian church; the switch was pretty hard for me to handle as an adolecent and I have been pretty turned off by religion ever since, and I think my parents are somewhat aware of that. My fiance was not raised religious.
We have decided to have a close friend of FMIL officate the wedding- we think she can provide a really spiritual ceremony. My FMIL wants me to ask my parents if this would be ok with them, though. My parents have not asked us anything at all about the officiant so far and I am hesitant to ask because I think they might want us to go with some type of christian minister if given the opportunity for input. Should I ask them? Tell them? Not say anything?
Post # 3
I would tell them, probably in the course of other wedding discussion. As in, your mom asks how the planning is going (or however you two talk about this) and you tell her you have found an officiant who is a friend of your FI’s family. Take it from there.
If your mind is already made up, just tell them as a statement of fact and don’t make a big deal of it. Depending on the reaction you anticipate from your parents, you might prepare some quick answers to explain why this is important to you, but try not to go in thinking the worst.
If you ask them, you need to be willing to consider doing what they want. It sounds like you already know this. Good luck and keep us posted!
Post # 4
Given your feelings about religion, I would think that having a minister officiate your ceremony would make it not feel like you were really married. I think the ceremony is one place where you get to be pretty uncompromising. I agree that you should tell them beforehand, though, but not ask unless you would in fact be willing to change things.
If it’s really important to them, there might be some other options. some people have two ceremonies. A couple friends of mine were really against that idea, though, so instead they had an official "blessing" at the bride’s church. Actually, they eloped to avoid some of the drama, so the blessing turned into kind of a big deal where her parents could invite all of the congregation. they were adamant that nothing in the blessing be an official marriage…and in the end they were really happy with how it all went (unfortunately I was out of the ocuntry and unable to attend, so I can’t tell you exactly what was said/done). I doubt if a Catholic or Episcopalian priest would marry you since your FI is not baptized, so if they want something Christian it would have to be from a more liberal church that would probably be okay with something like this.
Post # 5
I think it’s better not to ask, but to simply tell your mom about your officiant. You could also tell her about some traditional Christian elements you plan to include to make the ceremony more "real" for her (some elements you could considering without having to compromise your beliefs would be using traditional vows or ring vows, including a more traditional reading, or having a spiritual blessing at the end of the ceremony). Be open with your parents about why you’ve decided to choose this specific way to go with your ceremony, and be prepared to discuss it with them. I don’t think that your wedding ceremony is something that you should have to compromise on, but if it’s going to invite drama later – it’s better to talk to your parents about it now.