Post # 1
Hello everyone! I have a ceremony dilemma. Neither my fiance nor I are especially religious, although our respective churches are important to us for family, community, and sentimental reasons. I was raised Methodist, and he was raised Catholic. I have no problem with a Catholic ceremony but about 80% of my family would be unable to attend a Catholic ceremony due to conflicting beliefs. I feel it would be unfair to ask them to choose between their religion (however I may disagree with it) and attending my wedding, and would like to have things at the Methodist church as a neutral site. However, my fiance feels that he doesn’t want to encourage “bad behavior” (he feels they’re being too narrow-minded) and wants to go ahead with a Catholic ceremony.
Also, it seems we’re having a disagreement on the formality of the event. We can’t hold the ceremony in the main Methodist church due to size limitations, but there is a beautiful covered outdoor pavilion that is a consecrated church where they hold services in the spring and fall that would hold everyone. His objection to this site is that there’s no organ, which he wants (he is an organist and has played literally hundreds of weddings). Also it turns out he wants at least one vocalist (which I hadn’t even considered). I feel that once you throw in a Catholic ceremony with an organ and a vocalist and 250+ guests you’ve long since passed up relaxed and informal which is the feeling we’d originally agreed on.
Here are the solutions I see:
Hold it in the pavilion and keep the informal outdoorsy feel that I like (plus allow my family the chance to attend)
Hold it in the Catholic church with all the bells and whistles and change the feel of our wedding and lose 40% of our guest list (most of my family)
Have a civil ceremony everyone could attend
What do y’all think???
Post # 3
Have you talked to your respective minister/priest? Most will work with you to incorporate two different religions into a ceremony of your choice. I like the idea of the outdoor pavillion, becuase it seems it is a more nuetral spot than his church or your church. Also, speak with your family about the ceremony and let them know it’s about you two getting married and spending your lives together, not about the conflicting religions.
Post # 4
Why is it that the Methodist believers can’t attend a wedding in a Catholic church? What reasons have they given you?
When you are talking about getting married in these churches, are you talking about the church building or the religion? As far as I know, you can’t get married in the Catholic church without doing marriage prep. I have no idea what the Methodist requirements are. But whether or not receiving the sacrament is important to either or both of you might help you make your decision.
Post # 5
I’m a little confused why your family can’t attend a Catholic wedding? Do you mean they won’t enter the church at all? Or they wouldn’t participate in a Catholic Mass (like all the sit down, stand up, Eucharist stuff) but they would still be physically there? I would talk to your Methodist minister and your Fi’s Catholic priest. Often priests will work with another minister or pastor to combine the two faiths into one ceremony.
As far as the problem goes about whether to have a more formal affair or a more informal wedding and reception, I think you can combine both of your visions. Having an organist and a vocalist doesn’t necessarily mean uber-formal. Who knows, maybe he would be happy with an outdoors wedding and electric organ? That would definitely bring down the formality.
Post # 6
Well, they’re not Methodist, and won’t show up at a Catholic church wedding, but will attend at a protestant church. And it’s not even so much that I want them there, as it is that it would hurt my parents to have a big wedding (criteria mandated by the groom, he has a 200-250 person list) and not have their family there. Yes they’re weird, and no, I don’t have any idea exactly what part of their belief system is that requires them to stay out of Catholic churches :-p
Plus the Methodist pavilion is extremely sentimental, as my late grandfather built it and my parents were married there. That location would have been my first choice regardless of the religion issue, but alas, my opinions don’t count for much at the moment.
And no, he insists on a pipe organ. None of that electronic stuff, apparently. And I could care less about the music, except that the only churches around here with pipe organs are Catholic, which translates to a barren bride’s side of the church.
And on the formality, that can be changed, but since I’m paying for it myself (he’s paying for rehearsal dinner and honeymoon) and we have such a huge guest list (~300, yes, it’s already 2:1 on his family to mine) I’d wanted to keep things pretty relaxed and informal, which in my brain translates to less expensive :-p
So I face the unenviable decision of either sad parents and a barren bride’s side or catering to some pretty narrow-minded (but otherwise caring) folks who would actually like to attend my wedding, but would feel forced not to (again, I have no idea why).
Right now I just feel I’m danged if I do, and darned if I don’t.
Post # 7
Camellia I know how you feel–Catholic families are VERY picky when it comes to going to other types of ceremonies. I was raised Catholic but would consider myself protestant right now, and my fiance was raised in a protestant household. My grandparents are very old fashioned and stubborn are going to be VERY upset once they find out that we aren’t getting married in the Catholic church, and it’s going to create a lot of drama! What a tough situation you’re in–try your hardest to have it in the pavilion because in the end, you will be extremely upset if your family can’t attend the Catholic service.
Post # 8
hmmm, i definitely think you should have it in the pavillion, it would be such a shame for your family to not be there, it’s not fair=T…plus you’re already opting to not have it at the church..
we are also having a protestant/catholic wedding and have agreed to have it at my church (baptist) and we are both having a pastor/priest co-officiate..at first my dad was upset at the idea, but then u know what, at the end of the day, it’s YOUR wedding..i’m sure feelings are going to get hurt on both sides, but it’s YOURS and HIS special day, they will somehow have to learn to accept it and try to get over it…
Post # 9
Would it be possible to have your major ceremony somewhere that your family will all come to, but also have some sort of blessing at the Catholic church during the weekend to satisfy your fiance and his family? There is definitely a ceremony for blessing marriages that took place outside the Catholic church.
The larger issue, though, seems to be your fiance’s unwillingness to meet you halfway on these issues.