Post # 1
My parents have both told me they’ll help with the costs of the venue and food for my wedding (they’re currently divorcing so money is weird… either way I know they’re good for it). Because they’re paying, I know they get a say in some things like how many people come, who, etc, and that’s fine.
My dad expects to have a say in who marries us, and I am NOT okay with this. I haven’t lived at home in 5 years. I was raised evangelical christian, and I am not anywhere close. I am an atheist, and my fiance is a previous catholic, now agnostic. We have no interest in involving religion in our wedding and were planning on doing it at city hall first and then getting a friend to marry us at the ceremony. I find this very fitting and romantic for our small, beach wedding.
My father is very upset about it and wants us to be married by his pastor, who I have met maybe 6 times, speaks poor english (originally his is francophone), and obviously is Christian. I’m not interested in the least.
Do I have to let this happen because he’s paying? I don’t want to get married ‘before God’, I’m making a commitment before the law of my country and my friends and family.
Sorry if this should go elsewhere, just didn’t seem to fit anywhere.
Post # 3
@Peacockfeather: This is a tough situation to be in, but I would say yes, whoever is footing the bill is paying the cost to be the boss and it is unlikely that your parents will pay for a party that is not officiated at by their pastor. And I wouldn’t expect them to.
You can have a talk with them and let them know that you don’t want a religious wedding but be prepared that they might withdraw their financial support.
My parents are extremely religious Catholics. I am marrying a Jew. They didn’t have a problem with that, but they were very disappointed that I am not getting married in a church or having any sort of religious connotations in my ceremony. But, that’s okay, because my FI and I are paying ourselves.
It might be better to just pay for whatever ceremony you are able to afford rather than accept money and have a ceremony that is not compatible with your personal beliefs. Good luck with whatever you decide.
Post # 4
@mimi123: That;s tough. I once used to love a muslim before i married my husband who is catholic. My mom didn’t even want to hear about a possible marriage between me and the muslim guy. I’m Christian orthodox so i did marry in a catholic church, not in my church. It wasn’t bad. You should speak with your father once more time but if he wants you to have a religious wedding he won’t change his plans, he might even refuse to pay anything for you. i think you should do it in the church. I live in Poland and 3 months ago i didn’t speak polish at all, i had a preist i first time saw, ended up being funny and kind, only 24-26 years old :), Spoke a bit of english, so i could say my oath in english.
Post # 5
@mimi123: We can afford the whole ceremony ourselves and at this point we are already paying for all of it ourselves as neither parent has given us money for anything. My mother couldn’t care less who marries us, and she’d likely end up paying for everything if my dad withdrew his portion.
I seriously doubt it’ll come to that but I’m not going to bend to his dollar just because he believes something I don’t. What good is getting married ‘before God’ if it’s not even remotely sincere? Fiance’s rigid Catholic parents already told us there’s no sense having a Catholic ceremony when netiher of us are even Catholics anymore. Sometimes they can be so sensible….. sometimes 😉
Post # 6
@Peacockfeather: I completely agree. I know this really bothers my mom, but I said the same thing, I can’t just go along with something I don’t believe in just to make other people happy. My mom didn’t even like that I went on a vacation with my FI because of the sins I was committing. Can you believe this? I am almost 40 years old! But the thing is, she is sincere in her beliefs and wants to express them. I can listen, but only up to a point and then I have had enough. I am glad to hear though that you don’t need their financial support as a lot of folks couldn’t have their weddings without their parents’ contributions.
@aliona.deszynska: My parents were at first upset by his being Jewish, but they got over that really fast once they met him and now my mom loves the guy. You never know with people!
Post # 7
They really need to respect your wishes on this despite if they are helping you pay.
Post # 8
@mimi123: Our budget is fairly small, which helps, and I have a line of credit at our disposal. I want him to be involved, but I just really can’t compromise over something that’s that important. I mean, it’s the whole ceremony! I want my vows to be mine and mean something to my fiance and I!
I hope that things work out with your mom. I live with my fiance already and though the family may not be thrilled about that, they’ve never tried to guilt or shame us about it either.
Post # 9
@Peacockfeather: In theory, I don’t believe that parents contributing finances towards a wedding means they are buying a say in how the wedding plays out – but, that’s only one opinion. I’d have a frank discussion with both your mom and dad and ask if they are contributing funds because they want a say in wedding planning or if they are contributing funds to help you get married (in the way you desire). As an evangelical Christian, I can understand why your father is upset and why he feels it’s important that you get married by a pastor (my hunch is he thinks you’ll change your mind about your current religious beliefs). It could be the wedding is an outlet for him to express his frustration about it – but, that doesn’t mean he has a say in it or you should change what you want in your ceremony!
Post # 10
@Peacockfeather: Thank you–my mom has actually come a long way from when I first started dating FI 2 years ago and she refused to meet him! She just gave him a big Christmas gift. She always seems to do things out of what she earnestly feels is right and best for everyone but just has problems accepting that not everyone thinks the same way.
Post # 11
I think the person who pays should get a say in most aspects, but I think the structure of the ceremony and inclusion of religion is something that should be very personal to the couple. I think you may need to sit down with your dad and explain that it is very important to you and FI that your wedding ceremony reflect the two of you as a couple.
Post # 13
Wait. If you’re an atheist, would his pastor even agree to perform the marriage???
Post # 14
I think your father is saying I will pay for “your wedding” the way I want it. He is attaching strings. Neither my Mother nor My FILs were thrilled with the fact that it was possible that we weren’t getting married in church.
I basically told my mom does she think as a christian it would be disrespectful to her religion, the church in addition to my marriage for me to go in a church and recite vows that I am opposed too and that I find ridiculous and ring false for me as a person. As far as I’m concern religion and god have little to no place in my life, wedding and in my marriage. The only person who can inject any of that into it is my Fi.
I think ultimately this isn’t really about religion it’s about your father trying to exert control and probably about projecting a certain image to friends and family. I think you need to weigh your options and decide if the cost of accepting this money is truly worth it to you.
Post # 15
You’re right this is a tough one. (Disclaimer: I’m Christian having been agnostic at one point and raised Catholic.)
i read an article a while back that discussed that if parents are contributing financially, we should be prepared to let them have some input. Problem is, we’re grown and want to make out own decisions for our own wedding. Your dad probably wants God bless your union and believes in the convenient of marriage as a Godly union.
Maybe there’s a middle ground? Would you consider meeting with the pastor and setting a plan for the type of ceremony that you are comfortable with? I realize that you may want no mention of God but there are other ways in which the pastor could encourage your marriage… From the perspective of sustaining your relationship.
I really hope you all can come to common ground and that your pArents relationship does improve.
Post # 16
Sounds like you should consider paying for your own wedding!