Post # 1
Uhh. So, yesterday my fi and I had our first meeting with the wedding officiant – who is a former co-worker of mine. Back in January I asked if he would perform the ceremony, he agreed despite this being his first time officiating a wedding. The fi and I were both raised Catholic, but no longer practice. We’re both spiritual and respect God, but are not die hards…we’re pretty liberal with our beliefs. Hence our decision not to get married in the church, but an old mansion.
Our plan is to do something a few steps up from justice of the peace, but nothing longer than a 30-minute deal. I knew this former co-worker was a "man of God" (chaplin for his church) and we were cool with that because we wanted to ceremony to have a special blessing. Up until this point we hadn’t really discussed specifics because we were going to wait until our meeting… well, meet we did. It was mostly the Fi & I listening to him read from the bible, suggest that we no longer live together if we want our marriage to work, no physical contact, the importance of going back to church on a regular basis, Jesus this, Jesus that. Obviously, we were very respectful and agreed to move forward with future "pre-marriage counseling sessions". He put us on the spot and I think we’re we were both in shock at the moment.
Since sleeping on it, the Fi & are not sure we want to have this guy marry us. Our beliefs don’t exactly jive with so much bible talk – he mentioned something about marriage being only between a man & a woman – having both gay friends & family that mention did not sit too well with us. He also kept bringing up the importance of being submissive which really turned my stomach. We’re not going to live apart for the next 4 months until the wedding nor take a physical hiatus from each other. Our lives are pretty established and we do not feel that our choice ruins the sanctity of marriage or it won’t be blessed if we don’t do x, y, & z to save our selves and find Jesus. I feel sick to my stomach that I didn’t treat this guy like every other vendor with my peppering of questions and research.
Things have gotten pretty far and we’re not sure how to handle this situation. We feel like we’re in a total pickle – either we "break up" with him and then I get to awkwardly face him at future work functions (he’s contracted to help out a few times a month) or we try to get him to go along with our beliefs which probably won’t happen since he works on behalf of God.
Anyone else run into trouble with religious beliefs or backing out from a vendor late in the game? I really don’t want to back out since he’s been training with his pastor for months and is super excited to perform his first wedding ceremony. Plus, he’s a really nice guy and everyone at work knows that he’ll (until otherwise noted) be marrying us. But the Fi & I feel pretty strongly that this is just not the right person to perform our wedding.
Post # 3
could you have an ordained family memeber do it? then you can say "i’m so sorry but my uncle who is a minister asked my dad and i didn’t know…" or you could just be upfront and say you feel like your union doesn’t fit with his readings or beliefs but that you appreciate him being willing to do it…
Post # 4
I had no issues with my officiant, I hand picked him and I had known him for years. I suggest you call and let him know that you feel that your beliefs aren’t completely compatible with his and you will be looking for someone else to officiate the marriage. Of course say it tactfull (i suffer from foot in mouth disease).
Post # 5
No ordained family members to use as a scape goat. I have a feeling that I will be faced with having the difficult conversation with him explaining our honest, heart-felt feelings. Obviously, I would prefer not to confront him on the subject, but my original plan of pretending either the wedding was off or just no longer answering his phone calls to after October probably won’t fly. I’m a total chicken when it comes to this stuff so I’m pretty scared right now.
Post # 6
I was going to suggest avoiding him like the plague until after your wedding, but I would just be honest with him. I would probably just call him and let him know that after your meeting, you just felt that he and you had a different feeling of how the ceremony should be and you have decided to have someone else officiate. Maybe still invite him to the wedding as a peace offering, although, I would be surprised if he came!
Post # 7
anyone can be ordained at universallifechurch.com
Post # 8
You should never ask anyone to change their beliefs for you – nor should they ask you to change your beliefs for them. In my opinion, that is wrong in too many ways to mention here. As difficult as it may seem, you need to honest with him. You will have future contact with this person and the last thing you want to do is lie to him. That would just leave a bad feeling for both of you.
Having different beliefs during a wedding can make your day very stressful and end up not being what you want it to be. Ultimately, it is about you and your FI and YOUR beliefs, not anyone elses. I’d tell him calmly and nicely that you are happy for him becoming a pastor, but that you hadn’t realized your beliefs were so drastically different from his; as such, you feel uncomfortable asking him to perform your marriage ceremony.
Whatever you decide, good luck!
Post # 9
What Chianti said. Honesty is the best policy, and you’ll preserve your good karma by being upfront with him.
Post # 10
If you felt uncomformtable sitting there in that meeting can you imagine on your wedding day? I would tell him that you both apperciated his attempt to marry you but you felt that you were too ‘liberal’ and his views are a little more traditional than expected and apolgize if there was any misgivings and you still relaly want to be friends at work because you really like him and hope for the best on his next time he gets to do a wedding, I would be straight and up front I know its going to be hard but you don’t want to insult your guests.
Post # 11
Thanks for all the advice! I agree that honesty will be the best policy. I do respect this man very much and do not want to hurt his feelings, burn bridges, etc. It’s going to be a difficult conversation, but time to take my big girl pill.