Post # 1
I have a bit of an etiquette issue.
My FH’s uncle is a Catholic priest and a lovely person who I would love to be at our wedding. However, we are not having a Catholic wedding. He has already mentioned to FMIL that he will not be attending our wedding because we are marrying outside of the church. I can respect that decision.
My question is, should I send an invitation? I don’t want to offend him either way.
Post # 3
I would. He’s the one boycotting your wedding by expecting everyone else to be and act Catholic just because he is. Don’t play that game. Show that you welcome him as a guest and invite him to join you on your special day if he can be big enough to get over his judgmental attitude. If receiving an invitation offends him, that’s pretty ridiculous. He should be honoured to be invited! If he doesn’t approve of your ceremony he can choose not to attend, but you could end up offending him even more if you don’t invite him.
Post # 4
I would say yes- he’s family & who knows maybe he’ll have a change of heart.
Post # 5
Wow, this is tough. Have either you or your FH talked directly to him? Maybe that would be a good idea. Although I’m sure that your FMIL is a reliable source, its hard to make a decision based on hearsay. I think that if you really want him there and you are sure that he has actually emphatically stated he won’t attend, maybe you can send an invitation and enclose a handwritten note indicating that while you respect his feelings on your choice to have a (Lutheran, Unitarian, nondenominational, civil) ceremony you also hope that he can find it in his heart to share your wedding day with you. I don’t think that could be offensive. To just not send an invitation, as well as not talking directly with him about the issue, would seem to potentially turn this into a bigger issue than it has to be…
Post # 6
I would definitely send an invitation. I have a cousin whose husband is very religious. He would not come to the service for my sister’s bat-mitzvah (the synagogue was not religious enough for him), but he did drive with his family (the bat-mitzvah was on a Sunday) and attended the party afterwards. We understood his reasoning, and appreciated that he joined the celebration.
Maybe the uncle would come to the reception even if he will not attend the ceremony?
Post # 7
I would send an invitation. If he doesn’t want to come, thats his choice, but at least he can’t say that you didn’t invite him/purposely left him out and have hurt feelings because of that.
Post # 8
Thanks for the advice everyone! I think I will send an invitation with a handwritten note as suzanno suggested. I think if we were having the wedding in FH’s hometown he might attend just the reception, but since it’s out of state he probably won’t travel. FH has had cousins that married outside the church and he didn’t attend any of those weddings either, so it’s not like I feel singled out as a "bad" person or anything, and he’s been perfectly friendly toward me since learning of our decision.
What’s amusing is that my non-Catholic mother was rather upset that I wouldn’t be having a church wedding. She soon got over that and has focused her energies on worrying whether there will be enough space for dancing at our venue.