Post # 1
Our officiant is my fiance’s aunt and she is a pastor. She’s on our Facebooks and she is pretty liberal in her social views, so I thought she may be okay with us having a secular wedding ceremony. Her daughter recently got married as a Wiccan. We thought it would be nice to have an officiant who is in the family, so we asked her to be our officiant. She said yes and then gave us a ceremony that had 2-3 options per section. It was extremely religious and I’m an atheist and my fiance is agnostic.
I had written up an entire 20 minute ceremony and had even found 2 bible readings that fit into it to make her happy (in the beginning, she said her only rule was to have 2 bible verses). She got back to us last night (we sent it 2 months ago) and said that she was going to replace our whole major part of the ceremony (the wedding message) and that she was unhappy with our not mentioning Christianity, so she’s going to add more bible verses, readings, hymns, and blessings.
I’m super unhappy now. I was so happy with the ceremony I drafted. It was tasteful and romantic. The ceremony she sent us was so…bland. It had no meaning to us and was so not personalized.
The wedding message was my favorite part of the ceremony and it is a page and a half of words! She’s going to delete it 🙁
My fiance wants to just stay out of things, so he’s not being that helpful. I don’t want to sound like Satan to his aunt, but I want to stick up for myself because I want our ceremony to represent who we are.
What should we do? =\
Post # 2
I would 100% find another officiant to marry you. FI and I are agnostic/atheists and there is no way we could connect with a wedding ceremony that was filled with religion. You don’t have to fight with her (and it would seem pointless to given how set she seems on changing what you have provided) – I would just let her know that you would be more comfortable with a secular ceremony and you don’t want to try and make her do anything that she would be uncomfortable with or that goes against beliefs. Hence you will find another officiant to conduct the ceremony but look forward to celebrating with her on the day as a guest :-).
Post # 3
lauraashley09: I would find a polite way to tell her that you’re going to have someone else perform the ceremony. Just tell her that you’d like to keep things the way you had them and that you don’t want to make her uncomfortable, so you will find someone else to do it.
Post # 4
lauraashley09: I know you said that his aunt seemed pretty liberal and that her daughter got married “as a Wiccan,” but I read that as while her daughter was married as a Wiccan, she didn not perform the ceremony? She may feel obligated to do a Christian ceremony due to being a pastor. (Think of a Catholic priest asked to preside over a Jewish marriage ceremony. It’s not that he doesn’t support the couple, it’s just that he’s bound by “rules.”) There’s nothing wrong with that. And there’s nothing wrong with finding someone else who covers all your needs. 🙂
Post # 5
lauraashley09: I agree with Apple_Blossom: it’s not that she doesn’t respect your relationship or anything but she is a Christian pastor and in the same way you wouldn’t want to perform a chrisitan ceremony she might be uncomfortable doing vise versa. Not to discriminate or anything but it does go against what she believes in and to avoid conflict I would suggest that you find another officiant and your anut can be a happy guest at your wedding. I am getting married in a Presbytarian Cathedral and I happen to be Pentecoastal Christian, as much as both are christian denominations I have to respect Presbytarian rules that Pentecoastal Christians may not be accustomed to.
Post # 6
I would kindly tell her that you and fi are attached to the ceremony you wrote and that you respect her views, and don’t want to make her uncomfortable so you will find another officiant. the ceremony is not something to compromise on, especially not if you’re being pushed into territory you’re uncomfortable with.
Post # 7
lauraashley09: Wow. =/
I understand wanting to keep it in the family, but I’d find a different officiant. The ceremony is a very personal thing, I couldn’t imagine being told that the one me and my FI had written was basically tossed out.
Post # 8
I’m an atheist and I wanted a 100% secular wedding. Anything else would so go against what I stand for, and I’d feel like I was having religion shoved down my throat. That’s the last thing I wanted in our wedding ceremony. I wanted it to be completely “us” and personal.
I hired a LifeCycle Celebrant in my area. She was amazing. She wrote a completely custom ceremony for us that just fit our style so well and was a true reflection of our relationship. It was worth every bit of time, effort, and money.
Do not compromise on this at all. It doesn’t sound like the aunt is going to be a good match for you two, so you need to find another person to officiate. You won’t regret it, I promise. Even if you had one of your friends get ordained online, that would be cool!
Post # 9
Yeah, I’m afraid you will have to find another officiant. It’s not that your aunt doesn’t respect you and your beliefs, it’s just that, as PP said, she is bound by “the rules” due to her own religious beliefs.
In a way, it’s to be expected… you wouldn’t expect an Imam to perform a Hindu ceremony, so in the same vein then a pastor probably wouldn’t perform a secular one.
If you choose to include a Bible reading in your ceremony, why not get the Aunt to read that, instead, so she can still be involved?
Post # 10
Finding an officiant was possibly our most frustrating part. The MOB has been helping out with the planning and she called, e-mailed and interviewed a dozen officiants. Two left an especially bad impression on her – one of which was recommended by the venue. We finally found one who accepted the ceremony we spent hours working on; it was adapted from one from my religion, that my FH sounded a lot like his (we’re both Protestant). One said she wouldn’t use a service writen by someone else; wanted us to use something she already put together, or cut and pasted her words, from various services. Another said they don’t accept any services from “3rd parties,” i.e. my church. We found an officiant that was half the price, who didn’t insist on spending hours writing a personal/unique ceremony, and charged us hundreds, for the priviledge to do it. It took months to find our officant. Good luck!
Post # 11
Definitely definitely find another officiant. If you love your ceremony bring it to them and ask them if they would be comfortable with it.
Post # 12
Get a different officiant. And have your fiance “man up” and “fire” his aunt. WTH it’s his wedding ceremony too, why the heck is he just letting it slide? Does he not want a meaningful ceremony too?
Post # 13
- Wedding: February 2014 - Windstar on Naples bay
You know most people like using friends and family to help with their weddings but I found the opposite to be true. No one was obligated to do things they may not have wanted to do and my big day did not hinge on them. Sure it was more expensive but I got purely professionals who didn’t slack off because I’m a friend/family and would “understand” if they were late or something. Find someone new. I’m sure both parties will be relieved in the end.
Post # 14
I think you need to find another officiant, it’s your wedding, you need to be happy with it! I would have hated having a bunch if religion garbage in our ceremony too.
Post # 15
lauraashley09: I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this, I can’t imagine how stressful it must be! I would politely tell her that you really had your heart set on being married in a specific kind of ceremony, and that you totally respect her choice not to conduct that kind of ceremony, so you’ve decided to go with someone else.
Have someone else in your family or group of friends get legally ordained online (assuming this is ok where you live!) and do the ceremony you wrote! If that’s not going to fly in your state/area, go to the courthouse and inquire about getting a justice of the peace to conduct it for you.