Post # 1
To keep this post simple and to the point. Neither me or my fiance are religious. We don’t want a minister, or priest, or any religious official. This may offend some people, but in our eyes, a marriage is a civil union and unneccessary to include religion to make it “legitimate”.
Anyway, we’ve decided to have his best friend get ordained so that he can marry us. We’ve checked, it’s perfectly legal in our state and is accepted so long as the person getting ordained did it the right way (which he will be). This is more meaningful to us because it’s someone who he really cares about as a person, it’s more personal, and the guy is very charismatic and I think would do an amazing job. Our close families know about it, and support it. However. I have an INCREDIBLY religious set of grandparents that would legitimately walk out on our wedding if they realized we didn’t have a minister. Hence, why we haven’t told them and aren’t exactly thrilled to tell them. I don’t broadcast my non-belief in religion at all and don’t have any issue with it, its just not what we want. If we had a minister, I feel like our wedding would feel phony to us.
Side note; every time my grandparents see me they like to put me on the spot and ask if I’ve found a minister yet, and to not ruffle up any feathers, I brush it off by saying “We’re trying to find the best option for us to make our day very special.” I dont want to get into a debate with an overly judgmental grandmother about religion at family events, so I try to change subjects quickly.
However, it’s getting to the point where it’s becoming incessant. My grandparents keep talking about how I’m not a good person because I don’t go to church, and how it’s shameful how I don’t put God first. (My fiance and I live together and have for over a year now and they don’t know we live together to this day because it will stir up a whole slew of drama regarding premarital this and that). I’m realizing that it’s getting harder to bite my tongue these days when I’m being told I’m a bad person because I’m not religious. Very sanctimonious of them.
I know it’s a lose-lose…but should I just get it over with and say we’re having his friend marry us and deal with them cutting me out now, or just keep biting my tongue till the wedding day, where they’ll just probably walk out during the ceremony? I’m not exaggerating on how extreme they are. I have a cousin who was written out of the will for getting a piercing that wasn’t her ears, and I’ve had to hide my tattoos for that very reason.
Which road would you take?
Post # 3
- Wedding: June 2012 - Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards
If you tell them “We did found our officiant. He’s fantastic. His name is John Smith” do you think they would then demand to know his church, background, etc.?
I do understand…there is one very religous member of my family who probably doesn’t consider me married because we weren’t physically inside a church when we said our vows. Our officiant was a paster, just not from the same denomination as the family member. So silly, isn’t it?
Post # 4
I’d get married and not invite them. Elope. These people may be your grandparents, but they also sound like assholes. Not the being religious part, but the making you feel totally uncomfortable part.
Post # 5
@Mrs. Mink: Sadly, yes. If I said we found someone, they’d assume religious…they would ask which church he preaches at. Because they would probably want to attend a service of his before he’d marry us. They’re that…ridiculous. 🙁 It’s really sad that people have to be negative about this sort of thing and it takes away from your wedding day, even slightly.
Post # 6
- Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa
@AlmostMrsJPS: We are also getting married without a speck of religion. (His aunt is officiating for us.) Our families aren’t quite so strict about it as yours, but I can imagine that a few people (aunts, mostly) will be a little surprised there is no mention of God.
I think I would discuss it with your grandparents beforehand, so they aren’t surprised on the day of and make a scene. Something like, “Grandma, Grandpa, you have asked a few times about finding a minister for our wedding. FI and I decided that it would be most special for us to be married by our best friend. I know this may shock or upset you, but I want you to know how important it is to both of us to have you there to support us in this life-changing time.”
I imagine there will be some fallout for a little while, but I hope that ultimately they decide they cannot miss their granddaughter’s wedding. They have about 9 months to come to terms with it, so I would talk to them and then be a model grandchild from that point forward (call on their birthdays, send holiday cards, etc) so they don’t feel that it is appropriate to punish you.
Best of luck!
Post # 7
I would tell them now so they can whine and wail without disrupting your wedding, as they presumably won’t be there. It’s their loss.
Post # 8
I would just tell them you found an officiant. If they decide not to come to your wedding then they are the ones that look bad. I know it would be hard on you, however you can’t hide who you and your FI are and what YOU TWO want for your wedding. You can’t please everyone.
Post # 9
@AlmostMrsJPS: I would just tell them now, as painful as it will be. The next time they ask you about it, tell them that you have asked your best friend to officiate, and that you are so happy because it will be very meaningful to you.
By letting them know now, there is a tiny chance that they will get over it by the wedding (though it sounds unlikely). If they find out at the wedding, though, they’ll be shocked and may make a scene, which would be upsetting to you and unnecessarily dramatic.
At any rate, I’m sorry they’re being like this. As a “religious” person myself, I feel that while I’m sure they’re well-meaning, they’re really missing the point here. I hope they realize that their relationship with you is way more important than who your wedding officiant is.
Post # 10
I don’t think there is any way around it. You’ll just have to tell it like it is. Explain that you do not want to have a religious ceremony.
Post # 11
I would just tell them. At least tell them now so they have a chance to get over it by the wedding.
DH has a mother and set of grandparents who are very religious. He pretty much told his mother that “our wedding will not be religious and there will be plenty of drinking and if you don’t like it then you don’t have to come, but I will not be discussing it anymore with you.” No one said anything about it after that. Granted, they were not throwing a fit or saying they wouldn’t come, but he didn’t want to hear anything about it from the start.
Post # 12
Honestly, I feel if I told them now, they’d have time to rally the troops and basically protest my wedding and bring in other family members to not come. Those family members would be the ones whose children won’t be in attendance because we’re not having kids come. I’m really frustrated how two people can be so judgmental coming from a practice that’s supposed to teach them to NOT be judgmental.
I’ve kinda been chickening out and want my parents to deal with it, particularly my dad, since it’s his mom and he knows how mean she can be. I know it’s cowardly…but not gonna lie…my grandparents are mega-intimidating and clearly, belittling. Awhile ago, my papa asked me the same question, “Have you found your minister?” and I politely replied the same, “We’re looking for the best option to make our day the best.” His response, “Now, I know you live such an ungodly life, but you need a minister.” I DONT UNDERSTAND WHERE THEY GET THAT FROM! I’ve never been a bad granddaughter, with the exception of not calling regularly, AND they dont even know I live with my fiance…so they’re just honestly being mean. ARG! Just needed to vent
Post # 13
Ugh, what a miserable situation!
I’d get it over with and tell them now. Maybe they’ll get over it by the wedding! (I hope!)
Post # 14
@AlmostMrsJPS: Absolutely tell them now. Who wants to open themselves up to any drama on their wedding day? I’m guessing it might be quite hurtful to you if and when your grandparents do not support your marraige so I would get it over with now so the dust is settled by the time the wedding comes.
If anyone told me I’m not a good person for not going to church or that anything about my life is shameful because I do not subscribe to their whacky religious practices I would be extemely excited to tell them about my religion free wedding. In fact I COULDN’T WAIT to tell them. Grandparents or not. You are an adult now of your own free will and do not need to put up with insults like that.
Post # 15
@kes18: It’s funny because my family would be shocked if we don’t have an open, full bar, but upset if we don’t have a minister. Their priorities really seem out of whack to me. I like that though, just being like, we aren’t doing anything religious, and if someone has a problem, don’t come. Case closed. I need to grow a pair of lady-balls. It’s still incredibly intimidating to think about when it comes to my gparents.
Post # 16
@AlmostMrsJPS: As someone who is religious I would never expect religion at someone elses wedding – it doesn’t sound like it fits you guys as a couple at all! So I would say do NOT compromise at all for your grandparents sake because it is not their wedding. As for telling them, I would wait as long as humanly possible. In fact, if you are comfortable with it, I would say something like “We have a few people in mind and I am getting really excited! OMG DID I TELL YOU ABOUT THE FLOWERS GRANDMA?!” Once it gets close enough that just won’t work anymore you can say something like “Well our friend John Doe was discussing with us how we has always wanted to offiate a wedding and you know grandma like the bible says any place can be a house a worship and we feel God has brought all of our friends and family together to unite us in love and holy matrimony so we thought we should let John Doe do it! Isn’t that great?” (Side note: It really does say that in the Bible and I even though I am religious have used this line to get my more religious relatives to understand us not having a church wedding)