Post # 1
I’m looking for opinions on the officiant I choose for my wedding.
First a little background. I was born into a super conservative Christian family/church/town outside of Chicago. I was raised with certain prejudices that I’ve made a conscious effort to lose as I became an adult. One of those being negative feelings toward homosexuals. As it stands today, I might be the only person in my family who believes that love should be celebrated no matter what form it takes.
The other day my mom asked me if I’d contacted my uncle, who is a pastor, to ask if he would perform our ceremony. I said that I hadn’t, we’re about 13 months out. She advised me to hurry, as his schedule fills quickly. I responded that I will, but if he can’t we’d be asking my FH’s uncle, who would be happy to do it. His uncle is a former priest who came out as gay and is now married to a man. FH is close to him.
I said that it would make a statement. She said “maybe the wrong kind of statement.”. She was pretty shocked. I knew how she felt about the “issue” of homosexuality, but I guess she didn’t know that I disagree with her. I respect her opinions, but I wish she weren’t so closed-minded.
Her reaction makes me want all the more for a gay man to perform our ceremony. Maybe it’s a little juvenile to think that. I want to make a statement about love, family, and tolerance to my prejudiced relatives.
None of them are the type to openly protest or spew hate, but I’m afraid that it might steal their joy on my special day. That all they’d think about is how wrong it is for a heterosexual couple to be married by a homosexual former priest.
I’m my mother’s only daughter, and the first child to get married. I’m almost 30 and she really wants some grand babies. Do I “ruin” this for her? I’m not normally one to rock the boat, but Im just tired of her closed-mindedness.
What would you do?
Post # 2
Its your wedding, your memories, and your money. I say do what makes you and your future spouse happy.
Post # 3
theboo : I think you need to evaluate your motivations for doing this. Is it to teach your family a lesson or is it because you actually want your FH’s uncle to be the one who marries you? I think it would be very unfair to your FH’s uncle to use him as a pawn in your game.
Post # 4
FH’s uncle is one of the only people we’d choose. I just don’t know if asking him might cause unnecessary drama. I’m not trying to play any games. We’d be thrilled for either uncle to do it
Post # 5
I agree with j_jaye. While it’s great that you want to make a statement to your family, this might be the wrong way to do it. Have you thought about how your FH’s uncle would feel about this? It might be a good idea to just ask him. I’m sure he’d understand where you’re coming from, and would be open to telling you whether or not it makes him uncomfortable. I know that if I was him, I might feel uncomfortable officiating a wedding because I’m being used to make a stand of some sort, rather than because the couple genuinely wanted me to marry them.
Post # 6
j_jaye : +1 Your motivations in this are important. I would never advise you ask your FH’s uncle to perform your ceremony just to make a statement. That would be using him as a pawn in this drama with your family. But it’s perfectly fine to ask him to perform the ceremony if it’s because you truly want him to because he’s important to you and it would bring you joy on your day.
I guess I would leave out the thoughts of “What statement do I want to make?” and just decide with your FH who you feel would do the best job, make your ceremony more special for the two of you. What your family thinks of your officiant need not factor into your decision.
Post # 7
Agree with the pp about concerns in using the uncle as a pawn in teaching your close minded family a lesson. I’m confused about your intentions. Do you plan on making his sexuality a part of the ceremony by mentioning it in some way or do you just know that your family knows he is gay and will glean a message from him being your officiant? If it’s the former I would find that very odd and off putting, because it’s not as though a straight officiant would have his or her sexuality mentioned during the ceremony. If it’s just that the family knows he is gay and could be either offended or enlightened then I say if he’s who you want to perform your ceremony you should go ahead.
Post # 8
Good things to consider. I don’t want to be an ass about all this. What I needed were outside perspectives, so thanks!
Post # 9
theboo : Have you considered having them co-officiate, if both uncles are comfortable with it? I agree with the above though, don’t use him to make a statement, that’s not fair to him and in its own way, just as bad as the way your family is reacting. I assume it’ll be obvious because his husband will be attending your wedding as well, even if you don’t say anything specific, it’s clear you support them as humans. What I’d actually worry about is whether the family would keep their opinions quiet and be respectful on the day, or if it would be the family gossip all night long, making things uncomfortable for everyone. I think officiating together or having FH uncle take on some other role in the wedding could be good – it should be meaningful to both of you to have both uncles there.
Post # 10
Whichever one you are closer to, ask him. If he says he’s booked, ask the other.
Post # 11
If FH is close to his uncle, asking his uncle may be more meaningful for you both than asking yours. All this has shown you that your family is prejudiced against someone who is important to your future husband. If your uncle officiates the ceremony you’ll be married by a man who somehow thinks that your marriage (and that of all the straight couples assembled) is “real” while that of your FH’s uncle is illegitimate. Obviously FH’s uncle’s homosexuality will not be the topic of the ceremony, it will be somewhat natural. Yes, he can marry people. Yes, he happens to be gay. Also, how hard it must have been for him to give up his career and face public scorn in order to live the way nature/God made him and find love, like all of us want to. I think it would be a beautiful gesture of acceptance to ask him to perform the ceremony. Asking your own uncle in order to avoid ruffling feathers might be more like a gesture of appeasement.
Post # 12
- Wedding: July 2012 - My parents' back yard
If you think FH’s uncle is the best for your wedding, ask him. Don’t do it to make a statement or teach a lesson. At this point it’s other people projecting, saying that it’s a ‘statement’, not you.
Post # 13
I had the exact same issue… I went out of my way to find an officiant who was open to performing gay marriages, because I didn’t feel comfortable having a prejudiced pastor. She will begin the ceremony with the statement “whomever you are, whatever you believe, and whomever you love, all are welcome here”… a bunch of my family is very anti homosexuality, but I’m Not, and I want people to know that my beliefs are super important to me.
Make the statement! It is not juvenile of you, it’s juvenile of THEM to have such archaic beliefs in the first place!
Post # 14
Go with the officiant you’re closer to or you feel will do the best job on the day irrespective of anything else.
Post # 15
theboo : Go with the one you feel best about. In either case, you can work with them on the ceremony wording to reflect the views you and your FI hold. Not in a firebrand way, but gently. 🙂