Post # 1
Longtime lurker, first time poster: 🙂 I don’t even know if I’m posting in the right area, and if someone could point me to a good spot to get some advice on this, I would be ever so grateful!
I’m just trying to figure out a way to deal with my over-the-top catholic mother. Since the MOMENT I became engaged, she has been talking about “the church” and “talking with a priest” and “pre cana.” I have tried to tell her nicely in a number of different ways that a)I want an outdoor wedding, and b) I am NOT Catholic. She insists that because I was baptized and confirmed Catholic (neither of which I actually CHOSE), I must have a Catholic wedding.
I just got off the phone with her after having a heated discussion and I’m just having a really hard time. I am very sensitive to her beliefs and think that it’s great that she has them. I simply do not believe in them. When I tell her this, I get a lot of condescending remarks. I respect her religion and I would appreciate some respect for my choices. I have no idea how to talk to her about this.
I am a spiritual person, I find beauty in many religious traditions (my Fiance is the same way–raised Catholic as well). The main things that I take issue with is the idea of heaven and hell and sins and eternal life. And god as some dude in the sky judging me. After explaining this to my mom, she just told me that she would have to talk with a priest before getting involved in my wedding. That she simply could not condone a marriage outside of the Catholic faith. And let me add that NONE of my siblings had Catholic weddings (I’m the youngest of 6), and many of my siblings have children that aren’t baptized, so I’m having a hard time understanding why I’m getting so much flack for this. Any ideas on how to tell her that this is not a topic that is up for debate?
My last question is can someone point me in the direction of secular ceremonies so that I can get a better idea of what something like that looks like? One of my mom’s main complaints is that everyone is coming to a “wedding” that’s only 15 minutes long and what’s the point of spending money on that? Ideas of meaningful rituals that can be incorporated that wouldn’t be religious would be fantastic.
Someone please tell me they know what i’m dealing with here! 🙂 I just got engaged and I don’t even want to be worrying about this stuff yet, but my mother pushes my buttons and I’m a little worked up at the moment!
Post # 3
I’m sorry you’re having troubles! I would guess that you’re getting all of the pressure (while your siblings apparently got none) because you’re her last chance. Or you can tell yourself that you’re her favorite and that’s why she’s so concerned. 😉
I’m afraid I don’t have much experience dealing with this sort of thing myself. Our families were quite understanding but for secular ceremony ideas… Did you see this thread? It’s not hard at all to have a “worthwhile” ceremony, even without all of the church’s rituals.
Post # 4
Also, you can be married in a chapel and have a spiritual ceremony without it being Catholic or overtly religious. You might want to include meaningful readings (Biblical or not), the candle lighting ritual, even a non-denominational prayer or meditative moment. Here’s a sample order of service: http://weddings.about.com/od/yourweddingceremony/a/SampleCeremony.htm
Post # 5
awww im sorry 🙁 i was raised catholic as well and always thought i would NOT have a catholic wedding (i dont practice anymore) but when the time came, fi and i talked about it (hes not catholic) it was actually him that suggested we get married in the church! his grandma is a die hard catholic and so is most of my family, so we decided sure! and we found a wonderful church who has been more than welcoming! anyways its funny how things change haha! i know it must be hard to listen to your mom, but just let her know it is your desicion and you will let her know what you decide on! if you do a christian ceremony it will most likely be longer than 15 minutes! people come to celebrate your marriage and its not based on how long the ceremony is!
Post # 6
that really does suck. its hards when someone tries to pin their religion on you, and having a Catholic wedding is not that easy of a task! If your other siblings didn’t have catholic weddings what did they do? I would look to them as examples for your own wedding. You can even use them as helpers in this to convince your mom that you don’t NEED a Catholic wedding. Have them help you!
Post # 7
People can be so weird about religion. I have an ex who told me once that he was sorry he’d gone to his sister’s shot-gun, Lutheran wedding because he shouldn’t have been condoning non-Catholic weddings. Personally, I don’t think any religious tradition should be telling followers to shun or hurt others because that will make God happy. So does not sound like the Christian message to me, but maybe that’s just me.
I think you tell your mother firmly that like your siblings, you will not be having a Mass wedding and will not be using a priest. This is your decision and you’ve thought very much about it before coming to a conclusion. It sounds like she’s trying to guilt you into conceding, so you’re going to have to be firm. You can tell her, kindly, that you love her and that it’s important to you that she’s part of your day, but that you will understand if ultimately she decides she can’t be involved. I’m sure you love your mom, but it’s YOUR day with your fiancee and no one else. You can tell her that you’d be heartbroken if she chooses not to be there, but that it’s your ceremony and your decision to make. Ultimately the day should be focused on one thing, the marriage of two wonderful people. If her beliefs mean that she can’t witness that event, so be it. I’m guessing she’ll cave and be involved anyway, so don’t let her change your mind and get her way. She had her wedding, this is yours.
Post # 8
I am Catholic and because my first husband was divorced did not get married in the Church. So we got married in Walt Disney World. Dont let your mom get to you. You can plan a very meaningful beautiful wedding to you and your Fiance. After all, isn’t that what matters? Our parents FREAKED out because we were getting married in WDW. But you know what – at the time – it was perfect for us. Fifteen years later, I am getting remarried. And am doing it in the Catholic Church this time. My mom is outraged because I’m getting married in the church….and wearing white…but you know what – bottom line is this is what I want to do. I dont care what ANYONE thinks. It’s my wedding. (and I’m 42 years old and paying for the whole thing so that helps).
She’ll get over it. And in the end she’ll still be the MOB…
Post # 9
OH my, I’m worried that I soon will have to deal with the same thing. My mom is also a die-hard Catholic (didn’t really become one until she got divorced). I actually chose to become Catholic when I was 18, but definitely do not practice anymore and consider myself more of the ‘cefeteria Catholic’ variety in which I still have the faith but am not happy with the Church as an institution these days. My Fiance was also raised Catholic but is now basically an atheist. We just got engaged and although he’s willing to get married in a church, I don’t really want to because it just doesn’t reflect who we are. My mother already asked what we plan to do and I said that there’s one Catholic chapel I was considering (which is slightly true) that is close to our probable venue but that the reception site could also do the ceremony and that would help with costs and logistics. At the time, she seemed receptive to that idea, but we’ll see when it becomes a reality. She wasn’t happy when we moved in together a year ago, but surprisingly got over it pretty fast (even though when I go to church with her she won’t allow me to take communion since I’m currently ‘living in sin’). As a consolation I’m REALLY hoping that I can get a Jesuit priest I know (he seems to be pretty liberal) to be the officient, so hopefully that will set her mind at ease.
Anyway, an idea for a meaningful ceremony could be a “Quaker-style” wedding. I went to one this past spring and let me say that it was one of the most beautiful ceremonies I ever saw. Basically it was an open forum for friends and families of the couple to come up and share a story, poem, song, whatever, for the bride and groom. The officient was a ‘retired’ Quaker minister who also happened to be the couple’s landlord. The service went a little longer than most would have liked, but it was a really meaningful ceremony and really reflected who my friends are.
Post # 10
In this sort of case, I think there’s no real happy medium: You can either decide that it’s not worth the trouble and acquiesce, or you can put your foot down and tell her no (and risk her not showing up). FWIW, I think that your mom will get over it, eventually.
Post # 11
There’s an easy way to settle this. Your mom is actually sinning. Take it from me, a Catholic to the Catholicest power.
You can’t receive the sacrament of marriage if what you consent to up there at the altar is a lie. And you can’t fake belief, no matter how hard you try, and so even if you said the right words, you’d still be lying. Jesus does NOT want you to get up under the cross and make a promise in His name just for show.
Your mother should actually NOT be pushing you to have a Catholic wedding according to Catholic law, and in fact she’s putting herself in the way of sin by urging someone who is not Catholic and who is technically a heretic to receive a sacrament. Tell her that! (Preferably over the phone so she doesn’t throw a shoe at you!)
You might be sweet to your mother and tell her that if you ever feel so called by God, you will convalidate your marriage as soon as you can.
Post # 12
I think the previous post has a good point, and I think that if you were forced into confirmation… that was another case of taking a vow that you did not mean. Infant baptism is a reflection of your parents’ beliefs and decisions that they believe are important for you to follow or understand, ao I don’t think that is objectionable, but you probably need to talk with your parents about the concept that you object to being forced into a the ceremony of confirmation and now feeling the need to be forced into something that you do not believe. I’m not a Catholic, but I am a Christian, and so in reading your post, I know that I believe in many things that you do not, but I believe that your wedding should be a true reflection of you… Because having a ceremony that reflects nothing more than following a family tradition that has no meaning to you… will mean that you will view your promises as hollow and empty…
Post # 13
I would just stand firm with your mother, and show her how you can have a beautiful and meaningful wedding that doesn’t include religion (quite a few bees have done it, even some lately). I must admit, some Catholics can be the most judgemental and hypocritical people on Earth, and its a shame that it seems that your mom may be one of them. Just show her how great your wedding will be, and why you don’t want what she wants. Remind her of your siblings weddings, and try to have a talk with ehr to see why she is so adamant at throwing her beliefs down your throat.
I was baptised and also confirmed, and went to a Catholic school for 6 years. We had a secular wedding as well, since I no longer have Catholic beliefs. My mom was totally fine with it, and even tho some of my older relatives were skeptical, they told us how beautiful it was and how it was perfect for us. Make your wedding about you and your Fiance
Post # 14
It’s really nice to read all of these encouraging comments. I am in the same situation as @littlefeet: and many of you others who also replied. My mother is a little more understanding, but she had been putting a little pressure on me. I truly from the bottom of my heart respect her beliefs, but I do not believe them. Nor does my fiancee. She is becoming more supportive, but the initial shock of me telling her I’d rather not marry in the church I was raised in, was actually tough to go through. Our venue is a very special place to us; we met there, and it was the first place we said “I love you,” and it is where he proposed! It was hard for her to understand that I wouldn’t want to marry in a church that was part of my life (it isn’t anymore really) and I couldn’t communicate effectively. We’re in a much better place now, after much explaining to my mother, and I got the venue booked!!!
Bottom line, I am really grateful to have found this supportive hive to help me through and I hope all of you have the wedding of your dreams! I know you will! 🙂
Post # 15
Just curious. How did this all work out for you? I am in the same boat. I was raised Catholic, and as an adult, I found that our beliefs did not line up. My mother and grandmother are devoutly Catholic.
I’ve always wanted an outdoor wedding. She seems to think that I want an outdoor wedding just to spite her, so that I don’t have a Catholic ceremony. They suggested that I have two weddings, and they OH SO GENEROUSLY offered to pay for the Catholic one. How SWEET of them. Anyways. Even if we decided to do two weddings, I doubt a priest would my my fiancee and I after couseling. And if we lied to him, as my mother and father have both suggested, we’d be basing our marriage on a lie.
I cannot seem to get through to either of them that this isn’t something I want. They are threatening not to come to the wedding. They keep telling me that I’m a disappointment to my family and that I need to be more consider of them and their traditions.
Last time I checked, this was my wedding, and I’m not Catholic!
Anyways, let me know how things worked out for you… Maybe there is some hope for me yet?
Post # 16
Their are lots of meaningful ways to enhance the time on a ceremony without all the ritual of a super-long (and I’m sorry but BORING for those of us who don’t get it and even some of us that do!) Catholic wedding. Knot-tying, a blessing (secular or sacred) over clasped hands, sand ceremonies, candle ceremonies, anything you can think of. My choir is singing at my wedding! If your mother need to “consult a priest” before knowing if she can participate that means she if a)sadly quite closed-minded b)can’t think for herself (yay religion-not all, but some) and c)can’t put her love for you and what you need on this day before herself. I propose talking to her about the fact that you’re not going to be slaughtering a goat or doing anything pagan or Satanist or whatever she thinks she needs to be consulting a priest for (Hell, half the stuff Catholics do ALL THE TIME is essentially stolen from pagan culture) but that this is YOUR wedding. She needs to be there to suport you and that is final. Hopefully she will realize that being a part of your day on your terms is what her God would want. All the best!