Post # 1
My family and I are not religious, we believe in God and I was baptized but haven’t attended any organized religion since I was much younger. My mom was raised Catholic but has since left the church and doesn’t believe in it. I really didn’t know how much she disliked it until I got engaged. My fiance is Catholic and wants to have a Catholic service in a Catholic church (no mass or communion). I personally do not have a problem with this but it is causing a huge rift between my mother and I and making the wedding planning process very stressful and not enjoyable for me. My fiance and I have gotten in two huge fights (we had never fought like this up until this point), I keep crying and I feel like she is asking me to choose between my future husband’s wishes and hers. That is not a choice I can make.
I do want to be upfront and explain that my mom is paying for the majority of the wedding and has been very generous with the amount she is giving us and I don’t want to discount her feelings entirely. We got the venue that she always wanted me to have, which I love, I think she just expected me to get married there as well because that is what she wanted. She keeps telling me she just wants me to be happy but I think it’s more she wants me to be happy with what she wants. I really do not want this to cause problems for my mom and I in the future, we have always been very close.
Any advice from brides that have had similar issues? I am seriously at a loss on how to handle this.
Post # 2
wondering8986: Would it be an option to pay for the wedding yourselves?
Post # 3
The problem with taking money from other people is that more times than not, it comes with strings. If your mother is paying, she has more of a say. If you find this unacceptable, I say you kindly return her money and pay for your venue yourself.
Post # 4
Your FI needs to trump mom here. In the Catholic faith if you are not married in the church your marriage is not recognized/valid in their eyes. This is one of the sacraments and that is a big deal! Also, your FI will not be able to take communion if he is not married in the Church. You guys would have to do a convalidation for it to be recognized.
This goes way beyond your mother’s beliefs and I don’t think this is her call at all. She has no right to interfere in your FI’s beliefs.
Post # 5
The wedding venue is through the roof expensive and it wouldn’t be an option for us to pay for it. The deposit has been made already. I am giving her control of every other aspect of this wedding and the groom’s parents will be paying for anything associated with fees to the church.
Post # 6
Just tell her it’s important to your FI and therefore important to you.
Post # 7
First off, are you catholic? I am not but my FI is. Fortunately getting married in a catholic church was never an option for us because I’m not willing to convert/get confirmed/do catholic premarital counseling. If you’re not catholic, are you willing to convert or do what you need to do in order to get married in the church?
I think it’s important to do what YOU want. If you dislike the church, explain to your FI that you really don’t want to get married in it and he should respect that. If you honestly want to get married in the church, then explain that to your mom. It’s your wedding, not hers, and she should understand that. But it seems like the real issue is you and your FI’s differences in religion, and if that’s the case, it’s a good issue to get sorted out now.
Post # 8
You don’t have to convert to get married in the Catholic church. I am Catholic, my DH is not, but you can still get married. You do have to do pre-marriage sessions (even if you are both Catholic) usually with a priest, and then a weekend retreat. Honestly, they are less about Catholicism and more about how to be married…financial stuff, kids, in-laws, etc. It was good to actually talk about some of that stuff, even though we were on the same page, there were a few things we hadn’t discussed.
Marriage is about compromise, and unless your mom has a really valid reason for you not to get married in a church, I say you and your FI make this decision and leave her out of it.
Post # 9
- Wedding: June 2014 - San Francisco, CA
This is a tricky one, because I definitely know people who would not be comfortable even attending a ceremony in certain churches. I don’t agree with their choices, but I respect and support that. However, this is your wedding. If you want to please your FI, then explain to your mother how important it is, and say that you hope she will be able to join you at your ceremony, regardless of her personal feelings towards the Catholic church. If she can’t, then that’s on her.
I agree with PPs who said that you should reconsider accepting other peoples’ money for the wedding. A marriage would be just as valid with a small ceremony in a cheap venue as it would after being performed in a grand cathedral. You don’t need a huge wedding, although if you feel like it’s key to your day, then you’ll ahve to accept that certain strings will always come attached.
Post # 10
@casey219 I am not Catholic but we will be attending Catholic Premarital counseling and the priest is OK with that for us to be able to get married in the church.
I don’t dislike the church, I don’t have a super strong feeling on it one way or the other. It is super important to my FI, he feels that if we aren’t married in the church than we won’t be married. I don’t want him to feel like that ever. I also am not opposed to bringing my children up Catholic, if/when we have them.
Post # 11
One option, so that your marriage is recognized by the Catholic church would be to have your civil wedding with your mom, outside of the Church, then go through the Catholic pre-marital counseling in order to convalidate your marriage at a later date, in a small ceremony.
Post # 12
If she truly wants to make you happy, she needs to understand how much you respect your FI’s wishes on this. You and your FI are a package deal. If your FI wants to marry in the church and you are supportive of that, that is the decision that will be made. You and your FI should come together and explain to her the reasoning behind the choice and that this will not be negotiated. She is free to take her money away, that’s always a risk when family contributes. But, I think she just may be coming to terms with the fact that your ceremony is not what she had envisioned all these years, and is trying to accept that.
Post # 13
I’m Catholic and my fiance isn’t Catholic and doesn’t associate with any particular faith at all. We are having a Catholic service much like you described with no communion, etc. It was important to me to be married in church because to a Catholic marriage is more than a legal union – its a sacrament. Personally I wouldn’t feel married if it wasn’t in church. To me that trumps everything. That moment is what the day is all about to me. My fiance understands that (like you seem to) and is fine with it.
I think your fiance’s opinion in this matters. If he doesn’t feel married if it happens outside the church then what’s the point of it all. Your mother needs to be an adult and suck it up on this point.
Post # 14
wondering8986: I think you need to tell your mom that in this case, your FI’s wishes are MUCH more important than hers. I am going into some pop-psychology here, but I guess that your mom had a church wedding and regrets it. A lot of parents try to turn their kid’s wedding into their wedding part 2 when they pay. Ask her if her parents insisted on a certain kind of ceremony and if she regrets it. If the answer is “yes, I regret get married in the church,” explain to her that your FI would feel the exact same way about not getting married in the church. Hopefully she will see things your way.
Post # 15
Marriage is all about compromise. Your mom is getting her way with the reception, and it is obviously very important to FI and his parents about the ceremony they are paying for. You are an adult, and you will be getting married and need to put your husband before all others. He wants this, and you seem neutral. I would go ahead with the Catholic ceremony and let your mom know that while you appreciate her opinion and point of view, this is two families coming together and you have to give and take.