Post # 1
My FI and I decided to have a table at our reception with pictures of family couples at their wedding… as kind of a “good luck” for our own marriage as well as a way to kind of combine our two families together. A long time ago, I asked my mother and my FMIL to start getting together pictures of family memers for the table. In a recent discussion with my mother, I mentioned that my FMIL had her pictures ready (FI comes from a very small family) and I was naming off some of the pictures she had gotten, including my FI’s gay uncle and his partner. They have been together 20-some years and went to Vermont or California or something to get married, even though it doesn’t have legal standing (I think).
My mother is a very religious person and upon hearing this, she said that she is not comfortable having their picture on the table. Religion has been the root of MANY fights in my life with my mother and wedding planning has been really great so far with us not fighting and actually bonding. My mother’s argument is that her and my father are paying for most of the wedding, so it is a party that THEY are putting on for our guests and that the picture would send the message that they condone gay marriage. It is against my beliefs to disclude them because of their sexual orientation AND I feel that it would create tension between two families that are supposed to be coming together. My FMIL has already gotten the picture, and I feel that asking her to not include it would be offensive.
Now normally I would stick to my guns and tell my mother what’s up… but she has been really great during all the planning and she conceded when I refused to have a Christian ceremony, get married in a church, and have any crosses in the place where we are getting married. I don’t want to keep pushing her because I know that it is very upsetting to her that I don’t believe the same things that she does and that I’m not having a church wedding. But I would be absolutely mortified to have to ask my FMIL to not include the picture of my FI’s uncles because I feel that it would be like saying they aren’t part of the family.
I haven’t even told my FI about it because I’m afraid he would be offended and look at my mother differently… but I usually tell him everything and I’m sick to my stomach about it. As of right now, I’m thinking I should just scratch the whole idea and not have the table of pictures at all. I’m extremely flustered and I’m not sure how to keep everyone happy. Just a side note, I know this is a controversial issue, so please keep arguments out of it and focus on solving the headache I’m trying to fix haha. As much as I love a good debate, right now I’m stressing over this (and we are 19 days away)! Any advice, suggestions, compromises, would be extremely welcome! Thank you in advance!
Post # 3
This is an issue I feel strongly about (in favour) so I don’t think I could exclude the photo from the tables. I know what you mean though about dealing with mothers so if there was no way to have the photo without an almighty S%$t fight breaking out then I would probably scrap the idea and have no photos at all. Do you think she might come around though like she came around about the civil ceremony etc?
My FMIL doesn’t like gay marriage but we are having a statement in our ceremony acknowledging our support of it (it’s still not legal in Australia). Difference being I guess we are paying for the whole she-bang so I don’t care what her opinion is, lol.
Post # 4
I think, that because no one SHOULD know who is paying for the wedding, it shouldn’t matter what pictures are there. Now if your mom is going around telling everyone that she’s paying, that’s a whole different issues. Personally, I would be SO against not putting that picture up that I would pay for the wedding myself, no matter what I had to do.
I think you should talk to your mom about everything you said here. YOUR wedding, no matter who is paying, should not make you uncomfortable because of someone elses beliefs.
I wouldn’t remove the picture, it’s not her place to say you have to, paying or not. And if she’s not ok with it, I wouldn’t have her paying for the wedding.
Refusing to put up that one picture would be an insult to your future inlaws, and their entire family. You should try to talk to your mom about it first and foremost.
I refused to be married by someonewho wouldn’t perform a gay ceremony, and I ensured that the vows said something about everyone being able to marry, so I guess I’m biased.
Post # 5
It would be incredibly insulting.
I have to admit that if I were a guest at a wedding where all the other couples photos were included except a gay couple, I would be offended on their behalf and would probably think differently of the bride and groom – as we obviously would not know it was the mother who objected, not the B&G themselves.
Post # 6
This is not an issue I would compromise on. I would just not discuss it further, and on the day of, display all the pictures you’ve collected. If there is NO way to do that, I would scrap the idea altogether, but be very clear on why that was necessary to anyone who asks. Your mother doesn’t deserve to get away with her bigoted behavior scot free.
Post # 7
@RedCushionedRoses: Ditto. I would think less of the B & G and distance myself from them after that incident.
If you really can’t include the gay couple scratch the pictures. Morality aside you should not hurt your fiance’s family like that to appease your own. That would be selfish and is not what marriage should be about.
Post # 8
Don’t jump me for this, but I get where your mom is coming from. Though I don’t get all ugly about my beliefs like some people do , I understand the delicate balance of being accepting and loving toward people whose actions you don’t agree with, but also trying to stay true to yourself/your personal beliefs and not condoning the actions themselves. Your mom feels responsible for the wedding as a hostess, very much like mine does, so it makes sense that she is sensitive toward the wedding’s reflection on her character. My point is, it doesn’t sound like she’s being hostile/hateful/aggressive (to me), so even though her discomfort is insulting, try not to have an all-out smack down. Its one picture, and ultimately your day. I’d side with your wishes, even though it doesn’t float my boat. You should get your way, just don’t shame her for her beliefs in the process! Handle with care!
Post # 9
It sounds to me like the issue isn’t “gay marriage” per se, but relationships. I assume you’d include long term non-married heterosexual couples if there were any. You could explain it’s about affirming the relationship, not making a statement one way or another on gay marriage.
I say this because, as a pretty religious Christian myself, my problem until recently was only with gay marriage. (Until I changed my mind and now I support gay marriage). I had no problem recognising gay relationships, I only had a problem with calling it marriage. (Please don’t flame me, that’s how I felt and I can spell out why but it’s getting off topic). So if the table has no direct mention of “marriage” (and that might be technically correct, since they’re not legally married in your state by the sound of it), you might sidestep the problem.
Post # 10
I think less of anyone who would protest their picture on the table, and of anyone who would submit to that kind of ignorance and allow it to continue unabated. I would have that picture there proudly, even if I had to superglue the frame to the table to stop her removing it.
Especially because of what PPs said – guests will not know it was HER protesting, they will think it was YOU. And honestly, it would be your fault.
If you stand idly by and let someone do something ignorant and wrong without taking a stand (within reason, as long as it’s safe), you are also responsible. If I were a guest, and knew that they were being excluded, I would turn right around and leave, gift in hand. Even if I knew the bride and groom were not homophobic, I’d see them as spineless.
I don’t think I’d go out of my way to maintain or cultivate a close relationship with someone who was against gay marriage, even if it were my parents. I wouldn’t cut them out of my life entirely, but the best I can give to a bigot is cool politeness, and only when I absolutely HAVE to.
Post # 11
@RedCushionedRoses: This is where it gets tricky. I want to assert my support of gay marriage and I wouldn’t want the impression that I don’t. My mother wants to assert her opposition of gay marriage and wouldn’t want the impression that she supports it. Someone who shares my beliefs would be offended if they knew it was excluded, someone who shares hers would be offended it it was included… someone will always be offended! And it sounds like the only way to prevent is to not do it at all.
@CarolF: You’re right, she isn’t being hateful or aggressive. I think if she had been, I would have told her to shove it lol. But I’m very much a “to each, their own” type of person… I don’t agree with her, but she has the right to feel the way she does. We have gay family and she is accepting of the relationships, just not willing to accept gay marriage. I posted this after the discussion yesterday… I ended the conversation to keep it from going into an all out battle because I wanted to think about it and come back to it when I wasn’t so fired up about it.
@paula1248: We were only planning on including married couples. But for them, I feel like it is a technicality that they aren’t married. By that line of thinking, being so technical about Christian marriage, then we shouldn’t include couples who have been divorced and remarried either. Or couples that didn’t get married in a church by a priest. But those aren’t my beliefs, they’re hers. My mom has the same view as you… she will accept a gay relationship, but not a gay marriage. The plan WAS to include some type of mention of marriage on the table of pictures, so that’s where things get hairy with neither of us wanting to budge on our belief.
To all: Now, most people probably won’t know that the couple got married at one point, so they wouldn’t necessarily know that they had been excluded, but I would know and I’m worried about my relationship with his family (I’ve actually never met his uncles before) starting off on the wrong foot. I feel like I will probably talk again to my mother and try to get her to change her mind and if she won’t agree, we will ditch the pictures altogether.
Post # 12
@LauraHF: Put the pictures up and pay for the wedding yourself. While I don’t agree with your mom, if she’s paying, she gets the say.
Post # 14
I’m sorry but I have to ask – knowing her feelings on this and how religious she is (I am religious also but I share your feelings on this), why did you even bring this up? You could have just put the picture in there and she may not have even noticed.
I would just go with parents and grandparents pictures if you can’t find a way to pull this off.
Post # 15
@LauraHF: Thinking more: if your mother holds firm, you should nix the idea of the table. Yes it’s not exactly what you want, but that’s the price you pay when you accept money to help pay for your wedding. And really, not having the table won’t detract from your wedding much.
Under no circumstances should you cave in and exclude FI’s uncle. Nor should you justify it by doing parents and grandparents only, because FI’s family have supplied the photos, and there’s a good chance someone will work out the real reason. I also don’t like the idea of sneaking him on – that would involve dishonesty. And as PPs have said, if anyone asks what happned to the table, explain that you refused to exclude FI’s uncle so your only option was to scrap it.
Post # 16
While even as a conservative Christian I find this not at all the time or place to take a moral stance (seriously mom, no one is going to even think twice after they give a cursory glace to the photos) you could side step the issue by only having grandparents, parents and siblings, then all aunts and uncles are excluded so it isnt an issue of them being singled out. I have only ever seen a table like this with close family members anyway.