- 6 years ago
My mom, dad, aunts, and uncles area all a radically conservative faction of Christians called OLD GERMAN BAPTISTS. If you are unfamiliar with this group, please read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_German_Baptist_Brethren
and just to see what they “look like,” my mother dresses like this: http://quakerjane.com/images/plain_dress/caps/OGBB.jpg
My father/ the men look like this: http://www.scrollpublishing.com/store/media/German-Baptist-Men.jpg
As you can see, they dress “plain,” and although they do believe in cars and electricity (unlike the Amish), they do not have TVs or even radios.
I am age 25. My fiance is 26. We will be 26 and 27 when we get married.
Children of German Baptists have “free choices” and are NOT forced to dress/be like their parents if they do not choose. I have chosen to live a relatively “average” American lifestyle wearing jeans and T-shirts and living with a TV (instead of skirts/dresses and no TV or radio). I no longer live at home and have not had the lifestyle of my parents since at least age 18. I attended Anderson University in Anderson Indiana and graduated with a degree in Graphic Design. I have a job in graphic design and I am relatively far removed from the German Baptist lifestyle; yet my family still remains German Baptist, and I CANNOT change that fact.
I recently became engaged to the love of my life (YAY!) and we are planning on a summer 2013 wedding. He comes from a relatively traditional, average American family and although they are Christian in religion, they are much more “average” and non denominational in approach.
The wedding ceremony itself will be disrupted by my German Baptist heritage, and I am so resentful. I just want a “NORMAL” average wedding. It is OUR day, right?
So far I have learned that 1. My father refuses to walk me down the isle, as this is “Worldly” or something.
My brother is not German Baptist and said he would take that responsibility, but I feel sad that my father will not be walking me down the isle. I realize that this might actually be the situation, as my cousin’s father refused to EVEN ATTEND her wedding as she was marrying a divorced man. (My fiance has never been married, so no issues with my family on that one, but I can see that what my father says about NOT walking me down the isle will likely stand and be the case!)
We can’t have anything “too fancy” for fear of offending my family. I don’t want a lavishly wild/non traditional wedding ceremony, but I want a “standard/average” in American traditions wedding ceremony. I will have the pastor/officiate incorporate prayers, Christian traditional hymns, etc.
Another thing is that I would like musical accompanyment such as a keyboard, piano, or guitar along with the music. German Baptists believe in only ACAPELLA (voice) singing only.
2. My fiance (and I) would like alcohol at the reception. All of our friends and his family is accepting of alcohol and would find it odd not to have it present. This is LIKELY going to cause major family issues with my side of the family. We would not go over the top or anything, but just have simple Champaign or wine, etc. This is traditional and not meant to offend- but it PROBABLY WILL.
3. I would like a STANDARD wedding tradition of DANCING at my reception. This is majorly “Taboo” and against religous beliefs of German Baptists. Even a “First dance” would be considered unacceptable.
Soooo… with this extremely odd family situation & religious heritage, what would you do? I mean it isn’t like I am marrying a Hindu or Muslim. We are both Christian, it is just neither of us has chosen (nor will ever choose) to be German Baptists.
Would you invite all to the reception regardless of their religious opposition? Would you “warn” parents, aunts, & uncles that may be of German Baptist religion of what the reception will entail? I fear none of them will attend, and I would very much like them in attendance at the reception as well as the ceremony.
Or would you abstain from inviting them to the reception at all? This seems rude. I can’t seem to reconcile this in my mind. My fiance doesn’t care either way and is “leaving it all up to me.” Now – it is me and my partner’s day, right? NOT my family’s, right? HELP!!! PLEASE! Has anyone else had an awkward religious tradition to work around, and if so, what did they do?
I would like my family to just be happy for me, but unfortunately, I don’t think that will happen. 🙁