- 6 years ago
- Wedding: January 2012
Fiance and I are from very religious Catholic families, but he is an atheist and I’m agnostic. We gave in to his parents’ emotional blackmail and agreed to have a Catholic service.
The venue we’ve picked for our ceremony is a private “chapel” on the grounds of a reception venue. I put chapel in quotes because there is nothing religious about it at all, it’s basically a gorgeous building which looks like a chapel and has stained glass windows, high arches, a bell etc.
We went with the in laws to see the place and we all fell in love with it, and it didn’t cross any of our minds that it was a non-religious place. I guess because it was called a chapel, we automatically assumed it was ok to have a Catholic service in.
When we went to find a priest to perform our ceremony, we realised it was going to be a complicated affair because our venue is not actually a real chapel, and the church does not allow weddings outside a sacred space. It is also complicated by the fact that the venue is 2 hours away from where we live, and as neither of us attends church, we do’t have a priest we have a relationship with. The in laws put us in touch with their priest, who was very reluctant about the whole thing. We went through 2 months of paperwork and letters to various bishops, and were given the runaround by various people.
We’ve finally received a clear answer and it is a NO. Fiance and I are happy with this, as we always wanted a non religious ceremony. We would much rather begin our married lives saying and doing things we believe in.
However, this is causing a lot of embarassment for Future Mother-In-Law and Future Father-In-Law. Most of their friends are Catholic too, and they are very worried about how these friends are going to treat them after seeing us being married by “a man off the street”. We were just talking to them about asking one of their friends’ sons to stand at the seating chart at the reception and help people find their seats, and they said they couldn’t ask people to be involved in our wedding, because it was non-religious.
I thought that people would love to be a part of our wedding and celebrate with us, and it makes me sad to know that on our wedding day, we are going to be surrounded not by an air of joy and celebration, but by judgement.
The in laws are inviting 150 people, and Fiance and I will have 20 friends each, and my family will make up 10 people, so the overwhelming majority of our guests will be of the judgemental variety. I have met these people before, and like the in laws, they live in a bubble, and are afraid of anything outside of the limited world they know. For example. they (the guests) have even asked us to make sure that the meat served at our reception is “well done”. Oh, “but not too well done, not burnt”. It seems so odd to me to turn up at a function for 200 people and have such specific requirements about your food.
I know that is their “stuff” and not mine, and they are going to be judgemental no matter what, but I know having a celebrant instead of a priest is going to be a HUGE scandal… and I can’t help feel sad that these are the people who are going to be around us on our special day 🙁