- 5 years ago
- Wedding: November 2015
My dad and I have had a rocky relationship at best. He wasn’t around during my childhood (he was in the military), and growing up he was either working a lot or distanced from me and my sisters (I think he wanted boys, and now he dotes upon my brothers). He is also very religious, so we’ve had a lot of conflict in the last couple years when I started dating my athiest fiance and eventually moved in with him. The conflict hit a breaking point when my parents and I stopped talking for over 6 months–I didn’t want that drama and negativity in my life.
As of late, things have been better, or so I’d thought. My fiance asked my dad’s permission to marry me, which I think my dad appreciated, and since then my fiance and I have been planning a wedding. My parents both seemed relieved and excited. My fiance and I are getting married in 6 weeks, so instead of having my dad walk me down the aisle (which would feel weird as we’re really not close and don’t have that father/daughter bond), I asked him in good faith to be our officiant for the day. It’s still a special role, and I felt that was a good compromise. My dad seemed pretty excited to agree! I thought this was a good sign.
Now that we’re getting so close to the wedding, I sat down and wrote our ceremony script. I filled it with beauty, quotes from my Fiance and my favorite novels (we are big literary people), and since I’m a writer, it was important that I write it. I sent it to my parents…and got a text back from my mom AND my dad saying that my dad would “consider” my request, but if he was to be the officiant, he wanted to go in a different direction and basically surprise me with what he’d written.
I started to feel uncomfortable with this, so I talked to him a little more. It turns out that he wants to fill our ceremony script with Biblical passages, speeches about how God brought us together, about how us loving God is very important…. I understand that his religion is important to him, but neither me nor my fiance want our wedding ceremony to be overly spiritual like this. I felt my script had a good balance! My fiance read it, and he got chills. We both feel the script I wrote, with the readings I chose, is good and reflects us as a couple.
I’m not sure what to do now. My dad is unwilling to compromise. Either I let him surprise me on my wedding day with the script he writes or, in his words, I can “fire him” and find someone else to officiate us. I feel very hurt and a little sick. I don’t want to have problems with my family again, especially not this close to what should be one of the happiest days of our lives, but I also don’t want my dad to fill our ceremony with overly-Christian values that neither my fiance nor I are comfortable with.
Any suggestions? I’m honestly not sure what to do. I feel so sad that this has happened, as I guess I’d hoped that he wouldn’t try to do something like this.
Edit: I want to add that I love my parents, of course, and that I would ask my dad to just be the father of the bride for the day, but I have a feeling that asking him to step down even though he’s said I can would cause huge issues in my family, as they don’t take saying “no” to Christian values very well, if that makes sense. I have a feeling asking him to be the Father of the Bride would make them both ask me if I’m a Christian, if I know that my marriage will fail without God’s blessing, etc… I personally don’t feel my spirituality is any of their business and don’t want to have a conversation with them about it. It doesn’t end well, usually. I just want to exit this situation peacefully, and I’d love any advice people can give me!