(Closed) Asked my dad to officiate the marriage, and now we've run into a disagreement…

posted 5 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
7799 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

I realize that this doesn’t help the current situation, but asking a very religious person to officiate what religious people often see as a sacrament and then expecting them not to mention God is kind of unreasonable. I’m an atheist, and I would never expect someone religious to officiate a marriage without mentioning their deeply held beliefs about what marriage is. 

As it stands, you are between a rock and a hard place – either accept a marriage ceremony that will likely be nothing like what you want, or cause possibly irreparable harm to family relations. It was unwise to ask him to act in the capacity of officiant when you knew he held such different beliefs from your own, and I cannot envision a way in which this will end peacefully.

Post # 3
90 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

If your dad is unwilling to budge I would find a different role for him. Think of how meaningless and honestly disrespectful your ceremony would be to your fiancé if he had to stand there and listen to a sermon on his wedding day. Having a little bit about God or religion of course is ok because you are a person of faith and it is a blending of you and your fiancé but it sounds like your dad is taking it way too far. I would just say to your dad that in order to make the ceremony meaningful for your fiancé as well you have decided to go with your script but you would still love for him to do ___ (fill in the blank, maybe open with a reading not to exceed 2 minutes?) 

Post # 4
1902 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

I don’t know that there is a way to talk to him without him wanting to question your faith. Since you knew he was very much a Christian, his actions of wanting to quote the Bible are not surprising or incorrect. I understand that you want him to site the ceremony as you wish but this is also like you writing the speech for the bestman. 

I think your options are: Allow some bible quotes but explain that you would be disappointed if your ceremony didn’t express what you and your Fiance believed.

Or ask him to step down… 

Either option may bring up a debate but it seems you knew this before asking him…?

No easy option here, sorry bee.


  • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by  BrideK2Wings.
Post # 6
1642 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

I think I might try to salvage this by: “Dad, the more I thought about it, I really want you to walk me down the aisle. Having you officiate would have been wonderful, but I’d rather feel like you are the father of the bride at our wedding”.

You’ve said you would not mind moving him to this role, saying something similar to what I’ve said above allows him to move into that role without feeling like he was “fired”, and it eases things for you.

It’s too late to go back and undo your original request, but to him, he’s probably planned the ceremony of his dreams for you- very religious- and that’s not what you want, but it’s obviously what he was expecting, based upon his beliefs.

Good luck!


Post # 7
1642 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

Sorry- I just saw your post above saying you didn’t want him to walkyou down the aisle- I thought you were ok with that when you talked about the father of the bride role- just disregard my answer.

Post # 10
1642 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

View original reply
InspieLass:  Wlaking you down the aisle is probably three minutes, tops?? Doing the entire ceremony, filling it with things that you aren’t comfortable with, and then having him pronounce you husband and wife- that’s a lot to deal with if you aren’t close to him. He’snot willing to budge on the ceremony and pushin ghim to probably feels like an attack on his beliefs (not saying you are doing this) and he is probably hurt as he feels he’s created the perfect ceremony for you. My advice is to try to diplomatically find another role for him so that everyone can feel comfortable. 

I wish on a regular basis that we had eloped, so I can’t help you there! I didn’t want a big wedding (big to me is more than 40 people- big to Fi is 200- were at about 80 (compromise)- I’m dreading every minute of it! I wanted to wear a blue dress- vetoed by everyone I know- I’m in a gown. Eloping sounds divine!

Post # 11
1444 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

View original reply
InspieLass:  I don’t know if it will make your decision any easier, but in the whole scheme of the day, I have almost NO clue what our officiant said.

We discussed it ahead of time, but the day as a whole is what I remember, not the 5 minutes or so that he was speaking. DH was so busy looking at me and me at him that he actually said, “I do”, 3X. lol. 

Best of luck to you, bee. 

Post # 12
138 posts
Blushing bee

I’m really sorry you are stuck in this difficult position. I strongly feel that you should stick with what you wrote, it sounds so personal and meaningful and I think you would really regret sacrificing such an important aspect of the wedding and the beauty of experiencing that moment and trading it for a sermon that will be uncomfortable and not meaningful just to appease your family that you aren’t that close to. Perhaps you could explain to him how important it is to you for him to read what you wrote but ask him to also include one or two readings that he feels represents your relationship as a compromise?

Post # 13
2762 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

This might not be a popular opinion but I’d speak to him in his (religious) language. You say that your husband to be has expressed reservations about the script he wrote and that you’re starting to understand that being a wife (in the Biblical sense) means putting his desires above yours. Explain that you’re trying to start the marriage off right by abiding by his wishes and therefore you’d be honored if he walked you down the aisle. Then you look meekly down at the floor.

If he’s as religious as I think he can’t contradict that without contradicting other beliefs. If it’s within his belief system he simply cannot judge you for it. 

Post # 14
2170 posts
Buzzing bee

Yea I would have a problem with a religious ceremony as well. I think it is important that the ceremony reflect you and your Fiance beliefs as a couple. I would have a talk with your father, explain you really want him to fill this special role on your wedding day, IF he can come to realize that this day is yours, and respect your wishes & beliefs. You are right, your religious/spiritual beliefs are no ones concerns but yours, so you don’t need to have that conversation. If asked, say its a private matter you don’t feel comfortable talking about. Figure out what your Fiance is comfortable with changing in the ceremony. I would not have been comfortable with any scripture in my ceremony but many your Fiance would be. Take this compromise to your father and give him one last chance to agree. If he refuses, you know you tried and you can find someone else to officiate. I know I sound harsh but the ceremony is a really important part of your day. Would a person who wanted a religious ceremony be ok with a completely non religious one? Why should you have to be ok with a religious one? Sure you may have known your dad was religious but I understand your thinking that he would respect what you wanted for your marriage ceremony. I am surprised he has disrespected you and is being stubborn about not compromising. 

Also, if the rest of your family gets mad at you for not allowing your father to officiate your wedding in the way he wants instead of respecting your wishes, well thats not good family. I am much more a believe in family is what you make it vs who are are born with. The family I was born into sucks so I have had to distance myself from them and make my own family through friends I have made in my life. Sucks, but i know those friends love me for who I am, even if we disagree on a few things. They are always gonna be there for me,  no matter what, not hold petty things against me that truly have nothing to do with them. 

I know my opinion may not be popular but I wanted to share it with you. Good luck, bee. Only you and your Fiance can know what is right for you. 

Post # 15
1719 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I put a lot of time and effort into our ceremony as well, it was perfect for DH and I.  If anyone tried to get me to change it I would’ve laughed in their face because I would think it was a joke. The ceremony is the most important part of the whole flippin day and it’s need to reflect you and your Fiance, not your dad.  I don’t know what other role you could give him but I would just be real gentle about it and say you really love the script you wrote but you’re willing to add some religious things to it for him. Let him know you need final approval of it and if he truly can’t handle this then you are very sorry but you’ll have to go with someone else to officiate.  

Just a thought, could he be the type who acts like he’s giving into you but then he’ll switch the script last minute? He sounds like a straight forward guy but sometimes people can shock you with their sneskyness. 

I hope everything works out. Just remember it’s your day and it needs to be about your marriage, no one else. 

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