Post # 1
So my Fiance and I are not very religious–we don’t attend church or anything like that. Although we both grew up going to church, it’s not something that we do now. In fact, I’d probably describe myself as agnostic.
My parents are funding about 50% of our wedding. They REALLY want us to get married in a church, and if not in a church, have a religious ceremony and get married by a pastor. At first I was okay with having a religious ceremony. I’m not against it, per-se. However, my dad says that we also need to read the Bible and go through pre-marital counseling. Those are both huge turn-offs for both Fiance and me. I think the Bible has a lot of good things to say about marriage, but I don’t really agree with the religious aspect of it.
My question: Is there a compromise that I could present to my parents that would possibly keep them happy with a more-secular/less-religious ceremony? Should I just cave and have a religious ceremony? I do feel like it’s pretty fake to pretend to have a religious ceremony just to keep them happy when it’s not really our thing. The idea of premarital counseling just really bugs me.
Is my dad right–do I have to have premarital counseling if I want to be married by a pastor?
Did anyone else have to compromise on this? Is there a blended ceremony that I could incorporate a few things? I just don’t know what to do! Any thoughts would be appreciated!
Post # 3
@blurmeblue: I agree that it does seem fake to have a religious ceremony just because that’s what’s expected from you.
I really do not think it’s your dad’s place (even if they are paying for half the wedding) to tell you that you need to go to religious-oriented pre-marital counselling. I think you just need to discuss these things with your dad – have your Fiance there if you need – while being respectful but also trying to help him understand where you’re coming from. Tell him that you understand that he cares for you and wants you to have a joyful and healthy marriage, but that you are going to work for that in your own way, on your own terms.
Maybe if you decide that you just cannot be married by a pastor that your dad and/or mom could do a reading at your ceremony that reflects their religion-based thoughts on marriage or something.
Post # 4
Personally, I don’t think you should fake through a religious ceremony you don’t believe in.
As far as counseling goes, it depends on the denomination, but many Christian faiths require some sort of pre-marriage meetings.
You want to feel authentic and genuine on your wedding day of all days. I think you should tell your dad you respect his views, but really want your wedding to reflect you and your Fiance.
Post # 5
I’m a pretty serious follower of Christ, and agree that I wouldn’t “fake” something that ya’ll don’t truly hold convictions in.
I DO however believe that EVERYONE should HAVE to do pre-marital counseling… even if you’re already doing everything right it’s a great foundation and always good to be affirmed that you know what you’re doing.
I would also advise following atleast some sort of curriculum b/c alot of times if you go in without some structure you end up getting absolutely nothing out of it.
We used the book Preparing For Marriage… and we really liked it. If nothing else, there are 2 worksheets in the beginning that I think should be mandatory before the I DO’s just to get some deep communication about things that many many many don’t think about till AFTER…. it takes a personal history so you understand more WHY your SO reacts/acts the way they do AND looks into the expectations of marriage in ALL facets that you each hold.
^ So great!
So maybe that could be the compromise… ya’ll do pre-marital counseling and they lay off of the type of ceremony.
Post # 6
Could you have your dad give a blessing over the dinner to make your parents feel like their religion is being involved too? I know it meant a lot to my dad to do that, even though we had a secular ceremony. I think you can also include references to God in the ceremony without having it actually be religious. But definitely make it the ceremony you want.
Post # 8
I don’t believe in faking it either. I was raised Catholic and even still sometimes can’t believe I’m not getting married in a church. But, my fiance isn’t Catholic and in the end I won’t feel like I am missing something. (Not going over too well though at work since I teach at a Catholic School with an uber-strict pastor…oops!) We’re having a non-denominational (or perhaps multi-denominational) minister to do our wedding and he will be wearing traditional garments. You can also use certain readings from the bible (like Corintians..love is patient…) that are beautiful and may help the parents feel better. As far as pre-marital counseling I guess to each his own. My fiance and I have lived together for a year now and there are just so many little factors that assure me he is and was meant to be “the ONE,” so I don’t need a priest, or counselor, or book to tell me I am making the right choice or how to approach an issue. Good luck!!
Post # 9
Agree with @amnystik
I don’t think it would hurt to try pre-marriage counseling. Your dad is recommending it in your best interest, to help you as a couple to be prepared for marriage. You may find things that you already knew about each other or find out new things. My fiance and I did this and felt we were on the same page afterwards. It just re-confirmed all of the feelings we had for each other.
Post # 10
A wedding is celebrated with some kind of ceremony almost everywhere in the world, which serves the important purpose if announcing to the community that a man and a woman have been joined in marriage. Nowadays, American wedding customs are spreading wildly. A white bridal veil, the exchange of rings, solemn vows, the best wishes from families, relatives and friends, a maid of honor and a best man, and at last a sweet and romantic honeymoon, all of which are symbols of modern weddings and very fascinating. The forms of a marriage ceremony vary greatly among different nations and different religious, there are religious wedding and nonreligious wedding. Whatever forms are a happy thing, though there are many things to do before a wedding and it can make the bride or groom very tired. But wedding is really complicated and has many things to pay attention to. Let’s bless all the brides and the bridegrooms.
Post # 11
You can do pre-marital counseling…but who says you have to do it through a church? It can be non-religious! It’s really probably not a bad idea in general, and it can’t hurt at the very least. (Really…if you can’t survive pre-marital counseling, then odds don’t look good for marriage.)
As for your parents…do they know of your religious convictions (or lack thereof)? I ask, because I don’t always agree with my family’s beliefs, and I’m perfectly happy letting them believe that I do agree. I’d have hell to pay otherwise, so I don’t actively lie, but I don’t go out of my way to correct some of their misconceptions either.
If your dad does know where you stand, maybe put it to him straight and ask him why he is pushing you to have a ceremony that does not align with your personal beliefs. He might see the light if you can have a civil discussion.
Regardless, I suggest finding a non-denominational pastor who is happy to incorporate some religious text and the parts you do like from the Bible on marriage. Have them cover things that you do believe in and agree with. That’s not being fake, it’s representing you and your Fiance. You can also incorporate some stuff from other places (favorite sonnets, poems, etc.) to get the mix you desire.
Post # 12
i’m getting married in my fi catholic chuch, i have no religion although i do attend churc with him. this is something that means a lot to him, and i have been accepted by the preist with open arms into his church, the preist has no expectations of me, as far as becoming catholic is concerned and on the fact my son has no religion i just have to agree that any children we have together are brought up catholic which i am will to do, i am very supportive of my fi in this choice and i am looking forward to my big day, my son wishes to be baptised and i am hoping he will be able to do this as his own father is caothic so this should be fine. i originally was against the idea as felt like a hypocrit getting married in a church when i’m not a practicing catholic (or any religion for that matter) how ever i do believe.