Post # 1
I’m in need of a big hug. I have just been told by my FFIL that we may have some issues in getting married at FH’s Church. Apparently he had spoken to some church elders about it and they were concerned because I am not actually Christian. I am devastated about this and feel very rejected. I have been to a few services with the family on Sundays and always felt welcome and am shocked to hear that they would have an issue with this. My Fiance is going to check in with the Pastor today to see if this is going to be an issue. The pastor had already previously agreed to marry us but he may not have known I was not Christian.
Ladies, I am thinking of getting married somewhere else altogether now because I feel so rejected. Am I being to rash? I only have less than 6 months to go to the wedding! All the ceremony locations that I do like will add another 2k to our growing budget…
Post # 3
Sorry this is so upsetting for you, but you have to see their side of it. They are there to foster, strengthen, and grow their beliefs and religion. If you are not a believer in their beliefs they just cannot support it in their community. That is all apart of the deal when getting married in a particular church/religion, they want you to be a believing member of the community. There are plenty of secular options out there, but to be honest, when it comes to getting married in the church, it is supposed to be about being married in the eyes of God and the church.
Post # 4
Thank you for the insight. It is just hard for me as the date is fast approaching to change the ceremony venue.
Post # 5
Maybe you could write a post in the BC section and ask if anyone knows a good secular officiant, or you could PM some of the other BC brides and ask directly if they know of anyone. I know you are getting stressed about it, I was in a similar situation about the same time. Just take a breath and brainstorm some ideas to overcome this obstacle. It is only an obstacle and not a stop sign ((HUGS))
Post # 6
I wouldn’t have expected to be able to marry in church if I wasn’t Christian. Is your Fiance ok with not having a church wedding?
When you say you’re not Christian, what exactly do you mean? You’ve never been christened? You’re another religion entirely (e.g. Jewish)? You’re christened but aren’t a believer? There could be ways around this if you’re not totally atheist or committed to a different religion.
Post # 7
If you plan to keep a Christian househod and raise your children Christian, they might be ok with it (might not). Make sure they understand your position if that is the case. I know rabbis who use that as their deciding factor in the case of marrying a Jew and a non-Jew.
Post # 8
I am always amazed at the posts from bees who do not attend a church, do not share the same beliefs, in your case not even the same religion, then are surprised if the church does not want to conduct the ceremony.
Have you tried the Unitarian Church? They are much more flexible.
their wedding site
Post # 9
Screw them. That is TOTAL BS*. If they are going to be so noninclusive and unwelcoming, do you really want to have your ceremony there?
I say look for a secular venue that you LOVE, or look for a church that is welcoming.
I’m so sorry! (((HUGS!)))
*(the reason why I think this is BS: my sister was not a Christian, nor was she a member of my church growing up. but my Pastor married her anyway, and when her baby died, the funeral was held at our church. WE were examples of welcoming Christians.)
Post # 10
There’s a difference between being a new/tentative Christian and not believing — I’m not sure which you are. Are you planning to grow in your faith with your husband? That’s a pretty standard topic of discussion during pre-marital counseling. If you were planning to do so, that should be grounds enough. You may also try a non-denominational church, which tend to be a little more inclusive.
Post # 11
P.S. Also remember that it’s the church elders who are weary and not necessarily your pastor. So don’t jump the gun too much yet, hun!
Post # 12
@janie-janie: I don’t know that I’d agree about that attitude toward it.
When I got married, my pastor made it very clear to everyone that *this was a religious ceremony* there were certain things we couldn’t do, and certain things we had to do because it was a worship service. The bride and groom were the focus of the religious service. It might be difficult for some churches to make and deliver vows *in the eyes of God* and expect a bride to keep vows made in the eyes of God when she doesn’t believe in God. It may not be a problem for some churches, but it’s certainly understandable if it is.
OP, it sucks that you’re finding this out so close to the date. Talk to the pastor yourself. It’ll look good for you. Also explain why you want to get married in the church, and don’t mention your budget or how close the wedding is. Hopefully they’ll be understanding.
Post # 13
hugs!!! honestly Fiance and I don’t even want to get married in the church. We’re both catholic, not practicing, and we don’t want to be judged whatsoever by anyone in the church, including the holy rollers in the family. (we live together, and what not) we are having a really nice ceremony above the beach instead.
Post # 14
Is your FH a Christian but you are not? That, more than anything else, may be the sticking point. Bible-believing Christians believe that scripture clearly teaches that a Christian must not be “unequally yoked” with a non-believer in marriage. Given that, most, if not all, of the Christian pastors I know likely would not and could not participate in uniting a believer with an unbeliever in marriage, because it is unscriptural.
However, if your Fiance is ALSO a non-Christian/unbeliever, I think many Christian pastors WOULD agree to marry you in their church and would welcome you to be a part of their church community.
Either way (whether you are single or married) they should, and likely would, welcome you to attend their services, because the entire premise of the gospel of Jesus Christ is to bring people who do NOT know Him into a right relationship WITH Him, and that is all the more likely to happen if you have the opportunity to hear His Word being taught and preached and to see His love in action through those who believe in and follow Him. However, if your FH IS a Christian, and you are not, the pastors are correct, scripturally, in not wanting to unite you in marriage.
Post # 15
I felt the same way…church wouldn’t marry us because I’m not catholic. I am currently attending RCIA and will be baptized and convert catholic this upcoming easter so finally we can marry in church. It’s taken me 6 months. This means alot to his family since all were married in same church.
Post # 16
Thanks for all the responses! I really do appreciate all the support here on the board. As a clarification, I grew up with a Catholic father and a Buddhist mother which resulted in a somewhat confused childhood and me being currently agnostic. My fiance is a Christian but non praciticing, and we most likely intend to raise our children Christian. While I am agnostic, I am open to the possibility of converting eventually. I honestly was just surprised that the Church would be unwilling to marry us because my Fiance is a member of the church. I guess I wasn’t aware that it was a major religious no-no!