(Closed) How should I handle this?

posted 10 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
Member
1481 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I don’t have a church issue, but I’ve had things that i disagreed with like where we are having it because it is such an expensive venue. My mom thinks we are spending too much on a wedding and should just save it for a house. And I know the marriage is what counts and the wedding day is just one day. But it’s our day and its how we want it. We are paying for most of it…my mom contributed in paying for the dress and a little more. And I appreciate that and I am very thankful for it and her. But like I said this is our day. I hope that helps in any way.

Post # 4
Member
1481 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

PS…everything is pretty much included in our venue and its an historical mansion right next to where we live. The venue includes 5 hours for our wedding, which is the reception and ceremony. Cocktail hour, 4 hour open bar, entree, cake, other desserts, soup and salad, linens, glassware, etc. What else could I ask for in a venue! 🙂

Post # 6
Member
178 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

tabby, I’m sorry your so stressed by this. I’ve gone through something similar, and it all worked out in the end, I hope it will for you too.

Think about your Fiance for a second. You say communion is a very important aspect of the ceremony to him, and he’s looked forward to celebrating his marriage and taking communion. For Christian denominations that observe communion, it is one of the most sacred things you can do. My fiance is Catholic and I was raised non-denominational Christian- I occassionaly attended churches that took communion, but it was not until I took Fiance to a Church of Ireland (Anglican) service on Easter Sunday that I understood how important communion is to him, and others who have been raised in a denomination that observes this rite. To him the beautiful Easter service was totally incomplete because they did not do communion, and he felt compelled to go to a later mass that day for the sole purpose of making communion.

This was one of the biggest factors in us deciding to have a Catholic mass- I didn’t want him running off later in the day in search of a church service in order to feel our marriage was "real"!

If you and Fiance are paying for the wedding yourself it is 100% your decision on where to have it, who to invite, and who marries you. You may make decisions that people don’t like or agree with (even important people, like your parents), but ultimately, it is your wedding and your money. 

It sounds like you and your Fiance handle being of different denominations very well (alternating whose church to go to etc.). If you plan to continue worshiping in this manner, your father will have to respect that- he may not like it, or agree with it, but he’ll have to respect your decision. It sounds like you’re worried to discuss this with him-you’ll have to be the judge, but it might help to have Fiance there with you. 

Good luck.

Post # 7
Member
178 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

P.S. Going on that last bit I said, about how you handle the differences in how you practice your faith- now is as good a time as any (if not the best) to determine how you want to go forward with religion (alternate, non-denominational, pick a denomination etc.). This is a very private and personal choice, to be made between the two of you. You will be husband and wife, you will be together for the rest of your lives, and be a family- no one else ultimately gets a say in this.

Post # 8
Member
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I take it your father is going to be upset because the priest is a woman. How deep does his belief that women cannot be priests/pastors go? Does he feel that your marriage will not be valid in the eyes of God if this woman marries you? If so, those are pretty serious concerns. I think it’s worth it to explore how you can address his concerns while still having the wedding you want at your fiance’s church.

Some ideas I had: Could you invite the pastor at your family’s Baptist church to concelebrate the ceremony at the Episcopal church? That way you could get the blessing of the church your father respects while still having it at a place that does communion how your fiance wants. Alternatively, is there another priest or deacon at your fiance’s church who is male who could celebrate your wedding? It would seem a shame to discriminate against the priest for being a woman, but if that’s going to save your family from a huge schism it might be worth it to discuss it. Or, you could talk about having a later, private blessing of your marriage at your family’s Baptist church as well.
However, given that you are financing your wedding yourselves, you really do not have to change your plans for him. Ultimately, he will have to respect your decision. Many a parent has been disappointed that their child has decided not to get married in a church at all—let alone in another Christian denomination! Additionally, you can point out that you are all Christians and describe the commonalities of the service.

Finally, you might appeal to his conservative values—if your dad believes in male-only leadership in the church, I am willing to wager he also has similar ideas about the family–i.e., that the male is the head of the household. Well, upon marriage you are leaving your father’s family to make a new family with your husband. As such, the wishes of your future husband (to have the wedding in his church) are those that you must give deference to, not those of your father. (Of course to a degree this argument is true no matter one’s opinion on gendered leadership: your new family with your future husband will now take precedence.)

I hope you are able to talk with him and find a way that he can respect your decision, even if it is not the one that he would make.  Good luck!

Post # 9
Member
1238 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

It sounds like you’ve already gotten some great advice!  My issues were a little less complicated, but issues none-the-less.  My husband and I are not religious at all, so we did not want a religious wedding.  Our parents didn’t like the idea that we would not have any type of sermon or religious ceremony. I don’t know if what we did would work for you, but we simply ignored the comments our parents would make about it.  We planned our wedding the way we wanted, and everything turned out fine in the end.  We were "vindicated" when everyone raved about how wonderful our ceremony and how personal it was.  After that our parents couldn’t complain anymore.

 

Post # 10
Member
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

I really like the idea of asking a minister from your parent’s church to be a co-officiant at your ceremony.  This is more common than you might think, and I would be surprised if it was a new idea to your minister.  It’s also a nice compromise between what you want and what might make your father feel more comfortable.

However, I also agree that your current compromise (different church every other weekend) while certainly a way to avoid conflict while you were engaged is probably not a great idea longterm.  Now that your are getting married, it’s appropriate for you to decide what religeon your new family (you and your husband) will observe.  You might still attend services with your family or his family on holidays (Easter or Christmas Eve) but on any given Sunday you should be worshipping in a way that the two of you choose together. I’m not sure from your post if you have any strong feelings about this yourself – you talk more about what your Fiance prefers and what your father prefers – but this is something you and your Fiance should talk about and decide.

Another thing you might consider is inviting your parents to attend the church where you’re going to be married with the two of you one Sunday.  While your dad would probably be taken aback if he was surprised at your wedding by a woman minister, you might be surprised.  I was raised Catholic, and my husband’s people are staunch Lutherans, but my stepson is now attending a Jesuit university in the city where my Mother-In-Law lives.  The last time we visited him for the weekend, rather than going to church with my Mother-In-Law (as we did before he was in school there) we told her we would be attending mass at the university, and that she was welcome to come with us.  I never in the world thought she would – she seems terrified that "they" might turn her grandson into a Catholic at "that place" – but she did, and she actually enjoyed the service.  Afterwards she said that the church was beautiful, and that the mass was "a lot like" a Lutheran service.  Sometimes our parents are more open-minded than we might think.

Post # 12
Member
178 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

tabby- on further thought I think you should talk to the priest at the Episcopal church again. Explain to her the situation with your father. In my experience Episcopalian clergy is very understanding. They’ve been the "first" of many denominations to relax their requirements for clergy- first allowing women, and then homosexuals to become priests. I’m sure some of their more conservative members were not always happy when those developments took place, and your priest may have prior experience with a good way of handling it. She may even propose another priest or a deacon to perform the ceremony, or make a different suggestion neither of you had thought of yet. Regardless, don’t be worried about insulting her, she’s heard it all before, I promise you, and I’m sure she’ll help, or at least put your mind at ease.

 

 

Post # 13
Member
778 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2009

I dont know if this has been mentioned, but you should find out if your FH’s church would allow for someone else to perform the ceremony, another minister from a nearby Episcopalian church that is male.

I was able to request the priest of my choice from another parish when my local pastor was unable to perform the ceremony.

Post # 14
Member
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

It sounds like you feel like you’re going to hurt someone’s feelings no matter what, which is a hard position to be in.  I agree that it’s probably far from the first time that the woman pastor has heard that there are people who prefer a man in that position – but as a woman in a male-dominated field, I can tell you that even when you get to the point where you’re not surprised, you’re still disappointed when you come up against that kind of prejudice.  Although I’m sure she would understand.

I wonder if it’s not possible for you to talk to your parents, and explain the decision you and your Fiance have made, and what you have realized about the importance of that decision to him.  Let your parents know that you’re concerned that this might be a difficult point for them, and that you respect their feelings, and so you’re having this dilemma.  Or maybe if you think it’s hard to talk about this with your dad, you could talk to your mom.  It sounds like she has supported you in the past – on the skirt issue and I’m sure on other things – and I’m sure she has a lot of experience with your dad and his feelings on various things.  In my family it’s my mom who can be difficult to deal with, and when I feel like I can’t work things out with her my dad is always a great help, or at least gives great advice.

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