(Closed) Mom is forcing a Catholic convalidation on us…not sure what to do. :-( Long.

posted 10 years ago in Secular
Post # 32
573 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Wow, that sounds like a really tough situation. Wwhen people are stressed (particulaarly moms) they can lose sight of things. Maybe you can make a deal where you and your fiance talk to whoever does the marriage prep counseling in the church. They will probably be on your side, no one within the parish will want to force you into the marriage when you don’t believe in it. They may be able to help work things out with your mother too.

Post # 33
259 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I never said that anyone can put a price on religion. I said that someone can put a price on a wedding. In MY opinion, a gift of money always has strings attached. It is just the way the world works. This bride asked for advice on what to do when the money offered for her wedding did have strings attached, and I offered my opinion. My parents also offered me money and the strings attached to it were not acceptable to me, so I declined.

I happen to be Catholic, and I don’t believe the OP should go through with the convalidation ceremony. She doesn’t believe in it and she has her own idea of spirituality, to which I believe she should stay true. Clearly, she has got a good head on her shoulders and has thought about this at length. However, and no offense is intended by this remark at all, she still wants the money her parents originally offered but she doesn’t want to abide by their rules. Just because the parents’ concept of a wedding and their daughter’s concept of a wedding do not align does not mean that she gets final say on how that money is spent. It is their money, they have earned it, and they have offered it because clearly this wedding is important to them too. Weddings are all about compromise if you are not the one footing the bill. Mrs Spring said it very well.

@crayfish In this universe, absolutely. The bride has a choice to accept this “gift” of money with its strings attached, or to reject it and do things her own way. To claim that she deserves the money to do with it however she pleases just because she is the daughter and her parents “should” pay for things is self-entitlement.

@Melissabegins I didn’t say I would disown my child for not going through a ceremony that he or she didn’t believe in. I said I would disown them for promising they were going to go to one, taking my money, and then not showing up. That is an extremely manipulative and deceitful action. Completely different situation.

@silverbrooke I am sorry this thread got so sidetracked. I really was just trying to offer my opinion on your situation. If your mother is paying then she has the final say, and that is a sad but true fact.

Post # 34
20 posts
  • Wedding: November 2010

@futuremrsreed I think it’s one thing to say that she wants the money her mother offered but doesn’t want to play by the rules if the rules had been clear to all parties up front.  It’s another thing when the rules are changed by the person with the money later in the game, when things were presumably already underway.  That’s just as much manipulation as you feel saying she would show up to the convalidation ceremony and then ducking out on that would be.  

For the OP: is there some way you can acknowledge the heritage you were raised in during your ceremony?  It might be an olive branch that you can offer your mother, regardless of what you do for the convalidation (your own issue to decide there).

Post # 35
10363 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010



There is a difference in giving money for a wedding and having an opinion over what type of chairs to rent, and in dictating what type of religious ceremony it should be. Money should never dictate individual religious beliefs. It is not her mother’s place, regardless of money. Strings attatched should never, EVER be related to the religion. And if they were, her mom should have been more upfront about it.

Post # 37
1315 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

So feeling for you, silverbrooke, your situation just makes me so sad.

We’re getting married Catholic, too, the church we both grew up in, where we both were christened, confirmed etc, even though our ‘beliefs’ are flimsy at best. It’s just so much… easier. It’s horrible to be pragmatic about something like this, but where the hell would we possibly be buried if we weren’t allowed into our local graveyard? And we’d have to go a good distance to find a primary school for atheist/agnostic kids round here! I just wish the world would move to a secular condition a bit faster, one where religion is a personal matter in every meaningful way.

Of course, your situation is really about control, I’m sure if you were ok with this your mum would have another issue to assert her demands on?

I have no useful advice, I’m afraid, I just wish you well with it.

Post # 38
555 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I’d love to find out from someone who is really up on all the catholic rules and such because from what I remember (and it’s been a while) I thought you had to have not only been baptized as a catholic but received all the sacraments in order to be married as a catholic or have a con-validation ceremony and that’s not even touching the required pre-cana stuff? If her Fiance has only been baptized as a Methodist I don’t understand how this can even matter because they can’t get married or have the con-validation ceremony in the church? Can someone explain how all this works? Just to preface this my Mum is extremely catholic and my dad was not, it’s a very very long and complicated story but my mum basically gave up her right to communion for my dad because of not being married in the church so all this someone not being catholic thing seems pretty weird to me since I grew up watching her not being able to do something that was so so important to her because they weren’t married in the eyes of god. What is a con-validation ceremony and how does this all work when someone involved is another religion other than Catholic?

Post # 39
950 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

@Cricket1524: About convalidation & Catholic weddings when one member is NOT Catholic – ironically, despite all assumptions to the opposite, the Catholic Church respects & welcomes visitors from other faiths, including interfaith marriages.  Now, my amount of expertise doesn’t relate to the OP & is relegated solely to that of one member being Catholic (myself) & the other member being UN-baptized (my FI).  In this case, a Catholic wedding or convalidation may occur as long as the un-baptized member agrees to:

  1. Not be an obstacle to the Catholic partner’s faith & his/her practicing of that faith
  2. Raise all children that may arise from the marriage as Catholics – even if the Catholic partner is unable to make sure this happens (due to separation, incapacitation, or death)
  3. Undergo all these requirements of their own free will

Both partners in the relationship are present when the priest or deacon who will eventually perform the ceremony requests the agreement of the un-baptized partner.  The un-baptized partner signs the contract & plans for the Catholic wedding or convalidation ceremony proceed.

Side note: Fiance & I are getting married in the Church because it’s important to ME & we’re paying for our weddings (we’re doing the church wedding on Friday & our outdoor wedding on Sunday) all on our own, because there’s the BIG possibility that both sides of our family would question the need/desire for the sacramental wedding I want. So the whole “paying for the wedding you want” thing goes both ways.

Post # 40
555 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

@ms.pascua thanks for the clarification!

Post # 41
525 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

Is there any way you can call it off and elope? I would do it. Look, I was raised Catholic but in no way my parents would get me to do what I want with my life. My beliefs are non-negotiable, no matter the amount of money or temper tantrums.

Post # 42
2007 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Silverbrooke – I hope things are smoothing out for you.  I saw this post over at APW and thought of you.  Hope it helps.

Post # 43
67 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

You really should find some way to pay for it yourself.  Have a smaller ceremony, a cake-and-punch reception, hold it locally instead of in Vermont, postpone it for a few months to save more…I’m sure there are things you can do.

As for your mother’s guilt trips, you need to learn to stand up to her.  When she pulls the fork out (seriously???) get up and leave the house.  When she starts saying manipulative things, end the conversation, or leave or whatever.  Don’t be mean or argue or discuss, just refuse to deal with it at all.  Sure she’ll be upset, and she might even be worse for a while, but she’ll eventually realize that you’re serious and stop.

And for the rest of the family, are you going to live your entire life based on whether your actions are going to create “bad blood” or upset your family?  You really should give a lot of thought to whether you want to live your life for YOU or for everyone else.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Post # 44
1 posts
  • Wedding: May 2011

I also agree that money shouldn’t be used for control in anything.


When you invite someone to a restaurant you don’t tell them WHAT FOOD to order just because you are PAYING FOR IT.   The same applies to this case.  Just because your mother is paying for it doesn’t mean she should choose how your wedding will go. 

Post # 45
441 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2011 - St. Joseph's Parish, Seattle Tennis Club

Not sure if other PPs have suggested this, but perhaps if you suggest that if she isn’t happy with your non-Catholic ceremony and will withdraw funding, then you will just be forced to elope. Maybe that will cause her to see reason? Crappy situation, I’m sorry you have to deal with it.

Post # 46
177 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I haven’t read all the comments, so I apologize if I am repeating what others have said.

It sounds like you do not want to sacrafice your vision by paying for it with a smaller budget on your own. I can’t say I blame you. That said, it also sounds like you are allowing your mom to just force another idea on you, one that you didn’t originally want anyway. If you are willing to go along with most of her plans, and it’s really the convalidation that’s bothering you, I would sit your mom down and explain to her that you want your ceremony to be your “real wedding”, and whether or not she agrees, the convalidation is not something you want to include other people in. There is a chance you can get her to see your point of view.

Ultimately, it is about priorities, and I know that is much easier said than done. I do think that you need to stand up for yourself, not necessarily cutting your mom out, but to me it’s unacceptable for her to call your convalidation which you don’t want to do anyway your “real wedding” that’s so disprespectful.

Anyway, that’s just my two cents. I really wish you the best of luck,I know issues between family are never easy to resolve.

The topic ‘Mom is forcing a Catholic convalidation on us…not sure what to do. :-( Long.’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors