(Closed) My surprise wedding – not excited.. :(

posted 8 years ago in Secular
Post # 3
172 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

It sounds like you have a really difficult situation.  Your FI’s family sound like they just don’t get it, and perhaps they wouldn’t even if it was explained to them.  Perhaps you Fiance can talk with them?  Otherwise, it might be the kind of situation where you either need to resolve yourself to the fact that this is how it will be, or create a new situation, i.e., set up a different wedding scenario (elope?).  Also, do you need to consider how the Catholic family will react to a surprise wedding on Christmas?  I know some families  can get a little, um, invested in the biblical meaning of Christmas, to the exclusion of all else. 

I don’t have any great advice, but am sending positive thoughts your way. 

Post # 4
7975 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I’m religious personally, but I’ll try not to let that color my responses to you ๐Ÿ™‚ because I think you deserve a realistic perspective!

Are you and your Fiance anti-religion? Would you consider incorporating some of the more common passages (about love in general, not about God) to appease your FMIL? That might be an area of compromise, unless you’re totally opposed to the Catholic church/Christianity in general, in which case I don’t think it would be appropriate for your and your Fiance to include scripture in your ceremony.

Perhaps, in discussions with your Future Mother-In-Law, you could stress keeping the ceremony SHORT, rather than not religious. It will effectively solve the problem of her putting too much religion into it all, but without being disrespectful of her beliefs, which it seems you are trying very hard not to be (good for you!!!), even though you don’t share them. Most of the religious elements of a wedding DO add a fair bit of time. Communion? 10 minutes. Hymns? 3-5 minutes each. Prayer? (depends who’s praying, haha), a few minutes minimum. A message? ten, twenty minutes minimum, often a lot longer!

What would you think of going to the JOP and getting legally married ahead of time, and just reciting vows with the family? You could write your own, and it would definitely still be a special thing to share with the family, but it would remove the assumptions that his family have going into a wedding.

Just kind of thinking aloud. I think you CAN make this work, to your satisfaction, hopefully while making the family feel included and valued by what you did do, rather than offended at what you didn’t do.

Post # 6
1330 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

…i completely understand where your coming from….
what if you eloped before christmas eve…do the intimate wedding ceremony and then do a suprise “vow renewal” at the family gathering?? i’m not sure what else to say…i agree with ms.moonlight that its a really difficult situation. :-/

what if you eloped before christmas eve…do the intimate wedding ceremony and then do a suprise “vow renewal” at the family gathering?? i’m not sure what else to say…i agree with ms.moonlight that its a really difficult situation. :-/

Post # 7
4311 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

It’s not about his family meeting you halfway, your fiance has to help you meet halfway.  You shouldn’t have to mediate with his family–HE needs to.

At the end of the day it’s not his family’s wedding.  It’s you and him.  If this ceremony is not what you want, you will regret it for the rest of your life and I think, ultimately, eventually resent the fact that your friends were not there considering you are not in touch with your own family.

We’re eloping–and this is the EXACT reason why.  Weddings unfortunately usually end up being totally not about the bride and groom, but about their families and friends.  In fact, our situation is a little like yours; I’m not in touch with most of my family, and he has a big (less religious) family.  But when I told him what I would like to do he didn’t think twice about it–for a lot of reasons, but #1 was that we wanted the day to be about US.

Good luck to you.  Please do not settle for anything less than what will make you BOTH happy.  I think you deserve more than what you’re compromising.

Post # 8
405 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I don’t have much advice, but just wanted to let you know I understand and am sending you good vibes.

I’m an atheist and my FH is a Christian. He’s pretty lax about it, but his family and mine are very religious. We’re having a secular ceremony, with literally no mention of god or any scripture at all, and I know our families might be a little shocked when they hear it, but that’s what’s happening, and they’re not going to find out until that day.

Since we’ve already met with our officiant, I might just say that things have already been planned out if anyone mentions it. Maybe this is an approach you could take? Say that you’ve already talked with your future Brother-In-Law and decided what kind of ceremony you’d like to have, and since it’s his first time, it’s important to plan ahead and not make changes?

Post # 9
151 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I don’t have any better advice than what’s already been stated by PPs, I just wanted to offer you support, hugs and best wishes.

Post # 12
73 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Although I can’t say that I know EXACTLY what you’re going through I do understand about making compromises for your FI’s family.  I originally wanted to elope for the same reasons as you. I would have been happy with only immediate family and very close friends and I would rather our hard earned money go to a marriage instead of a wedding but it was very important to my Fiance to have ALL of his family there. His family tends to get a little pushy and many of them think that they can plan everything better so it has been a little tough at times but what has really helped me get through it is knowing that IT’S MY WEDDING. I used to feel bad about saying no to the suggestions and offers but after a while I realized that it’s ok to say no to some things. And to be honest his family is pretty good about it. When someone offers to do something or they give a suggestion that they think would be good I generally say “I don’t know that we want that for our wedding but if it turns out that we do then I’ll give you a call” There have been offers that I’ve gladly accepted also so I think it was really about finding that middle ground.

I know it can be hard when religion comes into play and although I don’t know exactly where you stand as far as how reliogious or non religious you are I think the best thing to do is to stay true to yourself. If you don’t want it to feel religious then don’t. If your Fiance does want religion incorporated some way then you two can work on a compromise. Like you said, your Future Father-In-Law may consider himself the Patriarch of his family but that doesn’t make him the Patriarch of yours.

Be happy and love your Fiance. Those two things will keep you sane through everything.

Post # 13
1330 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@Masala: this is a good idea!!! and maybe if you could suggest some type of family prayer?? that way its sort of a comprise….you say the ceremony has already been planned and that you’ve included a portion after being pronounced man and wife (or at whatever point in the ceremony) open for prayer and blessings from the family…..even if you dont like that idea i agree with Masala, best say the ceremony’s already been decided and planned out….might work out..

Post # 15
1390 posts
Bumble bee

Your wedding should be about you and your Fiance. Period. I understand that it may be a nice thing to do to include your in-laws, accommodate his family, adhere to their wishes, etc. But it’s not mandatory. It sounds like the wedding you want is not the wedding his relatives want you to have. To put it bluntly, they can have their own day. This is your day. It your wedding, your marriage and your life. I would seriously talk to your fiance and if you’re on the same page, figure out an alternative plan.

I think it’s terribly unfair for brides and grooms to have to alter their dreams to accommodate family members or friends with whom they aren’t necessarily close. I’m not saying a $1 million dollar wedding should be available for every girl who wants one, but simply that if you have a reasonable and feasible wedding in mind for yourself, you should be able to fulfil what you want. As caught up as we can all get, the wedding is about you getting married to your love and nothing else.

If it were me, I’d elope with Future Brother-In-Law and Future Sister-In-Law en tow to perform the ceremony or be witnesses. Do it your way. Small, initmate, maybe on a beach? Then at Christmas you can always have a vow-renewal in front of the family or orchestrate a small reception dinner where you show a slideshow/video of the elopement. OR you could do a small vow renewal/reception in Atlanta and if they want to come, they can. Again, it’s your wedding, your marriage and your life. You should get the ultimate say in it.

As for the Catholic stuff. If you don’t believe it, don’t do it. I am personally not religious. However. It’s really important to some people. I would feel very, very uncomfortable incorporating religious aspects into my wedding when I do not believe/feel them as deeply as others. For one, I think incorporating them despite my feelings makes light of my own feelings about topic. My wedding is no place for that. For two, I think a  non-religious person incorporating religious scripture is rather out of place. Just like I wouldn’t wear a hijab since I’m not Muslim, I won’t read scripture because I’m not Christian. It’s not my cup of tea but to someone else it’s really important and I wouldn’t want to make light of its meaning to others by ‘lightly’ incorporating it in my own ceremony. I’m not sure if that makes sense or not!

Post # 16
125 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I don’t know how you could NOT be upset about this. You’re not crazy for feeling this way. Maybe some of your closest friends will be able to make it afterall. You never know…it says a lot about who you are if you’rw willing to give up what you want for his family. I hope THEY realize “how lucky” they are to be getting you as a daughter-in-law.

As for religious vs non-religious…if it’s not a huge deal to you either way and you aren’t anti-religion, i’d just go with it and let them do it their way. My Fiance and his fam are not religious at all. I’m not either, but my fam is. I’m not getting married in a church but as a compromise i’m having a pastor marry us rather than a Justice of the Peace. This is the most important day of your life together thus far…you have to decide what you’re willing to take/give-up to keep everyone happy. But make sure you’re happy with how things go down in the end. When all the family goes home and it’s just the two of you, you don’t want any “elephant in the room”

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