(Closed) Need an opinion- do not want FI walking down the aisle with FMIL & FFIL

posted 11 years ago in Interfaith
Post # 17
363 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2010 - Trinity Presbyterian Church/Harrison Opera House

Lambster’s paternal side is Jewish.  Both of his parents walked him down the aisle and took their seats.  Then my Dad walked me down and took his seat.  No fuss, no muss, everyone was happy 🙂

If your Fiance doesn’t mind walking down with his mother, then let her clutch him all she wants on the walk down because in another 10 minutes he’s yours for the rest of your lives!

Post # 18
624 posts
Busy bee

>>and then also somehow snatch FI before the ceremony and force him to walk out with her.  

I know that I am probably being just a little crazy about my Future Mother-In-Law but she’s just been getting so demanding about the whole Jewish stuff and I’m starting to feel a little like MY family and MY part of the whole ceremony is getting lost in all the “Jewish”.<<

I know what you mean about her forcing her way and having your Fiance walk with her.  During big moments during the reception, Mother-In-Law would grab DH and take him aside so I would have to wait on him and it was highly annoying.  After a few times like that DH realized what she was doing.  And for her possibly forcing him to walk down the aisle with her, you’ll just have to trust your Fiance to follow through with what you two decided.  I understand how difficult it can be trying not to worry about what stunts your Future Mother-In-Law will try to pull off during your wedding day. 

I haven’t read all the responses but I think it’s important that you talk to your Fiance and get on the same page and let him know that you feel it’s not really feeling like “us” but rather him and his family. 


Post # 19
1509 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

This is tough.

I think that the fact that your family is paying for the majority of the wedding expenses AND are really being accomodating towards incorporating many of his cultural aspects to the wedding, that you should be able to put your foot down on this.

How does your Fiance feel about this issue?  How do you think your FI’s parents will respond?  I totally understand not wanting them walking up together – I think its weird too.  Granted, if I were Jewish, I would probably think this was a wonderful thing.  While I’m not Jewish, I am Catholic and am looking forward to having a full Catholic ceremony on the church, so I do understand the importance of incorporating religious traditions in our wedding. 

If Fiance supports you on this, I think that he should sit down with his mother and discuss this.  If Fiance wants to walk up with his parents, then you have a whole different set of troubles. 

When in doubt, you may need to do the most difficult thing, being sitting down and talking to his mother about this.  One way to approach this would be that since you are incorporating so many of his family’s religious traditions for this wedding, you would also like to incorporate some of your own.  I also wouldn’t give her the option of saying no by “asking” if you “can” do this.  Telling her in a gentle way would probably work better.

Post # 20
168 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Just a few thoughts on this one. First, I definitely agree that there needs to be more “you” in this ceremony. Right now it seems almost entirely a Jewish ceremony rather than an interfaith ceremony. However, that being said, I have to say that in honesty I don’t understand how FI’s parents walking him down the aisle makes the ceremony less “you.”

DH and I are both Christian and he walked his parents and his grandparents down the aisle. It meant that I had to wait in another area until my BMs summoned me so he wouldn’t see me in advance, but if I had told his parents that he wouldn’t be walking them down the aisle, they would have been crushed.

I think you need to consider why you’re putting your foot down on this one, because from your posts it seems that it has more to do with your desire to keep your Mother-In-Law from “clutching” her son than keeping this tradition at bay to make it more of an interfaith ceremony. If your parents don’t want to stand up with the two of you at the front of the room, it’s simple enough for Fiance to walk his parents down the aisle and seat them in their places of honor and then join the rabbi at the front. In fact, many of the weddings I’ve been to have the groom and groomsmen enter with the pastor, stand at the front of the room, and then the groom walks to the back of the room to escort his parents/grandparents down the aisle.

If you do it this way, his parents still get the honor of walking with their son – and this is likely something very important to them. You can still walk with just your father (I see no reason why having your Fiance escort them means you have to be escorted by both of your parents), the parents will all be seated throughout the ceremony, the groomsmen won’t have to walk with the girls down the aisle, and your FI’s parents will have their moment with their son. If you do it this way, they’ll be honored and it won’t really take away from you at all or make the ceremony more “Jewish.” In fact, I’ve only ever been to Christian and non-religious weddings and the groom escorting his parents down the aisle is a huge wedding tradition all around.

Post # 21
550 posts
Busy bee

I think loveatfirstsightlover had some great ideas. My biggest concern would be how your future in-laws would take it and would this create future grief or problems for you. I am not happy with a lot of things about my wedding, but in the end I realize its a day and I will hopefully be with my Fiance forever which also means his family so I don’t want to alienate or cause friction there. Just some food for thought. 

Post # 22
1955 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Tannery Pond at the Darrow School

Miss Root, I think you are mistaking some suggestions and ideas for criticism…I don’t think anyone was attacking you for not having kippahs, just trying to offer up some very valid reasons for possibly providing them…

I think that the FIL’s could walk their son down the aisle but have him stand alone at the front so he would still be there waiting for you when you walk down…

I agree with loveatfirstsightlover that is sounds like this is more of an issue with your FIL’s rather than keeping the ceremony interfaith…

Post # 23
1045 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2008

“In my head, the groom was always standing at the front of the aisle waiting for me, and that’s just how I want it.”

You can still have this, even if his parents walk him to the front of the aisle.  Can’t they just escort him, and then sit down once he’s up at the front?  At our wedding, my husband walked down the aisle following the Reverend and followed by his groomsmen.  Then, from another side of the church, my bridesmaids started walking down the aisle, then there was a slight pause and change of music, and my parents and I started down the aisle. My groom was still standing at the top of the aisle waiting for me, while I walked down.

Walking their son down the aisle might be a HUGE thing for your FI’s parents, so I’d just be careful about denying this to them if they feel it is really important, as it could be seen as very disrespectful, and dishonoring their relationship with him.  You don’t want to set yourself up for a contentious relationship with your in-laws. Then again, maybe they wouldn’t care?  Does your Fiance feel that this is important to his parents?

Post # 24
32 posts
  • Wedding: July 2010

I am Jewish and my Fiance is not.  However, neither of us are very religious.  We are having a secular wedding but it’s important to us that we include some traditions from both of our religions/cultures.  The #1 most important tradition for both me and my family is to have both of my parents walk me down the aisle.  My Fiance had the option to have a traditional Christian entry, or have his mother escort him in the Jewish tradition (his father has passed away).  He has chosen to have his mother walk him down the aisle because he thinks it’s a neat way to honor her.  So we are kind of the opposite of you 🙂

Anyway, I think posters above have offered you a lot of compromise suggestions that would work out.  You have to pick your battles, and if your primary concern is having the parents stand up with you during the ceremony then you can eliminate that part without eliminating the escort down the aisle, and perhaps save yourself from a lot of drama.  I’ve been to a lot of Jewish weddings and I’ve never seen the parents stay standing with the couple.  For most Jewish weddings I’ve been to, the bride is kept in seclusion during the line-up so that the groom does not see her as he prepares to walk down the aisle.  That just leaves the concern about your Future Mother-In-Law clutching him as they walk down the aisle.  Is that really such a big concern that it’s worth all of the hurt feelings it may cause?

You voiced an underlying problem that you feel there is not enough of you or your traditions in the ceremony.  That’s definately a problem.  I recommend that you think through what traditions are the most meaningful to you and find a way to incorporate them into the wedding too.  Eliminating the “Jewish” stuff isn’t the only way to make the ceremony more balanced.  For example, in our wedding we will be having the whole parents walking us down the aisle which we pulled from Jewish tradition, but we will also have a unity candle which is a more Christian tradition.

But if you are still firm on no parents walking Fiance down the aisle, then I highly recommend that he delivers the message to his Future Mother-In-Law as to why HE does not want to incorporate this tradition at his wedding – and the rationale can not be because you don’t want to include this tradition.  If it comes across as his decision and not yours, their only option is to be disappointed in their own son.

Post # 25
2 posts
  • Wedding: May 2010

Oh Miss Root… reading your post was like reading a transcript of my current situation.  My Fiance and I were discussing exactly the same issue last night, and I feel the same way that you do.

My Fiance is Jewish and I am not religious, but I was raised Catholic.  We are having an interfaith ceremony with a rabbi and a priest (my mom’s ONLY request for the whole wedding).  We are having all of the traditional Jewish stuff (chuppah, kippahs, ketubah, breaking glass, rabbi running most of ceremony, no pork), and I have not put up a fight about any of it even though I don’t like any of it.  I, like you, feel like this is mostly a Jewish wedding.  To be honest, I’m a bit resentful about it because my parents are paying for 95% of the wedding, and I feel like the wedding is more Jewish and related to my Fiance than to me.

Regarding finding a more equal balance…  We are doing a unity candle (you can also do a sand ceremony instead), which is actually not really Catholic but is done more in Catholic ceremonies.  We are also doing a “rose ceremony” where the priest or rabbi will say something nice to honor our parents and then Fiance and I will give each parent a white rose.  This is similar to the Catholic version of giving flowers to the blessed mother, and it is not Jewish at all.  I would love to figure out some more ways to bring more “me” or balance to the ceremony, but I couldn’t think of anything else besides the procession.

Kippahs… we are having them because my Fiance really wants them.  They will be in a basket, but I was thinking of putting a polite sign in front of the basket saying something like… “Compliments of the bride and groom… reserved for our Jewish Gentlemen Guests”, but that’s still up in the air.  Just wanted to let you know, but obviously do what’s right for you.

The walk down the aisle issue…  The most recent request by his parents is to have them both walk him down the aisle, and this is very important to them.  Unfortunately, I feel the exact same way you do and that I want a traditional Catholic procession where the only person being “given away” is the bride.  I feel bad that this is important to them, but I think that I should have the procession be the way I want it since I have been more than accommodating with everything else.  I don’t agree with letting him walk with his parents and you walk with only your father and having that satisfy everyone.  It can be done, but it does not satisfy the Catholic tradition, and even if you just walk with your dad, the whole procession will still be seen as Jewish if your Fiance walks with his parents.  I don’t fear the clutching mom that you do, but I feel that a man should not be “given away” which is essentially the purpose of his parents walking with him.  That’s just the way I think, and I mean no disrespect to anyone that thinks otherwise though.  

A compromise that I offered my Fiance was that he could meet his parents at the top of the aisle after they walked down alone and give them a kiss and greet them or something.  I also reminded my Fiance that we are honoring his parents with roses in that part of the ceremony, so they will be honored in the ceremony without the “giving him away” part.  Maybe you could do something similar to honor them in a different way than the walk down the aisle?

What it really comes down to is that you and your FI’s parents have two preferences that conflict with each other, and there is no even compromise to be had.  Someone is going to have to be disappointed in the end, and it certainly should not be the bride.

Sorry for the lengthy post!  I’m pretty heated

Post # 26
2 posts
  • Wedding: May 2010

And I definitely agree that you Fiance should talk to his parents and keep you out of it if possible.

Post # 27
1636 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

This may sound a little harsh and I appologize but like you said you are having a “Jewish” wedding. Jewish weddings have kippahs as a sign of respect for G-d if you are having a Rabbi perform your ceremony then I would have my guest wear them reguardless if my ceremony is held in a ballroom, beach, or garbage dump it’s out of respect! as far as telling your Fiance YOU dont want his parents walking him down… I really dont think that is your place you made it clear that YOU were having a Jewish wedding and all of these things are very Jewish and would be hurtful to your Fiance. If your parents dont want to do something then they dont have to but dont put your/their views of what your parents want on his. Sorry for sounding harsh but I just dont agree with you.

Post # 28
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2008

@Miss Root – happy to provide any info 🙂 We loved our officiant and put a lot of effort into making the ceremony feel like both of us – while at the same time not offending either side, especially our parents.  Luckily our rabbi does a ton of interfaith weddings (sometimes with his wife, a priest!) so he helped us a lot.  His whole philosophy was to make sure at the start everyone felt like there was something that represented them in it so no one felt alienated or out of place.

For my Fiance there were a few things that were important – he wanted to stand on the right side (for some reason Jewish weddings are opposite), he did NOT want to be escorted down the aisle by anyone or even walk down the aisle, and he didn’t want the rabbi in robes.   Why this mattered to him, I can’t say beyond they were all important to making him feel comfortable, but they did and they were all pretty easy things to accomodate 🙂 For me, I wanted our parents up there, mine to escort me, and to have a chuppah. The rest was a mix!

Post # 30
1509 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I’m glad to hear that your Fiance is backing you up.  Good luck!!

Post # 31
937 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I see what some of the other bees are saying regarding yarmulkes. I am Catholic, Fiance is Jewish. We are having an interfaith ceremony outdoors in a garden, and we are providing kippahs out of respect- for anyone who wishes to wear one. We are also having a chuppah (incidentally being made by my Catholic sister), breaking glass, and signing the ketubah. We are also having some Christian biblical readings, and a unity candle. My Dad will walk me down the aisle (obviously Christian tradition), and FI’s parents will walk him, as that is their tradition. We are not having either sets of parents standing up there with us. It’s just going to be us up there, together.

You seem to have a lot of pent up aggression towards your Future Mother-In-Law (I’ve been there, so I can’t say I blame you). However, like one of the other bees said, your posts seem to be more about your issues with the FMIL than keeping the kippahs out in an effort to preserve the interfaith nature of the ceremony. And if that’s the case, that’s OKAY, but just be honest about it. If you feel like you are playing second string at your own wedding, by all means girl, speak up! Talk to your Fiance and tell him how his mother makes you feel, that you are feeling like an outsider at your own wedding, and that you’re feeling suffocated by the predominantly Jewish tone your “interfaith” ceremony is taking. There’s nothing wrong with having the feelings you’re having, just be truthful about where they’re coming from. If you don’t put your foot down and establish boundaries with the Future Mother-In-Law now- she will continue to walk all over you years down the line. This isn’t about kippahs. This is about telling your Future Mother-In-Law it’s time to cut the cord- her son is not a baby anymore.

On the other hand, I just wanted to point out that you’re walking a fine line when planning an interfaith ceremony. To the bees who are upset and felt that the OP was showing a lack of respect by banning kippahs, please understand that respect is a two way street. You can’t have it being all about respect for the Jewish guests and forget all about the Christians. For example, the Lord’s Prayer and rosary beads are elements of traditional Christian ceremonies, but I was told that I may want to rethink them because my Jewish guests might be ‘offended.’ I thought about that, and I’m going to nix the Lord’s Prayer, but I WILL carry my deceased Nana’s rosary beads around my bouquet. If anyone doesn’t like it, I would be more than happy to “discuss” it with them.

MissRoot, I respectfully think you need to resolve the issues with your Future Mother-In-Law. In order to do that, you need to get your Fiance on board. He needs to hear you, and he needs to understand where you’re coming from. I speak from personal experience, in that I didn’t put my foot down and lay down the law with my FIL’s (and more specifically FMIL) until a year and a half after I was dating their son. It wasn’t pretty, but I think they have a better understanding of where I’m coming from now. They stopped disrespecting me and passive-aggressive “bullying” me when I stopped allowing them. My Fiance was by my side (physically and emotionally) during the entire convo, and his parents got the message LOUD and CLEAR. They finally get that Fiance and are a team now. I told them that anyone who can’t be happy for us, and respect OUR wishes will be left behind.

A wonderful book that might help you get the “interfaith” back into your ceremony is a book called “Celebrating Interfaith Marriages- Creating Your Jewish/Christian Ceremony” by Rabbi Devon A. Lerner. I HIGHLY recommend this book. It has been an invaluable resource for me to plan a ceremony that is respectful to BOTH sides. I got it on Amazon for like 12 bucks.

MissRoot, I hope you read my post with the honesty and respect in which I intended. If you need any other help, message me.

The topic ‘Need an opinion- do not want FI walking down the aisle with FMIL & FFIL’ is closed to new replies.

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