I know how you are feeling. I was raised Catholic, but no longer practice. My husband’s parents are Baptist and he occasionally joins them at church. That being said, we’re believers but do not fit the "traditional" religious stereotype. I wanted a somewhat religious ceremony, but my husband wanted to be married on the beach. So a Catholic ceremony was out of the question. His parents would have died had we not had a minister perform the ceremony (i.e. I briefly considered asking my sister). (they basically told us we were going to hell b/c we were living in sin so long that’s how serious they are about their religion and beliefs)… Then, trying to find someone who can officiate but still has an ounce of credibility while performing the ceremony was a toughie. Yellowbook- toss it out the window. Online and craigslist… ummmm no.
I finally talked it over with my hubby and we agreed that his parent’s minister would be best to do the ceremony, as he is a Pastor and does in fact do weddings all the time. When we met him, I expressed my desire to have a religious but still personal ceremony. Follow the feeling of the traditiona, but include a little of us, because we aren’t "church goers".
He basically let me do my ceremony from scratch, parts of it I pulled from about 15 or 20 different websites (indiebride I beileve was my main source of inspiration) and we wrote our own vows, while utilizing traditional vows as the inspiration.
The pastor was VERY accommodating to our requests. It just so happened that he was totally cool with it and just wanted to give us the best marriage ceremony he could and help us be joined with God. And that’s all that I needed to hear. (even though the In Laws totally got the stinking win there!).
We gave him a sort of script to use and blank places that we asked him to say whatever he felt like fit there. We chose two secular readings and one adaptation of a biblical reading. The pastor included an additional reading (the one that the husband is the spiritual leader in a christian marriage, don’t know which one but that’s the message). It was great, exactly what we wanted, his parents were happy because God was in fact with us that day and there was not a single dry eye in the Gazebo (even the men).
If you want to give your Future in laws a little win, come to a compromise. I knew I would hear it for the REST of my life if we had a completely secular ceremony. So I just found the way that it was comfortable to me. If you are uncomfortable, tell your FH that he needs to make his parents back off.
My advice, contact a few local churches- start with non-denominational ones, then lutheran, then methodist. (IMHO this is the best order b/c I’ve personally found them to be most liberal with weddings in that order). Find a pastor who understands your dilemma and is willing to help give you the ceremony you and your FH want.
PM me if you would like any more help or would like a copy of our ceremony transcript.