(Closed) Shamed for religious ceremony

posted 4 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
3935 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

bjn170:  The opposite actually.  My family is very religious, while Fiance and I are not.  We’ve had some relatives make comments about it not being real if it’s not in a church, and we just ignore them.  If you and your SO want to have a Catholic ceremony, you absolutely should.  If you do not, then I would stand up for yourselves and have it wherever the two of you want.  My parents were suprisingly fine (and even excited!) with us not having it at a church. 

My parents were married in the catholic church because my dad’s family demanded it and my mom told me she wished she would have had the option to have it elsewhere.  People will judge you/put down tons of your wedding ideas.  It’ll suck, but it will only effect you as much as you let it.

Post # 3
2595 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - Valleybrook Country Club

bjn170:  I feel you! I was raised Catholic. Fiance was raised Jewish. He does not practice his faith. I am more of a lax Catholic. I go to church occasionally, but I’m bot very religious. My parents are religious. I will be getting married in the Cathedral that my parents were married in and that I have made my other sacraments. It is a beautiful church! However, our wedding is earth day and we wanted an outdoor ceremony, but the church won’t perform it. Fiance was not happy having a catholic ceremony, but for the sake of me and my religion and respect for my parents, he has agreed. So many people making comments and saying that my parents are controlling me and we should do what we want. Screw ’em. It’s my wedding and I’m marrying in a church.

Post # 4
3332 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

How does your Fiance feel about a catholic ceremony? If he’s not catholic, I can see how that would be really weird, and possibly uncomfortable for him and his fam.

Post # 5
2506 posts
Sugar bee

bjn170:  i was raised Catholic; now atheist. having a catholic ceremony “because it is what my parents would want” is a TERRIBLE reason for doing so. you’re basically taking part in a relgious ceremony that neither you nor your Fiance really believe it – it feels very disingenuous, and i don’t blame your friends for their line of questioning. it’s weird, and something you need to think very hard on. just to be clear –  it doesn’t sound like your friends are shaming you for wanting a relgious ceremony; they’re shaming you for wanting a religiou ceremony to please your parents. two different things entirely.

Post # 6
751 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

bjn170:  my parents are conservative Baptists, DH’s parents are Catholic but only attend on holidays or special occasions…and Darling Husband and I are not religious. We did not, in any way shape or form, want a religious ceremony or a church venue. That is not to say we don’t respect others who do, but it wasn’t for us. Since we are not religious, we didn’t want the focus of our ceremony to feel like a sermon.

So, we had a non-demoninational JOP, at our venue (a historic home and gardens) do our ceremony. My dad did begrudge it at first both for the location not being a church and the pastor being a woman (OMG) and non-denom. The other parents were surprised more about the JOP than the venue.

But guess what? We had the ceremony that WE wanted because we were the only 2 getting married that day. We don’t go to church on any other day so to do it on OUR day would have felt fake and forced. Our JOP delivered a beautiful service, we wrote our own vows, and she did a nice, non-religious prayer at the end to tie in and honor our families’ beliefs and ours.

It’s nice to honor your family and their traditions through your wedding day, but the “meat” of the day, your actual marriage ceremony, should be a reflection of you and the person you’re marrying. Do what you feel best represents you and your future FI; I am so glad we stuck to our guns and honored our own beliefs. That’s what marriage is about anyway–coming to a decision together about what is best for you two, regardless of whether it makes everyone else happy. Truth is you’ll never make everyone happy but you can BE happy 🙂

Post # 7
9737 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL

bjn170:  Well honestly, I think you should do what is right for BOTH of you (taking your SO into consideration). If he wants to get married in a Catholic church with you, I’m pretty sure he will need to convert and go through all the Pre-Cana (I hope I spelled that right) activities that come along with it.

It was my understanding that you have to show proof of your baptism and confirmation to be married by the Catholic church, so honestly, it might not even be an option for you if he’s not Catholic.


Can any Catholic bees weigh in here?

Post # 8
1533 posts
Bumble bee

You don’t both need to be Catholic to get married in the Catholic Church.  

However, you will need to go through all the pre-Cana activities.

Post # 9
9737 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL

bywater:  Thanks – I’m still not exactly sure how that stuff works, lol

Post # 10
306 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

bjn170:  I don’t know what your SO’s background is, but I wonder if the rude line of questioning was unintentional. I was also raised Catholic and I forget that many of the traditions and customs I know so well are totally new and foreign to people raised outside of the faith. They also could be concerned that a Catholic service wouldn’t be welcoming to them as non-Catholics. Just my two cents – people can be weird about things that feel new or different to them.

On another note, I’m no longer practicing and not religious at all, so my ceremony will not be in the Catholic Church, and for a long time growing up I assumed it would be. My family would be thrilled if it was but they are supportive of me having a wedding that meets the needs of me and my SO, not them. Keep in mind that if you get married in a faith to please your parents, you are assuming that your SO and his family do not have their own expectations that are being overlooked in favor of yours. His family may not be shaming you as much as a little miffed that your family’s preferences seem to be more heavily weighted than theirs.

Do what is best for you and your Fiance – both your families will deal 🙂 

Post # 11
6828 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2016

You said you were talking it over with a couple that is friends with your SO…so is there any chance that they were voicing their concerns because of him? Have you talked to him about having a Catholic ceremony? How does he feel about it?

FWIW, my husband was raised Catholic (but no one in his immediate family practices anymore) and I am Jewish, though in name only really. When we were just dating my husband and I talked about our future hypothetical wedding and I made it clear to him, in no uncertain terms, that I would never be on board with having a Catholic ceremony (or any kind of religious ceremony). He agreed. 

Post # 12
3007 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

I’ve seen this play out a million times whether or not your ceremony is religious! Everyone freaking wants the wedding done their way, but you can only do it once and you need to do what feels best to you. Some people like me are more individualistic and don’t give a rat’s @ss what their families think, and others are more collectivistic and think about how their decisions will affect their lifelong connections. There’s really no right or wrong way to be in my opinion. 

Personally, I feel like your ceremony choice is nobody’s business besides yours, so I’d refrain from telling any more people than absoutely necessary (e.g. anyone who is paying for your wedding besides you and Darling Husband, because they deserve to know) about your plans for a religious versus secular wedding. 

We’re not at all religious but we have family who are. Unlike you, we didn’t ask anyone for advice or warn anybody besides my father that our ceremony was going to be secular, because I didn’t want to open up that can of worms. Some people were shocked and offended and let me know. My advice is to just say “Okay.” and change the subject and not engage them. 


Me: Okay. [Pause] So how to you like the appetizers? Have you tried the stuffed mushrooms? I’m kind of obsessed. 

Crazy family: Yes. They’re amazing! Just between you and me, I think their secret ingredient is thyme.” 

You can do the same thing with your friends.


You: Okay. Hey, did you watch the season finale of Orange is the New Black? I cried so hard.” 

Post # 13
2146 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

bjn170:  my family are shaming me for the opposit… apparently because they dont have faith I shouldnt either because thats not how they ‘raised’ me (you know god forbid as an adult I can make my own choices in life) they somehow see us deciding to having a church wedding as an insult to the fact they CHOOSE not too

Post # 14
7717 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Definitely feel you! I am Greek Orthodox and my family is devastated that we’re not getting married in the church. But a church wedding isn’t an option for us, as Fiance is Jewish. Luckily my extremely religious family has had over a year to get used to this idea, and they really have come a long way, but it’s still really hard for them.

Ultimately, you do need to do what’s right for YOU (and your fiance). If you and Fiance feel neutral about getting married in the church, then I would honestly do that and spare yourself the misery of your family’s grief about it. In my case, the only way we could be married in the church is if Fiance converted, which I’m not about to make him do, so it’s a moot point. It would also be awkward for us to be married in such an intensely religious service, which has constant mentions of Jesus, given that Fiance is not Christian.

Post # 15
7717 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

is_a_belle:  +1! I am stealing some of these for my wedding which is going to horrify many of my relatives!

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