Wedding 911

Parents at odds over religious ceremony

cmurphy389cmurphy389 Chicago, IL member
First Comment First Anniversary
Since my fiancee and I started dating, he was very clear that being married in his church was extremely important to him and he was not willing to forego. Having been raised in a different religion, but not currently practicing, I always planned to be married in his church. Our churches are considered "sister" churches, but his is more traditional than mine.

When we announced our engagement to my parents and that we would be married in his church, my mom's response was "We're glad you're going to be married in any church." When I took my parents to the church and to meet the pastor who has been doing our marriage counseling, suddenly they disagree with our choice as a couple. Because a pastor from my parent's church is not allowed to co-celebrate or participate in the wedding ceremony, my mother told me last night to dump my fiancee and find someone from my parent's faith.

I'm incredibly hurt that she disrespected my fiancee. He's furious and does not want my parents to attend the wedding. This all is coming to a head as we are supposed to sign the contract for the reception venue by Friday of this week. My fiancee and I are not in a financial position to have the reception we've been planning without my parents' assistance. His parents have refused to offer financial support because "it's the responsibility of the bride's family".

I appreciate any thoughts, solutions, or moral support. I've been crying for hours and can't seem to find a solution that appeases everyone.
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Re: Parents at odds over religious ceremony

  • Either you left important points out of the story or you didn't bother to inquire further with your parents about what is the root cause of their issues.  There seems to be more going on than just not allowing their own pastor to co-officiate because you started off saying they were just happy that it was taking place in ANY church.  One would think that the news of not being able to have their own pastor co-officiate would lead to "We want you married in our church" or "You need find a different church or pastor who will allow someone from our faith to co-officiate", not "You need an entirely different fiance."  Was anything said or done during this meeting to otherwise particularly upset them?  Did you ask them?  Do they know that you're not even practicing?

    Additionally, I guess I would be more than a little concerned that your fiance's reaction is to cut them out entirely rather than try to talk out the situation when cooler heads prevail.  That seems pretty telling to there being deeper issues going on than either you're telling here or that you've never bothered to dig deeper about. 

    As for the financial situation and his family refusing to pay - ultimately it is no one's responsibility to pay but your own.  Personally, I would be bothered to marry into any family that gave more importance to an outdated tradition than to their family (or future family) and their circumstances, but to each their own.  In theory, they could see the extenuating circumstances, have a change or heart, and decide to give you money for the wedding.  But as it's rude for you to ask for their money regardless of the situation or what traditions they may or may not uphold, it's a moot point. 

    So, you have two things you need to work on:

    1.  Relationship with your FI and your family.  And you need to sort this out completely independent of the fact that your family was going to contribute money.  What is important to you?  Is your religion important to you?  Your family?  Your FI?  Not inviting your parents to your wedding is going to likely have far-reaching consequences to your relationship with them than just the wedding day.  So what your FI is essentially suggesting is that you cut out your family.  Is that something you're comfortable with?  Are you comfortable marrying someone who suggests that without first trying to work things out?  You need to figure out first what the underlying issues are at the heart of all this.

    2.  Finances.  All money comes with strings.  If they are contributing, then they get a say.  So, if you're not prepared to compromise with them on what they want for the wedding, then you need to be prepared to pay for the wedding yourselves.  And honestly, it sounds like that's what you should be doing regardless of whether they have a complete change of heart and start throwing gobs of money at you - because if they pulled the money once, what makes you think there won't be another situation that might cause them to pull the money again?  So, either postpone your wedding to save up for the wedding you want, or start making drastic cuts to your plans to have the wedding you can afford on the same date.  Luckily, this happened before signing a contract for the venue so you still have plenty of options available to you without major financial loss.

    At the end of the day though, you're not going to make everyone happy, so you have to figure out what is important to you and make hard, possibly unpopular, decisions.
    WildMageletOliveOilsMomjaprincess24
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited December 2014
    Since my fiancee and I started dating, he was very clear that being married in his church was extremely important to him and he was not willing to forego. Having been raised in a different religion, but not currently practicing, I always planned to be married in his church. Our churches are considered "sister" churches, but his is more traditional than mine.

    When we announced our engagement to my parents and that we would be married in his church, my mom's response was "We're glad you're going to be married in any church." When I took my parents to the church and to meet the pastor who has been doing our marriage counseling, suddenly they disagree with our choice as a couple. Because a pastor from my parent's church is not allowed to co-celebrate or participate in the wedding ceremony, my mother told me last night to dump my fiancee and find someone from my parent's faith.

    I'm incredibly hurt that she disrespected my fiancee. He's furious and does not want my parents to attend the wedding. This all is coming to a head as we are supposed to sign the contract for the reception venue by Friday of this week. My fiancee and I are not in a financial position to have the reception we've been planning without my parents' assistance. His parents have refused to offer financial support because "it's the responsibility of the bride's family".

    I appreciate any thoughts, solutions, or moral support. I've been crying for hours and can't seem to find a solution that appeases everyone.
    Here is the solution:

    1.  Pay for your own wedding.  Skip the fancy venue.  Have a small church ceremony with cake and punch in the fellowship hall.  What is more imoportant to you?  Being married to your FI, or having the big reception you have planned?

    2.  Invite your parents and his parents, too.  It is their choice whether or not they want to attend.

    3.  If your fiance continues to insist that he doesn't want your parents at your wedding, then your mother is right!  Dump him!  He is not mature enough to get married.

    Are we talking Catholic Church here?  Their rules are very strict, and there are consequences for your FI if he does not get married in his church.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    MairePoppyOliveOilsMomjaprincess24
  • I know this ship has already sailed...but why on Earth did you take your parents to meet the pastor?  I would think most parents wouldn't meet the pastor (unless they already attended the church) until the rehearsal.

    I'm with Addie -- everyone is acting ridiculous.  It sounds like it's time to take a hard look at wedding plans and move forward as if the two of you will be paying for it yourselves. 


  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    Since my fiancee and I started dating, he was very clear that being married in his church was extremely important to him and he was not willing to forego. Having been raised in a different religion, but not currently practicing, I always planned to be married in his church. Our churches are considered "sister" churches, but his is more traditional than mine.

    When we announced our engagement to my parents and that we would be married in his church, my mom's response was "We're glad you're going to be married in any church." When I took my parents to the church and to meet the pastor who has been doing our marriage counseling, suddenly they disagree with our choice as a couple. Because a pastor from my parent's church is not allowed to co-celebrate or participate in the wedding ceremony, my mother told me last night to dump my fiancee and find someone from my parent's faith.

    I'm incredibly hurt that she disrespected my fiancee. He's furious and does not want my parents to attend the wedding. This all is coming to a head as we are supposed to sign the contract for the reception venue by Friday of this week. My fiancee and I are not in a financial position to have the reception we've been planning without my parents' assistance. His parents have refused to offer financial support because "it's the responsibility of the bride's family".

    I appreciate any thoughts, solutions, or moral support. I've been crying for hours and can't seem to find a solution that appeases everyone.
    You and your FI need to be on the same page, first and foremost. This is of utmost importance - with wedding planning and just in general. You seem to be okay with getting married in his church, but will you continue to be active in and raise your kids in that church? I don't know what religion it is, but I'd be willing to bet that getting married there goes hand-in-hand with living your life as a member of that religion. 

    Number two, you can't expect your parents to pay for something they don't agree with. If you and your FI decide that the church is the most important thing (which is sounds like it is to him), then you need to pay for your wedding and reception yourself. There are a lot of ways to cut back on costs and we can definitely help with that. 

    If you decide that the party you and your parents are planning is more important to you than the church that is important to your FI, then you have some serious thinking to do about your future. 


    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    weddingcactus
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Since my fiancee and I started dating, he was very clear that being married in his church was extremely important to him and he was not willing to forego. Having been raised in a different religion, but not currently practicing, I always planned to be married in his church. Our churches are considered "sister" churches, but his is more traditional than mine.

    When we announced our engagement to my parents and that we would be married in his church, my mom's response was "We're glad you're going to be married in any church." When I took my parents to the church and to meet the pastor who has been doing our marriage counseling, suddenly they disagree with our choice as a couple. Because a pastor from my parent's church is not allowed to co-celebrate or participate in the wedding ceremony, my mother told me last night to dump my fiancee and find someone from my parent's faith.

    I'm incredibly hurt that she disrespected my fiancee. He's furious and does not want my parents to attend the wedding. This all is coming to a head as we are supposed to sign the contract for the reception venue by Friday of this week. My fiancee and I are not in a financial position to have the reception we've been planning without my parents' assistance. His parents have refused to offer financial support because "it's the responsibility of the bride's family".

    I appreciate any thoughts, solutions, or moral support. I've been crying for hours and can't seem to find a solution that appeases everyone.
    You and your FI need to be on the same page, first and foremost. This is of utmost importance - with wedding planning and just in general. You seem to be okay with getting married in his church, but will you continue to be active in and raise your kids in that church? I don't know what religion it is, but I'd be willing to bet that getting married there goes hand-in-hand with living your life as a member of that religion. 

    Number two, you can't expect your parents to pay for something they don't agree with. If you and your FI decide that the church is the most important thing (which is sounds like it is to him), then you need to pay for your wedding and reception yourself. There are a lot of ways to cut back on costs and we can definitely help with that. 

    If you decide that the party you and your parents are planning is more important to you than the church that is important to your FI, then you have some serious thinking to do about your future. 

    This needs to be your plan of action.

    However, as others have noted, your mom took it way too far by suggesting you dump your fiancé. It was a childish move. That sucks, and I understand why you're both hurt. I hope your FI eventually takes the high road and your mom just said something in the spur of the moment and comes around to support your marriage, if not the wedding via her finances.

    On a side note, what your FI's parents said about it being the bride's family's responsibility to pay is BS. It is yours and your FI's responsibility, and others may choose to help. I don't like that your FILs used a very outdated tradition as their rationale not to help - they could have just said that they were not choosing to give you money for the wedding. They don't have to step in with their money, but their stated reason for not doing so was just wrong.

    weddingcactus
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its

    I must say, it sounds like all the most important people in your life are extremists. So many babies being thrown out with bath water.

    1. Continue with your pre-marital counseling. Tell your fi's pastor how your parents reacted to his church's rules and how your fi reacted to your parents. I hope the pastor will have some sage advice for the two of you.

    2. You and your fi must be the ones who decide on where you'll get married. You've committed to getting married in his church and it's probably a game changer for him if you decide not to follow through.

    3. If you decide to marry him, scale back your wedding to what you and fi can afford. Neither set of parents are obliged to contribute. If they do pay, they will expect to control certain aspects of your wedding.


                       
    chibiyui
  • I'm wondering why they had a change of heart after meeting the pastor. You said this church is more traditional than theirs--could he have said something to offend them? Is it possible they object to his positions on women in leadership or gay relationships?

    In any case, I hope it works out.
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