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Moms and Maids

FIL's & non-Catholic ceremony

I was raised "Cafeteria Catholic" (we choose what we like and have our own relationships with God) and FI's family is VERY catholic (church every Sunday, pray at meals, etc.).  I am fairly spritual but don't do mass and FI is agnostic.  Problem is, FI hasn't told his family about his beliefs - we have even been going to mass with them every Sunday we were there.  They have been asking him if our outdoor wedding plans are Catholic friendly (we are having a non-religious ceremony per my FI's wishes so....no).  He finally told them we're not having a priest at the wedding.  Their response was that a full Catholic wedding (church, priest, and all) was "important to them."  His parents were going to discuss it, then discuss it with us.  This was about a week ago, and we have yet to hear back from them.  This wait is causing me A LOT of anxiety!
My family is ok with it and has already set aside some funds for the wedding.  Money has not been discussed at all on his side so now we don't have any idea if they a.) are still excited for our marriage and b.) want to emotionally or financially participate at all!  We will be happy to make whatever budget we have work (ourselves and my family), but as I try to keep planning it would be nice to know if they would like to contribute anything.  I even had nightmeres about them cutting him out of their lives all together!
Has anyone out there encountered this?  How did it work out?  Does anyone have any advice about how to further approach the situation?

Re: FIL's & non-Catholic ceremony

  • heyimbrenheyimbren member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Plan the wedding assuming that they won't contribute finanically for now. Hopefully they do end up willing to still support the marriage and come to the wedding, but I think you've done all that you can. The ball's in their court, and honestly, whatever happens you're just going to have to make do with.

    However, I seriously hope they come around and realize that they don't get to control other's religious beliefs. I'm assuming you are both adamant that you don't want any bit of Catholicism incorporated as a compromise? I know you said that he's Agnostic and that you're family isn't very ritualistic, but you could still incorporate some elemtnts of it if you are Catholic at all. I'm not saying you have to, or even that you should, but I wonder if that could make an okay compromise?

  • edited December 2011

    I agree that you shouldn't start planning until you set your budget.  You said you were comfortable planning a wedding on any budget, which is correct thinking, so I would just assume you're going to get no help from his parents.

    I think that his parents should respect both you and your FI's religious beliefs and that you guys should get married in a ceremony that you're both comfortable with.  I'd be surprised and disappointed if this actually led to them cutting your FI out of their lives.  If they're actually the type of people that would do that then you don't want them in their lives.  I think you're imagining worst-case scenarios though so relax.


    Plan the wedding you want that's within your budget.  You're not asking for any hand-out from his parents nor relying on the promise of it (at least that's what it sounds like) so unfortunately it's tough luck for them if you guys don't get married in a Catholic ceremony. 

  • lalap69lalap69 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Even without the religion issue I would advise not counting on anything from them.  If they want to contribute financially, they'll offer.  Don't let it affect your choice of religious ceremony.

    How does your FI feel about his parents' need to "discuss" your ceremony choice and get back to you?  I'm not really sure what's meant by that, tbh.  Are they going to decide whether they're okay with you choosing your own ceremony or are they deciding if they still want to be involved or what?

    I do think it's odd that you're having so much anxiety over this when they're his parents and you mention nothing about how this is affecting him - if at all.
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  • edited December 2011
    Thank you for the encouraging messages! 
    Being close with my family, I take family issues very much to heart while in his family, they do not communicate as openly or as often.  To respond to lalap69, it's hard for me distance myself as he was pretty much raised to do.  Luckily, we are very honest with each other and always discuss whatever may be bothering us.  My FI is also anxious about it for the same reasons I am, but he's also said that he's chosen me and is very peaceful with that choice.  I want him to have it all!
    I have no idea what they mean by discuss!  That may be part of the anxiety too!
  • aerinpegadrakaerinpegadrak member
    10000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Well, don't count any checks until they're cashed, in any circumstances.  Even with the best of intentions and no disagreement, sometimes money falls through.  It's just smart to plan a wedding based upon what you know you can afford, and count any contributions that materialize as a bonus that you can use to upgrade things.

    DH and I were both raised religious, but consider ourselves agnostic/atheist.  We got grief from three of the four parents for not having any mention of religion at all in the ceremony, but we honestly just shrugged it off.  It wasn't really an issue after that. 
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  • TheCranberryTheCranberry member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Will their discussion or anything they decide as a result of the discussion have an impact on how you choose to conduct your wedding?  If not, I don't think you should be anxious about it.  You're both adults and have decided to commit yourselves to each other regardless of what other people think.  If his parents decide to distance themselves from you based on this, that's their decision.  I know it will be hurtful, but you can't control that unless you want to commit to Catholicism, which it doesn't sound like you want to do.

    You guys should continue with your wedding planning on the budget you can afford, and do not expect any help from his parents.  If they decide to give money, and you decide to take it (remember, it may come with strings attached), then that can be used for upgrades or other extras or to free up your money for savings, etc.  Just be supportive of each other since there may be issues with his parents in the future.
  • bellaxanthebellaxanthe member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I am currently going thru a similar thing. I was raised Catholic and many years ago decided it wasn't for me. I took a few years before admitting it to my parents. It is now just my mom and she was ok with it not being a catholic mass (she is contributing financially) however there have been some strings. She started crying and worrying when I gave her a copy of the ceremony to read. Fretting it was a Aetheist wedding. I wanted to correct her and say "Agnostic Mom!" But I did not. His family is Lutheran and he is not religious at all. I bent and offered to put in the Lord's prayer since it covers both sides of the family. I won't say it but they can. Then she freaked out and wanted a reading from the bible. I spent hours upon hours trying to find anything that I thought reflected us or any sort of sentiment that was important to me. I finally found something. I am not happy to have a bible verse, but my hands are tied. I also don't want a mother melt-down.

    I don't believe that you can be married outside with a Catholic wedding. You may be able to have some sort of blessing though. I suppose you have to decide how flexible you are with the ceremony itself.

    Honestly - my mother will not recognize my marriage fully and believes I am going to hell because it is not a recognized marriage in the Catholic faith. That is her problem - not mine. It makes me sad she believes that - but whatever at this point.
    She made her new husband (after my father passed) get an anulment from his first marriage illegitimizing his grown children so that she can have a catholic marriage herself or she would be going to hell (her words not mine).  I think it's terribly sad.
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  • edited December 2011
    I know my mother was disappointed that my FI and I aren't getting married in the Catholic church (FI and I were both raised Catholic but do not agree with certain aspects of the religion). We are having a non-demoninational ceremony with an ordained minister as our officiant, because I still wanted the spiritual aspect to the ceremony (we would have had a Catholic priest or deacon do the ceremony, but they won't marry anybody outside the church). My mother definitely made her opinions heard about how she wished we were doing it in the church, but in the end, I told her that it was our wedding and we are doing what we are most comfortable with. Even though FI's and my parents are paying for the venue, we are paying for the officiant with our own money, which I think worked best for our situation. Good luck!
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  • TheCranberryTheCranberry member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: FIL's & non-Catholic ceremony:
    [QUOTE]I am currently going thru a similar thing. I was raised Catholic and many years ago decided it wasn't for me. I took a few years before admitting it to my parents. It is now just my mom and she was ok with it not being a catholic mass (she is contributing financially) however there have been some strings. She started crying and worrying when I gave her a copy of the ceremony to read. Fretting it was a Aetheist wedding. I wanted to correct her and say "Agnostic Mom!" But I did not. His family is Lutheran and he is not religious at all. I bent and offered to put in the Lord's prayer since it covers both sides of the family. I won't say it but they can. Then she freaked out and wanted a reading from the bible. I spent hours upon hours trying to find anything that I thought reflected us or any sort of sentiment that was important to me. I finally found something. I am not happy to have a bible verse, but my hands are tied. I also don't want a mother melt-down. I don't believe that you can be married outside with a Catholic wedding. You may be able to have some sort of blessing though. I suppose you have to decide how flexible you are with the ceremony itself. Honestly - my mother will not recognize my marriage fully and believes I am going to hell because it is not a recognized marriage in the Catholic faith. That is her problem - not mine. It makes me sad she believes that - but whatever at this point. She made her new husband (after my father passed) get an anulment from his first marriage illegitimizing his grown children so that she can have a catholic marriage herself or she would be going to hell (her words not mine).  I think it's terribly sad.
    Posted by bellaxanthe[/QUOTE]

    Wow, that is crazy.  What did his children think about that?
  • JerseyMLJerseyML member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: FIL's & non-Catholic ceremony:
    [QUOTE]I don't believe that you can be married outside with a Catholic wedding. You may be able to have some sort of blessing though. I suppose you have to decide how flexible you are with the ceremony itself.
    Posted by bellaxanthe[/QUOTE]

    You are right, you can't have a Catholic Ceremony/Mass unless you are in a Catholic Church.  There maybe a Catholic priest who will bless the couple outside of the church  but I do not believe it is legitimate in the church's eyes unless it is performed in the Catholic church by a Catholic priest. 

    Good luck to you!  I hope everything works out with his family. 
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  • Kristin789Kristin789 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    When/If FI's parents say they are ready to discuss the wedding ceremony, you should contact your officiant, and schedule the meeting in the officiant's office with your parents and his parents and the two of you.  The officiant can explain just what kind of non-Catholic-but-spiritual ceremony you will be using, etc.
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: FIL's & non-Catholic ceremony:. She made her new husband (after my father passed) get an anulment from his first marriage illegitimizing his grown children so that she can have a catholic marriage herself or she would be going to hell (her words not mine).  I think it's terribly sad.
    Posted by bellaxanthe[/QUOTE]


    This is not true. The religious annulment had no bearing on the legitmacy of the children from the first marriage. Heres an explanation:


    "5 Does an annulment make the children illegitimate?

    No. The parents, now divorced, presumably once obtained a civil license and entered upon a legal marriage. Children from that union are, therefore, their legitimate offspring. Legitimate means “legal.” The civil divorce and the Church annulment do not alter this situation. Nor do they change the parents’ responsibility toward the children. In fact, during annulment procedures the Church reminds petitioners of their moral obligation to provide for the proper upbringing of their children.

    Nevertheless, persons pondering the Catholic annulment process do often express this concern about the legitimacy of the children after that procedure. It’s a persistent rumor." from  americancatholic.org

     

     

                       
  • aerinpegadrakaerinpegadrak member
    10000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Not to mention that whether the child was conceived/born in or out of wedlock doesn't really have any bearing on legal rights or inheritance anymore, so even if the annulment did make the kids technically illegitimate, it wouldn't make any sort of difference. 
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  • bellaxanthebellaxanthe member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    HIs children are adults. The "illegitmate" statement was how the daughter felt and a direct quote from her to my mom and her father. She will not accept it and has fought her father very long  (over a year) about it. His son in the past few weeks from my understanding finally said ok to his father about signing the papers regarding the anulment after many discussions.  From what I gather it is not an easy process to get an anulment.  I am not an expert on the legalities or anulments by any means - so I apologize if I misspoke. I was just relating my personal experience with it.   I did try and indicate these were her (my moms) words not mine.   I still personally think it's sad that his daughter has to feel this way.

    Thank you for the explanation!
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  • Zippy88kZippy88k member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    What concerns me is that you have tricked your Fi's parents into thinking you're the perfect Catholic engaged couple. You went to church with them every Sunday...what were they supposed to think? Even Catholics who don't go to church every Sunday get married in the Catholic church. You kind of dropped a really sudden big bomb on them, and they have the right to get adjusted to it.

    That being said, as long as they aren't contributing money, you get to have your own say. They will always be able to guilt-trip you for not having a Catholic ceremony if they contribute financially. Outside of the rehearsal dinner, I'm not sure I would be keen on accepting any money from them.
  • ekilzer1ekilzer1 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Plan the wedding as if they were not contributing. Your ceremony choice is yours, not theirs and yes, as previously posted you cannot have a catholic wedding outside of the church and it would be hard to find a priest that would agree to perform this ceremony. 

    Maybe you are still willing to have some sort of aspect be Catholic? I ran into that issue with my Dad- literally the first thing he said when I told him I was engaged was " Are you getting married in the church?"- not when or where or any normal questions, he didn't even congratulate me first!!! I plan on having at least one religious reading during the ceremony. I was raised Catholic, but do not consider myself a practicing catholic and my FI is not religious (he was baptized, but never went to church or anything). 
  • trix1223trix1223 member
    5000 Comments 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    If you and your FI are old enough to get married, you're old enough to sit down with his parents and say "Mom, Dad.  We know that your faith is very important to you both, and we respect that.  But it just isn't to us.  We're going to plan the wedding that will be meaningful to us.  We hope that you can accept that, and if not, at least respect our desire to have a ceremony that reflects us."

    Stop pussyfooting around and pretending to be something you're not.  There are two steps here:

    Step #1:  grow a backbone

    Step #2:  use it.
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • edited December 2011
    We went through the same thing.  The FMIL is really Catholic, I am not religious and the FI shows up to church to make the family happy.  Soooo, the ILs told us they would contribute, then found out we were not getting married in a church and then offciated by a friend. (In CO we can actually marry ourselves but we want someone to kind of lead the procedings.)
    For months following this discovery, I could hear my FI arguing with is mom on the phone and he told me to not expect the money any more at one point.  Although she brings it up less and less, she has not actually withdrawn her contribution to the wedding and has not disowned my FI. 

    It will be okay, it sounds like you and the FI were going to church and keeping your mouth shut just like my FI does.  Just stay firm, don't try to compromise, if you are not intending to believe in or practice Catholicism in your marraige and family decisions don't have a Catholic accented wedding. 
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