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How do I include my religion without offending people?

I'm feeling so torn about this! Normally I'm very "if people don't like it that's their problem", and that's the advice people have been giving me, but I'm horrified by the thought that people could like walk out of my wedding or something!!

I'm a Pagan, marrying an atheist. He is totally cool with Pagan stuff, but just doesn't want things to be too religious because he doesn't want to feel like he's participating in religion. Which I totally get. But some of my extended family members are Christians, who I fear may be offended if they realise that something in the ceremony is Pagan.

We're being married by a Wiccan high priestess (though of course no one needs to know that), and she says that she can make things subtle so that people won't notice... I guess my concern is that I don't want to feel like I'm being sneaky, but I also don't want people to be offended! In an ideal world, people would just respect others' religions, and this would be a non-issue. Alas.

So I don't know, I guess I want words of support? Or tips? Or something?


Re: How do I include my religion without offending people?

  • Avion22Avion22 member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its
    I have read about other weddings on here that incorporated pagan elements in ways that were unobtrusive.   I don't see how people would get offended if they didn't even realize that it was a pagan wedding.  And, this might work better for your fiance so he doesn't feel like he's participating in something religious.

    I thought there was a Pagan or Wiccan wedding board on here, but now I can't find it....maybe the "Offbeat Weddings" board?  I know there are pagan/wiccan brides on here, so hopefully some of them will read your post and have some ideas for you.
  • You need to marry in a way that is meaningful to you and yoru FI.  The two of you are the only ones whose opinion matters here and if others are offended, that is their problem to deal with.
    Proud to be an old married hag!! image
  • I am basically never a "it's your day, do what you want" kind of girl, but in this case it could not be more true.  It is your ceremony.  It is your sacred vows, and whatever you think belongs in your wedding ceremony is what belongs there.  

    I think rather than tap-dancing around the issue, maybe your parents or someone could politely let others know that the ceremony will contain Pagan elements.  There's nothing disrespectful about having different beliefs, but if your family can't even acknowledge that people have different beliefs than themselves - that is their prerogative.
  • I'm a Christian of sorts... I think a Pagan wedding would be very interesting to witness.  Why would you assume that people would be offended instead of interested to learn something new?  Christians aren't offended by Jewish or Muslim weddings.  Don't over think this.

    Are you going to do handfasting??  I'd love to see that in person!
  • I've been to a few weddings that were not the same religion/faith system as I am, but I've never been offended by it. People have different beliefs. Stay true to who you are (and your FI as well). This is your ceremony and your vows.. they should really be meaningful and not something you've thrown together to make sure no one feels slighted/wronged/offended.

    I am Christian and am having a lot of spiritual aspects in my wedding. We have a lot of family that don't believe in God at all, but we do, so we're having it. It's not like you're going to be ramming it down throats saying "believe what I do, or else!".
  • Lisa50Lisa50 member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    What does "people could like walk out of my wedding or something!!" really mean?  Are you fearful that someone will want to walk out or that someone will actually do it?

    If you and your FI design your ceremony so that it reflects who you are and what you believe about your place, as a couple, in the universe, I think you're be all set.  And, honestly, there are some people who choose to be offended -- you can't do a thing about it, so don't
     worry about it.
  • I personally dont want people at my wedding who dont love me enough to accept my off beat wedding. 
  • Thanks so much for the replies! You all make some really good points.

    For the people who asked for more details: I'm a Pagan, but not a Wiccan (nor a witch), and I don't cast circles or call quarters or anything like that. But we do plan to do a handfasting. The details of the ceremony haven't been worked out yet, beyond that.

    I am actually out of the broom closet. The topic just conveniently doesn't come up around certain family members... But it's all on Facebook for anyone who cares to see. :P So while it's not a secret, it is something I don't bring up around people who might make an issue out of it.

    Schatzi13: I definitely see your point. I was a bridesmaid in my sister's wedding, which was very Christian, and at times it made me uncomfortable, but I sucked it up and played my part because it was her wedding. So my hope is that at least she will do the same for me. But I do worry that not everyone is so tolerant. I have some cousins who don't even come to the family Christmas party anymore because it's not Christian enough. It's not even that I care what they think about my beliefs, it's just I'm legitimately worried that they might get up and leave (though I hope they would at least stay until the end of the ceremony and just skip the reception).

    GoBlueforlife: That's a pretty solid viewpoint. :) Maybe I should start looking at it more like that.
  • If anyone walks out of your ceremony because of your faith, they are the asshole, not you.  The content of your ceremony is one of the few parts of your wedding day that you have every right to do what works for you and your FI only without considering your guests.
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