Interfaith Weddings

Pagan Wedding w/christian family

In case anyone has seen my previous thread, I have some family drama that was crazy and some wrong on my part, but has now been cleared/forgiven.  But now I have more family drama, this time I don't believe Im out of line.  But I need advice/opions anyway.
So fiance & I are both Pagan, different paths but we share mostly common beliefs.  His family is a mix of Christian & Catholic, and most of them are openminded about his religious path.  Some are not so open, but they keep their opinons to themselves.
My family is a same mix as well, though my problem lies with my parents.  They are "born again Christians".  I know there are many different types of christians, but this is what my parents are.

For the sake of family involvement, we've decided to have an open ceremony, with our Pagan beliefs in place of the "god" parts, but it will still be traditional with vows and the like.  Pretty much it is with our faith but easy enough for non-pagans to understand the ceremony & also to not be offended.

Fiance's family & friends love the idea, saying "it's your wedding we are there to celebrate it your way" Things like that. Most of my friends & family think the same. Except my parents.  They tell me they don't know if they can be there because of their beliefs, and they need to speak to their pastor.

Growing up w them I know how conservative and alot of times extreme they can be, but still this shocked me.  This is my second wedding (fiance's 1st) & that was a court wedding the 1st time.  So I want them to be here for this one, I want my dad to walk me down the aisle.  I tell them I understand that they may feel it's wrong to be involved, but you can just be guests instead of being in the wedding party portion.  They tell me no they dont think they can be there at all because they can't support witchcraft.  It's evil.  Yeah, this isn't the first time I've heard that.  They've told me times before that they want to spend as much time with me as possible because they know they wont see me when they pass on (a rude indirect way of saying you're going to hell).

They told me they will think about it and seek advice from their pastor.  That was 5 months ago.  My wedding isnt til May 2012, so I've got time for guest list.  But I've asked only a couple times if they've thought about it, & everytime they skirt around it.  So what do I do?  Decide on my own not to include them, wait endlessly for them to stop being snobby, move on?  I don't know what to do, my fiance is supportive no matter what.
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams

Re: Pagan Wedding w/christian family

  • IrisPetalsIrisPetals member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011

    Sorry this was so long, my family dramas always have lots of ranting...

    The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams
  • Riss91Riss91 member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    Don't turn your back on them, even if it seems they are doing that to you. Keep telling them how much you want them there and definitely keep them included as much as you can. That way, you can't look back and think that you've done something wrong.

    One thing that you need to come to terms with is that they are not being "snobby". You have your beliefs and you want them to respect your beliefs. You need to do the same. If it is truly against their religion to be present at your wedding, you need to respect that.  Calling it snobby is disrespectful.

    That doesn't mean they should be condemning your soul to hell (I can't think of one religion that supports these types of judgments) or making you feel like less of a human. But, in order to confront them on these things, you need to be an example of the respect you wish to receive from them.

    I do hope their pastor advises them that they may witness your ceremony (even if they cannot actively participate by being in the Wedding Party). I know that this is acceptable in many Christian churches, so I hope that is the case for you. Perhaps you can set up an appointment with your parents' pastor and go with them to discuss the issue so you can hear it first-hand, and they can't twist words.
  • IrisPetalsIrisPetals member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Maybe snobby was the wrong word, but it feels as though they are taking their religious beliefs to the extreme case.  I do respect them, esp when it comes to the religious differences.  But for this case I am seeing it from the daughter point of view, and I feel sad & frustrated that they would't want to celebrate this memory with me.

    The way I see it, if they choose not to go, it's their lose in the end.  I'm still marrying my fiance regardless of who does or doesn't go.  But at the same time, it's gonna look pretty sad when my fiance is on the dancefloor with his mom & Im not having a father-daughter dance.
    The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams
  • Riss91Riss91 member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    I tend to agree that they may be overexaggerating what their Church's teachings are on witnessing marriage in order to make you feel badly, guilty or to see if you will budge. But, then again, every religion is different, so I'm not going to assume that they're making it up until I can prove it one way or another.

    It would be really sad for them to miss out on their daughter's wedding unecessarily. I think you should really try to sit down with them and express that you understand they are disappointed and they have a religious conflict to solve, but that you love them regardless of what they decide and that you truly hope they are able to come. You could also mention that you have heard of Christians being unable to actively participate in a wedding, but that you had never heard that they could not witness it at all. See if they have a response to that.

    I hope it all works out!
  • edited December 2011
    I'm not sure what advice I can offer. I'm hoping the same doesn't happen to us with my FILs. I'd just say to sit down with them and see if you can make them understand that they don't have to "support" it or be a part of it, but you would be really hurt if they turned their back on you when you needed them most.

    What we are doing - if it helps you at all - is replacing the use of the word "God" with "Heavens", "Diety", "Universe", etc. We also taking some of the level 1 rituals in the book "Handfastings and Wedding Rituals: Welcoming Hera's Blessing" and making them our own.

    I'm not suggesting you change your ceremony for the sake of your parents. This is just how we are dealing with it. By making everything "Pagan-Lite", people who are Christian or of another faith will see their own faith in the readings; whereas, our pagan friends will see the pagan aspect.
  • makensie81makensie81 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    My fiance and I are also making our wedding "pagan lite" by using words like Diety. Our wedding is going to be private with just immediate family; parents, siblings, in-laws, and their kids. We are doing that for a few reaons. First, both families are heavily christian and we do not wish to hear all the fire and brim stone crap from our relatives on our day. We see it as our own business and don't care to announce it to them when we already know what the outcome will be; especially since many of them are catholic. And because the venue we chose for our wedding only holds 90 people max and my fiance has more than that in his side alone. But we are having a reception and inviting about 150 people to that. We are planning to write our own wedding vows and just do a repeat of the vows themselves at the reception. The vows wont have any pagan elements to them, so no one will be the wiser. Everyone has fun and is happy to come to the reception. Plus, no one has to sit or stand through a long wedding ceremony; they just get to come for food and fun! I would suggest a compromise somewhat like this. If your parents refuse to come to the wedding maybe they will come to the reception where the religion aspect wont really matter.  It may not be ideal since your dad wont walk you down the aisle, etc., but they will still be celebrating with you without having to "betray" their religion.
  • makensie81makensie81 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Also, I somewhat agree with the idea of going with your parents to see the pastor to ask about it. BUT I would bring the fiance or a close friend for mutual support; it may be a bit difficult to face this on your own. If they are a more lax type of christian it may be fine.
    Also, I want to give you hope because anything is possible, but I must be honest. Knowing how stubborn and unflexible christians can be, the pastor may agree with them, so be prepared for that! (And possible fire and brimstone talk.) Like I said in my last post, if they are dead set against it, see if they will compromise by coming to the reception. If they still refuse, express your regrets that they wont come and celebrate one of the happiest days of your life, but this is the path you have chosen and you are just doing what you feel is right and you understand that they are just doing what they feel is right. Focus on celebrating with the people who are accepting of the path you've chosen. No one's wedding day is ever truly perfect, maybe this will be your 'hitch' and save you from landing in the wedding cake or something equally crazy.  
  • Riss91Riss91 member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_interfaith-weddings_pagan-wedding-wchristian-family?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:396Discussion:4d2efcad-3ba2-4a85-925b-1ed24cd06070Post:729e53f3-b6f0-4643-9a79-5d236c30f625">Re: Pagan Wedding w/christian family</a>:
    [QUOTE]Also, I somewhat agree with the idea of going with your parents to see the pastor to ask about it. BUT I would bring the fiance or a close friend for mutual support; it may be a bit difficult to face this on your own. If they are a more lax type of christian it may be fine. Also, I want to give you hope because anything is possible, but I must be honest. <strong>Knowing how stubborn and unflexible christians can be</strong>, the pastor may agree with them, so be prepared for that! (And possible fire and brimstone talk.) Like I said in my last post, if they are dead set against it, see if they will compromise by coming to the reception. If they still refuse, express your regrets that they wont come and celebrate one of the happiest days of your life, but this is the path you have chosen and you are just doing what you feel is right and you understand that they are just doing what they feel is right. Focus on celebrating with the people who are accepting of the path you've chosen. No one's wedding day is ever truly perfect, maybe this will be your 'hitch' and save you from landing in the wedding cake or something equally crazy.  
    Posted by makensie81[/QUOTE]
    That is an absolutely horrible thing to say. How disrespectful!
  • Here is what I think...Pagans attend many weddings that are mostly Christian-based and some even participate in the parties...why is it so difficult for Christians to not show the same courtesy that Pagans show them.  Its not like we (Pagans) are trying to convert them like some try to convert us.  Especially parents...they should grin and bear it and just go and support and love like parents are supposed to do.  

    Another thing...Pagans should not have to "lighten" their ceremony to make it more Christian friendly or non offensive.   Do other religious ceremonies do that? No they dont...I have seen very lavish and devout religious ceremonies
    Knottie98380386
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