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Customs and Traditions

Not doing a religious ceremony

Both me and my fiancee's Family are religious, But we don't share the same views as they do, but we have not told them this. We have decided not to get married in a church or get married by a minister. Our families keep asking who is going to marry us, and we really don't ant to get into the religion discussion/ debate. What is the best way to let our families down easy, or tell them we are not doing a religious ceremony with out telling them about our views? 

Re: Not doing a religious ceremony

  • Sashley89 said:
    Both me and my fiancee's Family are religious, But we don't share the same views as they do, but we have not told them this. We have decided not to get married in a church or get married by a minister. Our families keep asking who is going to marry us, and we really don't ant to get into the religion discussion/ debate. What is the best way to let our families down easy, or tell them we are not doing a religious ceremony with out telling them about our views? 

    "We haven't made that decision yet". 
    s-aries8990
  • PS  - you could also add "we are considering getting married outside".  that would give them a clue that it isn't going to be held in a church.
  • Having gone through this convo myself, I'm a big fan of ripping off the Band-Aid now. "We're having a civil ceremony at our reception venue" (or wherever it will be. And then change the subject. In our families' case, it took them awhile to get used to the idea, but they came around. If we had dropped the bomb on them with a month to go they would have been more peeved.

    And btw, I really think only your parents get an answer to that question. Prying aunts/uncles/neighbors etc get a vague answer.
    image
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I'd let them know now that the ceremony won't be religious: "FI, after much thought and consideration, find that a civil ceremony is more in keeping with our views than a religious one would be, so that's what we're going to do."  Later on, when they've had some time to get this through their systems, you can give them more information.
  • If you are old enough to get married, you are old enough to have the courage of your (lack of) convictions and tell your parents, 'We're sorry, but we do not share your religious views and we will not be having a religious ceremony.'

    If you are hoping to dissemble long enough to get them to commit to paying for things for your wedding, that's a very bad idea. Eventually they will find out, and if they feel that you have been less than forthcoming, they're going to be even angrier.

    Be grown-ups and tell them, calmly, that you're not getting married in a church or by a religious leader.
    Anniversary

    image
    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    [Deleted User]QueerFemmemaryemoo
  • They know we are having the ceremony outside, But my family is very close to two pastors, ( they come to birthdays and holidays) and they are the type of people that push their beliefs on others I might start off telling my mom, she is the least religious one, to see how she takes it. Thanks everyone! 
  • Telling your mom sounds like a great idea. Hopefully she will be supportive.
  • Yeah, I agree - tell your mom now and get this ball rolling.  Several years ago my stepdd came to me and asked me to help her plan her wedding.  She had 2 reasons:  1.  Her mother is TRULY the Dollar Store Queen and that wasn't the effect she was going for with the wedding.  2.  Stepdd is Pagan ( I didn't know that for quite some time after the engagement) and her mom is Pentecostal.  She knew it wouldn't go well.

    We talked about it and she bounced some ideas of how to handle everything because she loves her mom but she knew mom might disown her (out of her mom's 5 kids, only 1 will step foot in a church because of religion being crammed down their throats).  In the end, she just told her mom she was having a nondenominational wedding in her Dad's college chapel.  They did a handfasting and had no prayers, and exchanged vows.  Done.

    It is only in the last several months that DD has made some subtle references to Paganism on Facebook.  They are starting to get less subtle and I don't know what her mom is  or isn't picking up on.  She tends to bury her head in the sand.  Her husband is a really smart man and I'm sure he figured it out a long time ago.

    All that was to say - can you just tell your family "this is the wedding plan" and move on?

    If you are going to have to sit down and kind of shock them with what your beliefs are get it done as far away from the wedding as possible.  They will need time to process it (nothing unfair about that).  Best of luck to you.
    tiny speck
  • Another vote for band aid rip!  It will give them time to come to terms with it if it's going to be a shocker for them.  Even though neither of my family isn't very religious my mom was really disappointed that we aren't getting married in a church or by a minister (whatever).  We just stated that our friend was doing it - then we had to have the "yes, it will be legal" talk.  Just be prepared for people trying to change your mind.
  • You could also say that you're "working with an officiant to create a ceremony that won't be religious in the traditional sense but will have a spiritual feel."  To me, the spiritual feel comes from connecting the couple's beliefs or outlook on life, whatever that might be, to something larger, such as their ethnic heritage and its customs, or to mythology, even fairy tales.  That's how I work with my couples.  Ultimately, most parents just want to see that their children are loved and happy. 
    biojess
  • Are your families the same religion?  If not, you could pose it as "We're doing a civil ceremony so that we are fair to both families and don't choose one faith over the other."
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • do what ever makes you happy...it's your wedding.
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