Wedding Woes

Family Won't Attend Wedding

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I hesitate to even post something this personal because it's unlike me to do so but I've been very upset on a certain matter and am seeking any advice!

My fiancé and I dated for a little less than five years before he finally :) asked me to marry him two months ago. (I said yes, ha!) Anyway, my family loves him and his family and thinks they are all wonderful people. In all fairness to my family, they have always voiced their anti Catholic beliefs and my fiancé and family just happen to be Catholic. I always assumed my happiness would trump something as small as a denomination difference since we all ultimately believe the same way.

When I first told my family that we would be having our wedding at the beach they were thrilled and expressed that travel would not be an issue whatsoever, and that they would love to attend. When I further explained that we would be having the ceremony in the Catholic church in order for my fiancé to get his sacraments, they flipped out and have continuously told me they will not attend the wedding. Over time, they have begun to bring up the cost of traveling to a destination wedding as part of the issue, even though they had originally stated it wouldn't be a problem.

Do I continue planning and to what my fiancé and I so want to do? One way or the other someone is going to be upset. I keep trying to focus on the happiness of my fiancé and our new family and not so much the happiness of my close minded relatives. Keep in mind when I say relatives, I mean immediate family (parents and grandparents). I also fear that if they don't come, my cousins, aunts and uncles, etc. will feel no need to come.

I need some guidance please!

Thanks

Re: Family Won't Attend Wedding

  • what does your fiance say?

    p.s. your wedding is primarily about the two of you, not about your family.
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    [Deleted User]AnnOn2014Jean0715
  • The wedding is ultimately between you and your fiancé so those two opinions are the only ones that truly matter. While it might be tough not having your family there, if they truly wanted to be there they would be there regardless of the location.
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  • The wedding is between the two of you, but the marriage will involve your family. In order to have a Catholic Mass, you must promise to raise your children Catholic -- and that's part of the marriage vows. It's not just your FI getting his sacramental union; you're part of this, too. Is that going to be a problem for your parents/grandparents?

    Also, no disrespect meant, but Catholics and Protestants have very different dogmatic and doctrinal views; views that are incompatible with each other. They're certainly very close, but the Liturgy of the Eucharist in Catholic churches is substantially different than what Protestants believe about communion. 
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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
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  • edited August 2013

    The wedding is between the two of you, but the marriage will involve your family. In order to have a Catholic Mass, you must promise to raise your children Catholic -- and that's part of the marriage vows. It's not just your FI getting his sacramental union; you're part of this, too. Is that going to be a problem for your parents/grandparents?

    Also, no disrespect meant, but Catholics and Protestants have very different dogmatic and doctrinal views; views that are incompatible with each other. They're certainly very close, but the Liturgy of the Eucharist in Catholic churches is substantially different than what Protestants believe about communion. 

    This is not true, at least according to the priest that I have grown up as being a pastor of my church. I was born and raised Catholic, and my fiancé is born and raised Protestant. This weekend we spoke with my pastor to discuss how I can receive the sacrament being that my future husband is Protestant. There is NO contract saying that you HAVE to raise your children Catholic, according to him. We both have to promise that we will try to have our children baptized in the Catholic Church, but in no way are we making a promise that we absolutely will. Just FYI to OP. 

    *Edited for clarity.

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  • The wedding is between the two of you, but the marriage will involve your family. In order to have a Catholic Mass, you must promise to raise your children Catholic -- and that's part of the marriage vows. It's not just your FI getting his sacramental union; you're part of this, too. Is that going to be a problem for your parents/grandparents?

    Also, no disrespect meant, but Catholics and Protestants have very different dogmatic and doctrinal views; views that are incompatible with each other. They're certainly very close, but the Liturgy of the Eucharist in Catholic churches is substantially different than what Protestants believe about communion. 

    This is not true, at least according to the priest that I have grown up as being a pastor of my church. I was born and raised Catholic, and my fiancé is born and raised Protestant. This weekend we spoke with my pastor to discuss how I can receive the sacrament being that my future husband is Protestant. There is NO contract saying that you HAVE to raise your children Catholic, according to him. We both have to promise that we will try to have our children baptized in the Catholic Church, but in no way are we making a promise that we absolutely will. Just FYI to OP. 

    *Edited for clarity.

    I'm not catholic but my husband is and he had to actually sign a paper saying we would raise our children Catholic.
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  • AnnOn2014AnnOn2014 member
    First Comment
    edited August 2013

    It is very important for my fiance to get his sacrament of marriage and for this reason, it is important to me. We have both discussed raising our children Catholic (even though my family would be upset) and have agreed to do just that.

    My family is extremely closed-minded, which they see as just trying to advise in the best way possible. They are against drinking as well. I am very different from the family I left in that small town when I moved away for college and I believe they have trouble seeing that. Ultimately, regardless of who marries us, where we get married, etc., we have decided specific fundamental ways to live our lives and raise our children. That won't change. I try explaining this to my family and they are truly so Anti-Catholic that they say they will not attend the wedding and "endorse a Catholic wedding" because they feel that will go against their religion. We aren't even having mass at the wedding, just enough to allow my fiance to get his sacraments. My grandfather is a pastor and when asked if he would like to be a part of the service, he said he would not.

    I've been engaged several months now and we plan to marry in less than 10 months. However, no one on my family has even so much as sent a text asking how wedding planning is going. My brother, who has always been a loner and has always somewhat resented my family for reasons such as what I am currently going through, said he will be there with bells on. Therefore, I do have one supportive family member. I would obviously just like them all.

    Did I mention my family (although traditionally are expected to pay for the ceremony and reception) will not be paying for any expenses? My fiance and I will be saving up and paying for all expenses his parents will not be paying for. It might not seem fair, but I feel this further lessens my family's influence in decisions being made. I would LOVE to include them in decision making and advice, however the fundamental and serious issues that should be decided by bride and groom should be off limits to them in my opinion.

  • I don't understand the destination wedding part. Is the ceremony in a catholic church at the destination? How is that going to work? Don't you have to attend premarital classes at the church, since you aren't both catholic, or are the classes transferrable? I know that my family's church requires the classes be attended at that church in order to me married there.
  • We want to get married in the same place where he proposed. We have been going there for several years. As far as the church goes, the Diocese in my town will transfer papers to Diocese in the town we wish to marry. We are also scheduled to begin Pre-Cana soon.
  • Ok gotcha. I was confused because of the destination part and knowing how the churches around here operate.

    I would honestly call your family's bluff. Tell them you're sorry they won't be able to attend and that you'll miss them. It's really hard. But if you cave on this, they are going to be running your life for many years to come. Will they boycott your hypothetical children's graduations if they go to catholic school? I'm sorry that your family is behaving this way.

    FWIW- my family is Catholic and FI's is Baptist. Neither myself or FI are particularly religious. We've been fortunate that both families are understanding, for the most part. We had our daughter baptized Catholic and FI's grandparents wouldn't come. My grandparents aren't particularly happy that we aren't getting married in a church. However, they all understand that we are adults and will make decisions for ourselves and love us and support us unconditionally.

    AnnOn2014marymargaretxo
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    To answer your question, Annon, continue your planning. I'm sorry your family is acting like buttheads, but let them go. Either they'll come around or not. You can share pix of your dress or venue or anything and add text that you are so happy and can't wait. Maybe when they see how happy you are, they'll soften. I'll pray for you.
    AnnOn2014Jean0715
  • There's always going to be someone who doesn't like how you decide to get married, what flowers you chose, what kind of food is served.  We had people who didn't approve that we weren't married in the church (much less a train station) but they came anyway and were supportive.   
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  • edited August 2013

    The wedding is between the two of you, but the marriage will involve your family. In order to have a Catholic Mass, you must promise to raise your children Catholic -- and that's part of the marriage vows. It's not just your FI getting his sacramental union; you're part of this, too. Is that going to be a problem for your parents/grandparents?

    Also, no disrespect meant, but Catholics and Protestants have very different dogmatic and doctrinal views; views that are incompatible with each other. They're certainly very close, but the Liturgy of the Eucharist in Catholic churches is substantially different than what Protestants believe about communion. 

    This is not true, at least according to the priest that I have grown up as being a pastor of my church. I was born and raised Catholic, and my fiancé is born and raised Protestant. This weekend we spoke with my pastor to discuss how I can receive the sacrament being that my future husband is Protestant. There is NO contract saying that you HAVE to raise your children Catholic, according to him. We both have to promise that we will try to have our children baptized in the Catholic Church, but in no way are we making a promise that we absolutely will. Just FYI to OP. 

    *Edited for clarity.

    I'm not catholic but my husband is and he had to actually sign a paper saying we would raise our children Catholic.

    I'm just letting her know what my pastor told me. And he even said there was no contract to sign. My pastor also has a law degree so I know he happens to be very good with contracts and weddings! So who knows, maybe he's wrong but this is just what I was told a couple days ago. @hisgirlfriday13

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  • The wedding is between the two of you, but the marriage will involve your family. In order to have a Catholic Mass, you must promise to raise your children Catholic -- and that's part of the marriage vows. It's not just your FI getting his sacramental union; you're part of this, too. Is that going to be a problem for your parents/grandparents?

    Also, no disrespect meant, but Catholics and Protestants have very different dogmatic and doctrinal views; views that are incompatible with each other. They're certainly very close, but the Liturgy of the Eucharist in Catholic churches is substantially different than what Protestants believe about communion. 

    This is not true, at least according to the priest that I have grown up as being a pastor of my church. I was born and raised Catholic, and my fiancé is born and raised Protestant. This weekend we spoke with my pastor to discuss how I can receive the sacrament being that my future husband is Protestant. There is NO contract saying that you HAVE to raise your children Catholic, according to him. We both have to promise that we will try to have our children baptized in the Catholic Church, but in no way are we making a promise that we absolutely will. Just FYI to OP. 

    *Edited for clarity.

    I'm not catholic but my husband is and he had to actually sign a paper saying we would raise our children Catholic.

    I'm just letting her know what my pastor told me. And he even said there was no contract to sign. My pastor also has a law degree so I know he happens to be very good with contracts and weddings! So who knows, maybe he's wrong but this is just what I was told a couple days ago. @hisgirlfriday13
    @marymargaretxo: You keep saying 'pastor' -- do you mean a practising, ordained, Roman Catholic priest? Or do you mean an ordained minister in another faith? Because there's a huge difference.

    Also, without meaning any disrespect, being good with contracts is completely irrelevant to being knowledgeable about the requirements of a sacramental Catholic wedding. 

    I'm not sure what your pastor/priest is telling you, but here's a link to the Catholic Wedding Help website, which cites to Canon Law about raising kids Catholic -- and Canon Law cannot be dispensed with by a priest.

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  • edited August 2013
    @hisgirlfriday13 Yes, a Roman Catholic priest who is the pastor of my church - meaning the head priest there. Obviously I know contracts are different than sacramental marriage, but I'm just saying in so many words that weddings happen to be his specialty. Also on the link you gave me it says this: 

    "Will you accept children lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?" - See more at: http://www.catholicweddinghelp.com/topics/catholic-wedding-vows.htm#sthash.H0oqsVVc.dpuf

    I am not at ALL claiming to be an expert in this because I'm so not, and I'm just figuring this out for myself right now because I'm in a similar situation as OP, but this doesn't say anything about raising them in ONLY the Catholic Church nor does it say anything about signing a contract saying we will do so, correct? 


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  • But to the RC church, we're the only church. "The laws of Christ and His Church" -- 'His Church' is the RC church. Protestant churches aren't in communion with us, which means they aren't considered part of "His Church," because Catholics trace the lineage of the popes back to Peter, who was chosen by Jesus.

    I'm not an expert, either, although I do teach catechism, and this is what we hammer in catechism and RCIA. I have never, ever, EVER heard of a couple being able to do away with the "raising children Catholic" part of the ceremony.

    And no, you're not signing a physical contract. You are swearing an oath before God and making a convenental agreement among you, your FI, and God, in the presence of a priest -- a spiritual or religious contract, not a legal one. 
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  • But to the RC church, we're the only church. "The laws of Christ and His Church" -- 'His Church' is the RC church. Protestant churches aren't in communion with us, which means they aren't considered part of "His Church," because Catholics trace the lineage of the popes back to Peter, who was chosen by Jesus.

    I'm not an expert, either, although I do teach catechism, and this is what we hammer in catechism and RCIA. I have never, ever, EVER heard of a couple being able to do away with the "raising children Catholic" part of the ceremony.

    And no, you're not signing a physical contract. You are swearing an oath before God and making a convenental agreement among you, your FI, and God, in the presence of a priest -- a spiritual or religious contract, not a legal one. 
    Well now I'm completely confused! You would think a priest would know but I guess not. I'm back at square one too then I guess. I promise that was exactly what he told me so I'm sorry if I caused any confusion! 

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  • Ok, please don't attack me for this comment. But what is the take on having a church ceremony to have a religious aspect done & blessing by the church & then doing a beach ceremony with an officiant that would sign the marriage license. I'm not sure how you would handle the logistics of it, early morning church service w/his immidiate family & then beach ceremony later afterwards with everyone else?

    The only reason I bring this up is that I have friends who were married outside of the church, several years after getting married they became very strong in their faith to the point they wanted to have a marriage recognized by the church. So I guess you could say did a renewing of the vows of sorts but it was the traditional wedding ceremony (traditional in regards to vows) where only people present were parents, siblings & they both just wore suits.

    I

  • @AnnOn2014: I just wanted to say that my grandpa is hugely anti-Catholic and called me a couple months before my wedding to give me a huge lecture on how what I was doing was wrong and I was going to hell for it.  He and my grandma ended up skipping our wedding.  And the baptism of our daughter.  It was heartbreaking, but in the end, it was their choice.

    I would hope that your closest family would be able to swallow their misconceptions and support you on this important day, but I just wanted to let you know that it isn't the end of the world, and the regret of not attending will be on THEM, and not you.
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    marymargaretxo
  • VarunaTT said:
    Does anyone really believe that if there is a god, it really gives a damn where you get married?  Or who blesses it?  Or what rules you follow?  And if it does, I guess that explains why it can't get to the big stuff, like war, starvation and disease. God -- cares about your wedding, not about starving children.  Excellent.  :/
    I don't often agree with @VarunaTT, but all of this^^^^, seriously. 
  • I guess I wasn't clear enough in my original post by saying I am not seeking religious advice or opinions. I am seeking opinions on family differences and how to overcome them :)
  • I don't think you can separate the two.  I don't understand that antagonism between religions.

    Do what you and your FI want.  If they can be adult enough overcome this antagonism, great.  If not, well it's too damn bad for them.

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I am a Catholic mom.  My daughter married in a traditional Catholic nuptial Mass.  My son was married by one of his high school friends who obtained his license by a dotcom website.  

    I attended both.  I have the same joy, pride, and hopes for them both.  My son has a right to live his life in a way that is true to himself and his wife.  Were he to marry in a way that might be more palatable for his family, but against his personal philosophy, would be disrespectful to all parties.  

    I'm sorry your family feels they cannot attend your wedding.  It must hurt to the core of your heart.  Continue to plan in the way that remains true to you and your FI.  Regardless of what your family says at the moment, send them invitations. They may come to realize that they can support you in a familial way even if it is disappointing to them religiously.  
    AnnOn2014lc07
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