My fiance comes from a devout Catholic family. I, on the other hand, was not raised practicing any religion and actually feel quite uncomfortable in a church setting. However, my fiance’s parents are very insistent that we marry in their church. We have had various heated discussions with them and it is putting a cloud over our wedding day, which is supposed to be happy time! I am strongly opposed to the church marriage, however, I sense that my fiance cares more than he lets on. His parents are not contributing any money to our wedding. Do I have to cave in and listen to them to keep the peace, or risk upsetting them and insisting we have our wedding elsewhere?
Bad Religion Bride
Dear Bad Religion Bride,
My first instinct is to say that this is your wedding and you should be able to have your ceremony wherever you please. However, after giving it further thought, I’m starting to think it might be best to give in to your fiance’s parents. It sounds like he is uncomfortable with the entire situation, and even more, like he might actually prefer the church.
Marriage is all about compromise. When people from two different religions (or in your case, one more religious and one not at all) marry, it is common to have disagreements and inconsistencies in things like the ceremony, vows and even how you will raise your family in the future. If you truly feel that your fiance might actually prefer not only the church, but also not upsetting his parents, I’d advise that you go with it. Even if you’re not religious, many churches can be a beautiful setting for a wedding. Furthermore, if this small compromise does not truly cause you any problems or take away from your wedding, it might be worth it to keep conflict at bay.
Another option would be to have a large ceremony at the venue of your choice, and then a second, smaller ceremony in a church. If your fiance’s parents truly feel that strongly about you being married in a church, maybe they would be willing to pitch in for a small church ceremony after your “real” wedding day. It could consist of only the two of you and your families, and it would give both your fiance and his parents the peace of mind that they are looking for.
This is a tough situation and I hope it works out for the best. Make sure you hash out any discussions regarding religion with your fiance now. If you wait until your married or have children, it can cause problems. If you’re both on the same page and understand where each other is coming from, you’ll have a very strong marriage! Good luck.