Here is some background: I grew up in a Catholic family. I have been an atheist since I was about thirteen, but have only recently come out to my parents. No one else in my family knows of my atheism (as far as I know). My fiancee (who is also an atheist) and I are getting married soon, and it will NOT be in a church, nor will we have any religious aspects to the wedding at all. Now on to my question: I know that some people (definitely from my family, and maybe some people from his) will be criticizing our choice of a nonreligious ceremony, so how should I deal with that? I don't want to go in to all the reasons why I think they are wrong, mostly because that isn't the time or place in my opinion. How do I defuse the situation?
EDIT: Thanks to everyone for your congratulations and advice. My parents are being super supportive about the no religion thing, and we have decided that if people don't like the fact that we are doing it that way, then oh well. So I guess that the whole point of my question is, because I don't like big blow up confrontations, what is the easiest way to calm the nay-sayers down without belittling them or backing down on my principles?
An easy way to appease your family without selling yourself out is to honor your cultural backgrounds within a secular ceremony. When I got married, it was a completely secular ceremony. The person who officated was non-demoninational as was all the wording which we created. However we incorporated judiasm (the choopa), and american indian, irish, quaker, and zulu traditions into the ceremony. It was totally non-religious. Make it your own! You will regret doing it any other way.
Wow, that is a lot of culture. Sounds like it was a pretty cool wedding.
Yep, your wedding your way.
My daughter is planning her wedding for next year. Number one thing on the to do list is for the dj to keep the microphone away from the churchy relatives of the groom (no grace, no prayers, no speeches).
If there's blowback from any relatives just say: "your wedding your way, our wedding our way" and of course smile, smile smile.
This actually shouldn't be much of a problem at all. My wife and I are both from Catholic families. I am an Atheist, and she is Wiccan. My parents and brother only know of my Atheism and the situation is identical for my wife. We also decided to do a non-religious wedding. We rented a place, hired an officiant who would do a secular ceremony for us, we designed the ceremony ourselves, wrote our own vows, and just made it very personal and meaningful to us. It was still a very beautiful ceremony, and I don't think that anyone really noticed that the wedding was god-free. Unless you have a devout family that is looking for a fight, it should be fine. Heck, I even poetically mentioned astronomy and biology in my vows and no one batted an eye. Keep it true to you, still keep it beautiful and meaningful, and the family will still shed a happy tear for you.
Good luck and congratulations! Also, I can share more about our wedding if you need any ideas.
Yes, the irony is great. :) Of course, my wife's mom is still telling herself that she's just going through a phase... *roll eyes* And technically, teh Catholic church couldn't marry us even if our families tried to force (which they didn't), since I officially defected from the Catholic church. But you are right, that would have been a hilarious conversation. :)
Erm let them talk & grumble.
Lets say you decide to spare their feelings & have a religious ceremony, do you continue to bend to accommodate their beliefs. Will you do that after you've had kids? I'm sure that the same relatives would also want to see your kids baptized & learning about religion & god, going to church. I think it would be better to put your foot down now & have your nonreligious ceremony.
Is this about them or is it about you and your husband-to-be?.. Just wondering..
probably i'll have your same issue because, although my parents know about my atheism, my other relatives don't, and i think it's going to be a serious problem especially with my grandma and her sister, my aunt, who are profoundly religious (my family is catholic too).
nevertheless i decided with my fiancee (he is an atheist too) that we will marry the way we like it, without any exterior influence, because we cannot squander the best day of our life together to go along with someone else's will that is so far away from ours.
anyway... good luck for your marriage! my best wishes :)
Thank you! And you as well!
Holland mentioned it already. Elope to Paris for a few days, get married in a civil service, return and throw a party for all who wish to attend. Then you have a great story to tell and a great memory to look back on.Congrats.
This is one of those times where you shouldn't give reasons or defend your choice--simply state that this is what you both want. You don't want to give them a platform to express their opinions.