Finace parents refusing to attend church ceremony

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Chris Lee 2 years, 3 months ago.

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    I am a catholic and my fiance was also brought up a catholic. A few years ago his parents converted to born again christians. We both have our heart set on having a catholic church wedding but his parents have made it clear that they won’t attend our wedding as it is in a catholic church.
    We are both very hurt and shocked. Can anyone lend some advice or can shed some light on this scenario?



    Ask your fiancé to talk to them about why they don’t want to go to a catholic ceremony and see where the issue is…is it that they don’t agree with the traditions, is it the particular church you’ve picked (if it’s one you attended they may be uncomfortable going there), or maybe they left the faith for reasons that they feel particularly sensitive about. As much as we brides want to dig our heels in for what we want at the end of the day family is super important and we need to consider their feelings.
    If they have reasons which are understandable and reasonable (e.g not just we’re not catholic), it might be worth finding a compromise (they will be your family and it is worth it in the long run). For a compromise, do you particularly want the catholic traditions or a religious ceremony? You might be able to find a middle ground, eg. A beautiful outdoor ceremony with a minister that incorporates the traditions you want. Or a lovely chapel that’s nondenominational (often hired out just for weddings) but you can have the minister/priest/paster that you feel will best officiate your ceremony.



    I am a Uniting Church minister. If a couple told me that one set of parents was refusing to come to the Wedding because it was in a Uniting Church I’d ask if I could speak to the parents. I have married people from many different backgrounds and have heard many reasons why parents are refusing to attend. I have found by introducing myself to the parents, building some trust and a gentle inquiry of the reasons, that most often it has led to a change of mind and a harmonious outcome. I usually talk about how relationships need all the support they can get, including that of parents, families, friends and wider communities. I see my role as a celebrant to help in any way I can to make the wedding day the best day in the life of a couple so that the marriage relationship can get off to the best start possible or continue if the couple have been together already. Perhaps your priest would be willing to talk to the parents.


    Chris Lee

    I don’t have any personal experience with a situation like this, but wanted to send you HUGS. I’m so sorry that you’re having to deal with your parents reacting in this way instead of with unmixed joy.

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