I'm 28 and my fiance is 29. We've been together almost 2.5 years and my boyfriend (now fiance) proposed last month. We're looking into venues, and we're having issues with his mom and grandma already. I'm from the north, he's from the south. My family is not religious at all, his really is (his grandma is a pastor). He grew up going to church but stopped as soon as they let him and while he has no issues with religion, he's never gone to church, mentioned god or jesus non-ironically, or even prayed since i've known him.
Anyway, I do NOT want a religious ceremony. It would feel fake and disingenuous to who I am to pretend for a day. Especially since pledging myself to my fiance would then be tainted by my having to fake the ceremony. He would sort of like to let his family have their way, but doesn't care about the religious stuff himself. I just wouldn't feel like myself, and he thinks that is more important, so he will support me on this. I'm not sure what to do about his mom/grandma. Do we just try to keep them out of the loop on venue selection so that they don't know it's not a church? Do we be straight with them and deal with their condescending resentment? I'm lost.
And yes, I know they would be passive aggressive about it. They suspect i'm not religious, but it's never been confirmed. I will sit silently when they pray before meals, but other than passively being present, have never indicated that I do not share their beliefs. They say things like "well not everyone is a christian!" when people do rude things. (like not sharing their religion is the only thing that could possibly explain other people's rudeness- like cutting someone off in traffic). it makes me uncomfortable and I'm dreading dealing with this. How should I proceed?
Most Helpful Guy
You're in a world of mess. Welcome to married life. His family will not go away after you walk down the aisle. You owe it to yourself to do everything in your power to be polite to them.
That doesn't mean that you let them walk all over you, however. Now, it's very tricky to start making demands as the bride if you are having his family foot a chunk of the bill. My advice from here will assume you and your fiance are financing the wedding on your own.
You have to sit down with them, with your fiance and say something to the effect of "We appreciate your faith, but we are not religious as a new family. Our wedding ceremony is going to be a secular one to match our beliefs. We do not want a religious ceremony. We want your participation and blessing, but we do not need it. We need you to be supportive of our decisions as responsible adults who have made this decision after a lot of careful thought. This is not intended to be a slam on your beliefs."1