Upcoming Wedding + Minister Father = Complicated Situations

Hello everyone,

I will be getting married this June (Hurray!) and asked my father to officiate the wedding. He is a Pentecostal Minister and therein lies the rub. He stated, "I know that I want to sensitive to both of your wishes but I don't want to be involved with a Godless, happy meal wedding either. Perhaps we can find common ground so that none of us has to play the hypocrite."

This makes life complicated for me. I honestly don't want trite supplications to be a part of the wedding (If someone reads 1 Cor 13, I may boycott my own wedding). The ceremony will not have communion or a unity candle. It was going to be a ceremony celebrating the start of our lifelong commitment.

I find myself in a bit of a bind. I asked him to marry us because he is my father, not because of his position as a "Minister of God". I may end up asking one of my friends to do the ceremony, but that could permanently ruin an already rocky relationship. I am now seeking some advice. Do I work with my father to find an almost impossible happy medium, or do I find someone else to officiate and let my father know that we want him to attend, but that he will not be officiating? Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated!


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Marriage has existed since ancient culture, as far back as Sumeria. It's hardly a new concept or one belonging to a particular faith. Yet, Christianity acts as though it is the creator and owns the patents on it. There are benefits to marriage in this society that were once intended to help raise children in the society, but they no longer have those values. But there are still benefits financially to the couple such as joint taxes and of course, health care.

Personally, due to my own past, I'd rather not be tied down to someone. But if I met someone who could change my mind without force, then I would ask a friend to be certified as an officiator. However, most people who marry want to follow traditions, which means the priest is vital, despite personal views on related topics.
Personally, I would go with The nerd on this one (love the poetry, btw) and I will assume you have discussed this thoroughly with your partner.
If you and she can agree on something with him it could be better for all of you in the long run. My apologies for the triteness of this next statement: a wedding lasts for a day, but the relationships are everyday.
I will be getting married this June (Hurray!) and asked my father to officiate the wedding. He is a Pentecostal Minister and therein lies the rub. He stated, "I know that I want to sensitive to both of your wishes but I don't want to be involved with a Godless, happy meal wedding either. Perhaps we can find common ground so that none of us has to play the hypocrite."

Seems your father is being loving and accepting . You on the other hand are being a complete prat.

When you asked your father you got package,and knew full well what that entailed. You should have been aware your father would not compromise his own principles.

The trouble is of your own making. Grow a pair and suck it up.
It may be precisely what I need to do. It does go both ways though, in that he knew exactly what we would ask of him when he accepted. I honestly hadn't considered that a wedding ceremony he did would need many god references. It was a blind spot and it's coming back to bite me. You are right though. Growing a pair is good for you.
I wouldn't put it as harshly as Tarquin, but you did sort of ask for it, BB. I can see your father's point of view. I don't agree with his principles, but I can see how he wouldn't want to betray them. Still. There is always elopement.
Whoa now. It's great that despite their religious differences his father was the first choice. I know this is kind of an expected reaction, but he obviously wants his father included, he just doesn't want to compromise his, or his father's honor. As it is, the relationship may have been harmed just by not asking him.

Theoretically, a marriage doesn't need much fluff, and it will do more harm to hurt BB's marriage ceremony than for his father to keep it simple.

When my sister got married, my mom took over a little. She wouldn't let my sister serve alcohol, she invited all these friends my sister didn't know, she wouldn't let me wear the dress I found, etc. It's not easy to deal with. And I resent any philosophy that involves "grow a pair and suck it up". I know it's a figure of speech, but it's a major pet peeve.
Go with the flow, negotiate and throw a real deal WE'RE MARRIED party on your own grounds post-elder right o' passage err whatever it's called.

say wird; many photos too!

You'll owe nobody but yourselves if it's love man!
Sensitivity here is the key as many have said. I know I would spin some elaborate yarn that "if he is conducting the service, then he will not trully absorb the whole experience of your special day". Give him an option during the wedding breakfast to give him a chance to speak, then its not a part of the actual service, but he still will get a chance to witness the occassion and contribute later in speeches, when alot of people do not even listen. And if it was me, I would have the people bring out a Big Mac as a joke on his plate when serving the meals...but then again my father is as godless as me so would not take offence.

Unfortunately, it does seem you have "shot yourself in the foot" by asking him without thinking it through first, I'm sure all will be forgiven when the day comes, and he can appreciate that its your day, as i'm sure he can make a "sacrifice" for the day as no doubt you have in the past.
Its true its your wedding. I assume you love you father or you wouldn't be so worried about this. Tell him how this tears at your heart (if it does). Tell him you love him and that you want him to do this. Make it clear to him why you asked him first and not your friend. Perhaps you should let him know that your wedding isn't a happy meal and its about spending your life together with someone you love, I kinda read that and thought wow how heartless, you might think differently but express your feelings. I suppose, if you can do so, a decent compromise would be that you allow him to have a prayer before the ceremony with whomever wants to, you could even attend, I know some here will be unhappy at that idea. Think of it this way what does it hurt if its not accauly at the ceremony. Your allowing your father to do what he feels he needs to do, is more important than the idea of him not being involved. He loves you and you love him, so listening to someone talk about God for 30 mins seems a very cheap price to have compromised. What ever you do let me tell you this do what ever you can handle to fix your rocky relationship with your father and always remind him that you love him because some day he will be gone and that is a very hard thing to deal with.
I think in your father's case, being a minister, he really is too close to the situation to be clear-headed about it. If he officiates, he's going to add something religious. He'd pretty much have to, regardless that it is your wedding. If you see this the way I mentioned it, and you agree with the assessment, you can explain to him why you don't think it would be a good idea. He may balk, but it would be less troublesome for both of you. Good luck with whatever choice you make, and congratulations in your upcoming marriage! :)
A wedding doesn't make a marriage. I endured my wedding just to make my parents and his parents happy. Although I'm a woman, I did nothing to prepare for the wedding except show up for it, and late at that! It was meaningless to me. What does have meaning to me is the nearly 30 years that we have managed not to kill each other. ;) My wedding was a religious ceremony in a Methodist church, and didn't hurt us one bit. I threw away all the crap from it, such as the guest book, etc. There are still some pictures around here somewhere, stuffed in a box in their original paper jackets from Wal Mart photo processing.

You could look at your wedding simply as an obligation that you're dutifully fulfilling, and not take the religious aspects too seriously. Some people seem to consider the party after the ceremony to be the truly important part. Still others consider the pre-wedding parties to be the important parts.

The divorce rate for first marriages is about 40%, so there are things of more importance than a bit of religion at the wedding to worry about.




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