Ceremony for Catholics & Jehovah Witnesses
I'm going to try to keep this short - my family is catholic. FH family is Jehovah Witnesses. Neither of us practice the faiths in which we were raised. If we have our ceremony in the Catholic church, his family won't come. If the ceremony is not done by a priest, my family won't be happy. What kind of compromise can we come to? As far as I'm aware, a Catholic priest won't perform a ceremony outside the actual church building. I know it's our day and we should do what WE want, but I'd like to make everyone happy too. Naive? Maybe ... but I'd at least like to try!

Married: 06/23/2012
Posted On: Sep 27, 2010 at 11:28 PM • Add to My WatchlistFlag As Inappropriate1 like

17 Comments | Login or Signup to post a comment!

Married: 08/27/2011
Reviews: 1
Sep 27, 2010 at 11:31 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
What about a civil ceremony? Is this an option at all? Its going to be tough no matter what you choose because both families will try to make you both feel guilty. I say do what will make you both happy. Its your day and at the end of the night you will be married no matter what.

2d Bride
Married: 10/06/2009
Reviews: 12
Sep 27, 2010 at 11:33 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
My understanding is that you can normally get the permission of the Catholic Church to have your ceremony conducted in the church of your partner's religion. You might check with your priest on that one.

However, if neither of you is religious, you may just want to go for a civil ceremony. Trying to pretend you are religious when you aren't is likely to cause more problems than it solves over time.

Married: 05/29/2011
Reviews: 1
Sep 28, 2010 at 10:47 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I also say civil ceremony....Are you really religious in the Catholic faith? you know that he is going to try to convert you to JW...thats what they do?

Married: 06/23/2012
Sep 29, 2010 at 6:39 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I would like to get married in the church. FH doesn't care WHERE it is, but wants his mom and brother to be there. If we have it in the church, they won't come. They say it will make them uncomfortable. I hate to plan the whole ceremony around 2 people just to make them happy, but I can't tell him "too bad" your mom can't come. I am trying to figure out how to reach compromise.

Married: 07/09/2011
Reviews: 6
Sep 29, 2010 at 6:54 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
There ARE priests that are more "progressive" and would do a ceremony jointly with another faith (you see priests and rabbi's jointly having ceremonies all of the time). You could look around for one of those priests and try to blend both faiths but let the family know that it is your own unique ceremony that is special to you as a couple but respectful of the family's beliefs at the same time. Another option I've seen a lot of couples that have an Episcopalian ceremony when there are religious differences like that. ..........................................................................................................Good luck!....................

Married: 08/20/2010
Reviews: 4
Sep 29, 2010 at 7:07 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Marianne- I can total relate to you. However, for me it's the opposite way. My mother is JW and raised me that way, of course, I'm not a huge practicer of their beliefs. DS is Catholic but isn't real a huge practicer either. We got married by a Justice of the Peace to have the people who really matter to us there.

Married: 10/02/2010
Reviews: 6
Sep 30, 2010 at 3:34 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
My FH's family is JW and sometimes it has been a real headache and given me heartache trying to make the ceremony acceptable enough for them to attend. We are having an outdoor wedding done by a friend. It seems neutral enough. The ceremony is still religious in tone but we did make efforts to keep it as inoffensive as possible. Once the ceremony starts they may get offended by something and decide to step out. If they do that's on them. We have been as nice and accomodating as we can.

Married: 02/18/2013
Reviews: 1
Sep 30, 2010 at 7:59 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
wow my response to that is plain simple and I HATE it but.... do what works best for you and hubs... you do not want to look back at this ticked and say "I wish we hadnt done it in a church, etc" I would say to ask both of your immediate families for respect in the issue. They NEED to respect what you and your hubs decide to do.

Married: 06/23/2012
Sep 30, 2010 at 5:03 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I sent FMIL an email to see if we can reach a compromise. We'll see what she says.

Married: 10/10/2010
Reviews: 7
Sep 30, 2010 at 5:31 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
It also depends on where you live. We were going to have our marriage blessed by the Catholic church, only to find out that in our very strict diocese, the wedding has to be in a church. You could also have the wedding in the JW church, then a small private ceremony in the Catholic church. I'm sorry you're going through this, I was in a similar situation and it sucks. Eventually, we did what we wanted to do because it's our wedding and our marriage. We shouldn't be the ones to put our beliefs on hold to make family happy.

Married: 2+ years ago
Sep 30, 2010 at 5:36 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Geez, why can't people just "suck it up" for a day.

Shannon S.
Married: 2+ years ago
Sep 30, 2010 at 5:45 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I'm with Karen. Honestly, if you want a religious element, go Unitarian. Otherwise, go JOP. And if they can't deal, then say you're sorry they feel that way, but you would love for them to celebrate with you at the reception.

Married: 06/23/2012
Sep 30, 2010 at 5:46 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Thanks Karen! That's exactly what I'm thinking. Except it's not even a whole day - it's about an hour. Jeez can't you just put your religion aside for AN HOUR to come to your son's wedding?! Sorry, venting ....

Married: 12/03/2011
Sep 30, 2010 at 6:48 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Here's my $.02:
It doesn't matter where you have the ceremony. The people who truly love you BOTH no matter what the circumstances of your wedding will be there. For your FMIL and FBIL to use their religion as a crutch and an excuse is a load of poppycock, and I'd say that to ANYONE using their so-called "religious beliefs" for the BS excuse as to why they refuse to come to a wedding, especially one where immediate family or a CHILD is involved. A place of worship is a place of worship, and it's no-less ordained or blessed by God because of a denominational label. Both your FMIL and FBIL need to grow up and get over it.
For the record, I'm a devoted Pentecostal and I have told several people in my church who use their "holiness standards" as a crutch and an excuse the same exact thing. Being a Christian is about love, acceptance, and tolerance of others, and people like your FMIL and FBIL are not giving us Christians who follow this a very good reputation. I will pray for them.

Married: 06/23/2012
Sep 30, 2010 at 7:26 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Thanks Kristina .... I agree, but I feel badly that if we go with the church wedding the only 2 people in his family he wants to come won't be there. It just makes me sad.

Married: 10/10/2010
Reviews: 7
Sep 30, 2010 at 7:29 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
@Marianne...This may help you feel better. FS's parents threatened to not come because we're not getting married in the Catholic church. The crappy part is that we tried and it didn't work. It really hurt FS, but we stood our ground. Eventually they decided to come. They don't want to participate in anything, but they'll be there. I totally understand your frustration and wanting to accomodate them. But my guess is that, if the family is relatively close, they'll end up coming.

Married: 09/17/2011
Reviews: 5
Sep 30, 2010 at 7:31 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
If you really want to please your two families here is what you do: hold two ceremonies. Hold the first in the catholic church, because they have the earliest ceremony times. Have your family go to that. Then have a ceremony that would be acceptable to his family after that. And then have your reception in the evening. It is really the only way to make your families happy but remember you have to make yourselves happy too.

Plenty of people have two ceremonies. I have many friends from India and they all married Christian men :). They had an Indian ceremony the night before and then a Christian ceremony and reception the next day. It worked well for them and made both them and their families happy. :)
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