Beginner August 2015

So called "unholy" themed wedding? So confused! Advice?

Misty, on July 20, 2013 at 12:13 AM Posted in Planning 0 22
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Has anyone chosen a theme that some guests might find controversial? My Fiance and I want a tradition celtic wedding ceremony but some of his family is complaining because they think that its "unholy". Any advice? I just dont see how this could be considered "unholy" just because we do not want a long and boring Catholic ceremony they want. (im sorry if i offended any catholics I personally just dont want to be bored to tear by the end of the wedding.) Its not that we arent religious its that I am quite proud of my celtic roots and have always wanted a CELTIC TRADITIONAL wedding, and FH is interested in the celtic heritage too. Again any advice?


  • Celia Milton
    October 2019
    Celia Milton ·

    There is nothing unholy about a handfasting. It's a beautiful ritual that has long root in a deeply spiritual culture.

    Most of my ceremonies that include hand fastings also have some traditional parts (welcoming the guests, vows, rings, etc) and some even include prayers and/or mentions of God. (Briefly). Still, they are at or under 20 minutes, NOT boring, and feel very spiritual, if that is what the couple wants.

    I'd give them a little time to get used to the idea (you have time). Also, unless you've kept up with church going/sacraments it may not be that easy to have a Catholic ceremony. One of my friends' parents really, really wanted this but their family priest couldn't do it because she'd gone away to college, stopped going to church, and did not resume when she moved back to the area. There will be some bits of religious language in the ceremony, but primarily it will be about the couple, it'll be funny, and it'll be short, lol. I think that'll be welcomed by everyone.

  • We'llAlwaysHaveParis
    Master November 2013
    We'llAlwaysHaveParis ·

    As a Catholic I find it amusing when people say our weddings are boring. I guess to appreciate them you have to understand what is happening and the traditions that are being upheld.

    At any rate, it's YOUR wedding. This is about joining you and your FH as husband and wife forever. It's for, and about, the two of you. Plan the wedding YOU want, and your guests can choose to attend, or not.

  • Shannon A
    Master May 2014
    Shannon A ·

    We'llalwayshaveparis, that's funny I think the same thing. Everything is boring when you don't understand it. Anyway, it sounds like people think anything non-catholic is unholy. When I think of unholy, I think of something that is directly against god or the teachings (like prostitution, drugs, and crazy stuff like that) so I would call a Celtic ceremony just...not catholic, rather than unholy. And frankly, if you want a not catholic wedding...then don't have a catholic wedding! Do what you want. If you haven't pissed off at least a dozen ppl by the time you get married, you aren't doing it right :p

  • Private User
    Master March 2014
    Private User ·

    Personally I would consider it more unholy to have a Catholic wedding that you don't understand and don't want. To me that more a slap in the face to the religion than anything. Why go through the farce when it is not what you want?

  • Melodie
    VIP May 2013
    Melodie ·

    I am with We'llAlwaysHaveParis on this. As a Catholic I had the full mass and all( I loved it...but alot of our friends had No idea what was going on lol). Also mind you we had a celtic irish themed wedding(always loved the celtic heritage and culture). It is your wedding! If this is what you and FH want...then do that. If you cave and do what others want you will always look back regreting it.

  • Chrissy
    Expert June 2014
    Chrissy ·

    I was raised Catholic and understand the mass, but have moved away from the church for a variety of reasons. The last thing I want is a Catholic mass. We're planning to ask my Uncle to marry us, and I'm sure we'll get some flack from other family. In the end, it's what we want. We'll be much happier this way and are holding our ground. Just explain to your family that while you appreciate their input, a Celtic ceremony is what you want,

  • Chrissy
    Expert June 2014
    Chrissy ·

    I was raised Catholic and understand the mass, but have moved away from the church for a variety of reasons. The last thing I want is a Catholic mass. We're planning to ask my Uncle to marry us, and I'm sure we'll get some flack from other family. In the end, it's what we want. We'll be much happier this way and are holding our ground. Just explain to your family that while you appreciate their input, a Celtic ceremony is what you want,

  • Alycia
    Expert October 2013
    Alycia ·

    I agree with mrsstobe. I think the Celtic ceremony will be beautiful. Ignore their comments

  • Kathy
    Master July 2010
    Kathy ·

    I think your Celtic ceremony will end up being enjoyed by all. They are just afraid of "change".

    As far as the "boring" comments geared toward Catholic ceremonies - perhaps it is the fact that they are longer than others? I have not been to a Catholic wedding, so I have no first hand experience. I will say that I am one that hates any type of ceremony (wedding or other) that is longer than 15-20 minutes. A reason that I don't go to movies, because I can't sit still that long. ;-)

  • HalloweenBride
    Master October 2013
    HalloweenBride ·

    I just went to a Catholic wedding last weekend (I was a bridesmaid), it wasn't a full Catholic ceremony as they did not have mass, but it was absolutely lovely and one of the most enjoyable weddings I'd been to. I loved the deacon.

    However, I LOVE all things Celtic, so think it would be lovely!

  • Mrs V (Roe)
    Master August 2013
    Mrs V (Roe) ·

    How to say this w/o sounding judgmental-I'm Protestant I guess(raised baptist) now non-denominational and although Speaking as one with just a little knowledge of the religious aspect (as is prob the case of the people who are saying this to you) it would feel akin to idolatry among other things which is against the Bible's teaching. That being said, it is your wedding and it should be a reflection of you, not what others think or say it should be.

  • Celia Milton
    October 2019
    Celia Milton ·

    There is nothing idolatrous about a hand fasting.

  • Z
    Master May 2012
    Zoe ·

    As an atheist and a Unitarian, my understanding is that pretty much anything that isn't straight up Catholic is 'unholy', so I'm with everyone else-- ignore those people and have your celtic ceremony. And Catholic services are looooooooong taking easily 45 minutes to get done what my husband and I did in 15. Oh, and we did it in English, which helped with the 'understanding' part.

  • Abby
    VIP November 2013
    Abby ·

    I would just explain to those people that it is your wedding and that you FH want to do what is meaningful to the two of you. You are the ones getting married after all. The people calling your ideas "unholy' need to butt out and respect your wishes. I think the best thing you can do is explain your position once and then ignore them if they bring it up again.

  • aspiecat
    Expert November 2013
    aspiecat ·

    @ Zoe, as Unitarianism is still a Christian religion, isn't it therefore theist? I understand some Unitarian churches concentrate on Life as opposed to God, but the staple is still that there is a god, right?

    @ Misty, absolutely you must have the ceremony you want. I am atheist, as is FH, but his mother's side of the family are fundamentalist Christian (his mother is Christian but not fundie) so one part of that lot are not attending as they feel it won't be a "real" wedding ROFL.

    I was raised as an RC, and my adoptive mother was Irish, so Irish Catholicism was all-abound in our home. It is quite different to the more "English" variety of Catholicism, I find, with belief in Little Folk and recognition of pagan rituals being common. Those RC members of your FH's family should do some research...

  • Iris
    Master February 2014
    Iris ·

    We are both pagan, so we're doing a handfasting. The only people who think it's "unholy" are my parents, which I really dont care at this point if they want to come... Their loss...

    The thing is, this is YOU & your FH getting married, not the rest of the world. There are some things you want to do for your guests, like good food, good music etc. The ceremony? Screw everyone else, that is just for you 2. THAT's the true wedding right there, the actual marriage part & regardless of your reception, the ceremony will forever be the best memory.

  • Amber
    VIP October 2013
    Amber ·

    Your wedding! We might actually incorporate hand-fasting into our primarily Jewish ceremony, haha. Ah dear. It's for you two and you should celebrate in a way that's meaningful to you both.

  • BalletShoesRachel
    VIP September 2014
    BalletShoesRachel ·

    Interesting topic. My dad's family is Catholic, and my mom's is Lutheran. They had a Lutheran ceremony, and his family was all up-in-arms about a Lutheran wedding being "unholy" or "heretical." These days, my mom has plenty of cousins, etc., who turned pagan, partially because of my family's roots, and we have gone to several hand-fastings. Honestly, I don't see what the issue is. It's not like you're asking them to take part in a religion or belief they don't agree with; it's a wedding, and all they have to do is sit there, be quiet, and pretend to watch. If they're sooooo incredibly offended, can they just come to the reception afterward?

    I've gone to all sorts of weddings that weren't of my religion, and had no problems with this, though, so I don't quite understand what the problem is, anyway.

    Oh, and yes, it's worse to do a Catholic wedding when you don't want it. They should know that.

  • B
    Expert January 2009
    ben4514 ·

    We are doing a handfasting at our wedding because my fiancé is Scottish and I love all things Celtic. We consider ourselves Catholic but aren't practicing so we couldn't have a Catholic ceremony. His parents, even though they aren't practicing??, were insistent that we should get married in the Catholic church and still don't understand why we can't. Anyway, my parents don't have a problem with our ceremony and as far as other guests are concerned I don't really care if they'd find it controversial! If it's a problem I'll just say we really love the movie Braveheart or I'm obsessed with royal weddings haha... because interestingly enough the royal weddings (including William and Kate!) always include a handfasting.

  • Celia Milton
    October 2019
    Celia Milton ·

    was raised Unitarian and got darn close to being ordained Unitarian. Roughly 10% of Unitarian Universalists self identify as Christian (and another 15% or so as Jews) but it is not considered a Christian religion. I've heard no talk of them returning to Christian Lite; it's never been the mission, as a denomination, to have an agenda beyond ethical behavior. It's not that they don't have a mission statement; they do...they're just not anxious to dictate anyone's belief in their chosen higher power. An influx of more Christian-like thought may reflect the influx of a new generation of pastors; pastors that are not so aggressively humanist.

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