Daughter is getting married


I need help with this situation. When our daughter turned 18 she completely rejected the church and all of its teaching then she started dating a boy younger than her and has since had 2 children outside of marriage with him. Now these 2 are going to get married next April and want me and my wife there to give her away. Now this wedding is a completely secular event that will be taking place out in the middle of a field. I told my wife that there is no way that I will be attending this even let alone giving her away, because by doing so I would be validating what they are doing, my wife is furious with and is calling me a hypocrite etc… I explained to her that if we attended this it would be a sin against God and His Church. She just will not listen. I know that when I have to tell our daughter that this will create one heck of an uproar and we will most likely lose the privelege of seeing our grand daughters. Please help me with this, I fear that I am going to lose everything by sticking by my faith and it hurts so much especially if this means we wont be able to see those wonderful little girls any more.:sad_yes:


The situation describes exactly why the church doesn’t prohibit you from attending this wedding.

You may attend the wedding, if only to keep up a relationship with your daughter so that hopefully in the future perhaps you can help her in her faith. She should know the conditions of your attendance though, that you don’t condone it, but you are there because you love her and the children.

Canon law I believe only prohibits someone from being in the wedding party, or some other such supportive role. (Dad giving away the daughter may be on the fence, not sure).


Can I ask how old your daughter is now? I assume if she’s in her mid-20s she’d understand your dilemma better than if she’s still in her early 20s.


She is 22 years old and the grand daughters are 2 and 1.


you are the head of the family. if you fail to uphold your beliefs now you lose credibility over these issues from now on in. You can even attend the reception (not the wedding) if you wish, but not take part in the wedding since she has so blatantly rejected everything most important to you.


It might be well to discuss this matter with your pastor.


Ok, gang I did some more digging and found that attending the wedding is not forbidden etc… but what I cannot find is a statement regarding “giving her away”. I am still hunting that one down. If any of ya’ll find something let me know.


Hm, that’s tough.

I don’t really know anything about Catholicism and I don’t know what’s allowed or not allowed, but I know your daughter will always hold it against you if you fail to attend her (first) wedding. Like agapewolf said, you should let her know that you’re willing to give her away because you love her as a daughter, not because you agree with what she’s doing. I think failing to show up at her wedding will only strengthen her beliefs that “religious people” are hypocrites and push her away from your faith even more.

Your daughter may come around someday, but not if you seemingly keep picking your faith over her.


No, I didn’t say that. I said it would be ok to attend. I didn’t know whether it would be ok to give her away.


Bad wording. I’ll take it back.


As Catholic parents, it is VITAL we have many discussions with our kids over the years, we teach them the Church laws on marriage.

My husband and I have been clear since DS was young, DS knows what the Church requires re marriage and he knows that should he choose to enter an invalid marriage that mom and dad will NOT be there to witness said wedding, we will not be at the reception.

Did your daughter know the Church laws on marriage as she grew up?

If she did, then, you are doing the right thing to stand up for what you believe and your daughter owes you the respect of your beliefs.


Again like I stated, she has rejected ALL Church teaching on anything. In her mind the Church is nothing but an oppresive religous organization.


It’s your daughter, I would attend the wedding for sure but talk with your Priest about giving her away. Perhaps you can give her away without being a formally being part of the “wedding” party.

I have to disagree about not going to the wedding because you are head of the family. YOU ARE head of the family, no matter what they do. As a Christian we need to always show love, that dosen’t mean we condone or support. I would, both written and verbal, let my daughter know why you don’t agree with her choices. However you love her so much you are willing love her and help her on this days to show Christ’s mercy and love that’s in your heart with the prayer that one day she would come to know that again as well.

If you boycott your daughters wedding, she has rejected the Church right? you prove to her everything she left the Church over. There is a large percentage of young people today who aren’t just not Christians, they are anti-Christian because they believe Christians (Catholic and protestants alike) are just a bunch of hate filled judgmental hypocrites. In the media they see things that reinforce this view daily. Look at people like Sean Hannity, saying he is a good Catholic then promoting torture. Look at those people protesting funerals with the “God Hates Fags” signs. That is NOT what we teach and not what we believe yet that is what they see, hear and feel.

She needs your prayers and your love and she needs direction from her father by example. If she were still a practicing Catholic who attended Mass and knew full well of how her actions were going against the Church… I might be a little different on this but she isn’t. For all practicle purposes she is not anymore, boycotting her wedding isn’t going to bring her back to the Church IMHO, it will just push her farther away.



I agree with the above posters. If you don’t attend her wedding she will hold it against you forever, and the road to bringing her back to Christ in any form will be MUCH harder. I had friends who had to make this decision, and they went to their daughter’s marriage to a man and family they did not approve of, knowing that if they did not they would loose her forever.

In the interest of being able to bring her back to her faith someday, and for the sake of the children, go, give her away, and let her know that while you don’t condone or agree with what she is doing, you love her because she is your daughter and because that is what your church teachs to love the sinner and hate the sin, and you will always be there for her when she is ready to come back.


If this daughter was going to commit any other mortal sin, do you encourage the dad to support it? Does he offer to hide her out after she robs a bank? How about go get her some herion when she needs a fix? Daughter rejects the Church, if she wants to desecrate some Eucharists should daddy go along and watch her do that?

Why do we think that if there is a pink heart romance that we should support the immorality.

What about the daughter having respect for her dad’s religious beliefs?


*This is a great post…I agree, and we too have had similiar chats with our kids…they know where their mom and dad stands on this. I don’t think it’s being judgemental…it’s standing up for what’s right, and valuing the faith. *


I know where you are brother. We both are in boats right next to each other. Live your faitn and give good example. Someday your daughter and SIL will need an example to fall back on and it should be you. Be kind, patient and supportive but not to the point of compromising your faith. If you have to swallow hard to give her away do it. I would rather swallow it than give up the family relatioinship and not see any of them again.

God Bless!


You should go to the wedding, give your duaghter away and tell her you are looking forward to the day they repeat the ceremony in the Church. There is no Church prohibition to you doing this and there is no need to cause the great harm this will do to your relationship with your wife and your daughter.


I’m seeing a very disturbing trend that places “peace with family members” over obeying God and His Church. Please consider what Jesus said:

“Do you think I have come to establish peace on the earth? I assure you, the contrary is true; I have come for division. From now on, a household of five will be divided three against two and two against three; father will be split against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother; mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law”. (Luke 12:51-53)

OP: You can say to your daughter “if you get married properly and validly in a Catholic Church I will be more than happy to walk you down the aisle”.


*I lean in agreement with this, providing the OP’s daughter was taught Church teachings on marriage, etc. I think that is where the rub comes in.

But, I lean in agreement here–like kage said above…make sure kids know Church teachings early on…

No doubt, OP–this is a tough spot to be in…while I sort of see bob’s point – I think that you would be compromising your faith and values to keep the peace. Your daughter chose this, not you and your wife. Our kids can choose to do whatever they like in life, but I won’t be sitting on the sidelines cheering on things that go against the Church. *

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