I’m getting married next year, and I’ve just begun the planning process with my parents and future in-laws. My parents are Roman Catholic. His are southern Baptists. We are atheists. His parents are disappointed, but have accepted our decision to not have a church wedding. My parents, however, are offended and hurt. I’ve always had a great relationship with them, and it’s important to me that they support me in my commitment to my fiance. Since my fiance and I are wildlife biologists, we’re planning a beautiful outdoor wedding ceremony completely written by us. We promised it would be genuine, romantic, and reflect the life-long commitment we’re making to one another. Our thinking was that it would appease guests of all religions, and give us the meaningful ceremony we would like. They insist that our guests (ranging from Baptist to Protestant to Lutheran) would not appreciate such a ceremony, would prefer a religious one, and may even be offended. They suggested we consider a non-denominational wedding. I feel like I’m really letting them down, but at the same time, it seems sacrilegious to hold a wedding in a church that neither of us believe in. In fact, I would be embarrassed to ask a pastor to do that for us. If I was one of your kids, what would you think? What would be a happy medium for you? How would you go about starting the conversation? Has anyone been through a similar situation that worked out? I want them to be involved in my big day, but I’m afraid this conversation will push them away.
One final thing - I’m not here to discuss my personal beliefs. I’m just looking for some perspective that I don’t have, but that I think could really help.