Reprinted from December 2, 2016
I’m 30, and in the planning stages of marrying the love of my life. We both grew up in conservative, religious homes. My family is Catholic, and his is Lutheran. Religion didn’t stick for either of us, and we’re socially progressive; we love our gay friends and support gay marriage.
My mother insists that what’s most important is we get married in the Church, because she believes that marriage is a blessed sacrament.
I love my mother, and I don't wish to hurt her. I also realize that this wedding is not all about me and my fiancé. Truth be told, if financing and planning the wedding were entirely up to us, I doubt we would have a wedding at all, but for maybe a small dinner party.
My parents are financially able to pay for a wedding, we are not (or, I suppose, we just would never opt to spend so much money on one day of our lives).
Mazel tov! Here’s the thing: If you and your folks were on the same page (or even nearby pages in the same book), I’d say negotiate it out and maybe let them host your wedding. But you and your mom are worlds apart on this one. And guess whose wedding it is? Yeah, not hers—she’s probably already had her big church wedding, right? I’m not sure why you say this day isn’t all about your and your fiancé, cuz actually, it is. I recommend doing this on your own.
Your wedding event is about celebrating the connecting of your community and your family to your union. It’s not a religious experience for you, so don’t go through an elaborate charade for other people when it is, in fact, your day. Invite those who will support your union. Some of them may not come if it’s not in a church, and that’s okay—it’s their choice.