This may feel awkward, but you're not the only couple to deal with such a thing.

bride and groom stand at wedding alter during ceremony
Credit: Julie Cate

Religious wedding ceremonies are often a thing of contention between parents and their children, with the parents rooting for something traditional and the couple feeling as though that's not representative of who they are. If you're in a situation where Mom and Dad are pulling for the religious ceremony and you want something that feels more personal, here's how to deal.

Do: Offer a compromise.

Even if you and your fiancé have no intentions of including any religious references or traditions in your ceremony, you might be able to find some smaller compromises. Perhaps one of your family members can do a reading during the ceremony or offer a song that's meaningful to them. There may be some subtle ways you can allow them to celebrate your marriage using their religion without feeling like you're sacrificing your entire ceremony to something you don't feel as strongly about.

Don't: Avoid the conversation.

One of the most frustrating things for parents is feeling like their voices aren't being heard during the wedding planning process. By avoiding the conversation about religion, you're essentially prolonging the discomfort. Get it out of the way sooner rather than later so you can start working together toward a ceremony plan you're happy with.

Do: Involve your family in other ways.

Once you've made it clear to your family that you don't intend to bring religion into your wedding ceremony, they may be feeling somewhat disconnected from your wedding. In order to maintain the peace and bring things back to a positive, celebratory place, you might consider finding another way to involve or honor your parents and siblings. Maybe there's a moment in your ceremony when your officiant acknowledges these important relationships and speaks to the loving and supportive home you've come from. Or, maybe you can ask your parents to give a toast at your wedding. Anything you can do that reminds them you know where you came from may be helpful in this sensitive scenario.


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