How To Get Your Family On Board With Your Decision
Your family may not be as enthused about your decision not to include clergy or religion in your ceremony as you are. If your choice upsets family members, advise your officiant of the situation so they can help massage the situation on your wedding day.
"By all means, mention the issues you're having to the non-clergy officiant, who may then give some extra TLC to concerned family members to calm them down," says Elizabeth Doherty Thomas, founder of The First Dance, a wedding and relationship advice website.
"Parents or grandparents may not feel the wedding is 'real' if there isn't God mentioned," Thomas adds. While religion is becoming less important for many couples, spirituality still binds, even in ceremonies where "quickie" ordained ministers preside.
"I suppose I have a bias toward ceremonies based in religious traditions because I believe that, whether it is a rabbi or minister of any denomination or religion, it communicates both to the couple and anyone else present that the joining of their lives is more than primarily a legal contract between two people, but that marriage is fundamentally a spiritual partnership," says Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben, Ph.D. He concedes, however, that making a more personalized choice can work well for some couples, and in his opinion this is better than a stranger presiding.
"Obviously, if it's a close friend, there is a history that can make the ceremony very intimate and special," Reuben says.