Future bride says 'I don't' to Pastor-Dad
BY Ask Amy
Sunday, October 14, 2012
10/14/12 at 3:44 AM
Dear Amy: I am getting married next summer to a wonderful man. During the planning it has come to my attention that my fiance would very much like his father, a minister, to officiate our wedding. I am opposed to this because I would like his father to be "Dad" on this special day and not the pastor. I have a difficult time differentiating between "Dad" and "Pastor-Dad."
Additionally, my parents have expressed discontent because they feel the wedding will cease to be "our" wedding and will become the groom's family's wedding.
Also, I grew up Catholic and my parents are struggling with me marrying outside our faith. I do not want to give up on what I believe in, but truly, who am I to keep my fiance's father from saying our wedding vows if this makes him happy? I don't know what to do. - Not-Blushing-Bride
Dear Bride: You don't mention talking frankly to your fiance - or of anyone discussing this with "Pastor-Dad." This decision should be made by you and your fiance. Together.
I see a potential upside to this (and had a relative officiate at my own wedding), with conditions. Having a person who knows you well conduct your wedding service can add a layer of depth and meaning to the ceremony, but it should never alienate your own family.
The idea is to keep the marrying couple at the center of the proceedings - and to join the two clans. Your pastor should work with you on how to be inclusive and sensitive to religious differences, perhaps by including your family members in the ceremony.
But Pastor-Dad's "happiness" should not be paramount. And neither father nor son would be happy if you were not. You and your fiance should seek pastoral advice from someone other than your fiance's father in order to make a decision together, and Pastor-Dad should be willing to step aside if that's what you decide.
Dear Amy: A young woman signing her letter "A Not So Happy Birthday" said her grandmother had sent her two birthday cards and checks.
Wouldn't it be less confusing and embarrassing for grandma if the birthday person simply thanked her for remembering the birthday and then used the extra money to send grandma a plant or flowers? - BH
Dear BH: Like you, I thought this birthday girl should focus more attention on her thoughtful grandma. Great suggestion.
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