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Exorbitant "donations" for officiants...

asymons412

Shiny_Rock
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Mar 25, 2011
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247
So here's the "short" story: I'm a practicing Jew and FI is a non-practicing Catholic, and we've decided to incorporate different components of our faiths into the wedding.

Since neither FI nor his parents are members of a church at this time, FI's parents suggested going to his Grandfather's church to find a preist. So we went to meet with this priest to arrange for the date, the paperwork, etc. During the visit, we found out that the preist requires a "donation" of $750 for an off-site (ie. not using their chapel) wedding, for which he is co-officiant with my Rabbi. :errrr: Is this normal?! To say a blessing and send our paperwork to the pope--$750?!

If you all don't mind me asking, what did you have to pay for your off-site officiant? Should we be looking elsewhere? I am strongly against staying with this church... to be honest, I didn't love the priest at all (he met us in his gym clothes, for goodness sake) and I was abashed by the concept of a mandatory donation!

:nono: Maybe I'm a little hot-under-the-collar about this because FI's family, who is advocating staying with this priest regardless of the "donation," has not set a foot forward to offer to help pay for the preist. In fact, whereas my parents are contributing upwards of 30k, his family has so far committed to $3k for the photographer. That's it. But that's a story for another day :roll: and I promised myself I wouldn't let it get to me...

My resolution is that we shop around for a new priest, presumably find someone willing to accept a lower "donation" and have FI offer it up to his parents; if they are that adamant, they can compensate the difference for his Grandfather's priest, and if not, we will save our money.

I hope I'm not being insensitive, but FI doesn't even know this guy and he didn't make a great impression on either of us. FI however just wants to please his parents... I don't know what to do. :(sad Help.

Thoughts?
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Lay out the budget as it stands and tell FI to grow a pair and focus on pleasing the two of you, not his parents.

It would be different if they were offering to pay the fee, but they're not, so you have the final say.

And yes, that "donation" is beyond exorbitant! :errrr:
 

KaeKae

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My best friend was married in a restaurant, by a priest and a rabbi. One had a fee of $200, the other $600. At this point, I don't recall who requested what amount, but neither was the family clergyman of the B or G. I privately was shocked, but my friends wanted to please both families and paid each requested amount. This was 18 years ago, so going by those standards, your potential fees are not out of line. It also may be that he requests more for a non-member of the parish.
 

asymons412

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Mar 25, 2011
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247
Well, I should add that this is his "discounted" rate because my FI's grandfather is "such a gem." :rolleyes:

Yssie, I kind of agree with you... but FI will get cranky if I tell him to grow a set. :bigsmile: I told him that it's our wedding, not his parents'. Unfortunately, money is still independent between us (mostly), and so he keeps insisting that "he'll pay it." I told him that isn't quite right, because the morning after, *we'll* have paid it!
 

yssie

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Wow. Okay, maybe I'm wrong, and it's not so off on price?


We paid our rabbi and Hindu priest $400 each for out-of-state services (no prior association w/ the rabbi, priest has performed my family's various services for a decade now), and invited both + families to the reception...
 

centralsquare

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Ours were in the 200-300 dollar range but there were tons of other fees with the church ceremony that added up!
 

merbear1215

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We paid $600 for a Rabbi who performed our ceremony and neither one of us are members of her synagogue.

I am a practicing Jew and my husband is a non-practicing christian. It was also important to his parents, who had contributed nothing to the wedding, that we have a christian ceremony.

here are a few distinctions between your situation and ours. His parents, had we gone that route, would have paid for the christian person conducting the ceremony, and we LOVED our Rabbi.

So no, I don't think the price is that outrageous, but I do think it is a lot to pay for someone you don't care for.

In the end, I told my husband he could be in charge of finding a priest as I know nothing about that. Because he didn't care, he never looked and his mom did instead and asked that we get in touch with a priest she recommended. I did, my husband didn't bother. Finally, we decided two things. One, it was obviously not even important enough to him to make a phone call, and it wasn't my preference, so why would we have it. And two, we have always agreed that we would raise our chidlren Jewish and have a Jewish home. We kind of thought to stand up in front of our friends and family members and have a part Christian ceremony did not make the most sense for us......just my two cents.
 

chemgirl

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We payed around $300 for our officient. He was one of the more expensive people we spoke to, but he was also the most personable. I think his regular rate was $250 for an off site reception plus an extra $50 since we were asking him to drive 2 hours. That price included two consultations, a script of the wedding, paperwork, and his services for 3 hours on the day of the wedding.

$750 seems really high.
 

asymons412

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Merbear, I'm jealous of your husband's openness. I too want to raise my children Jewish, but my fiance is... well, stubborn. And mostly, it's for the sake of his family, which bothers me to no end since his parents barely even practice! He himself isn't practicing by any stretch of the imagination; he isn't interested in religion or God or tradition. However, he is even less interested in Judiasm; I offered to look for a christian church for us to attend as a compromise, just to transition into some sort of spiritual enrichment, but he doesn't even care to go. And yet, he is still resistant to Jewish customs and raising our children Jewish (although children is not a very talked-of subject since I won't be able to have kids for at least another 5+ years while I finish my PhD and apply for professorhsips). I'm free to go to a synagogue on my own, but he just isn't into it and won't have it as "our" religion.

I don't mean to threadjack my own thread, but if you don't mind me asking, was your husband ever resistant to allowing you to exercise all of your Jewish traditions with him? I don't mean tagging along on one or two high holidays (which FI has, a few times), but does he really embrace your lifestyle?
 

jstarfireb

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Asymons, I don't have any experience with the officiant fees because I had a friend officiate our wedding for free. But regarding a religion that has common ground between Judaism and Christianity in which to raise your future kids, I would look into Unitarian Universalism. I left the Catholic church in favor of UU several years ago and love it! It's a "liberal" religion in that anyone is welcome there and you are free to pursue your own beliefs, but also because we're into liberal causes like preserving the environment. Here's some info: http://www.uua.org/
 

Guilty Pleasure

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asymons412|1313000227|2988013 said:
Merbear, I'm jealous of your husband's openness. I too want to raise my children Jewish, but my fiance is... well, stubborn. And mostly, it's for the sake of his family, which bothers me to no end since his parents barely even practice! He himself isn't practicing by any stretch of the imagination; he isn't interested in religion or God or tradition. However, he is even less interested in Judiasm; I offered to look for a christian church for us to attend as a compromise, just to transition into some sort of spiritual enrichment, but he doesn't even care to go. And yet, he is still resistant to Jewish customs and raising our children Jewish (although children is not a very talked-of subject since I won't be able to have kids for at least another 5+ years while I finish my PhD and apply for professorhsips). I'm free to go to a synagogue on my own, but he just isn't into it and won't have it as "our" religion.

I don't mean to threadjack my own thread, but if you don't mind me asking, was your husband ever resistant to allowing you to exercise all of your Jewish traditions with him? I don't mean tagging along on one or two high holidays (which FI has, a few times), but does he really embrace your lifestyle?

Being uninterested in his own religious practices does not make him automatically open to practicing someone else's. Think about it. If he thinks participating in something he actually believes in is a waste of time, participating in something he doesn't believe in is a bigger waste of time. Some people just aren't interested in organized religion. I am not saying he is wrong or right, just offering a possible explanation why he is resistant to adopting your practices.
 

chemgirl

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asymons412|1313000227|2988013 said:
Merbear, I'm jealous of your husband's openness. I too want to raise my children Jewish, but my fiance is... well, stubborn. And mostly, it's for the sake of his family, which bothers me to no end since his parents barely even practice! He himself isn't practicing by any stretch of the imagination; he isn't interested in religion or God or tradition. However, he is even less interested in Judiasm; I offered to look for a christian church for us to attend as a compromise, just to transition into some sort of spiritual enrichment, but he doesn't even care to go. And yet, he is still resistant to Jewish customs and raising our children Jewish (although children is not a very talked-of subject since I won't be able to have kids for at least another 5+ years while I finish my PhD and apply for professorhsips). I'm free to go to a synagogue on my own, but he just isn't into it and won't have it as "our" religion.

I don't mean to threadjack my own thread, but if you don't mind me asking, was your husband ever resistant to allowing you to exercise all of your Jewish traditions with him? I don't mean tagging along on one or two high holidays (which FI has, a few times), but does he really embrace your lifestyle?
Just popping in to say that my parents are different religions and my dad doesn't practice. He was never expected to join my mother and I in our religious ceremonies because we didn't believe in the same thing. It was never an issue for our family when I was growing up. Its nice to share a religion, but not essential to a strong marriage.

ETA: My dad does join my mom on important holidays and he was always at our plays growing up. There's a difference between practicing your partner's religion and supporting them in it.
 

merbear1215

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My husband is willing to go to services with me, etc. But he won't fast on Yom Kippur, that type of thing. I haven't really had any resistance from him about joining me in doing some traditional Jewish things, but I think it is more from a supportive perspective than a religious one.

As far as raising our children Jewish, that he has always been fine with and I think it is for two reasons. One, he has always said that his "beliefs" are humility, kindness, patience, generosity, etc., and he doesn't think that is associated with any specific religion.

And two, I don't know how to explain this without sounding like "I get my way!!!" but, I am the do-er in our relationship. I plan, organize, arrange, etc. While I wouldn't be opposed to our children attending a church service, I am not going to seek that service out. Naturally, because it will be left up to me to organize, I will make arrangements with a synagogue. Does that make sense?

Here is something interesting. My husband is not very religious at all, never goes to church, never prays. My sister's husband is pretty religious, prays before every meal, attends church every Sunday. However, he too has consented to raising their children Jewish. And, they were married by a Rabbi.
 

TooPatient

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Mer --- I think this is a SUPER important topic that you and your FI need to talk about ASAP. You both need to know what the other is willing to do.

I converted to Judaism. NOT because my FI is Jewish (he was just bf at the time), but because I genuinely got interested and took it upon myself to study and work with a rabbi. FI was supportive of my decision but never pushed me. I took several years studying, learning Hebrew so I could participate in services, and reflecting on my beliefs. I decided to convert and we have a Jewish home. It hasn't been easy. (It still isn't easy). My family (Christian) is still learning to respect our choices for our home.

In contrast to this, we have friends who married 15 years ago and are MISERABLE.
He was a non-practicing Christian. Her family was very active in the Jewish community. He converted. He never learned to even read Hebrew, has never made the slightest attempt to learn any of the songs, and is generally unhappy. He is rarely at services but on the few days he does come, he looks angry and annoyed to be there.
We've been to their home for holiday meals -- he HATES it. He refuses to participate in a seder and spends a fair chunk of the evening in the kitchen (not because there is anything he's doing, just because he doesn't want to be there).
His wife is unhappy because it is embarrassing to her. His behavior is rubbing off on their kids.
His parents ("unpracticing" Christians) try to get their gradkids to celebrate Christian holidays, and say (in front of guests!) that Jewish stuff is "stupid".
Oh... and the woman's mother very much dislikes the husband and seems to be looking for a guy to keep around as his replacement :-o


I don't think it really has to be a good or bad situation. I think there is plently of room to talk and have a happy life you are both content with, but I REALLY think you need to take this priest situation as a chance to talk to your FI more about this sort of thing. You both need to be okay with whatever you do and this is just the first in many issues that WILL come up. The more you can talk to each other and have a clear understanding and agreement of what the TWO OF YOU want or don't want in your life together, the easier all of that will be.
 

chemgirl

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Sorry, chiming in again. This is a subject that hits really close to home for me as my parents are of different religions and my longest relationship (even longer than DH! gasp) ended due to religious differences.

I dated a Jewish man for years. We lived together and we were seriously talking marriage. I was in the process of converting to facilitate raising our future children in a Jewish household. The relationship ended for several reasons, but a big one was Christmas. The issue was that to him, raising children in a Jewish household meant no Christian holidays (makes sense). My family and I felt really uncomfortable with this line. Even though I don't really go to church anymore, and most of my family doesn't practice, we still celebrate holidays. We are scattered across the country, but we make a point of getting together on holidays. We treat them as a way to celebrate family and I only see certain aunts, uncles, and cousins on Christmas. I felt that by not celebrating Christian holidays, I would be cutting my family off from my future children. I know this might not be the case in your relationship, but maybe his family is afraid of this happening? Is there a way you can all talk and figure out how to make them more comfortable?

Just speaking from experience, religious differences and children can be huge issues in a relationship. It really helps to go in to it with a firm gameplan that you're both comfortable with. It didn't work our for me, but my parents are celebrating their 31st anniversary this year so obviously it can be done!
 

asymons412

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Thanks for the advice... I've always grown up in a slightly hybrid religious home-- I practice Judaism, but due to the fact that my Mom converted and her half of the family is Catholic, we celebrate a few of the Christian holidays too. After all, Jesus was Jewish; I could at least wish him an off-date happy birthday. 8) I have no problem keeping those things in my life, and FH knows it.

TooPatient, you're right, and you basically voiced the future that I'm afraid of. My father was an especially religious, devout man, and sometimes I look at FH and wish that he could have learned more from my father before he passed away (in the first year that FH and I dated).

I think FH and I need to sit down and talk about this, but he is absolutely difficult to talk with as a result of the fact that he is so resistant to "getting deep" about God, religion, etc. He doesn't even like to talk about Catholicism (eg. once I asked him why Catholics need to repent to God through a priest, and cannot repent directly to God-- he basically didn't know, didn't care). He's not interested. Sometimes I think he is very complacent about "being a good person," his morals (and by that I'm speaking as a girl brought up in a strict home; when I see something wrong, I walk away; he will shrug and sit by, which is understandable based on our upbringings), and especially his spirituality. He's "happy" with the way things are. I can't fault him for that, but sometimes I wonder if people know the difference between a kind of lazy complacency (happy where I am because I don't feel like going elsewhere) and genuine happiness.

Sigh. :(sad I am probably overthinking all of these things, and it isn't as if this divide has caused an irreparable rift--we've worked for over 7 years now. Occasionally, though, I get to thinking about spirituality and I'm a little sad that I don't have someone to keep me on the right [spiritual] track.
 

tyty333

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I say that if its not that important to your FH then let his parents know that you are not willing to pay the "donation"
that the priest wants. That way if it is important to them, they can volunteer to pay for the priest.

I'm not catholic but my husband is and it seems like they are big into getting money for the church. My FIL also
works at the thriftstore that the church runs and I hear the stories.
 

Haven

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My rabbi doesn't require a fee of any sort from members of the synagogue. We gave a $500 donation to his discretionary fund in honor of his performing our ceremony, but it was a choice and not required.

I used to work in my synagogue, and when members asked how much they should donate we always said nothing is necessary, but people typically choose something between $100 to $500.

If non-members want my rabbi to officiate their wedding he meets with them to determine whether theirs is a marriage he wishes to officiate. (He does not personally choose to officiate marriages if they do not plan to raise their children Jewish.) If he and the couple decide that he is the right person to officiate their marriage, I *believe* he asks for a $500 donation to his discretionary fund. However, if people cannot afford that, he will do it for less, or free.

I don't think it's unreasonable for clergy to require a fee when officiating the marriages of non-members. Members of most Jewish synagogues in our area pay significant membership dues to keep the synagogue running, and I think it is only right to require non-members to pay for the clergy's time and services.
 

MissStepcut

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You're having a $30k wedding including $3k photographer, but balking at paying an integral part of the day a measly $750? If he isn't who you want there, okay, but dang. It's not like it isn't going to a good cause. And if you don't believe it is a good cause, maybe you should find an officiant who is associated with a church that would inspire you to give with a happy heart.
 

asymons412

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MissStepcut, I don't really appreciate your critical tone. My fiance and I are not (and never imagined, quite frankly) paying 30k for the wedding; my parents stepped forward and based on my step father's "recommendations" (ie. he's planned a thousand parties and celebrations), we ended up with much more than we desired or could ever ask for. The wedding is an extremely gracious gift on behalf of my parents.

The officiant is the responsibility of my fiance and me; I am a graduate student making 18k a year after taxes and my fiance is working on his masters' degree on top of his full-time job. $750 is not "measly." Our budget for our contributions is 4-5k (invitations, limo, linens, bridal party gifts, wedding rings, string quartet, officant), based on what we can save by next year, and the officiant absolutely blows our intended budget.

Please try to be more considerate in your statements, and think of alternatives before leaping to rather rude conclusions. As I mentioned, I do not very much like this priest which adds to my hesitation. I have attended temple and given with a "happy heart" since I was 8 years old giving up my quarters, and still tithe happily to my congregation today. I do not however believe that $750 for a 30 minute ceremony in which a priest whom I (and my fiance) do not know says a blessing is appropriate. Especially considering that we are already donating graciously to our rabbi officiant as well.

I am honestly flustered by your presumptuous response.
 

iheartscience

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I guess I don't understand why you're even considering having a priest you dislike officiate your wedding. If your fiance isn't even interested in Catholicism or religion, I think it's time for him to stand up to his family. It doesn't sound like their financial help will make much difference to you, so why are you taking their preferences into consideration when they go against yours? I understand wanting to keep the peace, but this is your wedding and your marriage, and if you don't want this priest involved, don't have him.

My family is Catholic, I was raised Catholic, but I had no interest in being married in the Catholic church, so I found a justice of the peace to perform our ceremony. Luckily my parents are (for the most part ;)) ) accepting of my choices, but even if they hadn't been, I wouldn't have gotten married in a church to please them.

This is one of many stands you and your fiance will have to make in the future. Weddings are a great time to start setting boundaries, IMO.

Also, not my business, but I would definitely discuss the whole kid/religion thing with your fiance before the wedding. 5 years might seem far from now, but it'll be here before you know it and you don't want to run into serious problems with regards to what religion you'll be raising your children in.

ETA regarding the donation, it doesn't seem that unreasonable to me since you don't attend that church, but I think since you don't want the priest to begin with, it probably adds insult to injury for you.
 

MissStepcut

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asymons412|1313540946|2992269 said:
MissStepcut, I don't really appreciate your critical tone. My fiance and I are not (and never imagined, quite frankly) paying 30k for the wedding; my parents stepped forward and based on my step father's "recommendations" (ie. he's planned a thousand parties and celebrations), we ended up with much more than we desired or could ever ask for. The wedding is an extremely gracious gift on behalf of my parents.

The officiant is the responsibility of my fiance and me; I am a graduate student making 18k a year after taxes and my fiance is working on his masters' degree on top of his full-time job. $750 is not "measly." Our budget for our contributions is 4-5k (invitations, limo, linens, bridal party gifts, wedding rings, string quartet, officant), based on what we can save by next year, and the officiant absolutely blows our intended budget.

Please try to be more considerate in your statements, and think of alternatives before leaping to rather rude conclusions. As I mentioned, I do not very much like this priest which adds to my hesitation. I have attended temple and given with a "happy heart" since I was 8 years old giving up my quarters, and still tithe happily to my congregation today. I do not however believe that $750 for a 30 minute ceremony in which a priest whom I (and my fiance) do not know says a blessing is appropriate. Especially considering that we are already donating graciously to our rabbi officiant as well.

I am honestly flustered by your presumptuous response.
I am sorry you were offended by my post. I was offended by your post, too, specifically the use of the word "exorbitant" (definition: unreasonably high) and the quotations around the word "donation."

As a member of a church, I support a church leader. When he does a wedding, he asks for a fee for his time that doesn't go into his own pocket, but rather compensates my congregation for the "loan" of our pastor, whose primary responsibilities are to his flock and his family. When the person he is marrying is a member of the church, or unable to afford an elaborate wedding, I know the church ends up subsidizing the use of the pastor. If, however, the person where having a very expensive wedding and also wasn't even a member of our church or faith, I would be livid if I were subsidizing the costs.
 

asymons412

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MissStepcut|1313708501|2993774 said:
asymons412|1313540946|2992269 said:
MissStepcut, I don't really appreciate your critical tone. My fiance and I are not (and never imagined, quite frankly) paying 30k for the wedding; my parents stepped forward and based on my step father's "recommendations" (ie. he's planned a thousand parties and celebrations), we ended up with much more than we desired or could ever ask for. The wedding is an extremely gracious gift on behalf of my parents.

The officiant is the responsibility of my fiance and me; I am a graduate student making 18k a year after taxes and my fiance is working on his masters' degree on top of his full-time job. $750 is not "measly." Our budget for our contributions is 4-5k (invitations, limo, linens, bridal party gifts, wedding rings, string quartet, officant), based on what we can save by next year, and the officiant absolutely blows our intended budget.

Please try to be more considerate in your statements, and think of alternatives before leaping to rather rude conclusions. As I mentioned, I do not very much like this priest which adds to my hesitation. I have attended temple and given with a "happy heart" since I was 8 years old giving up my quarters, and still tithe happily to my congregation today. I do not however believe that $750 for a 30 minute ceremony in which a priest whom I (and my fiance) do not know says a blessing is appropriate. Especially considering that we are already donating graciously to our rabbi officiant as well.

I am honestly flustered by your presumptuous response.
I am sorry you were offended by my post. I was offended by your post, too, specifically the use of the word "exorbitant" (definition: unreasonably high) and the quotations around the word "donation."

As a member of a church, I support a church leader. When he does a wedding, he asks for a fee for his time that doesn't go into his own pocket, but rather compensates my congregation for the "loan" of our pastor, whose primary responsibilities are to his flock and his family. When the person he is marrying is a member of the church, or unable to afford an elaborate wedding, I know the church ends up subsidizing the use of the pastor. If, however, the person where having a very expensive wedding and also wasn't even a member of our church or faith, I would be livid if I were subsidizing the costs.
Miss Stepcut, you take offense where absolutely none was expressed or intended. Firstly, this post was asking if other people too thought the dollar amount exorbitant [as my rabbi has not asked for any donation and we are gladly giving him a generous amount with respect to all he has done in my life]. $750, in my opinion, is an exorbitant amount of money; I know the definition, no need to patronize me.

Secondly, the word "donation" is in quotes because a donation implies giving an amount of ones own volition, not a mandatory charge. Call it for what it is; it's a fee, not a donation. Read the post, don't make assumptions.

Thirdly, you are out of line. I always grimace when the most religious are also the quickest to "cast the first stone."

I would appreciate if I could continue this thread without your input, if you would be so courteous.
 

asymons412

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Mar 25, 2011
Messages
247
thing2of2|1313634102|2993069 said:
I guess I don't understand why you're even considering having a priest you dislike officiate your wedding. If your fiance isn't even interested in Catholicism or religion, I think it's time for him to stand up to his family. It doesn't sound like their financial help will make much difference to you, so why are you taking their preferences into consideration when they go against yours? I understand wanting to keep the peace, but this is your wedding and your marriage, and if you don't want this priest involved, don't have him.

My family is Catholic, I was raised Catholic, but I had no interest in being married in the Catholic church, so I found a justice of the peace to perform our ceremony. Luckily my parents are (for the most part ;)) ) accepting of my choices, but even if they hadn't been, I wouldn't have gotten married in a church to please them.

This is one of many stands you and your fiance will have to make in the future. Weddings are a great time to start setting boundaries, IMO.

Also, not my business, but I would definitely discuss the whole kid/religion thing with your fiance before the wedding. 5 years might seem far from now, but it'll be here before you know it and you don't want to run into serious problems with regards to what religion you'll be raising your children in.

ETA regarding the donation, it doesn't seem that unreasonable to me since you don't attend that church, but I think since you don't want the priest to begin with, it probably adds insult to injury for you.
As I mentioned, the fee is actually discounted to the fee a church member would be charged (as his grandfather is a member), which is what has taken me aback!

In short, I know you're right. And it's a good point that weddings really are a great time to lay down our boundaries. The hardest part is convincing my fiance that it's important enough to make a stand about, given his indifference towards religion. I do want to respect his family, and I don't mind it, I just wish that they would call it for what it is-- they aren't practicing Catholics, and I am a practicing Jew, and it nags at me that they feel so strongly in spite of their lack of faith.

Thanks for being honest. It's nice to come to these boards and have someone say the things that I'm hesitant to think about. Maybe I'll take him out for sushi and breach the topic... 8)
 

iheartscience

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asymons412|1313714275|2993854 said:
thing2of2|1313634102|2993069 said:
I guess I don't understand why you're even considering having a priest you dislike officiate your wedding. If your fiance isn't even interested in Catholicism or religion, I think it's time for him to stand up to his family. It doesn't sound like their financial help will make much difference to you, so why are you taking their preferences into consideration when they go against yours? I understand wanting to keep the peace, but this is your wedding and your marriage, and if you don't want this priest involved, don't have him.

My family is Catholic, I was raised Catholic, but I had no interest in being married in the Catholic church, so I found a justice of the peace to perform our ceremony. Luckily my parents are (for the most part ;)) ) accepting of my choices, but even if they hadn't been, I wouldn't have gotten married in a church to please them.

This is one of many stands you and your fiance will have to make in the future. Weddings are a great time to start setting boundaries, IMO.

Also, not my business, but I would definitely discuss the whole kid/religion thing with your fiance before the wedding. 5 years might seem far from now, but it'll be here before you know it and you don't want to run into serious problems with regards to what religion you'll be raising your children in.

ETA regarding the donation, it doesn't seem that unreasonable to me since you don't attend that church, but I think since you don't want the priest to begin with, it probably adds insult to injury for you.
As I mentioned, the fee is actually discounted to the fee a church member would be charged (as his grandfather is a member), which is what has taken me aback!

In short, I know you're right. And it's a good point that weddings really are a great time to lay down our boundaries. The hardest part is convincing my fiance that it's important enough to make a stand about, given his indifference towards religion. I do want to respect his family, and I don't mind it, I just wish that they would call it for what it is-- they aren't practicing Catholics, and I am a practicing Jew, and it nags at me that they feel so strongly in spite of their lack of faith.

Thanks for being honest. It's nice to come to these boards and have someone say the things that I'm hesitant to think about. Maybe I'll take him out for sushi and breach the topic... 8)
Okay well if that's the discounted rate, yikes! It seems a bit high but not completely out of line with what other people have paid. Our justice of the peace was maybe $150ish. And yeah, I don't get why his family feels so strongly about it if they're not even practicing Catholics! My family are definitely practicing, go to church every Sunday and are very involved in the church, so at least I can see where they're coming from! :cheeky:

Definitely a tough situation...hopefully you can come up with a solution that leaves both of you happy. Maybe just ignoring the whole priest thing for a while will make it go away if you don't want to deal with it? Ignoring input from the parents worked for us when we were wedding planning! :cheeky:

Keep us posted and good luck!
 

vc10um

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 22, 2009
Messages
6,006
I have friends who are going through an inter-faith marriage process right now. She's a pseudo-practicing Catholic, and he's a relatively non-practicing Jew, but they both grew up in practicing families and both have strong ties to their faiths. They are getting a dispensation form from the Catholic Church so that their marriage is recognized, and having it performed by a non-denominational officiant. But this was a long discussion between the two of them, because with a dispensation, you have to agree to raise the children Catholic. Additionally, you have to show extraordinary circumstances for the Catholic Church to approve a ceremony not held in a religious building, and IIRC your venue is a hall of some sort and you were originally considering an outdoor wedding. Marriage Preparation FAQs from the Archdiocese of New York

To me, it sounds like you have a valid reason to actually just completely skip the Catholic priest, ESPECIALLY since you want to raise your children Jewish! If you would like to have some sort of Christian blessing offered to appease his family, I would look into an ecumenical minister or an independent officiant specializing in interfaith ceremonies.

Just a few things to think about...
 

chemgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
2,161
Instead of hiring the priest, you could have a few of his relatives read prayers/bible passages during the ceremony. You would be incorporating their faith without paying out $750! There are religious readings and prayers that are very appropriate for wedding ceremonies and probably wouldn't seem too out of place. For example, I've heard the prayer of St. Francis at a few wedding ceremonies recently. I was also at a non-religious wedding last weekend where the mother of the groom read a bible passage that was read at her wedding. It was very touching and didn't feel out of place even though the rest of the ceremony was non-religious.

I know people are saying the wedding is the time to stand firm and assert yourself, but a bit of compromise (from both sides) couldn't hurt!

I hear you on not wanting to spend $750 on a grad student salary. Its a lot of money, especially when you're living on a stipend. Would the marriage even be recognized by the church? If not, then I don't really see why his family would expect you to pay the fee.

ETA: I didn't realize he was Catholic. In that case, I know that the church isn't supposed to marry anyone who doesn't plan on raising their children as Catholics. I'm very surprised that a priest would perform a blessing at a wedding that isn't sanctioned by the church. It just seems odd and I'm surprised they would do it/accept a donation for their services.
 

asymons412

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
247
Chemgirl, the priest is planning to give us a dispensation as long as we pinky promise to raise our kids "in the christian faith." And I mean, Judaism is the original Christianity, so... :Up_to_something:

Goodness. I'll keep you guys posted. I wanted to talk to FH yesterday, but I had the crappiest day and he surprised me with flowers (which NEVER happens!)... how do you reply to flowers with "btw, your children are going to be Jewish and about this whole priest thing..." :lol:
 

sillyberry

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Messages
1,792
asymons412|1313800929|2994671 said:
Chemgirl, the priest is planning to give us a dispensation as long as we pinky promise to raise our kids "in the christian faith." And I mean, Judaism is the original Christianity, so... :Up_to_something:

Goodness. I'll keep you guys posted. I wanted to talk to FH yesterday, but I had the crappiest day and he surprised me with flowers (which NEVER happens!)... how do you reply to flowers with "btw, your children are going to be Jewish and about this whole priest thing..." :lol:
I'm not religious so you're not offending my personal beliefs, but please, consider this carefully. It seems to be making a mockery of religion and to my mind is incredibly disrespectful. Judaism is not Christianity (I come from a line of Brooklyn Hebs myself) and pretending otherwise is not acting in good faith.

I agree with Chemgirl that religious readings might be a good compromise.
 
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